The Raspberry Pi 4 is out for quite a while, and we have got enough time to test our current product’s compatibility with the new Pi, and at the same time build new products around it. As a supplier of all kinds of Raspberry Pi accessories, the PoE support for Raspberry Pi is one of the disciplines which we’ve put a lot of effort into. UCTRONICS PoE splitters and HATs are among the best-selling products from us of all time. Now that we are heading into the Pi 4 era, UCTRONICS will continue to provide Raspberry Pi PoE solutions.

What’s PoE and why PoE support for Raspberry Pi?

 uctronics what is poe power over ethernet

PoE is short for Power over Ethernet, which is a solution to deliver both power supply and Ethernet connection with a single Ethernet cable so that fewer power adapters are needed and the deployment of network devices become easier. PoE is widely used in security and surveillance where a lot of IP cameras in the network need both Ethernet connection and power supply at the same time. Likewise, the Raspberry Pi is a device that needs both data and power, so it becomes natural and reasonable to introduce PoE to the Raspberry Pi, and it’s especially useful when you have multiple RPis running and the power adapters are bulky enough to occupy too much space and eats your whole power strips. It’s also nice to have one when you put your Pi away from a power outlet and want to extend to the power cord without losing the Ethernet connection.

UCTRONICS is one of the first to provide a PoE solution to the Raspberry Pi. Before the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ was out, there was no native PoE support on the Raspberry Pi, and the Ethernet port on it would only take the data in, so the problem becomes: how to add PoE support to non-PoE devices? Well, this is actually a problem that has already been solved on security cameras, and the solutions are to use a PoE splitter. A PoE splitter splits the PoE single into Ethernet and power supply so that non-PoE device can be powered over Ethernet. The earlier Raspberry Pi models, for example, use a micro USB port for power supply, so we customized a PoE splitter with a Micro USB male connector in place of barrel connectors which are used for IP cameras.

Official Raspberry Pi PoE HAT: What’s good and what’s not?

raspberry pi poe hat official good or bad

The 3B+ comes out with 4 Raspberry Pi PoE pins, and you will need a PoE HAT to deliver power and transfer data to the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ through the RJ45 Ethernet port on Board. Unfortunately, the first several batches of this add-on board have heard a lot of product quality issues from users, reporting that this HAT limits the supplier power and it will go wrong if you attach a USB device that consumes more power. Although the Raspberry Pi foundation has offered refunds and later fixed this issue, the official HAT still cannot meet the requirements of everyone. It provides an excellent solution but it is not the only option, and there are some decisions to make when you choose the Poe HAT.

  1. ·You will probably need a new Raspberry Pi PoE HAT case. The official Raspberry Pi case will not fit the PoE HAT perfectly unless you leave the top cover open
  2. ·Accessing the GPIO pins becomes less convenient. With the HAT attached on top, you will not be able to access the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins as easy as before.
  3. ·The power supplied is limited. The official Raspberry Pi PoE HAT is IEEE 802.3af compliant, which means that it will provide 2.5A max at 5V, and that might become a handicap when you are on a power-hungry project.

Best PoE Adapter for Raspi from UCTRONICS

uctronics poe splitter

PoE splitter adapter is a nice alternative to the PoE HAT. It’s connected externally so it does not use GPIO pins and is compatible with Raspberry Pi case with fan or add-on screen. What’s more, you will be able to add PoE support to previous models earlier than the Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Over the past few years, we have released several variations of PoE splitters for Raspberry Pi with slightly different specs, and 2 of them are most popular and add up to about 100,000 sold units since the release:

For Raspberry Pi 3 and earlier models:

(SKU: U5159) UCTRONICS IEEE 802.3af Micro USB Active PoE Splitter Power Over Ethernet 48V to 5V 2.4A for Tablets, Dropcam or Raspberry Pi

For Raspberry Pi 3B+:

(SKU: U515902) UCTRONICS PoE Splitter Gigabit 5V - Micro USB Power and Ethernet to Raspberry Pi 3B+, Work with Echo Dot, most Micro USB Security Cameras and Tablets - IEEE 802.3af Compliant

For Raspberry Pi 4:

(SKU: U5259) UCTRONICS USB-C PoE Splitter Gigabit, PoE to USB-C 5V/4A Power Supply for Raspberry Pi 4 and More, 802.3at Power Over Ethernet to USB Type-C Adapter

Buy PoE HAT for Raspberry Pi 4, Pi 3B+ from UCTRONICS

uctronics raspberry pi poe series

Well, if you are a PoE HAT lover, you can still buy PoE HAT for Raspberry Pi 4 and 3B+ plus from us, and UCTRONICS PoE HAT offers the same features like the Raspberry Pi PoE HAT, including the onboard fans, but add some extra functionalities that we think might be useful to you: we’ve added an on-board terminal block with which you can get a 12V output for some peripherals, which is good because the Raspberry Pi itself is unable to attach a 12V device with a step-up boost converter.

(SKU: U6102) UCTRONICS PoE HAT for Raspberry Pi 4, Pi 3B+, 5V/2.5A with extra terminal block for 12V output, IEEE 802.3at/af compliant

Aside from that, the newer IEEE 802.3at (PoE+) compliant PoE HAT with 5V/4A Max output for the Raspberry Pi 4 is ready for mass production, so stay tuned to UCTRONICS and we will be releasing more exciting product in the future.