Headerless versions of mesh boards?


#1

Are there plans to sell the Mesh Boards without headers? Doing so would allow people to choose their own headers like the stacking headers for Adafruit Feather that allow featherwings to be stacked on top of a feather.

Also, follow up question, will the underside of the mesh boards be flush like the Photon and Adafruit feathers? Including castellated edges like the Photon has would be great as well.


Xenon with loose/unsoldered headers
Argon without headers
#2

As seen on the images, there are components on the bottom. As such, flush mountain won’t likely be possible.


#3

I would also like to get my boards without headers. Since they use the Feather footprint, I would like the flexibility to choose what headers to use.


#4

The new products will all come with the pins pre-soldered. For RF performance reasons, it’s not wise to stack stuff on top of the devices.

regards,
ParticleD


#5

If that’s the case, then why do the new mesh boards have Feather-compatible headers?

Better yet, what should we be using to connect mesh boards to Feather wings?


#6

As @ParticleD suggests in this post putting female headers onto a mesh device (and stacking a feather on top) blocks access to the status LED and mode/reset buttons not to mention possibly blocking the mesh signal. It’s recommended to use a featherwing doubler or trippler.

I still might try to stack something on top as I can see a few ways to mitigate those concerns… the mode and reset buttons are tied to pins which could be propagated to a stacked featherwing… the status LED could be visible if you put a PCB hole in the top featherwing or perhaps use a light-pipe of some sort… the mesh signal could go through an external antenna (when they enable that functionality). If you try, let us know how you make out.


#7

Does particle offer Xenons with loose headers?

With the adoption of the feather format, it would be useful to allow stacking of feathers above a Xenon. I realize that a Xenon can be placed above another feather but that does not work with an OLED as it would be obscured.

This would be similar to the options here:


#8

I really loved this option with the photon! I hope they do it with the mesh devices!


#9

As @ParticleD suggests in this post putting female headers onto a mesh device (and stacking a feather on top) blocks access to the status LED and mode/reset buttons not to mention possibly blocking the mesh signal. It’s recommended to use a featherwing doubler or trippler.

I still might try to stack something on top as I can see a few ways to mitigate those concerns… the mode and reset buttons are tied to pins which could be propagated to a stacked featherwing… the status LED could be visible if you put a PCB hole in the top featherwing or perhaps use a light-pipe of some sort… the mesh signal could go through an external antenna (when that functionality gets enabled). If you try, let us know how you make out.


#10

Both @ParticleD and @ninjatill make valid points however as you explained, all of these can be easily mitigated.

Also, in a finished-product context, no one “should” care about the LED and reset buttons as an enclosure make them moot.

The only issue I see is the antenna and an external antenna would solve that.


#11

Agreed, how we use the product is dependent on too many factors to simply say “You can’t do that”. I need this capability as well for a home project that uses the Neopixel wing from Adafruit, which clearly only works mounted on top.


#12

I use the extra long female/male headers from Adafruit to extend the height difference between shields. Would these help?
This way, I can keep the mesh device on top and the accessory on bottom.


#13

While I agree, that having that freedom to decide where to solder the the headers or even use female headers instead would be desirable, have you considered using a FeatherWing Doubler/Trippler for your project?

@ParticleD, could you bring this forward with the team to reconsider?
While there are reasons for the pre-soldered pins they don’t have to be an unconditional blocker since - as pointed out in posts above - there are ways to circumvent the potential negative implications of having a FeatherWing ontop.
There are many devices in the Feather form factor that come with separate headers to be soldered by the user (even the Adafruit HUZZAH32 comes that way and this doesn’t feature an uFL connector for the radio).


#14

Yes, I’ve considered, and given the issues I’m having with my older Feather right now, I may have to use it anyway. I just already have a 3d printed enclosure and all the work done to mount the current form factor. Basically, to support this, I would have to start over from scratch. It would obviously be easier to just use my existing design. Given the request is not in the production plan, I suspect even if it does become available, it will be some time. I may have to do this a different way no matter what.

I hope this comes into being. If not, it’s not critical, but does leave me a few Particle devices less in my house which needs more. I only have 10 running now, and still have some ideas that need to be done. Those Neopixel shields are a really cool way to make night lights and simple signage around the house. I have a few doing some fun one off jobs, and would like to update them. This would be a big help.


#15

Another rather elaborate way you could try (for one or two but not for 10 devices :wink: ) would be to push the pins through by removing the plastic spacers and then reflow each pin individually and push them out the other side (or just remove them enirely and clean up the through holes to fit female headers).

I have done that for a Photon in the past, when I ran out of no-headers devices :blush:


#16

I have considered that. I think given the need for an external antenna and piping in 5V power not via USB (32 LEDs consume more than the VUSB can give me reliably), plus a quick test fit showing that my current enclosure might be a tad TOO tight for the Argon (it is tight anyway with the Adafruit feather, but it doesn’t seem to fit the Argon at all), I’m going to create a new design with a PCB and printed enclosure I design myself. My goal was always to be able to create a few of these to give out to friends/family with young kids so this might be the time to take on that challenge.

Thanks for the help everyone. Happy New Year.


#17

I will fwd this thread to the development team. Thanks for all of the input everyone!


#18

Hey folks,

At this time we do not have plans to build a headerless version of the product. As others of have shared, there are a few reasons for that decision:

  • The Argon and Boron are both double-sided which makes it challenging to surface mount to a PCB
  • Usage with female headers would block the LED and buttons

Generally, we guide customers to use our doubler and tripler products if they want to use our Mesh hardware with additional accessories, and suggest that customers consider our Mesh SoMs, which should start sampling in late Q1, for mass production deployments.


#19

Just noticed that you don’t have an “X Series” mesh only SOM listed as coming soon. It was my impression at Spectra that all three versions of the mesh hardware would eventually make their way to the SOM form factor, is this no longer the case?


#20

Thanks for pointing that out. Our intention is definitely to build it, so I’ll work with our marketing team to get it added. We didn’t have samples ready in time for Spectra to photograph, but we’ve since completed samples that we can post on the site.