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Author Topic: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power  (Read 5907 times)

Stoic Joker

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Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« on: August 16, 2023, 09:18 AM »
Okay, this could be a Unicorn, but...

Has anyone ever come across a Raspberry Pi that has a pass-through power port, similar to the powerline networking devices?

Powerline Networking Adapter.jpg
So something that looks like this, but with a Raspberry Pi in it.

I can't give a lot of detail about what I'm up to, but I'd be needing something that is not a kit/homebuilt for the application in mind.

Thanks in Advance,

Stoic Joker

Ath

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2023, 12:10 PM »
What will the main task of the RPi be? Not just switching & measuring the power, I assume?

4wd

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2023, 03:19 AM »
Only thing I've ever seen is the old hack of a Pi in a power board here but being homebuilt it's excluded.

Besides that nothing but the old SheevaPlug/GuruPlug - not even sure you can get them anymore - but they weren't power pass-thru.

Ath

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2023, 06:01 AM »
I see a lot of this kind of devices, where they usually have an ESP8266/ESP8285 or ESP32 chip (with WiFi support, and some ESP32 even use BLe), but they also have (at least) a relay to switch the output and often a sensor to measure power consumption. I've never seen one with an RPi, though with the recent RP2040 that might change, as that chip is targetting the IoT market. But it's not nearly as capable as a full-fledged RPi, more in the ESP/STM region.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2023, 07:26 AM »
What will the main task of the RPi be? Not just switching & measuring the power, I assume?

Okay, let me preface this with the intended application for said device is completely legal... Which I bring up, because the intended application is network scanning and data collection (Note: I work for an MSP..). So... Also forgot to mention - towards that end - it will need to have 2 ethernet ports.

The power pass-through, and dual ethernet ports are really just for deployment simplicity so that it does not require additional power & ethernet ports, as this would be installed with another networked device that it would then be monitoring via SNMP.


Only thing I've ever seen is the old hack of a Pi in a power board here but being homebuilt it's excluded.

Wasn't looking to get quite that devious with it, but that is a right interesting little widget.

I don't need to interact or disrupt the power flow, I just need the pie to be powered by it on its way to the device being monitored ... without the need for an additional power receptacle/wall wart type situation.




Note: unfortunately, due to a general distain for all things IoT, I've never delved into the Pi stuff previously. So at this point I simply have no idea how to even start looking for something applicable to the task.

4wd

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2023, 07:54 AM »
None of the RasPi series have two ethernet ports so you'd be better off looking at one of the 'rivals', for example:
NanoPi R2S
Odroid H3

There are probably others, I was looking at the R2S to run pfSense as a gateway.

Given it's for monitoring which shouldn't be too CPU intensive, I would think something along the lines of the R2S would be suitable.
Plus it's small enough to glue to its PSU and plug into a power outlet.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2023, 01:06 PM »
Interesting... But I'm not sure if the monitoring software will run on the alternates as vendor specified Raspberry, which may not matter - I just don't know enough about these things to guess worth a damn.



4wd

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2023, 07:28 PM »
Do they give a minimum RasPi version?

Shades

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2023, 08:09 PM »
https://shop.hak5.or...hrowing-star-lan-tap

A device that monitors, without drawing power. While it is sold out (on that site at least), it looks to be small enough to be built into something. Because of the the 2 network port requirement, I expect that a commercial is out of the question.

Sure, there are many SBC's that have 2 NIC's built-in but those are usually on the larger side, so obvious to any observer and often in need of more (passive) cooling than a Raspberry Pi SBC.

ZimaBoards is such a device. Most likely overkill for your purpose, but dimension-wise you will be very hard pressed to find anything smaller that supports
 2 NICs. The ZimaBoard is propably major overkill for what you want to do with it.

A device like this would be much more preferable, whenever it actually comes to market. Perusing that site could be interesting, as it discusses many different makes and models of very small SBC's. Perhaps there is even one with 2 NICs. Here is an industrial Raspberry Pi model with 2 NICs. Perhaps that one is easier to alter, to make it a power through device.

Still, I don't expect you will escape from having to home-built one yourself.

4wd

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Re: Looking for Raspberry Pi with Pass-Through Power
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2023, 07:40 PM »
Probably your easiest option if it has to be a RasPi is a 3B/4B, (whichever the vendor recommends for the software), and a PoE hat for it.

For example:
Official RasPi PoE+ version

It'd pay to check Jeff Geerling's write up on the PoE hats.

BTW, for something cheaper and maybe more familiar, there are lots of cheap NUCs on ebay, eg. Industrial Fanless NUC which are probably cheaper than a RasPi 4B + case + PSU and certainly have a lot more grunt under the cover.
Could check if the software vendor offers an x86 software version.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2023, 10:00 PM by 4wd »