Particle MESH - Node Quantity Limit?

Do we know at this point or have any working examples out there where we have 50 to 200 Xenon nodes successfully working together.

I have a project that I want to demo that would require multiple Argons to tap into existing wifi & Borons for backup placed at the ends and middle of large buildings.

These buildings will have multiple rooms side by side so MESH from room to room should not be a problem. See the diagram below for building layout example, disregard the green dots.

The quantity of the rooms could go from 50 to 200+ and this would require a high availability Particle Plan which is fine.

Have the MESH devices been successfully tested yet where the Xenon nodes were in the 50-200+ unit range?

Are there any known Xenon quantity limitations if we can use multiple Argon gateways?

I know we will have more feedback from the community soon as they receive their orders and try to do similar things but I wanted to see if anybody has any experiences they can share who have already received and used the MESH devices the rest of us are waiting on.

I know a lot of these questions have been asked in the past without any solid answers, but since we have reached the point of shipping, I figured there will be more concrete answers about what is and is not possible.

my guess would be it might be entirely dependent on what each Xenon is tasked to do. Reason being is there is bound to be an overall total bandwidth issue so if you have 50 xenons transferring alot of data very frequently you might run into effectiveness issues that you otherwise would not see with 75 Xenons not do very much, say under 50% of the transfers of the 50 xenons.

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@RWB, I wish I had 200 Xenons to test with! Don’t assume room-to-room communications “should not be a problem”. A lot of factors can affect the signal, including a very busy 2.4GHz spectrum. You will need to do some testing. A lot of demos I’ve seen had the mesh devices in hallways or open space and no more than 20-30ft apart. I suspect the heaviest load will be on the the gateways. As of the current firmware, there is no “sleepy node” capability for Xenons so they act as both nodes and relays. My guess is the Xenons with the most “neighbours” will be the devices to be careful with. I am not sure what the optimum “neighbour” number is but I suspect no more than 4 is ideal.

Intra-mesh traffic will need to be considered as it will hit every node (UDP broadcasts) so as not to flood the mesh. Also, out-of-mesh traffic going through the gateway will need similar consideration. In my design for a mesh-based weather forecast display, only the gateway published a webhook, collected the data and published it to the mesh in a much smaller “packet”. That way the mesh isn’t flooded with nodes doing webhooks, etc. So mesh requires a different approach than one might do with a bunch of Photons. After all, mesh data rates are low compared to WiFi (250Kbps vs a lot more!).

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I can’t share the details yet, but yes, it is possible to make a network of that size. Whether it’s a good idea or not has not been determined.

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

The data will be very low. Data will only be sent when a specific event occurs and it will sit idle when there is no event to trigger the data to be broadcast.

I suspect we will need to send an alive notification ping every day to verify all nodes are alive and have good battery power but not much more than that.

Interesting about only having 4 nodes together but if their range is only 20-30 feet than that is less of an issue.

@RWB, this is only a personal assessment based on my engineering experience. I look forward to seeing @rickkas7’s finding.

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perhaps @RWB you can start testing.

Posted how to connect multiple Argons and Xenons

Video coming, presently only for mac or linux, working on a cloud solution