The Raspberry Pi PoE Hat was announced on Pi Day alongside the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. Well recently the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat started shipping and I quickly got one to test. We are going to talk about how well it performed, its features and some of my other thoughts on the PoE Hat so sit back, buckle up and keep your arms and legs inside until the ride comes to a complete stop.
The design of the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat is pretty interesting and I must say it is nice to look at from a design and engineering standpoint. Looking at it you immediately see a fan, a decent sized transformer your standard 40 pin GPIO as well as the new 4 pin GPIO. The fan is an interesting addition which I am pleased to see. While I have never been one to run a fan on my Raspberry Pi I know a lot of people insist on them so it was nice to see its addition. I think its inclusion probably has more to do with keeping the transformer cool but it should keep the Pi cool as well. It is kind of interesting to me that the transformer is suspended by its contacts over a cutout in the board and to me this struck me as a bit strange but I love the look of it. Upon looking into it a bit further it is actually not uncommon for transformers to be mounted in such a way. The 40 Pin GPIO Header should be familiar to everyone but the new addition of the 4 Pin Header is what makes the PoE Hat only compatible with the Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Now the first think I had to know is will it fit in a case? Well this is a mixed bag, the easy answer is not really. I initially thought it would fit in the Official Raspberry Pi Case but it does not as the transformer sticks up too high. I do however have the RS Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Case and it fits in that fine. In the future I think it is safe to assume we will see more case availability.
With the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat on my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ I was able to boot my Pi without a power supply connected for the first time. I was very happy by this although I do not currently have any use cases that require my Pi to be powered in such a way, I am sure I will come up with some. Now with the inclusion of the fan, I was a bit concerned that something was now going to generate some heat and while I could tell that the transformer was heating up nothing got to warm and my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ had no noticeable increase in operating temperature so the fan absolutely works as designed.
While I am happy to see the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat, I can’t help but feel let down because it is only compatible with the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I see PoE being more useful on something the size of the Raspberry Pi Zero although I am not sure they can make a PoE Hat in that form factor.
Is anyone else using the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat? Let me know about your projects in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.