We have a remote site deployed using raspberry pi 2's where 3 out of the 5 have ended up damaged / unresponsive. It is hard to get an exact idea from the client but we suspect that the board may have blown.

We know for a fact that they put the pi's on a PoE network and I would like to know if it is possible that this could have damaged some of the raspberry pi's?


  • Welcome to the Raspberry Pi flavoured corner of the Stack Exchange network! If you wouldn't mind a seemingly obviously question: how dead are they? Do you actually have them in hand and can tell that they are electronically faulty or perhaps their SD cards are just corrupted and un-bootable? If you can give more details it may help the post-mortem {though I suggest we refrain from assigning the rip tag just yet!}
    – SlySven
    Sep 27, 2016 at 1:17
  • Hi @SlySven - they were at an overseas client of ours and when we finally got them back we tested and they were all fine! So the issue seemed to be more with the display and the fact that the guys were unfamiliar with the hardware. Even the SD Cards / OS were fine so we're not sure what the issue was. Sep 27, 2016 at 4:54
  • "my god, it's alive..." Good to know the resolution, seems as if it was, as you might say, a wet-ware issue!
    – SlySven
    Sep 27, 2016 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


According to the standard, the power source shall detect if a device is PoE capable and only then apply the voltage, so no raspberry pis can not be damaged IF everything works according to spec.

I've heard about power sources from major manufacturers not working according to the spec, so while unlikely, it's still possible, especially with older, more unusual equipment.

On initial power up Power Sourcing Equipment is designed to detect, and only supply power to the network device if it is identified as a PoE-enabled device. When first connected the PSE initiates a detection process that involves low probing voltages to sense the type of PD connected while avoiding damage to non-PoE network devices.

Source: http://www.bb-elec.com/Learning-Center/All-White-Papers/Ethernet/Power-over-Ethernet-PoE.aspx


Unless all Pi devices are dead at the same rate when plugged in to the PoE network, it's probably not the PoE. If PoE were the issue, they would simply all die right away. Also, network damage would probably only kill the ethernet port on a Pi, or maybe the complete smsc usb+ethernet chip, but not the SoC itself.


I have just installed 10 raspberry pi 3 with poe splitters and 4 of the 10 end damaged the ethernet port.

  • 1
    Were these passive PoE by any chance? Is it possible that the power injected ethernet cable was plugged directly into the RasPi rather than being plugged into the splitter and an ethernet only cable run to the RasPi? Standards based 802.3af and 802.3at PoE will only supply power once the remote end has negotiated a suitable power draw.
    – Mark Booth
    Sep 12, 2018 at 14:21

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