VRM+POE vs. REV Radio Power Module reliability

Because we don’t trust the barrel jack we back up radio power with POE.

The simplicity of going with just the REV radio power module is attractive.

For those teams with experience, has it been OK to give up redundancy of two power sources to radio that VRM+POE provides?

Have teams found the Radio Power Module equal or more reliable than VRM+POE?

Last year we used the REV RPM and had zero radio disconnections/power drops in our 62 matches.

Had some other issues, but radio power wasn’t one.

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Ran the REV RPM last year and don’t ever see ourselves going back to the VRM and POE cable setup. The wiring is much cleaner IMO, and was very reliable for us.

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We had no issues with the RPM last year, and loved the simplicity and ease of use of not having to wire a VRM and two sets of wires. We’re not going back to the VRM setup.

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My team has used both and found reliability to not be a concern with either setup.

Reliability was not an issue, but redundancy does give peace of mind so I do miss it.

As always, strain relief your cables and connections and you should be good to go. Check Ethernet cable retention tabs every once in a while. Ensure it’s not being removed too often anyway.

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No issues for us with the RPM either. Do use quality Ethernet cables, preferably new ones; this is not the place to save a couple of bucks. Pack spares just in case. And I second what @Akash_Rastogi said - don’t be plugging/unplugging unnecessarily.

(In 2021 At Home we had a weird intermittent connection loss that looked a lot like Wi-Fi interference, but which we eventually traced to an Ethernet cable that had succumbed to flywheel-induced vibration. It wasn’t the radio connection - and this was pre-RPM - but it illustrates that these cables can and do fail.)

Exactly the same here and using the RPM gets the voltage into the correct specified range of the radio - it’s marked 18-24v POE and most teams cheated all the way down to 12 v.

Also be warned that accidentally plugging the higher voltage Ethernet into say a switch can cause fatal smoke damage. We won’t say who did that to our favorite expensive BlackBox switch but I have personal knowledge that he is the oldest member of the team. (I did offer to replace it.)

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The RPM worked perfect for us.

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We used the RPM last year and loved it. Absolutely reliable and very easy to use. I do suggest that you also use a network hub (especially if you have other network resources like a Limelight) and never touch the network cables at all. Plug and unplug for tethering by plugging into a spare port on the network switch. That keeps your connection pristine and improves your chances to not lose communications during a match.

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This is not to say that the RPM is a bad product at all, but our team ended up with a RPM with a dry joint causing the radio to lose power around 8-9V. We never ended up diagnosing this until recently because we never thought that the RPM could be a problem. Just a warning that the RPM can definitely still have problems, even though it is a great product.

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