Mesh range / external antenna?

Possibly, with all the stability issues in RC.25, I think the out-of-the-box range can only improve. I just bought some external antennas and I’ll be testing soon. But I’m still ready for the RC.26 firmware to improve things.

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Sweet, thank you for posting this result.
Could you please state what antennas you did the test with ?

I used the ones I linked above. I’ve had the marco polo test running for about a week now and sometimes still do miss a response. Once the whole mesh stopped responding and i had to restart the gateway. I’m not really keen on investigating too much more till 0.8.0-rc26 comes out, since folks here are saying that it improves mesh stability significantly.

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Hey folks! Wanted to jump into this thread to let folks know that RC.26 has been released with a couple of improvements that should improve the effective range between 3rd Gen devices.

  • Increased the default nRF52840 transmit power by 8dBm
  • Resolved some OpenThread stability issues which limit effective range of a device connected via a gateway device to the Particle Cloud

Instructions for upgrading are available here:


Hi there, I updated an Argon and some Xenons to the latest FW v0.8.0-rc.26 last Friday. As expected the +8dBm improved the range nicely. I placed the Argon outside the window on the first floor and started walking away from home with a Xenon in my hands. The test was perfomed with both devices having an external antenna for mesh and running the above mentioned Marco-Polo code.

600m (660 yards) are not a problem, if you have a clear line of sight! I probably could have gone even further, but I reached the nearby forest/hills where the clear line of sight ends…;-).

But if you are behind concrete buildings its a totally different story. I got approx. 10-50m.

That’s all for now…:wink:


So the antennas really help. I’m going to order some. Thanks for sharing.

My previous tests with no external antenna and with pre-RC26 was seeing reliability fall off around 150 Feet (50 yards / 46 meters).

Was that with the built in antennas?

He states:


Does this selectExternalMeshAntenna() function enable Bluetooth on the external u.FL antenna (as it shares the Mesh radio)? I’m not seeing any change in my Bluetooth range when I run this function in STARTUP.


The function might not work from STARTUP. Or you may need to set the pinMode to OUTPUT if you do call it from there.

I used SYSTEM_THREAD(ENABLED) and put the call in setup().

Yes, it affects both BLE and mesh.

Man, I totally forgot about needing to manually set the Bluetooth antenna to external on the Argon and Xenons when I have a antenna attached to the BT Connector. I thought it was automatic now for some odd reason.

No wonder I have been getting less range that I was expecting with the external antennas attached.

Update! - Added this code and BLE range is so much better now!

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Hi @rickkas7

Good Morning,

I am wondering if you can comment on the my past at Find if Onchip or External Antenna being used.

I am trying to confirm if ANTSW1 will work for Particle p1 chip as well??


It’s completely different on the Photon and P1, the code above is only for Gen 3 devices (Argon, Boron, Xenon).