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.