DIY solution does PoE on the cheap


Depending on the scope of your requirements, Power over Ethernet (PoE) components can get pretty pricey. [Fire] wrote in to share a 4-port PoE solution he put together for under 20 euros (Ignore any SSL errors – we’ve checked it out, it’s safe).

The most expensive part of the build was the 8-port patch panel he purchased for 11 euros. He popped it open, wiring the first four ports for power after drilling spots for an indicator LED and the PSU. He wound the power lines through ferrite beads to hoping to dampen any interference that might occur before reassembling the panel.

In the picture above, you might notice that the panel is being powered via the first Ethernet port rather than through the barrel jack, which [Fire] said was done for testing purposes. When deployed in his network, he plans on using a regulated power supply from a junked laptop to provide electricity.

If you need to provide PoE to devices on your network, this is a great way to go about it. Using a patch panel like [Fire] has gives you the flexibility to easily wire up as many powered ports as you need without much hassle.

21 thoughts on “DIY solution does PoE on the cheap

  1. Ok. So If I am following that right it essentially links one of the ports to another one in a 1:1 configuration (1:5,2:6,3:7,4:8) and simply adds in the power. It is NOT using this as a hub splitter right? Just 4 port power injection?

    1. There is 8 pins on ethernet pins 123and6 move data
      pins 45 78 are not nessassary to move data

      orange1 orangewhite2 green3 blue4 bluewhite5 greenwhite6 brown7 brownwhite8

    2. Correct.
      In the picture, for testing, he’s powering it via the left-most port. You plug 4 non-powered ethernet cables on the right, powered out on the left.
      It’s connected ports 8-4, 7-3, 6-2, 5-1.

    3. Its a Passive PoE installation like a lot of wireless equipment uses. The first brand that comes to mind is Ubiquiti.

      Its MUCH MUCH cheeper to do it this way than use 802.11af. Though 802.11af has many more advantages like negotiating load requirements

  2. Nicely done.

    This DOES break gigabit networking however. 10/100 uses 2 pairs, 1000 uses all 4. If you read the spec, the devices think they are negotiated at gigabit speeds because the negotiation is done on the same two pairs as 10/100, but don’t actually hit gigabit speeds with the other two pairs disconnected.

    But not everyone needs gigabit, and this was a clean cheap way to do POE.

      1. My 5ghz N access point would saturate 10/100 at the speeds I’ve tested it at ( over 130mbs) had it not have the Gigabit backend. You were saying?

  3. It is important to remember that this is PoE in the sense that it is jamming power down a twisted pair sharing room with Ethernet, but it is not PoE in the sense of 802.11af!

    1. Exactly what Tyler said.
      Real PoE devices will not work with this. So you will need to use another small device that splits the power lines from the Ethernet lines.

  4. I have a similar setup for powering ubiquiti and mikrotik radios. An additional benefit to this setup vs the stock passive POE injectors is that the stock injectors are 24v but long lines can drop that voltage too much. The ubiquiti and mikrotik radios can take up to 30v so you can increase voltage to power the devices over longer distances.

  5. Whoa, use at your own risk. I didn’t see any protection circuitry in there, just a few ferrites in parallel. That will cut down on some noise through the inductance, but you’re still susceptible to surges since you are sharing a wall-wart in parallel. This can be an easy way to fry your entire set of devices if something goes wrong. Check out the 4 port injector on L-com to see a passive injector/midspan done right, I believe they show the plans still.

    1. He is powering some Ubiquity radios. Like most hardware, those have an integrated circuit regulator. Actually most devices can take something like 30V, and then internally drop it to 5V or 3.3V

  6. Definitely use at own risk. Ferrite beads don’t take the place of protection circuitry. Using a wall-wart as a power supply means varying voltage and current, and having this wired in parallel means that each load will affect the others. Hacks are good and get the job done, but 802.3af is a solid standard for a reason.

  7. I build something similar a few years back to power a wireless access point down its cat5 cable.
    (The AP was connected to a home made yagi 70 feet in the air atop a telescopic mast for temporary point to point wireless so an extension lead for the power supply wasn’t an option!)

    The first time I used it up the tower I was using solid copper cat5 – the kind you cable in walls. I attempted the same trick this year and it didn’t work… The difference was I was using flexible patch cable type which obviously has a much higher resistance. The solution, since it was temporary was to just grab my variable bench supply and slowly wind up the voltage while measuring it with a meter at the other end of the cable until it got to the required 5v. A more permanent solution is to use a 5v switch mode regulator at the “top” end and feed it with a higher voltage PSU at the “bottom”.

  8. At last, a DIY and cheap solution to the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. Somebody get Dr. Strangelove on the phone.

  9. Maybe fun for playing around, but I’d say its worth a couple hundred dollars to save the time and divest myself of the risk of damaging equipment because of a failure.

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