Espresense with Olimex ESP32-POE

This is a preliminary report as it hasn’t been fully built, but the HA functionality works.

I wanted to put an espresense base station in my backyard to automatically turn on the outside AP when someone goes outside, and also to signal an alarm if my cats escape from the fenced in backyard. Beacons are cell phones and laptops. The cats have Tile tags on their collars which work well as beacons.

My IoT 2.4 ghz IoT WiFi doesn’t reach sufficiently deep into my backyard due to the stone house and steel deck so I needed an ethernet solution with POE. The only options I found are made by Olimex and weren’t too cheap. There are some non-POE options but they are pretty much the same price once you add in the device to draw power from POE. I went with the cheapest option, the ESP32-POE for about $25 delivered in the US. Other options had features that really seemed unnecessary.

I installed the standard firmware in the usual way and configured it to my WiFi. First time the MQTT integration didn’t see the device. After some checking I just reinstalled the firmware and it worked like any other ESP32 base station, but that is on WiFi. To use ethernet, I set the “Ethernet Type” in the firmware to “ESP32-POE”. This turns off WiFi and turns on ethernet.

Next I need to make a waterproof enclosure, run the cable, and write a couple fairly simple automations.

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