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FAQ: Explanation/Application of PoE

Question:

What is PoE, when should I use it, and how do I use it?

Answer:

Power over Ethernet (PoE) supplies power to the iTach products over the network (CAT5) cable. This eliminates the need for a high voltage (120V or 230V) outlet, which is an ideal option for an installation where power is unavailable, i.e. attic blinds. (Do not confuse PoE with Ethernet-over-powerline technologies which allow network communications over high-voltage wiring.) PoE power can be supplied to the CAT5 cable either by PoE-enabled Ethernet switch or from a device called a PoE power injector or "Midspan".  In a scenario with only a few PoE-enabled iTach units, an injector (~25-40 USD) is the most advantageous option, as it supplies PoE power to a single Ethernet cable. In situations with multiple PoE requirements, use of a PoE-enabled switch or router would be recommended as the most cost effective solution.

Since the PoE router or switch is responsible for supplying all the PoE power needs of many devices, ensure total wattage available is greater than the total wattage needed by all connected PoE devices. iTach units require only 1 watt of power, and therefore are not electrically demanding. Also the PoE iTach can have both the power supply and PoE power applied simultanteously without damaging the iTach.  However, only one source will be providing the power at any one time. With both sources plugged in, either source may be removed without interrupting iTach operation.

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