There are users (including myself) who need the mesh networking capability, despite the discontinuation of Particle mesh.
Based on the recommendation of this post from @Moors7 I’d like to open a discussion, to clarify the details of this request, because I’m relatively new to mesh technology and the different protocols, which already exists, and could be ported into the Particle ecosystem. I’m not even sure, that BLE 5 Mesh is the right solution here. And if we can have a consensus we may file an “official” request through GitHub.
The current BLE documentation (https://docs.particle.io/tutorials/device-os/bluetooth-le/) states:
Particle devices do not support Bluetooth 5 mesh.
I propose to enable mesh networking over BLE, or any equivalent technology, which enables data transactions over local peer-to-peer connections, and through a gateway (Argon or Boron) to the cloud.
I know the limitations (range, speed) of BLE, and there may be more (e.g. max number of nodes, that can be handled by Gen 3 devices due to memory or other constraints).
I know, that this will not enable OTA firmware updates either. I agree that BLE is not ideal for every use case, but alternative “carriers” (off-board radio modules) are a different topic, so let’s discuss that elsewhere.
As a starter I may live with the additional cost of Borons for every node during development, therefore I can update them (I have outdoor applications). If I get it stable, I can deactivate the SIMs, therefore there is no running maintenance cost for the nodes (apart from data overages of the gateway). And for mass production later I may use cheaper Argons with disabled wifi.
What do you think? Based on your recent posts, @RWB, @slacker89, @kubark42, you might be interested in something like this. I’d also like to know the opinion about the feasibility of the Particle developers, especially @will, because they know much better, what is the easiest, fastest, or most beneficial in the long run. For me, timing is also a concern, but I can live with initial limitations if Particle can commit to a clear end goal.