With the recent ratification of the IEEE 1901 power line communications (PLC) standard, PLC is at a tipping point and may become ubiquitous as a home networking technology. In an inter-networked home, PLC promises to provide an inexpensive, high throughput, and easy-to-install means of extending connectivity to areas of the home or small office that have poor wireless coverage. It is imperative that the network dynamics of PLC systems be fully understood in advance of any large-scale roll-out. We present this work as a first step in our development of a comprehensive PLC network test bed. It provides the details of our test bed together with some initial experiments and observations. In particular, we are able to confirm the basic operation of our test bed and highlight issues, such as the interaction of TCP and the PLC MAC, which require further investigation. Â© 2011 IEEE.