No Outlet Needed: Mac Mini Mod Powered By Ethernet Only

Mac Mini PoE
(Image credit: Ivan Kuleshov)

In a post shared today to Twitter/X, maker and developer Ivan Kuleshov shared a cool mod for his Mac Mini that we’re too stoked about not to share. With a little ingenuity, his latest mod has enabled him to successfully power a Mac Mini using PoE — yes, powered only by the ethernet cable — and the ethernet cable can also serve as a power backup for redundancy. If the name sounds familiar, Kuleshov’s the mastermind behind the Raspberry Pi Compute Blade we covered earlier this year.

Kuleshov delved into the creation process of this PoE Mac Mini mod which apparently involved a bit of reconstruction on the original Ethernet port. The native connector had to be completely unsoldered and modified to use the new PoE hardware. In this case, Kuleshove is using a MagJack connector.

According to Kuleshov, the best way to get the hardware he needed was to take apart an existing MagJack. If you aren’t familiar with this component, it’s a type of RJ45 Ethernet connector with the integrated magnets necessary to enable PoE functionality for the port.

Just like in the Compute Blade project, Kuleshov uses off-the-shelf modules for this mod. These components handle all of the signal interpretation with the PoE switch, which is how it’s able to convert and power the Mac Mini with 12V. He provided a close-up look at the mod in the original Twitter/X thread, which we definitely recommend checking out. You can expand the tweet below to see the video and thread.

See more

There are plans in the works to share more details about the development in the near future, including both an in-depth article and a video. In the meantime, you can check out the demo in action over at Twitter/X. This is just one of many cool creations put together by Kuleshov. Be sure to follow him for more clever projects as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • Merocle
    Hi Ash, nice to meet you, and thanks for sharing my project!
    Just in case there's a better picture here:
    1685717187036585986View: https://twitter.com/Merocle/status/1685717187036585986?s=20
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    I wonder how apple will react to this, It can be incredible upgade to mini, giving it another life.
    ideally this mod can be made to all m1 macs.
    Reply
  • newtechldtech
    The true MOD for any MAC today is adding more RAM and SSD ... I think it is doable but needs expensive equipment.
    Reply
  • Compdoc21
    Is the connection running at full speed, 1000baseT ethernet, or 100baseT?
    Reply