RoadTest: Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) plus POE Hat
Author: Ujjval Rathod
Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Any single board computer with PoE capability
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Always I personally find SD cards difficult to format, edit partitions and install fresh OS. I also wanted to look at schematic diagram of PoE hat to measure the current of the device with external sensor.
The roadtest of RaspberryPi 4-- 4GB+POE HAT
Before I actually begin I would like to say thanks to element14 for providing and sending me the following two parts
I received both very nicely packed and safely handed over to me. Below are photos of how both boards looked like. The first thing which I did was to connect the POE hat with raspberry pi, It connects on 40+4 pins of GPIO headers of RaspberryPi.
The POE(Power over Ethernet) HAT is one of the official add-on boards designed to work with RaspberryPi 3B+ and RaspberryPi 4B development boards. It provides the Internet on an Ethernet network as well as powerful capabilities to the Raspberrypi.
The Power Over Ethernet has several advantages over the normal power method especially for RaspberryPi 4 where there is USB 3 powering is required and if there is a router which has a support for the standard 802.3af type then you can buy just a PoE hat and you are good to go. If your router does not support the PoE standard then you can buy PoE injector. PoE injector is something which can add power plus internet on the ethernet cable. normally the router's have Ethernet pins to provide only internet connectivity if it doesn't have 802.3af standard support.
There are actually many versions of PoE and the one RPI has is PoE Type1. It can power devices up to 15.4Watts which is normally enough for RaspberryPi.
One important thing good to mention here. If I talk specifically to Raspberrypi PoE hat and applications then you can power up the RaspberryPi with PoE hat and ethernet cable even without the data connectivity from the router. This opens up many possible configurations to provide data and power to your raspberry pi. you can either provide power to your RPI with PoE+PoE injector and connect to Pi over WiFi OR you can have default option or most appropriate one is to provide both Power+data on a single ethernet cable. Also, if your project has many raspberry pi and you can buy an injector with more than one output PoE ports and ethernet cables to power them up, instead of buying separate USB3 type connectors.
Part 1: Motioneye Project on RaspberryPi.
First, I had decided to give a try to the motioneye OS. It is an operating system based on buildroots to make video surveillance system from RaspberryPi. The process is just simple, download the sourcecode from the github for RPI4 and flash the image to the SD card using SD card flashing utility. I am using belena etcher for this purpose but you can use DD or any other for Windows 10 like win32disk imager etc. After that, create a standard file called wpa_supplicant.conf(It's not necessary in this case as there is ethernet connectivity) in the boot partition of your drive with your wifi password and SSID which will enable the pi to connect to your network, and hence you should be able to get access the camera/s from the network. I had a USB camera that I had configured. First, insert the SD card into the SD card slot of the RPI and power it up with the ethernet.
Then in the terminal type the following command, you will be able to get the right IP of your RPI. The IPRANGE is the number from your router's broadcast address. the last part should be from 0/255. the password is admin.
nmap -f IPRANGE
Part 2: Object detection on RaspberryPi 4+ PoE HAT
Object detection, and that also especially with raspberry pi 4 and PoE HaT, can bring many advantages to real-life applications. I have tried some object detection with the camera using the TensorFlow lite. Actually, I found a nice comprehensive guide for Object detection with TensorFlow lite and OpenCV library on the Github page of edge electronics. With RaspberryPi, one can just train their own model or download and use the existing scripts to make real-time object detection. On the link, I have given in this roadtest there is everything available to get started.
The PoE(Power over Ethernet) is an official add on board provided by RaspberryPi to be supported by RaspberryPi 4 and 3B+. It could become in some scenarios very cost-effective and meaningful solution to provide both power and data over the single cable. The example application of such a product can include a camera surveillance system that needs fast data transfer of images and videos, object detection with a camera, IoT node for smart home application which for example can connect to the printer and be able to print documents remotely for those printer products which do not have such function!!. One more example that comes to my mind is a Raspberry Pi server where more than a single Pi is needed which would need only more ethernet cables and appropriate selection of PoE injector which has more than one output port. Industrial applications can normally benefit from such products where usually they have a tray specially installed for cables only power requirements need to be taken in account over a long distance. If I say my personal experience than I liked this product very much not just because it looks more professional and smart-looking but it gives quite more flexibility and capability for the Raspberry Pi 4(with USB3 power port). As a person who likes innovative hardware, I would love to have more such products from RaspberryPi.