Will the Microchip PoE power a Raspberry Pi 4B?


The initial test involved establishing a host hardware and software configuration that works with traditional wall wart power. Then using the same host power it from the Microchip PoE.


As explained in the introduction to this RoadTest, only Raspberry Pi hardware will be used as host devices.  The initial test used a Pi4B (my apologies I may have used Pi4B+ identifier in earlier posts) hardware that was provided as part of the Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) plus POE Hat Roadtest review. The Pi4B sports a USB-C power connector that can directly connect to the Microchip PoE. In future tests I hope to introduce a PiZero which will require an adapter to change the power connection to USB-mini. The Pi4B hardware is encased in a faux gold metal enclosure that doubles as a heat sink. There are two fans (disconnected) for cooling the electronics.


Microchip PoE


The Pi4B was loaded with the current Raspberry Pi Operating system (O/S) Raspberry Pi OS Lite Release date: May 7th 2021, 2021-05-07-raspios-buster-armhf-lite. Connection to the Pi is SSH over a hard wired connection to the Ethernet port on the Pi. A quick software update was completed on the Pi with an apt update & upgrade before proceeding. Using the pinout command (part of python-gpiozero package) a visual listing of the hardware is provided.


The Pi4B was powered down and the traditional Raspberry Pi power supply was removed. The Microchip PoE powered from the TP-Link injector was used with a 2 meter cable to confirm operation. The test proved successful. The Pi powered up and a remote SSH connection over the Ethernet port could be established.


In the Microchip PoE to USB-C® Power and Data Adapter RoadTest Review Unboxing blog post the vendor cable screw mounting was mentioned. In addition to this, the host end of the vendor cable has an LED indicator that only light when plugged into a host.


This setup confirms a working configuration for power using the Microchip PoE and Pi4B.  The plan was to continue with power testing by loading down the Pi and checking voltages. I'm going to deviate from that plan. My interest is piqued, can I communicate with the Pi over the Microchip PoE connection? I will circle back around for the power testing. I hope in the next post to explore the On-The-Go for the Pi and establish comms over the USB-C connection on the Pi.