I started writing this blog at a different spot. Oops.
So a student showed me an easy way to login to our school network, without the normal user and password.
So I got an Argon working as the network gateway and am attaching Xenons to it. The setup for Xenons is a bit faster than for Argons, seems to be only a 1 part installation.
The Ethernet Featherwing is a bit faster than using the Mesh connection but not by much about 5 minutes to do the software upgrade with the Featherwing and perhaps 8 minutes with the Mesh connection. One real positive is I am doing this during class time (all with 1400 students on the internet instead of learning ) something I could never do with the Photon.
When setup properly the Xenons seem much more stable than my first attempts. 3 Xenons and 1 Argon Mesh seem to be working nicely.
Reset a Xenon and it took about 10 seconds to reconnect to the mesh.
Reset the Argon and the entire mesh dies. Took about 1 minute for the Argon to reconnect, remember I am on a very busy Wifi network. Unfortunately the Xenons are not smoothly reconnecting. Flashing green. unplug and plug in the Xenons, no improvement.
Unplug and plug in the Argon wait till it breaths cyan, then unplug and plug in the Xenons one at a time. Xenons reconnect very quickly.
That is interesting, I may have to redo that again.
This time I pulled the plug on the Argon. The other devices stayed breathing cyan. I am not sure if they are connected or simply don’t know that the Mesh gateway is dead. However this time everything rebooted very smoothly when I plugged the Argon back into power, as soon as I plugged in the Argon the Xenons detected that the network was down and reset on their own properly.
Lets reset the Argon again instead of pulling the plug. This is where it has some issues. The Argon resets fine, the Xenons know the Mesh has died and search for it flashing green but the Xenons do not reset even after they have been unplugged and plugged back in. The key to the whole issue is that the Argon must be physically unplugged and plugged back in not just reset before the Xenons will reboot.
Third try. I reset the Argon, it reboots but the Xenons dont reset to the mesh. I unplug the Argon and plug it back in. Now the Xenons reset fine without being touched.
Forth attempt as above except one Xenon has a hard time re-attaching to the mesh. Pull its plug and it reboots fine.
The fun continues.
So I have my 1 Argon and 3 Xenons working at school. I load my simple blink program on a Xenon. The targeted Xenon device flashes pink properly and all the Xenon devices reset properly, but the code does not work.
I think it might be my Photon code so I load Blink-an-LED from particle. Try another Xenon and the same thing. This time I try the Argon and not only does it not blink but same as the above post, the mesh devices do not reconnect until the Argon is unplugged and plugged in.
Also the Argon D7 never blinked. Any idea what is happening here…anyone…
I might connect an Argon without the Mesh and see if it works with the blink program
I just loaded up my trusty photon to check if the LED blink program actually worked and connected in seconds flashed and was blinking fine in about 9 seconds. So I guess I will try an Argon off-mesh and see if it works better.
Knowing the device works prompted me to look deeper. I tried an Argon off-Mesh and it still didn’t work but then looked at the firmware and noticed this
The default setup is not what was on my device. I think with the photon whenever that happened it would flash the new firmware, but I guess at the moment the Mesh devices don’t auto detect and update the firmware.
Anyway. Happy story my Argon works!
Next. Mesh.publish anyone got a simple program that allows each mesh device to brodcast some information that flashes D7 a distinct number of times. So as I watch my devices and add or subtract Xenons I can see if the Mesh knows they are there or gone.
I just saw today that rc.26 has gone. The old method to increase a version was to select the version and install an .ino. (Careful you couldn’t go back to an old version without a full factory reset, not sure if that has changed) If your photon was at the top of the list (default) then every time you installed an .ino the Photon would update if needed. This was a huge problem with bad Wifi, so I would often pick a version and have my class set every photon to that version, then if a new version came out I would test it, switch briefly to default update every photon and then switch to that version instead of default. Only because of bad wifi. The Argon seems to handle my school wifi better than the Photon so that might not be a problem now.
So Last night I tried to setup my 1 Argon and 3 Xenon network and I got the Argon working but the 3 Xenon’s just flashed green. This morning I tried again with the Argon which worked, but the xenons didn’t (just flashed green). I updated and installed a 4th Xenon and not really sure when but the old Xenons started working. Briefly I had all 4 Xenons breathing cyan.
About 5 minutes later all my Xenons are flashing cyan which I think means they have lost the Mesh, Argon stable. Will leave things for a while and see what happens.
Note: Not having much luck with adding multiple Xenons to one Argon with the app, after adding a Xenons it says do you want to add another. This has not worked well for me. If you have an issue it kicks you out of the add another so I have resigned myself to add each xenon individually.
P.S. I would be great if the app allowed multiple steps. On step to update a device, another step to assign Wifi and another step to Add Mesh devices to a mesh network. I am always starting from scratch, have entered my home Wifi password multiple times. Also since most laptops have Bluetooth it would be nice if there was a web or windows desktop app to do all this installing. I seem to remember some kind of web softapp for the photon.