I guess you should be familiar with POE injectors. They are devices that enable Ethernet/Network cable to carry electrical power (required to power certain network devices), in addition to data. I guess you might be familiar with single-port POE injectors that provide power/data to one network device connected to it. But, there are also multi-port POE injectors (commonly 4/6/12/24 Port POE Injectors) that can power multiple/many POE-based network devices simultaneously. Let us learn some more about them, in this article.
Single port POE injectors are fine for certain small applications like powering one or a few access points, IP cameras or IP phones. But, in many situations, we have many POE-enabled network devices connecting to the same switch. In such cases, you can explore using Multi-Port POE injectors.
While it may be possible to buy POE (Network) Switches for the same purpose, network switches have limited flexibility in allowing you to choose the number of POE ports you might want, in the location where it will be deployed. Suppose, you have a certain location where you want 6 POE ports and 18 Non-POE ports, there maybe very few switches that can offer that exact configuration. In most cases, you may end up under-subscribing or over-subscribing the number of POE ports.
In such situations, it maybe economical, convienient, space-saving and energy-efficient to use rack-mountable Multi-Port POE injectors. The Multi-Port POE injectors can be kept in network racks along with network switches. If you plan to use Multi-Port POE injectors, it’s best to buy non-POE switches and add this unit separately, along with the switch.
Since these multi-port POE injectors come in 4,6,12,24 port versions, you can select the best configuration/number of POE ports required, as per your site conditions. Since Multi-Port POE injectors use a single power supply for all its ports, you need just one power supply connection for the whole box. If you use individual POE injectors, you need multiple power supply units.
Microsemi PowerDsine is a very popular/reliable manufacturer of POE injectors and they cater mostly to enterprise/industrial POE applications. While many multi-port POE injector models/variations are available from this manufacturer, I have chosen to highlight their most popular/most cost-effective multi-port POE injector model – PowerDsine PD-3500G series.
Highlights/Features of PowerDsine PD-3500G series
- Supports up to 15.4W (Each port) as per the IEEE 802.3af POE standard (Please note: These POE injector models do not support the higher-power POE standard – IEEE 802.11at. You can consider the PowerDsine 9000G family for that)
- Supports Gigabit data transfer (10/100/1000 Mbps)
- Can be used to power POE supported Access Points, IP Telephones, IP Cameras (among various other POE-enabled network devices)
- 4-Port POE, 6-Port POE, 12-Port POE, 24-Port POE injector models are available in the PD-3500G series
- Plug and Play installation
- Indicators: LED indicators for LED power supply, per-port Power
- 1-Year warranty
Further Information: Microsemi PowerDsine Web-page for PD-3500G.
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