Particle Mesh Networking Review – Part 2: Getting Started Guide with Argon & Xenon

Particle Mesh Network Argon Xenon Success

I’ve recently received a Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit with one Argon WiFi + Mesh (802.15.4) board acting as gateway, three Xenon Mesh boards, and various sensors and accessories.  I’ve already showcased the hardware in the first part in the review, so in this post I’ll post my experience getting started with Particle Mesh networking using the kit. Beside the kit, you’ll need a few micro USB cables, a mobile phone running Android or iOS, a reliable Internet connection (more on that later), and a host PC for programming and debugging potential issues. Setting Up Particle Argon & Xenon boards First we’ll need to configure / setup the boards. Go to to login or create an account if you don’t already have one, and you should be brought the following page. Select Mesh, and you’ll be asked to setup a gateway first. Any of the boards from Particle Mesh family can be setup as a gateway, but for our …

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PyGo Wearable Devices Create LoRa Mesh Networks (Crowdfunding)

Pygo Lora Mesh Network

Pycom has made some interesting IoT boards running MicroPython in the past starting with WiFi capable WiPy in 2015, and followed by various others supporting various wireless standard including Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT with LoPy and Fipy. The company launched all their boards via crowdfunding campaigns, and they are now back on Kickstarter for their PyGo plug-n-play wearable devices creating PyMesh networks with up to 12km range between nodes, and managed using Pylife mobile app. Typical use cases include basic connectivity (e.g. messaging) in remote areas without cellular access,  and assets / pets / kids location tracking, There are two version of PyGo: PyGo1 with mesh networking only, and PyGo2 that adds cellular network access. Pygo hardware specifications: SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core WiFi 4 + BLE SoC System Memory – 64 Mbit (8MB) RAM Storage – 8MB flash Display – 128×36 OLED display Connectivity PyMesh up to 200 devices LoRa including auto-connect to the Things Networks, …

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Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing

Particle Argon WiFi Bluetooth Kit

Back in February of this year, Particle introduced three low cost IoT development boards based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 wireless chip supporting “Particle Mesh” networking based on the 802.15.4 radio in the chip and OpenThread implementation of Thread IoT communication protocol. The company recently announced they were now shipping the kits pre-ordered earlier this year, and released two IoT development tools based on Node-RED and Visual Studio Code. Particle contacted me as well as to find out whether I was interested in reviewing their latest WiFi / Bluetooth / Mesh kit, and I’ve just received the bundle, which comes with a bunch of items, so I decided to write an unboxing post first to have a first look at the hardware, before playing with it in one or two weeks. Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Bundle Unboxing That’s what I got from UPS… From top left to bottom right: The Argon kit (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth + Mesh) A Grove …

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Particle Unveils Mesh SoMs and IoT Developer Tools

Earlier this year, Particle unveiled three IoT development boards based on nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/802.15.4 WiSoC and supporting Particle Mesh, which interestingly is not based on Bluetooth Mesh or even Bluetooth, and instead relies on Thread specification/OpenThread implementation, and the 802.15.4 radio of the chip with Bluetooth only used for the initial setup stage. Particle announced the shipping date (October 2018 or… this month) for their Mesh boards pre-ordered in February, as well as three new products in a recent blog post. One of the products is a family of system-on-modules compatible with Particle Mesh, while the other two are related IoT developer tools. Particle Mesh SOMs The Particle Mesh SOMs will have similar names and features as corresponding Particle mesh developers kits such as Boron (NB-IoT / eMTC + BLE + Mesh) and Argon (ESP32 WiFi, BLE + Mesh), but with an edge connector and designed as enterprise-grade, production-scale version of the dev boards. The modules are still in development, …

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Embedded Linux Conference Europe & OpenIoT Summit Europe 2018 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference OpenIOT Summit Europe 2018

The Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2018 took place in March of this year in the US, but the European version of the events are now planned to take place on October 21-24 in Edinburg, UK, and the schedule has already been released. So let’s make a virtual schedule to find out more about some of interesting subjects that are covered at the conferences. The conference and summit really only officially start on Monday 22, but there are a few talks on Sunday afternoon too. Sunday, October 21 13:30 – 15:15 – Tutorial: Introduction to Quantum Computing Using Qiskit – Ali Javadi-Abhari, IBM Qiskit is a comprehensive open-source tool for quantum computation. From simple demonstrations of quantum mechanical effects to complicated algorithms for solving problems in AI and chemistry, Qiskit allows users to build and run programs on quantum computers of today. Qiskit is built with modularity and extensibility in mind. This means it is easy to extend its …

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$10 Nordic Semi nRF52840 USB Dongle Supports Bluetooth 5, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz Proprietary

nRF52840 USB Dongle

Several weeks ago, as I noticed the lack of Bluetooth 5 USB dongles, I found MakerSpot CC2640 Bluetooth 5 USB stick based on Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 WiSoC. It’s not exactly a consumer products, and instead it’s more like a development kit, but it can still be inserted into the USB port of your computer or development board. Today, I found out Nordic Semi also made their own Bluetooth 5  – or is it Bluetooth 5.0 now, I’m really confused at this point – USB dongle for evaluation & development based on nRF52840 WiSoC. It’s not only for Bluetooth 5 though, as the multi-protocol SoC also supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth Mesh, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT(+), and 2.4 GHz proprietary solutions. nRF52840 USB dongle (PCA10059) key features: Wireless Connectivity – Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT/ANT+, and 2.4GHz USB – USB 2.0 ports Expansion – 15x GPIO and interfaces available on castellated edge Misc – 1x …

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ASUS Announces 802.11ax WiFi Routers at Computex 2018

802.11ax is a new WiFi standard offering better performance, especially in high-density scenario, where average per usage bandwidth may be improved by up to 4 times, so city dwellers should benefit the most. Last year, we started to see 802.11ax compliant chips from Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, and others, so it should come as no surprise that some of first 802.11ax WiFi routers are launched this year. ASUS introduced two 802.11ax WiFi routers at Computex 2018 with ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 tri-band 802.11ax router, RT-AX88U dual band 802.11ax router , and the AX6100 WiFi System for mesh networking. ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 The ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a high-end router with a peak aggregate throughput of about 11000 Mbps. Specifications: Processor – Quad core processor @ 1.8 GHz System Memory – 1 GB RAM Storage – 256 MB flash Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax,  IPv4, IPv6 Tx/Rx – 2.4 GHz 4×4, 5 GHz-1 4×4,  5 GHz-2 4×4 Data Rates 802.11ax (2.4GHz) – up to 1148 …

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Wi-Fi EasyMesh is a Standard for WiFi Mesh Networking

WiFi EasyMesh

It’s been possible for add multiple WiFi routers and/or WiFi repeaters in order to provide good coverage in a house / building for years, so this required some manual configuration. So in recent years, companies came up with WiFi mesh networking solutions that do very much the same, but are easier to setup, and – as I understand it – mostly plug-and-play. Some examples are Google WiFi router or eeRo Pro WiFi system,  but apparently so far every company would do their own proprietary WiFi mesh implementation, so you would not be able to mix brands for such features. That’s why the WiFi Alliance worked on, and now announced Wi-Fi EasyMesh, an industry standard  for “simple to use, self-organizing, smart Wi-Fi networks”. Key benefits listed by the organization: Flexible design – Allows for best placement of multiple APs providing extended coverage Easy setup – Delivers automatic device on-boarding and configuration Network intelligence – Self-organizing and self-optimizing network collects information and …

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