Particle Mesh 101 for Dummies


#1

I am proud to now have received my Particle Mesh family of hardware. I have also been reading about everything I could find on Particle hardware and software! This is a old dog trying to learn new tricks and was drawn to Particle because of the efforts to Keep Things Simple for those of us who know little or no Code. And very grateful for all the ITTT (If This Then That) Particle events posted making some simple functions a few clicks away.
Many of the Topics posted have simple answers. And many are not for us beginners. Maybe I need to ask my 10 year old grandson to translate.
I am hoping our Particle Mesh Support Group will allow us a forum to ask our simple questions to help us graduate to Particle Mesh 102!


#2

Ask away! The level of expertise here (esp. the Elites) is very high. All that is asked is to search the forums for whatever thing you want to know about before posting something new. Have fun!


#3

Thank you. Hope all, new to The Fun, will search the forums for an answer!
If the answer is a little over our level of experience, they can post the question here?

To Start: .
Click the “Watch” button below and select your notifications.
https://www.facebook.com/particle/ and "Follow"
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpYjkSkGOXAMXeZjZkbb-PQ and “Subcribe”


#4

Alone with my Mesh order I added a Seeed “Grove Starter Kit for Particle Mesh”. I checked YouTube and Github and didn’t find much to help wire up and use the sensors.


#5

This is a good starting point for information about Grove in general. There are some examples using a Photon that would probably translate well to the mesh hardware.

https://m.seeedstudio.com/productDetail/3038


#6

LiPo battery: I have some drone LiPo batteries but the plug doesn’t fit! I checked Adafruit, searched “LiPo Battery” with no luck. Are a number choices on Amazon but not sure any of those will fit.
Any help finding the right LiPo battery?


#7

Just about any of the LiPo batteries on Adafruit and Sparkfun will work. Before plugging in any battery pack, make sure you validate the connector is polarized correctly according to the “Power” section of the mesh docs. I just purchased 2 LiPo packs at 500mAh from Digikey and they worked perfect out of the box.

https://www.adafruit.com/category/916

https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/54?sort_by=price_asc&filter_price_floor=&filter_price_ceil=

You can buy Adafruit and Sparkfun batts on Digikey if you prefer:

https://www.digikey.com/products/en/battery-products/batteries-rechargeable-secondary/91?FV=ffe0005b%2C6700033%2C670004a%2Cmu3.7V|2079&quantity=0&ColumnSort=1000011&page=1&stock=1&datasheet=1&pageSize=25


#8

Right, as @ninjatill points out - make sure your polarity is correct.
The maker world (adafruit, arduino, particle, etc.) tends to put ground at the top/left.
The drone/RC hobby world (GNB, inductrix, happymodel, eachine, etc.) tend to put ground on the left/bottom - requiring polarity reversal before using hobby polarity with maker polarity.


#9

Here is an example:

===start of edited clarification of picture based upon feedback later in this thread===
What am trying to show is that BLACK (-) must be nearest the USB.

You can’t tell from the photo but the drone battery’s attached JST PH2.0 connector, if plugged directly into the xenon, would have put RED (+) nearest the USB - not good.
So I made a short, 2 conductor, jst to breadboard jumper and reverse the two on the breadboard.
===end of edit===


#10

Notice black (-) or Ground is nearest the micro USB connector.
The connector type is called “JST PH2.0” but you still have to make sure of polarity.
In the photo you can see that I had to reverse the polarity of a drone battery.


#11

i guess the photo has been doctored a bit because it appears positive of battery is positive of device and neg of bat is negative of device which does not seem to be reversal of polarity.


#12

No doctoring in the photo. What I was trying to show is that BLACK (-) must be nearest the USB.

You can’t tell from the photo but the drone battery’s attached JST PH2.0 connector, if plugged directly into the xenon, would have put RED (+) nearest the USB - not good.
So I made a short 2 conductor, jst to breadboard jumper and reverse the two on the breadboard.


#13

ok, i get it now that the explanation has been added. i guess that’s why it’s called mesh for dummies cause obviously only dummies could have misunderstandings from the photo. :upside_down_face: thanks for clarifying.


#14

I edited to clarify, thx.


#15

Tks all. I had double checked my drone battery before I tried to plug it in, against the Particle Docs. At 68, it’s great to get my brain back in gear! Noticed on one of the posts that Mesh 101 Videos are coming out soon and it should be a great help to us rookies!


#16

@stovalldb, I’m 58 and never too old to learn. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, especially after trying stuff and getting stuck. :wink:


#17

Here’s where a younger brain would work better. I have 2 routers. One for personal use and another using to test the Mesh Network for a business. It seems I didn’t document which router I set the Argon up on. I looked to Tinker to see if there is a drop down menu item to check which router it is paired to, but not!
First thought was to check what router my phone was connected to. That had to be the router I connected the Argon to. Phone is connected to the personal router.
The rookie Mesh thought, is to unplug the Business router to see if the Argon goes off line.
Haven’t tried that to confirm.
Next: cell phone shows the signal strength of the router. Is there the same for the Mesh signal strength?


#18

Currently there is no Mesh.RSSI() function.

But what is the actual question you have?
Did you know that you can actually change the WiFi network an Argon can connect to via particle serial wifi (device in Listening Mode = blinking blue)?
Also - although still undocumented and no numbers provided yet for Argon - Particle devices ususally can store multiple sets of WiFi credentials to connect to different WiFi networks. If one disappears, the device will try the other creds in order to connect to a network that may be available.
Also usually WiFi routers can give you a list of devices that are connected to them.


Update:
Just added the info to the docs: Up to 10 sets of WiFi creds can be stored on an Argon.


#19

The routers will absolutely have a list of currently connected devices… It’s called an ARP table. Depending on the router, you may have to enable some sort of advanced mode. I don’t think I’ve seen a modern router that doesn’t give the user access to at least view the ARP table.


#20

I unplugged the Business Router and the Argon and Xenon went to flashing green. So I removed them and reinstalled them to the personal router. Remember I have to keep things simple. The more I read the more I see I need to cover to get the basics. Just hooked up a 5vdc input relay to my Xenon to Tinker my Christmas Lights on and off. Much better than going to the outside plugs in the rain tonite.