ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Photon


With the SoftAP, can we customize the AP names and the look and feel of config page?


Yes! You’ll be able to white label all of that for your own products



Do you have a date in April when the first shipments will be going out? I am really hoping to get my Photons soon so I can incorporate them in my project.

Best regards,


Any update to the github on the Photon eagle files? Which layout will be the final ?


Hey Clive - sorry, no confirmed date yet!


Will the Photon be running RTOS? What should we plan for wrt multi-tasking on the Photon?


@mtnscott, yes the Photon/Electron will be running FreeRTOS. For now, the user app will run in a single thread only. Later, it may be possible to create other user threads to take advantage of FreeRTOS’s capabilities. :stuck_out_tongue:


Do you know how this will affect the cloud functions?

My understanding is that now, if no WiFi, my code will continue to run on the Photon. But what happens if I call spark.publish() for example? Do they just get ignored or queued?

Just curious…


@Carsten4207 Not sure I understand your comment -

Currently if you have disabled WiFi you will have difficulty with spark.publish()

In general I would expect that most if not everything currently supported on the core will be supported on the Photon. Cases where ‘fixes’ have been implemented to work around hardware issues on the current core - such as SYSTEM_MODE and others may not be supported or behave the same.

Elite’s and Spark Engineers - feel free to chime in for more detail.


@Carsten4207, events coming FROM the Cloud may be cached in the future until they are consumed by the Photon once it reconnects. You could presently write your code to “queue” your data to be published when wifi is not connected. It is simple to test for connectivity on the Core and act accordingly. Publishing “blindly” and expecting the Photon to queue the data is not a good approach IMO. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That makes since thinking about it.



Somehow I didn’t get the memo… My order confirmation says March. I’m guessing that has slipped?


Yes Spark sent out an email last month.

Eta is end of April due to some RF issues I believe.


interesting, I didn’t get the update either and was wondering myself that too


Here is the Email from the Spark Team:

Hi Everybody,

Our team on 3 continents has been working hard to get your the Photon of your dreams this spring. However we have run into a PCB issue that has caused a short delay in our first run. This means that delivery will now be at the end of April. We’re disappointed about this too, but we want to make sure we deliver a fantastic product that is great as it can be.

Keep in mind that we won’t charge your credit card for Photons until we ship, so if you don’t want to wait around for a few extra weeks, you can cancel anytime.

Specifically, we’ve run into some delays optimizing our RF (radio frequency) design and those delays have been compounded by the shut down of many of our partners for the Chinese New Year. For those of you interested in the process of building connected hardware, we wanted to provide some more details on our RF design and optimization process.


One of the improvements we made for the Photon was to include both a chip antenna and u.FL connector on every board, and to allow users to choose between the two with a simple software command. This is made possible by the addition of a nifty new component called a “RF switch”, which does exactly what you’d think—switches between antenna inputs.

RF Design boards for the Photon
RF design is tricky though, and the Photon’s range and signal strength can be affected dramatically by small design decisions—component values and orientations, and even the shape and thickness of the copper traces that connect them. In order to make the Photon perfect, we’ve been working with ACX, an international antenna supplier and RF expert, to optimize the antenna design of the Photon.

The most recent optimization results we received were a mix of good and bad news. The good news: it works! It already performs better than the Spark Core. The bad(ish): it could be better. In response, we’re making some small tweaks that we hope will further improve the RF performance of the Photon, but will delay shipment a couple of weeks while we wait for the new optimization and component pairing results from our antenna manufacturer.

Early run of Photon boards for testing
Early Access for Time Sensitive Projects

We do realize that some of you have extremely tight deadlines to hit and need a Photon immediately. To that end, we are going to some great lengths to make a limited number of Photons available early. These will allow for early testing and prototyping however will be without a number of bells and whistles that will accompany the actual release.

If you’re interested, please fill out this form with your contact information, details on your project and notes about your timeline needs.

Thank you again for your support and continued excitement for the Photon; we can’t wait to deliver what is promising to be an epic product.

Zach and the Spark Team


I’m designing a board for the Photon without headers so the Photon can be soldered directly to the board using the castellated edges. Is there a need to keep the area under/around the antenna clear of traces or ground planes?


That’s advisable similar to the antenna keep-out area on the core/photon :slight_smile:


I too never got the email so i contacted spark and this it what they said

You can fill out this form to possibly get a photon sooner rather that later. I do not have control over this, someone else on the team does, but it’s worth a shot. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you

the link takes you to a page for possibly making your order sooner for “time sensitive projects”


@fishy4341, i removed the link since it’s really for early early access and super limited so let’s not end up flooding a ton of request until it’s really time-critical :smiley:


Thanks for sharing the email. Seems I’ve been left out of the loop as well.