After our recent 2.5GbE PoE switch review/ video, several folks asked about the PoE tester we use at STH. We are adding new and more robust test equipment, but we have been using these TRENDnet TC-NTP1 units. We wanted to take a moment to take a look at these.
TRENDnet TC-NTP1 Inline PoE Tester
The units themselves are relatively simple devices. They can be used either in in-line or target modes. In-line means that we can test the power going from a power source to a device.
In target mode, these can be used to figure out the power delivery capabilities of a port. Above you can see the in-line mode working, while below, you can see we have PoE+ (two green lights) 52V coming from the switch.
The PSE side is the port that hooks the power supply to the device. That is usually a PoE switch or injector.
In target mode, you do not need a second device since you are just testing the capabilities of the feed. For the in-line mode, you would connect a device to the PD side.
The in-line versus target modes are not automatic. There is a DIP switch on the back of the device to select I or T. There is another “N” mode which is for non-standard PoE testing.
Once connected in in-line mode, we use these devices to see how much power a device is using. For example, we can see that using PoE with a downstream splitter, this Intel Pentium N6005 firewall is using only 5.17W, much less than we measured from the wall on AC power (and a poor quality included power supply.) Of course, we are not going through the AC adapter to get the measurement here.
While A is Amps, P is power (watts), and there is also U. U is the voltage.
There is a step button to cycle through the three data points, so it would have been nice if we just had a third display line.
Still, it is a useful tool to see how much power a device uses. Getting actual power usage data can be handy if you need to size a PoE deployment.
The target mode was handy when we had the Hasivo switch, and there was not a lot documentation on what kind of PoE the ports would deliver.
This is not a must-have tool. On Amazon (affiliate link) these are generally decently expensive. So they will cost more than someone at home, just curious to see how much power a device uses will want to spend. Others will use these at work and see $60-70 as a good investment. There are also other clones of this TRENDnet TC-NTP1, or perhaps TRENDnet is the clone. Those other options are often $85-95 so we do not recommend spending more on the same thing.
Hopefully, this clears up for our readers what these cool devices are.
Interesting gadget, however, many managed switches list the power delivery in the port statistics already, so this tells one the cable quality eg after a long run
Humm… amazon reviews indicate that this device doesn’t pass data between PSE PD in inline mode. True?