Help Powering multiple IOT's scattered around the shop
#1
Food for thought type question.

Assume I'm going to have a dozen or so ESP32 devices scattered around the shop reading sensors, etc. I'll buy the versions that have a USB port and other trimmings and power them thru the port that rather than buy the raw ESP32's and put 3.3v directly on a pin.

I can think of two ways to power them. The first is the obvious collection of a dozen or so 5v USB wall warts. This has the advantage of tried and true technology. It has the significant disadvantage of the 5v USB wall wart, the 5v cord, especially the need for a 110v outlet near by or a 110v extension, etc. Or "how to convert a simple need into a complex wire management implementation" ... at least in my mind. Especially considering all of the information connectivity is wireless over WiFi.

The other option I can think of is a single 24v DC power supply mounted in a central location and then low voltage cable strung to the ESP32's. The low voltage cable is cheap, easy to route, does not need an inspection, etc. The goes into cheap (about the same price as cheap 5v USB wall warts) 24v DC buck converted that provides the 5v for the ESP32. Think of it as POE Lite without the E and the older 24v version rather than the new 48v version.

And now that I have said that (thinking while typing) maybe left over Cat(what ever is on that spool in the basement) might just be the cable to use. Two pair for + and two pair for - and Bob's your uncle. Have the cable, have the crimper, have the plugs, can get the sockets at Home Depot. So yes, it would be POE without the E. Just need to be careful to not actually plug it into a real Ethernet socket.

Anyway, anyone see any flaws in this plan or have another suggestion?

Thanks,
Arvid
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#2
The Ethernet cable solution sounds like a good idea to me. You have the material and it's easy to work with. Thumbsup

Ed
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#3
Perhaps think about using a surface mount RJ45. It's about 2x2x1 and there should be plenty of room inside for the ESP32. You can either screw them to a surface or use the included sticky pad - and that thing will stick!

An alternative, power wise, is a 3v lithium battery (not a rechargeable). If your software wakes up, reads the sensor, sends the data and goes back to sleep at specified intervals, the batteries could last years. Those ESP32s only draw microamps in sleep mode. I was going to use one for a mailbox alarm but found a better solution.
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