TP-Link TL-POE10R PoE Splitter Ground Loop Issues!

James Young · November 12, 2015

A warning for those who are setting up PoE gear (like I’m researching).  The TP-Link TL-POE10R (a low-cost voltage switchable PoE splitter) has a fairly major issue.  It’s not galvanically isolated.

This means that if you power a device using the splitter, and that device has a non-isolated electrical connection to something that’s independently powered, you may get a ground loop.  This will usually manifest itself as the PoE injector shutting down, but may manifest itself as anything from shorting out components to starting a fire (extremely unlikely).

NOTE - This is not an issue if you have no non-isolated electrical connections going from the device attached to the splitter.  So if you have a Raspberry Pi attached to the Ethernet cable on the splitter and being powered by the splitter you’re cool.  But if you plug an HDMI cable from the RPi going into a TV while it’s being powered by the splitter, sparks may fly.

The solution is to either be careful, buy a proper isolated splitter, or use a DC-DC isolating converter.

Reference article here.

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