Cheap Power-over-Ethernet adapters for wireless and VOIP

One of the nuisances of installing wireless access points, VOIP phones, and other small networked devices, is the need for power in the vicinity of the device. This can be a major challenge, if you’re building a small wireless ISP using an access point on an antenna mast, which is why wireless user groups have come up with homebrew POE hacks. In the past, power-over-ethernet support has been for relatively expensive equipment geared toward commercial, large-scale installation, such as rolling out a building full of Cisco 7940 IP phones.

There are a some cheap power-over-ethernet adapters available now from Linksys and D-Link:

D-Link DWL-P200 (5V or 12V, list price $39.00)
Linksys WAPPOE (5V only, list price $39.99)
Linksys WAPPOE12 (12V only, list price $49.99)

The 802.11af standard for power-over-ethernet has been published, so products are beginning to come onto the market that can directly accept power and ethernet over a single RJ-45 connection, without requiring a power splitter at the device end. I would be happy to see all the little power cube transformers under my desk go away sometime in the near future…

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