[Troubleshooting Guide] My VidaCharger Ultra / USB-C PoE Adapter is running hot - is this normal?

48VDC VidaCharger Ultra [adapter] + 1-port VidaPower Ultra [injector]

VidaCharger Ultra runs hot / warm to the touch

As tablets and other portable computers get more compact, they also grow more powerful. Their power consumption increases accordingly. New solutions released within the past years for the iPad Pro & its mounts, or the Microsoft Surface Pro and its stands, are perfect examples. To charge these devices, power can be pulled from USB-C transformers at up to 50W, clearly demonstrating how 'hungry' these powerful, yet compact, devices can be. With increased wattage requirements to keep these devices charged and ready for use at all times, we've also released new adapters - like our VidaCharger Ultra - which provides the matching 50W needed. Many installers have noticed the high operating temperature of these devices.

A VidaCharger Ultra adapter is essentially a DC-to-DC converter. As discussed here: https://www.quora.com/Will-a-typical-DC-DC-step-up-converter-generate-much-heat:

"All DC-DC convertors generate waste heat. A very large convertor supplying a lot of power will generate a lot of heat, even at 98% efficiency. It may ... get hot. A very small converter will not generate much waste heat, but it may still get hot. Electronics can run safely at temperatures higher than are safe for human contact. It generally increases the cost if the convertor must be kept cool..."

- McCammon, BSEE Electrical Engineering & Physics, The University of Texas at Austin
Items to Check:
While the hardware naturally runs hot, it is still possible that excessive heat generation is due to improper wiring, specifically from additional interconnects or intermediaries between the VidaPower Ultra Injector and the VidaCharger Ultra Adapter. Make sure that your installation follows the below specifications.

- As per PoE spec, the entire CAT5/5e/6 run cannot be more than 10 Ohms in resistance
Official Power-over-Ethernet standards require the use of standard CAT5/5e/6 lines which cannot be more than 100m long. As per CAT4 wire specifications, 100m long wires cannot have more than 10 Ohms per 100 meters of length - which is where the 10 Ohm limit comes in. If there is a straight, continuous run from the power source (VidaPower Ultra Injector) to the power adapter (VidaCharger Ultra Adapter) then there should be no issues. Increased resistance can be caused by the following:

- Improperly crimped connectors
Most setups of this type use hand-crimped connectors. These are fine for the most part, however the 'teeth' of a RJ45 connector may not fully embed into the wire, and only penetrate a minimal amount of the plastic wire sheathing. It may still be able to pass a digital continuity test, but the incomplete contact would significantly increase the resistance value over the run. Be sure to visually inspect each RJ45 connector and ensure that the 'teeth' have made full penetration into each CAT5 wire.

- There should be no female-to-female interconnectors
These interconnects are typically used to splice together 2 wires for CAT5 connectivity. While this works great for data, problems will arise when used with power transmission. They add a large amount of resistance and cause voltage drop in the line. As a secondary effect, the PoE adapter has to 'work harder' by drawing more current from the power source which results in excess heat. Note that additional wire resistance is a serious issues and WILL shorten the life of the components. It needs to be addressed ASAP to maintain warranty status of our products.

- There should be no patch panels
Patch panels are wonderful for organizing multiple CAT5/5e/6 cables to make them look neater, and like female-to-female interconnects, causes no problems when used in data only applications. Unfortunately, they are another type of interconnect that causes increased wire resistance with similar, problematic outcomes.

Because the VidaCharger Ultra needs to transform a large amount of power from PoE into high wattage USB-C it will naturally run at a higher temperature. To offset this, the casing is made of metal so the heat can dissipate more quickly into the ambient environment. Since these devices are generally meant to be hidden away in gang or outlet boxes and frequent interaction is not expected, the fact that they typically operate and run hot is not an issue. Rest assured, the device can indeed run safely at elevated temperatures.