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I am interested in experimenting with PoE for a variety of small embedded controller projects. Is there a hobbiest's source for any of the Akros Silicon PoE evaluation boards? Or is there another bit of kit I should be looking into?

My ideal prototyping board would be something like an Ethernut powered by PoE…

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I'm not sure about the specific chip you talk about but Freetronics has a Ethernet+POE Arduino shield. It's not cheap, but it gets the job done. There's also a mid-span injector board to power more than one device from a central point. I like that the freetronics boards often have prototyping built right into the board without requiring an extra shield. Could be a good starting point for an embedded project.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Chris, thanks! This is a very interesting alternative to explore. I can see now why the Arduino boards are so popular… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2010 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a note for future interested persons: This board is using a Wiznet chip and doesn't (yet) have the capability to negotiate a power connection on a full-up PoE network. My understanding is that the Akros chips provide an integrated solution that includes power negotiation. So… still looking for a source for those protoboards. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2010 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ From the Freetronics site: "Note: this module does not provide proper, standards-compliant 802.3af PoE support. But it's a whole lot cheaper, and works with just about any home-brew PoE system." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Freetronics now has an add-on for their PoE Ethershield that lets you connect to a real 802.3af PoE network and negotiate power. I have ordered a few of these and will be trying them out RSN! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 2:27
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As I am looking to deploy on a "real" PoE network, the Freetronics stuff is not going to work for me. I've contacted the folks at Akros and arranged to get a protoboard after signing an NDA… But at present Akros does not have a US distributor, so parts availability for homebrew projects is likely to be problematic.

I'm still interested if anyone has suggestions for a similar SoC solution for standards-compliant PoE.

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