Alternative/manual methods to connect mesh devices


#1

As of 12/5/2018 https://github.com/particle-iot/firmware/releases firmware version v0.8.0-rc.26-mesh (Xenon/Argon/Boron) is NOT release yet but should be out anytime soon.
I strongly recommend to take into account bottle neck for device setup. What I mean by that is currently if one is using an particle mobile app (ios or android) or Desktop (mac/windows/Linux) All setup must go through https://setup.particle.io/
This is a single point of failure for initial device setup. Even if you use https://console.particle.io/networks and click on device setup it takes to https://setup.particle.io/ FOR users who wish to use particle-dev IDE there is a select


a device option BUT that only works if the device is already setup via
https://setup.particle.io/
In the next firmware release allow users to select the device through particle dev and test it without all the cloud stuff. It will help those who wish to create a private mesh not connected to the cloud
The other advantage of that is Scanning the QRC code only works if you have a good light and good camera on your phone. People need more options or alternative / manual ( LONG and Hard method) to create their own private mesh and test it before they decide to go to the cloud. There are many usage for private mesh where Internet is not required.
I am hoping this could be enabled in rc-26.bin
Thanks you in advance


#2

Stability and reliability is top priority for the team. Once they’re confident in the stability and reliability of Mesh and Cloud connectivity, they’ll start tackling new features.

That being said, it’s unlikely that Particle Dev will support the new Mesh devices since it will be phased out in favor of Particle Workbench (which now support Mesh!).

I agree that manual setup should become available, and so does the team, but not before performance is up to a standard where allocating resources to new functionality doesn’t take away from improvements to reliability/stability.


#3

@Moors7 … weak response there. If the setup app does not work on a mobile device, you’re screwed! Alternate setup methods should exist and is a key feature of any reliable infrastructure. I have Android phones running Marshmallow, can see the mesh products via BT scan but Google Play downloads rel 2.2.2. Release 2.2.2 does not support Mesh products. I’m SOL using these phones for setup or Tinker. As a side note, with the Photon, one can setup WiFi via CLI or the app. Using CLI for initial onboarding/setup does not appear to be the case with Mesh products. The QR fallacy would have gone smoother if an alternate setup method existed and documented


#4

I’m volunteering my time here, and am a community member like yourself. I’m not here to win points for my answers.
Making sure the apps do work on mobile devices (especially the bazillion variations of Android) is part of that stability/reliability effort.

I’ve said as much in my previous post. This should become available and it will. But there are more pressing issues to take care of first.

I think you can agree with me that configuring a mesh network is inherently more involved than sending some wifi credentials to a photon.
Making an ‘advanced’ setup now, for experts, would take away development time to make sure the primary method (Bluetooth) works reliably, which is used by a broader audience. I assume that’s why priority was given where it has, and I can’t fault Particle for that.


#5

USB-based setup will be provided at a future date, but I don’t have a date, and it’s not going to be immediate. There are a number of technical reasons why it’s not a trivial change, but it is an important feature that we intend to provide.

It will also be necessary for large-scale deployments using the A, B, and X series SoM devices, since obviously no one would want to do that entirely from a phone.


#6

That’s true now, but wasn’t right from the beginning either.


#7

Hello ScruffR
Do you have any milestone guidelines as to which firmware release will full support PARTICLE-CLI to setup via USB
I was hoping it would be RC-26 now that it is out. But NOT quite there on support or setup using particle-cli the version 1.35 does detect the two Xenon attach to my laptop and RC-26 automatically assign a com port (12 & 4 in my case) on windows 10 However particle setup command does not complete So I upgraded my particle-cli to 1.36 with no difference.


#8

There are a couple things at play here:

  1. It’s not possible to set up a mesh network from the CLI. It’s a planned feature, but it’s not imminent. Think sometime in the 1st quarter of 2019, not next week. It’s actually a large technical change to allow full setup over USB.

  2. On Windows, there is a different device driver for mesh devices. Particle CLI 1.35.2 should have the correct driver, however.

  3. A factory new Xenon does not support USB serial (CDC) mode, like particle identify and particle serial commands. It needs to be upgraded to 0.8.0-rc.25 or later by USB DFU (–usb, blinking yellow) or Bluetooth to have CDC support.

  4. The particle setup command can only set up a Photon or P1, not any other kind of device.