Can I Plug Normal Things into Power-over-Ethernet Switches?

Short answer: Yes.

Medium-sized answer:

Some ASTi devices (e.g., AI-S modules) get their power not from the traditional power cable and "wall wart" AC adapter, but instead receive power (as well as data) over standard network cabling. This type of device requires that it be plugged into something that can deliver Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) like a PoE-capable network switch.

After hearing about power coming out of a network cable, one could be forgiven for thinking: "No way I'm going to plug my traditional equipment into that PoE switch; I don't want it to get zapped and fried!" But that's not the case. PoE switches use a sophisticated communication protocol to determine how much (if any) power should be delivered to a device when it's connected. Normal devices simply won't respond properly, so the switch will not send power to them.

But what if you already have hardware that requires Power-over-Ethernet, but don't have a PoE switch? ASTi sells an optional, midspan power injector that you connect with regular network cables to a standard switch which mimicks PoE, and delivers power to your PoE device.