wESP32 ESP32 Board Supports “Isolated” PoE (Crowdfunding)

Olimex introduced their ESP32-POE board a few months ago, and started selling it for 17.50 Euros last month, but it’s always good to have more options and Silicongnition has designed another ESP32 board with power over Ethernet named wESP32.

wESP32wESP32 board specifications:

  • Wireless Module – Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32 module with WiFi 802.11n (WiFi 4) and Bluetooth 4.2 LE connectivity
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45) with auto-MDIX allowing the use of both straight and cross-over Ethernet cables
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n  and Bluetooth v4.2 BR/EDR (via ESP32 module )
  • Expansion – Unpopulated 20-pin header with 3.3 V, V+ power, and 15 of the ESP32 GPIOs
  • Power Supply
    • Default 12 V output setting for V+ provides 12.95+ W of power
    • Optional (bridge solder jumper) 5 V output setting for V+ provides 5 W of power
    • IEEE 802.3at Type 1 Class 0 compliant PoE
    • 3.3 V output with up to 6 W of power (taken from V+)
    • Support for applying external power to V+, in case PoE is unavailable
    • Support for powering via the wESP32-Prog USB port (limited to 5 V on V+)
    • Compatible with both PoE Mode A (power over data pairs) and PoE Mode B (power over spare pairs)
    • Full data and power path isolation in compliance with the IEEE 802.3at 1500 Vrms isolation requirement
  • Dimensions – 75 x 40 mm with 4 mounting holes compatible with M2.5 or 4-40 screws

ESP32 POE Programming BoardAn optional wESP32-Prog module is also offered for programming the board. It is shown plugged into wESP32 board board, and looks to be a typical USB to TTL board, but helps you do without extra cables. Just connect a micro USB to USB cable to your computer and you’re done.

The wESP32 board will work with power sourcing equipment (PSE) compliant with the IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at PoE standards. It is NOT compatible with 12 V or 24 V “passive PoE” systems, and instead requires a minimum voltage of 37 V as per the IEEE specification.

wESP32 board launched on Crowd Supply a few days ago, and quickly surpassed its $2,000 funding target. A pledge of $45 or greater is required to get wESP32 board, but for convenience you may consider the $55 starter kit that also includes wESP32-Prog board. Packs with multiple boards are also offered. Shipping is free to the US, and adds $5 to $15 to the rest of the world depending on the selected reward. You should not have to wait to long since deliver is scheduled for mid-December.

The board is fairly more expensive than Olimex ESP32-POE board, and Silicognition addresses the advantages or shortcomings of both boards in the crowdfunding page in details, but the most important part appears to be that “due to its lack of isolation, the Olimex board is completely unsuitable for commercial installation and belongs firmly in the realm of hobby boards”.

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