PoE For Helium Hotspots

How do you use PoE? Do you need a split­ter, an injec­tor, or both? How does it all work?

Let’s dive in! PoE is one of those things most of us nev­er have to deal with and can seem like a mys­tery. It’s not. It’s super sim­ple, let me show you how it works.

First, P‑O-E stands for Pow­er Over Eth­er­net. It’s a way to com­bine BOTH the pow­er AND the Eth­er­net con­nec­tion into one cable. You’re lit­er­al­ly run­ning pow­er over an eth­er­net cable.

When decid­ing to use PoE, check to see if your hotspot sup­ports it native­ly like the Nebra Out­door (Option 1, below) or does­n’t (Option 2.)

Here’s a handy Hotspot Con­nec­tion table to fig­ure out what you have. 

Note on the Syn­cro­bits that they have “Pas­sive PoE”, which is non-stan­dard. Make sure you get the right type of Injec­tor for them. Ok, on to the diagram.

Ok, but what do injec­tors or split­ters actu­al­ly look like? We’ll start with an Injector: 

See how the pow­er cord comes in on the right side, and then there are 2 ports on the left?

One of those ports, “Data In”, is for the eth­er­net cord that comes FROM your router. That brings the data INTO the injector. 

The oth­er port, labeled “Pow­er & Data Out”, is what you’ll use to take both pow­er and data OUT, going up to 300′ over an eth­er­net cable to your hotspot.

What about the Split­ter? What do those look like, and when would you need one?

First, look up your hotspot specs. SOME hotspots (the out­door Nebra, for exam­ple) sup­port PoE native­ly; they don’t need a Split­ter on the far end. 

How­ev­er, if your hotspot has a port for a pow­er plug (USB‑C, bar­rel plug, etc) AND an Eth­er­net port you can use a PoE Split­ter. Those look like this:

That blue cable com­ing in from the bot­tom rep­re­sents the long cable run from the Injec­tor to wher­ev­er your hotspot is. The Split­ter than splits out the Pow­er and the Eth­er­net, and you con­nect both to your hotspot.

The one tricky thing is being care­ful to not “dou­ble pow­er” your hotspot. Don’t run PoE AND a pow­er cable to the hotspot. It sounds sil­ly, I know, but I’ve heard sto­ries about the “peo­ple who think more is bet­ter”, so I fig­ured I’d warn ya.

If you learn best by watch­ing some­thing, here’s a video. Yeah, the cables are a lit­tle messy in the vid. If that part of it con­fus­es you, well shit, you’re prob­a­bly hav­ing trou­ble tying your shoes and should stay away from putting up badass hotspot placements. 

That’s PoE explained. Get after it!

Wait, you want to see what it looks like in an actu­al enclo­sure, with a hotspot, and all fan­cy? Here ya go:

~Nik @ GK

12 thoughts on “PoE For Helium Hotspots”

  1. Thanks Nik. I use these injector/splitters on my Bob­cats, they work per­fect­ly and a lit­tle less bulky: https://www.amazon.ae/gp/product/B08P8Z5PDQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    A few more ben­e­fits for users to think about when using PoE:
    a. by remov­ing pow­er adapters from your out­door case you’re also reduc­ing the heat a little.
    b. by hav­ing eas­i­er access to the pow­er source (lets say at ground lev­el or at least indoors), it’s much eas­i­er to pow­er cycle the unit.

  2. Marcus Makabenta

    Why my eth­er­net port from my spec­trum wifi router is not going when con­nect­ed to poe injec­tor (basi­cal­ly all cables are con­nect­ed cor­rect­ly). Thank you for the answer.

  3. Bril­liant write-up. Much appre­ci­at­ed. This makes for a clean and tid­dy install. I will pay it for­ward. Cheers.

  4. Since I have a Syn­cro­bit I need to make sure I buy a pas­sive injec­tor? Exam­ple: TP-Link PoE Injec­tor | PoE Adapter 24V DC Pas­sive PoE


  5. My POE split­ter is very hot. I bought a DSLRKIT Active PoE Split­ter 48V to 5V 5.2V 2.4A USB TYPE A Female 802.3af for tablets and just used a short USB A Male to USB C cable to go into the Sense­cap M1.

  6. Good ques­tion Andrew, I’d check with Bob­cat to make sure. They don’t say any­thing about it on their spec sheet.

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