Is it possible to communicate to RaspPi from Xenon via BLE or Thread


#1

I’m really digging the Particle Mesh approach with the Xenon.

My question is: is it possible to use a RaspPi as a gateway server instead of the Boron/Argon? I know that RaspPi can be configured to access BLE as well as Thread.

Can I programmatically access BLE and/or Thread on the Xenon to open connections to the RaspPi?

I’m interested in doing this because having a NodeJs environment as an edge/gateway server is needed for this particular project.


#2

Currently not without locally building a monolithic firmware (system and application in one module) since the relevant low-level APIs aren’t exposed (yet).
And with OpenThread you’d be tapping into uncharted territory as cross-platform meshing hasn’t been an official goal (yet - AFAIK).
You may find some topics in this regard tho’


#3

Thanks ScruffR for the reply. Good to know where things stand.

Just FYI, I think there’s quite a bit of value in having a Linux environment as the Gateway/Edge server in a local mesh/network of devices.

One obvious way to achieve this is to have a Boron/Argon managing many Xenons across a large space like a farm (which is the type of environments I deal with). That Boron/Argon would also be connected to the local Linux board (RaspPi for example) via UART and would mostly be a pass through of messages between the mesh of Xenons and the Linux environment where fairly intensive local processing can be done, data can be buffered in spotty Internet connections and preferential languages like NodeJs, Java or Python can be used.

It looks like this guy did something similar to the above, but using Nordic’s controllers. https://electronut.in/nrf52840-thread/

I’d be interested to hear other’s take on this, if people think having a linux env managing a mesh of Xenons is a good idea or not. And if so, what would be a good way to go about it and/or if Particle.io has plans in the future to accommodate a set up like this.


#4

That’s deffinetly a viable option. If you are using an Argon you may even connect the RPi and the Argon via WiFi without the need for a permanent internet connection to saver yourself the UART connection.

What I personally see as rather mid/long term goal was the feature to enable direct integration of an RPi (or other non-Particle device) into the mesh as actual OpenThread node.
While surely an interesting and beneficial feature, the currently open points on the immediate Particle Mesh feature map and other secondary features (e.g. BLE & NFC) seem to be higher up on the priority list for the majority of users/creators who’ve already commited into investing considerable money.