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How to Use Outdoor PoE+ Injector to Build Mesh WiFi?

Mesh WiFi is an integrated network system that consists of the main router that directly connects to your modem and two or three mesh nodes that act as satellites to bring seamless connectivity to every corner. Unlike the traditional WiFi routers, they all belong to a single wireless network and share the same SSID and password, so you can easily access one of these wireless stations after the initial setups. The mesh WiFi is specially designed for places that suffer weak or incomplete WiFi coverage. With the mesh network, you can enjoy better performance and less network congestion no matter where you’re.

As a system, the mesh WiFi is highly scalable and easy to customize. You can purchase more satellite nodes to extend the WiFi range if the initial set isn’t enough to blanket the whole installation site. Each mesh mode can communicate with the main router and talk to each other directly, and it only needs an electrical hook-up. But frustration often starts when you build a wireless network outside where it’s hard to find an existing power outlet nearby. And since some satellite units can only accept PoE power, to install the mesh network outdoors, you should go for the outdoor PoE injector to secure a safe and reliable power supply.

A Brief Introduction of PoE Injector

The PoE injector offers a practical and economical solution to transfer both power and data to the powered devices (PDs) on a twisted-pair cabling system at a maximum distance of 100 meters, eliminating the need for additional power cabling. It is ideal for applications where only a few PDs need to be connected. Compared with the PoE switch, it offers a greater level of flexibility to install the network device in places where there is an AC outlet available. And the PoE injector can also serve as a power supply unit only in the mesh network setup.

Once connected to a power source, the PoE injector will simultaneously convert the received power to DC power and send it to the terminal device. And it shares the same working principle as the PoE switch by initiating a handshake procedure to identify whether the connected device is PoE-compatible or not and decide how much power is required. And if the handshake procedure fails for any reason, the power will be immediately cut off. What’s more, the PoE injector can also work with a PoE splitter to supply power to non-PoE devices, for example, the mesh nodes that only need an electrical outlet to plug in the power adapter.

Benefits of Using PoE Injectors for Building Mesh Networks

The PoE injector offers a highly reliable power solution to install the mesh nodes. Constant power delivery is guaranteed with an uninterruptible power supply from a centralized point rather than distributed wall outlets. Power conversion from AC to DC lowers the risks of power outages and overloads. And the point-to-point PoE connection reduces the chances of power failures, with a minimal impact on other connected devices. The PoE injector is a money-wise investment. It integrates power conversion (AC-DC power), power management (available only in standard PoE injectors) and power connection all in one small unit. Power consumption can be monitored in real-time with LED indicators. It takes fewer devices to get your PoE system running, reducing job stress. It is a great alternative to PoE switches when fewer devices are installed.

60W Outdoor Industrial Waterproof PoE Injector

This 60W outdoor industrial waterproof PoE injector is specially designed for high-power network applications installed in severe weather conditions and harsh environments. It is compliant with the IEEE802.3bt (Type 3), backward compatible with the IEEE802.3af/at, featuring a maximum power supply of up to 60W to help you set up power-hungry devices like high-performance wireless access points in hard-to-reach areas. It supports a wide input voltage range of DC 24~56V, and the inner regulator will boost up the power to the regulated DC 54V, which reduces the chances of voltage drop in long-distance applications. This PoE injector comes with a rugged metal enclosure (IP67-rated waterproof) to protect the device from breakdown and malfunctioning on rainy or snowy days. It also features a vast operating temperature range from –40°C to 75°C to survive the extreme temperatures in a changeable outdoor environment.

How to Power the PoE Injector Outdoors?

Once the PoE injector is installed, you can use a 100-meter-long Ethernet cable to deliver the PoE power to the mesh node. But the thing is: to power the satellite nodes or WAPs set up at the edge, you have to get the PoE injector up and running first. There are mainly two ways to power the PoE injector outdoors: 1) using the AC power, i.e. the power adapter or 2) taking advantage of the solar power.

Power Adapter

If you’re lucky enough to have an existing electrical infrastructure (i.e. an electrical outlet) available at the edge, you can directly use a power adapter to power up the PoE injector. The power adapter can convert the high alternating currents to the low voltage DC power that low power consumption devices can receive. But you need to pay close attention to the maximum power your PoE injector can consume and choose the compatible power adapter accordingly since the voltage tolerance of every network device varies. Running an extension cable from an indoor outlet can put your home in danger. If you’re deploying network devices outdoors, you’d better use an outdoor wall outlet and a waterproof power adapter. It offers a safe and easy way to eliminate the need for extension cords and allows you to use electronics outside. Fastcabling has launched a DC 48V Waterproof 60W Power Supply that comes with a built-in regulator to simultaneously bring down the input voltage (AC 85-305V) to DC 48V that the 60W Outdoor Industrial Waterproof PoE Injector can receive.

Solar Power System

Since power outlets are often unavailable in hard-to-reach areas, it would be too impractical and expensive to run a traditional wired power source to the edge devices, but the solar power system allows you to install a WAP in remote locations like parking lots. A complete solar power system normally consists of a solar panel, a solar charge controller, a rechargeable battery and proper cables for the power load.

You should place the solar panel in a location where it will not be in shade for shading of even a small part of the panel can result in low power generation. To figure out how much energy your solar panel can produce, you need to know the amount of peak sunlight hours your location gets. And you’ll need a solar charge controller to control the amount of charge coming in and out of the battery and regulate the optimum performance of the battery. Since the entire power required to run the mesh node is from the battery, make sure the battery you use has a large storage capacity and can be recharged quickly. The size of the power cord also plays a crucial part in delivering high-performance power management. If the size of the power cable is too small, then there will be severe power loss. The length of the cable also needs to be considered: basically, the longer the distance is, the larger the size needs to be.

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