PoE is a straightforward technology that transmits power and data via a network cable to the PoE-compatible devices, which highly reduces the installation and labor costs in building or expanding a network system. It leads to a quandary, however: since most network devices, such as Raspberry Pis, PCs and non-PoE access points, are not necessarily built with PoE capabilities, is it possible to utilize PoE for non-PoE devices?
In this blog, we’re gonna introduce two powerful PoE devices to help you mix PoE and non-PoE devices in the same network.
Connect Non-PoE with PoE: PoE Injector
The PoE injector is a useful tool that enables the older switch to work with PoE-compatible devices by injecting the PoE capabilities into the legacy network system. A great solution for applications where only a few PoE ports are demanded. More specifically, it can be used to power IP security cameras, WAPs, VoIP phones or any products compliant with IEEE802.3 standards with a single network cable. The PoE injector can be installed in-line between the regular network switch and the PD, and the maximum distance on each side can reach 100 meters. Moreover, by using a 10 Gigabit 95W BT PoE injector, you’ll be able to power high-power-consumption PoE devices like LED lighting, digital signage, IP intercoms and RFID readers with a much faster data transfer speed. Read more about PoE injectors here.
Connect PoE with Non-PoE: PoE Splitter
Since most legacy devices don’t come with an RJ45 interface, to connect a PoE-enabled PSE with a not PoE-compatible PD, say a computer, you’ll need a PoE splitter. The PoE splitter is a cost-effective solution to power a non-PoE device by splitting PoE from a unified network cable and delivering power and data through separate connections. It often works with a PoE switch or a PoE injector to power non-PoE devices in hard-to-reach areas which is hard to find a power outlet, eliminating the need for additional AC wiring. The PoE splitter can also be used to bring a 48V DC current down to a low voltage electrical current (regulated 5, 12 or 24V), enabling the safe connection to devices with a low input voltage range.
How Does a PoE Splitter Work?
The PoE splitter is often used in two scenarios: 1) in situations where you need to connect a PoE-enabled PSE, endspan or midspan, with a non-PoE-capable device; 2) or to install non-PoE devices with a regular switch in remote locations where no power source is present.
In the first scenario, the PoE splitter can be connected to a PoE switch directly over a UTP cable. When the splitter receives a PoE/PoE+ signal from the PSE, it will automatically split the signal into separate power and data sources that a non-PoE device can use. In the second scenario, a PoE injector has to be installed to provide power to the PoE splitter since the splitter cannot be attached to a regular network switch directly. The PoE injector draws the data and power from a router and an AC outlet respectively, integrates them into a unified PoE stream and feeds it to the PoE splitter.
PoE Splitter Buying Guide
First, you’ll need to make sure the PoE splitter you choose can work compatibly with other connected network devices. Most PoE splitters available in the market are compliant with the IEEE802.3af/at (15.4W and 30W respectively), so you need to figure out how much power the edge device needs. The maximum power output of the PoE splitter should match the input voltage range of the PD, or the splitter will burn down the connected device.
Also, ensure that the data transmission speed of the PSE corresponds with that of the PoE splitter. If you integrate a Gigabit PoE splitter in a Fast Ethernet network, its network speed will drop to 100Mbps accordingly. Moreover, a waterproof, industrial-grade PoE splitter is recommended to survive the harsh environments in outdoor deployments (lightning strikes, water or dust ingress, fluctuations in temperature, etc.).
Industrial 95W PoE Splitter
The industrial 95W PoE splitter utilizes all 4 twisted pairs of the Ethernet cable to deliver a maximum power of 72W to the non-PoE devices at a Gigabit network speed with a distance up to 100 meters on each side, ideal for high power applications, such as touchscreen laptops, POS terminals and thin-clients, but it’s also backward compatible with the IEEE802.3af/at standards to work with low-power-consumption devices like static IP cameras and Bluetooth APs. The industrial 95W PoE splitter can supply 12V DC power (6A) to the non-PoE device with an input voltage range of 38-55V.
High Power 802.3bt Outdoor Waterproof PoE++ Splitter
Shielded in an IP-67 rated metal housing, this outdoor PoE++ splitter can work with a 95W PoE injector to deploy power-hungry non-PoE devices in remote areas. This PoE++ splitter supports 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet connection and provides a 60W power supply to the PD, enabling the installation of signage displays and high-speed PTZ cameras in places without direct power supplies. The built-in regulator will simultaneously bring down the input voltage (44-56V) to 12V DC, 5A to meet the power requirements of most IP devices. It features 6KV surge protection to prevent electrical damages caused by lightning strikes, able to work under a vast temperature range from -40℃ to 75℃.
5V/12V PoE Splitters for Low Voltage Network Devices
Fastcabling has launched a new series of PoE splitters, specially designed for low-power applications like Foscam and tablets. The 5V PoE splitter is able to supply a maximum power of 20W to the non-PoE device based on IEEE802.3af/at. It can split the 44-57V DC power over the Ethernet cable into a 5V DC power output using a DC Jack 5.5*2.1mm (Type-C connector). It supports Gigabit Ethernet network speed, perfect for use with a Raspberry Pi model B, B+, Pi 2 or Pi 3 (models that are built with Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB/Type-C interfaces). On the other hand, the 12V PoE+ splitter can deliver a maximum power of 30W with a default 12V DC output on a 2.1mm DC barrel jack to power non-PoE IP cameras, WAPs and routers. Both 5V PoE splitter and 12V PoE+ splitter support 1500V high voltage isolation to prevent the transfer of high or hazardous voltages between circuits and secure a safe connection between devices.
How to Install a PoE Splitter?
Installation can be completed in minutes, but devices like a PoE splitter, a PoE injector, a non-PoE device and some Ethernet cables should be prepared beforehand. But you need to make sure the devices you use in the same network are compatible with each other. Follow the procedures below to set up a PoE splitter in a mixture of PoE and non-PoE devices.
- 1. First connect an Ethernet cable to the RJ45 port of your PoE injector, connect the adjacent side of the Ethernet cable to the PoE splitter power and data in port and plug in the power cable to the power input port of the injector.
- 2. Take another Ethernet cable and plug it into the data output port of the PoE splitter, and connect the other side to the powered device – the IP camera.
- 3. Plug in the power cord to the DC power output of the PoE splitter and connect it to the IP camera. After all of this, the data and power will be transferred to the IP camera.
* To install a PoE splitter between a regular network switch and a non-PoE device, you only need to connect the PoE injector with the non-PoE network switch first and then repeat the procedure above to set up the connection. If more IP cameras are to be installed, it’s highly recommended to use a PoE switch instead.