How do you set up Boron as gateway for other device(s)?

I suppose it is nice and nerdy to blink an LED over LTE, but I can’t seem to find any instructions on the particle website or anywhere else online that tell how you can set up the boron as a gateway for another device to the internet such as a Raspberry pi or even an Espressif embedded device.
I get that they opted for this proprietary ‘mesh’ stuff instead of using something more common - like, I dunno - ‘wifi’ which is everywhere. But it seems I should be able to use either the USB connection, the uart pins or even the bluetooth to grant internet access to other devices connected to the boron (either physically on USB/uart or wirelessly on bluetooth)
The site seems to be lack-luster for reference data outside of nice pretty schematics of the hardware and datasheets that only someone with a doctorate in electrical engineering would find useful or interesting. There doesn’t seem to be a whole hell of a lot outside of variations on the theme of blinking an LED or reading a pin directly on the Boron - at least that I can find and I’ve spent some considerable time scouring and searching the website.

If anyone can get me any useful information to let me know whether I wasted my money on a cellular led blinker or not, it would be appreciated.

I think you’re missing the point of what this family of devices is supposed to do. It was never meant as an Internet gateway for Raspberry Pi or any other device. The Gen3 devices have one WiFi device meant to use as a “gateway” to relay simple signals to a cloud service for mesh devices, a cellular device (Boron LTE) to do the same, and the Xenon with is simply a member of a mesh network that can have its simple signals relayed by the first two devices.

If you’re looking to create your own WiFi LTE hotspot, this definitely is not the family of devices you’re looking for. The community is very helpful, and documentation, while it could be improved, is helpful when used in the context of what Particle devices are designed for.

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Yes, not exactly the way Particle intended!

There is an indirect way to “connect” a Raspberry Pi to the internet. (or similar) You could interconnect the UART (or SPI) on the Pi with the Boron. You’d have to define a communication scheme between the two. We’re not talking about TCP/IP but something much more simple. (It would be more akin to developing a pseudo NCP protocol for the Boron)

For example, if you doing some edge node processing on a Pi. You communicate your results over UART to the Boron. Then, you use the Boron to relay that information to the Particle Cloud (or elsewhere).

I would definitely not recommend anything like this in production. I would move towards something that has built in LTE + Edge Node processing. (something that uses yocto, though the thought of doing that makes me want to cry, daily) There’s tons of options out there.

With all of this being said, you’d have to figure this out on your own. I can’t think of anything that could jump start the process. If I do I’ll come back to this thread…

I think they missed the point of IoT and development, not to mention LTE/Cellular 4g. It’s supposed to be whatever you want or need it to be. It shouldn’t be up to some potentate or dictator to say “our device is made for this and only this and if you don’t like it you can sod off!”
The whole point of development kits and experimenter boards is they are supposed to be built so that the people getting them will be able to do anything they can imagine with it.
Particle seems to think they are the old Microsoft. “we’ll use all close sourced stuff, on less popular code bases, cripple our devices and not release our internals - AND YOU’LL LIKE IT!!!”
I see ‘LTE’ and I go OOOO, a way to connect devices to the internet. And I get a non-arduino arduino with a cellular modem. One I can’t even program like an arduino btw. I have to download some VS Code crap and install a bunch of plugins on it. I have to download a bunch of tools that ask for root access and don’t tell me why or what they are doing with it. This is the kind of crap winblows does. I started using linux to get away from bully-tactics like this.
All I want to do is to grant a means for other devices to send images and sensor data to the internet. And I get a Oak-based who knows wtf it is with a cellular modem hiding somewhere in it running 802.15 - whatever the @$^#$^ that is?

You can send sensor data and images to the internet with all the Particle products and this forum is FULL of examples showing how other people have done this.

If you want a 3G hotspot with gigs of data then you need to look elsewhere and stop crying like a small child because you think Particle products should be something they are not.

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Hi @anon54008399, it’s clear to me that you bought the Boron LTE Gateway thinking it would act as a LTE powered Wi-Fi hotspot for your other devices. This is not what it was intended to do and it does not have Wi-Fi capabilities. Please contact Particle Support to see what your options are for a return.

