UCTRONICS' PoE HAT Mini Adds Power-over-Ethernet to a Raspberry Pi in Tiny Footprint

Designed to leave most GPIO pins free and not block the SoC, UCTRONICS' PoE HAT Mini is an interesting add-on for Power-over-Ethernet.

Gareth Halfacree
7 days ago β€’ HW101

UCTRONICS has launched a pair of alternatives to the Raspberry Pi Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT, and while one is a near-copy the second is considerably smaller: the PoE HAT Mini.

The original Raspberry Pi PoE HAT was unveiled three years ago alongside the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Designed to simplify cabling for remote installations, the add-on connects to the Raspberry Pi's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header and a second dedicated header found only on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and later Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, and allows the device to be powered using an Ethernet cable and a compatible switch or power injector.

UCTRONICS' version of the Raspberry Pi PoE HAT, the U6102 PoE HAT, is for all intents a purposes a direct competitor. Like the official Raspberry Pi PoE HAT, and its successor the Raspberry Pi PoE+ HAT, the U6102 is compatible only with Raspberry Pi models that feature a PoE header and includes an on-board cooling fan. One feature it adds: A screw terminal offering ground and 12V connections, for external sensors or other hardware.

The UCTRONICS U6109 PoE HAT Mini, though, is far from a direct copy. Designed with as small a footprint as possible, the PoE HAT Mini leaves the area over the Raspberry Pi's system-on-chip (SoC) free β€” making it compatible with heatsinks and cases which make direct contact, while also making it easier to route the CSI cable to a Camera Module.

The board also leaves more of the Raspberry Pi's GPIO header free than the traditional design, and breaks out ground, 3V, 5V, and I2C connections on a header of its own. Its compact design does come at a cost, however: Where UCTRONICS' full-size version puts out up to 4A at 5V, the more compact Mini variant is limited to 2.5A - and lacks the former's 12V connector.

The full-size U6102 PoE HAT and compact U6109 PoE HAT Mini are now available on the UCTRONICS Tindie store, priced at $19.99 and $27.99 respectively.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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