|Product Performed to Expectations:||10|
|Specifications were sufficient to design with:||7|
|Demo Software was of good quality:||10|
|Product was easy to use:||10|
|Support materials were available:||10|
|The price to performance ratio was good:||7|
|TotalScore:||54 / 60|
So to start things off I would first like to thank Element14 and Raspberry Pi for the awesome opportunity to check out the Raspberry Pi Poe Hat on the Raspberry Pi 4 4gb. So when I first applied for this roadtest I had a ton of idea's that flowed through my head of what I would want to test and what I would like to accomplish with the Raspberry Pi Poe hat. The good news is I got a bunch of it done. Which Will make this a bit more fun since there is so much to cover in each of the parts involved. So where do we begin? Well lets start off right at the begging and get familiar with Poe and go from there.
Make sure to check out the video at the end of this Roadtest.
So when it comes to POE (Power Over Ethernet) there is three main items we will be discussing through the process. The first being the POE Switch and then on to POE Injectors and finally POE Splitter. And then finally we will go into the POE Hat for the Raspberry Pi.
When it comes to POE Switches we need to take a few things into consideration when choosing the right POE Switch there are many different kinds and now they can be really cheap.
There are 3 main types of POE Switches lets have a look.
With each type we always have to think of one thing when it comes down to it how much power we need. And how many ports are we going to need. So we need to do a few things here and find out what the best solution to our choice would be. Depending on ones needs these will all change in time but for us a simple unmanaged switch will do the job for our upcoming projects. But it would certainly be nice to use something with more features but its not needed as of yet.
When it comes to POE Injectors these are great for multiple things when it comes to your network. Lets say your on a farm and want camera's on your barns as well as your home. Over the process you might find your length of cables are getting quite long and require a POE injector this will help keep the correct amount of voltage going from your switch to your longer runs of line. But if your device is Wireless and is long range lets say and you don't want to connect it to your switch you would be able to run that anywhere but be able to have your poe device powered. This would be great for a wireless hub or something like a nest cam.
Another reason would be because we are running a unmanaged switch and it's just not got enough power to power the device we want so this is where this would come into play to be able to run higher power devices on our network without having to completely having to upgrade our equipment. A POE injector you could run a line from your standard router or modem to it making it a great starting point to add POE Devices to your network.
So I recently bought a few of these POE Splitters after thinking about upgrading my raspberry pi cluster to all have poe hats and I thought I would give them a go first to see how it went. I make sure I bought the one with a few different connections because I can always try out new project in the future with them. But with that being said after searching around the web for buying Raspberry Pi POE Hats the best prices were on newark for me. But still about 10 dollars more expensive then one of these splitters.
POE Spliters are a great alternative to add some not so normal devices to be powered off your POE Switch that's for sure there is tons of options and things you can come up with. These are great for running Raspberry Pi's as well as some wifi camera's that require a usb dongle to attach to the mains. POE Splitters are most commonly found in 5v and 12v output voltage.
At this point I hope we all have a basic understanding of the equipment most commonly used and remember always check the specs on your devices and on your hardware to make sure they are compatible.
On to the fun stuff lets have a look at the Raspberry Pi 4 & Poe Hat.
I guess that the first thing I will do is discuss my few thoughts on it all and then we can go from there as well. Firstly the Poe Hat is great and a lot of fun to be able to do some testing and playing around with the Raspberry Pi 4 quickly and easy. But the first thing that comes to mind for me is the POE splitter is a little bit cheaper but lets take into consideration we have a fan also going on the pi so we wouldn't need another fan. The fan does a decent job at cooling the Raspberry Pi when it kicks in and keeps the Raspberry Pi roughly at about 49oC under heavy loads when I had run my stress tests.
My raspberry Pi 4 desktop runs at about 44oC Max under the same stress tests. So a 5oC difference is not that bad in my books when it comes to the actual functionality of the unit. The only thing I noticed was that when the pi was under heavy load the voltage did drop on the USB Port by 0.01v
Here is the main thing that bugged me when it came to the design on the Raspberry Pi Hat. It was the lack of adjusting the fan cable length and leaving a stock length on it. So to me it just a bit sloppy but that's just me other then that the unit worked as it should and was great to be able to use....oh wait there was one more thing that I wanted to discuss. There was a lack of documentation on the POE hat when it came to the GPIO port where it connected. Now it would have been nice to have a few more options available right out of the box another gpio header on top would have been great. As is besides doing projects that are not camera or straight POE are pretty limited to what you can do.
Of course I had to install MotionEyeOS on the Raspberry Pi to start off and test it out and test my camera mount I made for it along with a telephoto lens. I have included the base plate and both standard and telephoto mounts at the bottom of the page here if you want to check it out. The camera holders will have to be glued to the base plate I did this just to save a few hours of printing time.
Other then running MotionEyeOS I ran a few other things on the pi more server related projects and one was running Rosetta@home on it to see if I could stress it out over time to see how stable it was. Which all and all the tests ran smoothly and we didn't peak over the 49oC.
scanning around the board while it was under load max temp was 41.3 on the POE Hat.
I was running a heatsink on the CPU only.
There are tons of opportunity to grow and expand on this I do think it has its specific applications. And some applications I wished were available as well so when it comes down to it I 100% love this device even though I was being a bit picky on certain things. I am sure it will come in to some good use over the next while as I play around with it more and more so expect to see more projects with the Raspberry Pi POE Hat.
Now to say this nicely I will not and have not posted anything in this regarding the Raspberry Pi 4 and that's mainly because I have done so much content on the Raspberry Pi 4 it would be redundant to do so. But if you are wanting more on the Pi 4 then
I have not updated it lately (will do soon tho) but feel free to check out My Time with the Raspberry Pi 4 as a Desktop
I also have a ton more stuff on the community here but if you like make sure to
vist me on youtube for lots of pi video's https://www.youtube.com/gam3t3chelectronics