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I bought a boron thinking it was a IoT development platform because it was advertised as a IoT development platform. I’m not asking to be babied. I’m asking not to be bullied. The whole idea of development platforms is not to constrain the limits of the device or what it’s capable of. Boron is constrained limiting the hardware on the device and what it is capable of. And that constraint is compounded by the lack of internal details about the device and it’s architecture.
I don’t want or need a hotspot and I should not have to scour a damned user forum to find examples of how to use a device that is meant for IoT development. THAT IS THE POINT! The information should be clearly available in the DOCUMENTATION FOR THE DEVICE.

As far as a return, I wouldn’t be here being badgered in this forum if particle had done the honorable thing and told me how to return the device for a refund - yeah, I asked! It was one of the first things I asked after I wasted 6 hours trying to get it to just set up with their so-called ‘easy’ setup process. (there’s nothing like staring at a screen saying ‘pairing your device’ for six hours straight to make for productive use of one’s time)

So since everyone is basically saying I’m expecting the device to do something it wasn’t designed to do, I guess the long and the short of it is that I wasted my money on a cellular LED blinker. That’s what I thought.

I guess I’m confused by the question being asked, maybe you can clarify:

How do you set up Boron as gateway for other device(s)?

Could you please describe what you would like to do with the Boron + RaspberryPi + Espressif? If it’s just giving them an internet connection then you would probably be better off purchasing a USB Cellular dongle or LTE Pi Hat and plugging that into your RaspberryPi, and then use your RasPi as a WAP to serve up Wi-Fi for your Espressif.

I want to make sure you have a link to the hardware and firmware files which are completely open source:

https://github.com/particle-iot/device-os

https://github.com/particle-iot/boron

https://docs.particle.io/boron/

You have access to the JTAG port on the Boron and can take it all of the way down to bare metal and reprogram it from scratch if you want to. You can also put a 3rd Party SIM in the Boron and not be forced to use the embedded SIM if you wish.

It’s much easier to use it the way it was intended though.

We designed the Boron with the Particle ecosystem in mind, allowing you to build products with the Boron with low data usage, and giving you all of the tools you’ll need to scale and manage your fleet of products. It was not designed to provide an internet connection passthrough like a LTE hotspot / LTE USB dongle does.

Did they say it couldn’t be done, or were they trying to help you understand how to use the Boron for your application first?

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re: We designed the Boron with the Particle ecosystem in mind

Then it should have said that clearly in it’s sales literature. I didn’t see anything that says “will only work with our stuff”

re: did they say it couldn’t be done

They said they couldn’t do a return.

When I buy an LTE device, I expect an LTE device. for CAT M1, that means 375kbs speeds and the ability to carry tcp/ip traffic. Not 125kbs throttled uart/bluetooth serial data and 1 bit data pin transfers only. That’s insane and absurd. It’s like buying a cell phone so you can connect it to two tin cans and some string.

As an engineer by education and - thanks to Particle - at least part time developer of IOT devices, I would like to offer an alternative to your opening assertion. Engineering is all about tradeoffs and this is especially true with embedded devices. Limitations on cost, power and bandwidth preclude anyone building a development board that can be “whatever you want or need it to be”.

Having been engaged with the Particle platform for a couple years now, I think they are striking a good balance between having a vision (or point of view) for their product and listening to the community. The Boron is in the 3rd generation of devices from Particle and it is well suited for solutions that require relatively low cost, scaleable and reliable IOT solutions. They had to make some tradeoffs particularly around bandwidth but for most IOT devices, these are acceptable.

I can see why you might be frustrated that the Boron does not meet your requirements for an LTE gateway. However, if you look at the projects this community is building and sharing on this site, you might find something interesting. I think if you give Particle a fair shot, you will be pleased.

If not, there are many other platforms to try and I hope you find what you are looking for.

Chip

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Looks like you know what your wanting to do & how to find specs on equipment.

Have you found any other device on the market that does meet your desired needs?

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No such statement is made as Particle does allow for reflashing of devices to be used with third party services. There are no kill switches built in for using third party software. It is entirely possible to rewrite the flash entirely to whatever you wish.

As per standard policy, we do not offer returns on open box units.

Particle builds for an ecosystem to help streamline the needs of standard development use cases. Our products are designed based on the feedback of our many customers.

With that said, it is possible we will encounter those of which we simply do not meet their requirements or needs. Image handling is a common use case which we generally do not meet customer needs.

A catered experience may come with trade-offs. However, as mentioned above, Particle does not prohibit the use of third party software. If Particle’s software does not meet your needs, you can reflash the hardware to fit your needs.

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How about asking “Hey, anyone want to buy my boron?” :wink:

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