Particle mesh - Argon

Can you give me a better clarification about how Argon works?
I mean Thread mesh needs a border router for connecting to the internet and since you mentioned about using Openthread it will be working on spinel protocol. So have you guys ported the spinel protocol for using it in ESP32?

I’m just too curious :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The ESP32 on the Argon is only used for the WiFi connection. The mesh/OpenThread part is done by the nRF host controller without any involvement of the ESP32.

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All the devices in the mesh need to be controlled or send data to the Particle cloud, So is the nRF52840 connected to the ESP32 through serial/SPI connection for transferring all the data? More like serialization.

https://openthread.io/guides/border_router

From my understanding of the above link, Openthread needs a border router to communicate with the external networks such as WiFi. And a little digging into the openthread border router reveals Spinel protocol. In the above link, they have used Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black as border router to connect a thread network to the other networks such as WiFi.

So my question is, Is ESP32 in the Argon board doing all the border router work?

I mean that could explain the decrease in the number of openthread devices under a usual network from 250+ to 50+ in Argon board.

My total assumptions could be wrong so a detailed answer would satiate my curiosity. :slight_smile:

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We’re still developing some of the aspects of the Border Router functionality so we may not be able to satiate all your curiosity.

So have you guys ported the spinel protocol for using it in ESP32?

We’re not using the Spinel protocol at the moment. Part of the reason is because we want to have a consistent network stack between the Argon and Boron. The Boron runs a binary and is not user-programmable. Therefore, we couldn’t include the other half of the Spinel protocol needed on the Cellular radio. We’re using a more standard link-layer interface. If all goes according to plan, we’ll stick with it, no need for Spinel.

OpenThread needs a border router to communicate with the external networks such as WiFi…Is ESP32 in the Argon board doing all the border router work?

Correct about the role of a border router in Thread. The nRF52840 on both the Argon and Boron provide the Border Router functionality. They’re simply using their Wi-Fi/Cellular Network Coprocessors for the outbound link.

That could explain the decrease in the number of OpenThread devices under a usual network from 250+ to 50+ in Argon board.

Maximum network size is based on a several key concepts and is more than just this device or that. See the reply here for details.

HTH!

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Thanks a lot for the answer!

Your answers make me want to ask more questions, I will come again once i understand a little more about border router in nRF52840 :wink:

And one last thing, You guys are very good :blush:

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