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Problem Solved: Mixing PoE and Non-PoE on the Same Network Switch

PoE is a straightforward technology that transmits power and data via the same network cable to the powered devices. PoE devices are network equipment that can send out or receive the PoE power along with data, such as PoE switches, IP cameras, wireless access points, while non-PoE devices can only let data pass through, such as regular network switches, Raspberry Pis and PCs. Along with the development of PoE technology comes the flourishing of various kinds of PoE devices, such as POS terminals and digital signage. However, the older network devices are not necessarily built with PoE capabilities and they can support data connectivity only. So how do we mix PoE and non-PoE on the same network?

Can you mix PoE and non-PoE devices on the same network switch?

Well, it all depends on what type of switches you’re using. If you’re using a regular network switch, there’ll be no hazard connecting both PoE and non-PoE devices on the same modem, but the question is only data can be transmitted down the network cable since the regular network switch is not PoE-enabled to supply power over Ethernet. But if you’re using a PoE switch, there are a few things you need to consider. Normally, PoE doesn’t interfere with normal switch operation. If it’s an active PoE switch, it only supplies power to the terminal device when requested. The PoE switches that comply with the PoE standards will detect if the connected device supports PoE before sending any power away, so if you plug non-PoE devices into a PoE switch, it will only transmit data; however, a passive PoE switch that does not adhere to any IEEE standard always sends electric current out at a certain voltage whether the connected device supports PoE or not, so it will possibly damage the equipment.

So there are two main questions when mixing the PoE and non-PoE devices on the same switch: 1) data streams only when using the regular network switch; 2) no power supplies to the non-PoE devices when connected to an active PoE switch, let alone the underlying safety hazards when connected to a passive PoE switch. But PoE is an evolving technology, and as such there can be variations in how it works. To solve these problems, we’re gonna introduce two powerful PoE solutions to help you mix PoE and non-PoE devices in the same network.

Use PoE Injectors to Connect Non-PoE with PoE

The PoE injector is a network device that enables the non-PoE devices like regular network switches to work with the PoE-compatible devices by injecting the PoE capabilities into the legacy network system. It offers a cost-effective solution to inject vitality into the old network system since the older network switches in most cases support data connectivity only. In such cases, extra power cabling is oftentimes required to supply power to the PDs, which makes installation extremely difficult in places where the AC outlet is unreachable.

10G PoE+ Midspan Injector

The 10 Gigabit PoE injector supports 1G/2.5G/5G/10 Gigabit Ethernet network speed, ideal for environments where the highest possible data transfer speed is essential. This PoE injector can handle a diverse range of applications including high-speed security cameras, 802.11ac WAPs, ITS-traffic monitoring systems, automated production lines, 5G networks, NBASE-T connectivity, etc. Fastcabling’s 10 Gigabit PoE injectors provide various power budgets (30W and 95W) to satisfy the increasing power consumption of today’s IP devices. Compliant with the IEEE 802.3bt standard, the 10 Gigabit 95W BT PoE Injector ensures that high-power and data-intensive applications can be handled properly with a seamlessly faster network speed. It can be used in fast-speed surveillance systems like PTZ cameras, remote access controls, etc.

How to Use the PoE injector

The PoE injector has three ports: power input, data input and PoE output. Simply run an Ethernet cable from the regular network switch or a router to the injector to set up the data connection, use another Ethernet cable to connect the PoE injector and the powered device, and lastly power the PoE injector to bring the whole system online. And it’s recommended to use pure copper cables over CCA cables because the latter suffer considerable depreciation and attenuation over long cable runs. Besides, CCA cables have severe DC resistance during transmission.

Use PoE Splitters to Connect PoE with Non-PoE

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 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 works exactly the opposite of the PoE injector. The PoE injector receives power and data separately and integrates them into a unified stream, while the PoE splitter splits the PoE power from the data and separates them into two different feeds that a non-PoE device can use.

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.

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 can 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. It supports Gigabit Ethernet network speed, perfect for use with a Raspberry Pi model B, B+, Pi 2 or Pi 3. On the other hand, the 12V PoE+ splitter can deliver a maximum power of 30W with a default 12V DC output 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.

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 a 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 damage caused by lightning strikes, able to work under a vast temperature range from -40℃ to 75℃.

How to Use the PoE Splitter

The PoE splitter also has three ports: PoE input, data output and power out. First, use an Ethernet cable to connect the PoE switch/injector with the PoE splitter. Take another Ethernet cable to connect the data output port of the PoE splitter and the powered device. Plug the power cord into the power output port and connect the other end to the powered device. After all of this, the data and power will be transferred to the PD.

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