Max Distance to communicate with Particle Photon or Core

Hello.
I’m working a project to control a car through smartphone. Start, shutdown, open, close the windows, lock and unlock the doors. But I’m looking for a micro controller to give me a max distance between a car and smartphone.
What is the max distance to communicate with Particle Core or Photon?
What’s your opinion? Will I get a good experience with Photon or Core with smartphones for this solution?
Thank you.

Hey there, welcome to the community. Sounds like you’ve got an interesting project!
How exactly are you planning on using it:
-Do you want to use it, for example, at home, where there’s a wifi connection?
-Do you want to use it anywhere, remotely, which will require some sort of cellular?
-Do you want it to work only locally, thus a direct phone<->controller connection?
If you could try and answer these questions and/or explain the use-case in more detail, we should be able to provide more accurate advice.

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Since the Photon/Core operate on WiFi, they’re subject to the max distances of WiFi. Out of the box, you’d also need an AP to relay the messages. However, once the Particle team releases user defined Soft AP you would also have the ability to connect to it directly. At most you’d only be able to get about 100m (330 ft), though I suspect you’d get less than that in practice.

Depending on your answers to @Moors7’s questions, I think the better option might be the Electron. Not to steal his thunder, he’s most likely way more knowledgeable about such things.

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@tjp, excellent points and to add to that, even with WiFi-Direct supported the range will still be limited. With the Electron being cell-based, the range restrictions are (for the most part), removed. Coupling the Electron with a GPS receiver, the Electron could help you find your car as well! :smile:

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Hey there, thank you for your interest.
@Moors7 I want to use it anywhere, remotely.
I was thinking to use Photo and smartphone for begin, but the short distance that’s the problem. Theoretically the maximal distance is 100m but I know in the real world is for half or less of 100m.
The first step @peekay123 is to control the primary functions of a car, the next steps is to use GPS, control the perimeter that a person can drive, tracking, etc.
But I have a restriction for a cell-based device. I live in Brazil and here the taxes are high and have the dollar conversion for the data plans. So the product will be so expensive for the clients and I will have resistances to sell.
But WIFI has a advantage than bluetooth, because I can amplify the distances with APs, in case at homes, at offices or direct connection, unlike bluetooth that can just use direct connection, right?
Thank you.

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If you want to use it anywhere, without having to be in the vicinity, you won’t get around the cellular connection. Depending on how quickly you need the product, the Electron sounds like a perfect fit. It even comes with a sim card and a cheap data contract ($3/month, in Brazil)
Wifi range will be limited, and depends on several factors. Getting an external antenna may improve range somewhat, but wont work miracles.
Bluetooth is also an option, but also has a limited range. There apparently are chips with 1000m Line Of Sight Range though.

@rumenigg that project sounds exciting. Please, keep us up to date on how it goes and what uC you end up using. :smile:

P.S. What does that $3/month end up looking like after taxes and such in Brazil? Is it still too high? I’m just curious.

Also, the Particle platform is amazingly easy to use! I would highly suggest using a Particle uC just for the platform. I have only had my Photon… maybe a month (probably less) and I had a working prototype of my project running in two weeks just messing around with it nights and weekends. And I spent 99% of that time focused on the specifics of my project, almost no time learning the Particle platform which is more than capable of handling everything I needed. Good luck!

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As far as I’m aware, you just pay $3 to Particle, and that’s it :o You’d have to convert the current to whatever you’re using, but it probably won’t be taxed. I think the taxes mentioned are on the native sim cards in Brazil.

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Right, but it’s not just data plan, it’s the final product. The U$ 1.00 is around R$ 3.00, so with the conversion of dollar, plus 60% of import tax, plus around 30% of another internal taxes, plus my work on project, plus profit, the final will be expensive for add more extra costs for the clients.
But I’m thinking about a solution to use both devices, offering one with just wireless connection and another with cell connection and GPS.
Does anyone could say me when will they delivery the Photon and Eletron pre-ordered?