Glen Akins is back with yet another Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) project — but this time he's using a Silvertel Ag5300 PoE+ with integrated DC/DC converter, which can offer "big cost savings and help to reduce the overall parts count."
Akins is no stranger to adding Power-over-Ethernet to some interesting devices: Late last year he created a 802.3at Christmas tree, and earlier this year built a tube-based vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) clock that pulled both time data and power down a single Ethernet cable.
Usually, Akins builds his projects around a TI TPS2378 PoE+ classification IC — "the lowest cost solution, [but] requires quite a few other components to operate" — or a Molex Ethernet jack with built-in magnetics and PoE+ support — "the highest cost solution but requires very few external components to operate."
On this occasion, Akins opted for a Silvertel Ag5300 PoE+ module, which "sits somewhere in the middle," requiring a jack, magnetics, two bridge rectifiers, and a transient suppressor, but including an isolated 12V or 24V DC/DC converter — perfect for powering an off-the-shelf Color Kinetics ColorBurst 4 RGB floodlight, once combined with a Microchip PIC18F67J60 microcontroller on a custom PCB.
"These lights are normally powered and controlled using a Color Kinetics power data supply like the PDS-150e," Akins explains. "I’m going to replace the PDS-150e with a small power/control board that can directly power and control a single 10 watt ColorBurst 4 fixture from any 802.3at/PoE+ capable switch and an industry-standard Art-Net controller sitting anywhere on the network. I’ll use Synthe-FX’s Luminair 3 software running on an iPad Mini to send Art-Net packets to the board and control the light.
"A possible future iteration of this project might be to build my own RGB LED fixture, integrate the PoE+ power supply and Art-Net control circuitry in to the fixture, and design an enclosure to hold and cool everything. The enclosure would need to have a means for aiming it and securing it in position, a transparent or frosted window for the light, and an Ethernet jack on the back or bottom for powering and controlling the light."