Is it possible to program a Xenon via USB?

I found a couple of new, unused Xenon’s in my stash and wondered if it’s possible to easily program them for an application requiring no communications. I’m hoping to flash them via USB and simply use them as simple micro-controllers for DI and DO. Otherwise, they’re going into the trash.


Please visit as you can learn more about your Xenons and how you can use them currently.

@lanceseidman, thanks for the quick response! I didn’t see where I could choose Xenon as a target in Visual Studio, so I’ll just use the Web IDE since the program will be pretty simple.

The last version you can build for Xenons with VS Code (Workbench) is 1.5.2 (or 1.5.4-rc.2).
Any target version beyond that will not offer the Xenon option anymore.

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@ScruffR , as always, thanks for the tip! I much prefer Workbench!

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A couple of other great options for programming the Xenon boards are Zephyr RTOS & Adafruit Bootloader using PlatformIO (VS Code) and Arduino IDE.

Zephyr RTOS / PlatformIO combo is excellent and provides full Xenon support. I’ve been using the Xenons with Zephyr for several years, make great nRF52840 dev boards.

Flashing a Xenon with the Adafruit Bootloader and using the Arduino IDE works well for quick development as well.

@zpm1066 , thanks for your suggestion. All I needed to develop was a very simple program and Workbench handled it very well, as always.

They xenons under 1.5.2 should also work on a network/cloud controlled with an ethernet board I believe.

I don’t need any communications. I needed a simple micro-controller to sense some button inputs and turn on a couple of transistors to control another device. Instead of buying some inexpensive Arduino device, I noticed these in my stash and felt they’d easily do the trick. They’ve been laying around for a few years, but are still viable.


Another option is to load up Circuit Python on them. This unfortunately completely replaces the Particle software, but you get simple easy programming via drag and drop USB file IO since the Xenon appears as a mass storage device when plugged into to a computer.

You do need a Particle Debugger or other JTAG programmer to replace the boot loader.

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