POE + Mesh questions

Hello - Just getting around to setting up a mesh network at home consisting of 5 Xenons and an Argon as gateway. However, I am also considering using the Ethernet featherwing with POE. My questions:

  1. Can I use the POE adapter to power / provide internet connectivity for all units in the mesh network or just the gateway? ( One POE adapter for each device ).

  2. I am looking for a nice enclosure I can put the ethernet featherwing + a small breadboard for various sensors. The ethernet featherwing will be filled with a xenon / argon and OLED display so I need someplace to put the sensors! Any ideas ? I looked at the 3D printing case by @mohit here. Would love to find a way to add the sensors to something like that - all in one neat package. I have about 3 sensors to hook up. Perhaps an extension of that case with extra room to add another featherwing or breadboard to connect the sensors.


@vacquah for your second point, i doubt you will find anything specific for your needs. I would suggest spending some time and looking at some free 3D design tool and then just downloading these files and editing per your need, or just making one from scratch. It might sound a lot of work for just one box, but trust me it pays off in the long run.

Currently you can only have one gateway per mesh network. Subsequent xenons can get power from POE, but they won’t have internet connection, only mesh.

No internet connection? Or internet connection via the gateway?

Internet via gateway. They wouldn’t each have their own internet connection. You could set them up individually and use Particle.publish/subscribe.

If you have PoE available then it is cheaper and easier just to use xenons and particle cloud to publish and subscribe (this presumes the wired connection is going to be reliable) . HOWEVER you cannot create a product


from an EthernetWing and a Xenon - so you don’t get the benefits of automatic code updating etc but it is simpler since all your code is that same i.e. no specific gateway code needed.

Regarding your enclosure - you could try setting up Tinkercad and starting with a design in the shared library that you mentioned from mohit then tinkering with it.

Here are some pretty good enclosure options. The files can be modified to meet your needs.

@shanevanj this is for home use so loosing out on the benefits of creating a product is fine ( I think ).

However I am still confused about mesh + poe. So I can’t create a mesh network when every one of the xenons are powered by poe and have internet connectivity through it as well? Or I can still create a mesh but only use the poe connection to each xenon for power ? I have an argon I am using as a gateway.

What are the benefits of setting up each xenon separately without the mesh ?

I think I will spend sometime to learn how to edit the files as suggested. My very first 3d project. My local library has a 3d printer .

A good tool to look at would be Fusion 360, They have a free one year subscription. Plus if you use eagle, you can import your PCB and design your 3D print Models around them.

Plus, the link @HAL9000 posted, the designs in those are parameterized. Which means that you can just go in and update the parameters and your 3D model would adjust accordingly :slight_smile:


1 Like

very nice!

I don’t see why you can’t use mesh and PoE together (I haven’t coded it my self so this is my interpretation of the documentation) even though mesh does not require the ethernet wing to make it work as it is wireless

I do see a benefit of perhaps having data interaction with other nodes without using the particle cloud and still have the ability to publish/subscribe directly from each xenon node via Ethernet. (unless you are just using PoE for power and not data traffic ?)

My thinking in this case would have been to use an argon/boron as a mesh gateway to the cloud (connected with WiFi or Ethernet wing and PoE/DC) and have each xenon using wireless mesh for local traffic and powered by a cheaper (no Ethernet wing with POE board - as well as no POE power sources) xenon and low-cost 5v power supply of some sort. Perhaps if you described your use case it would be easier to comment on a particular architecture ?

@shanevanj Here is a description of what I am trying to do.

I am planning to setup a home air quality monitoring system comprising of 5 xenons and an argon gateway. I am planning to collect data on temp + humidity (using a Sensiron SHT31-D), CO2 and VOC (using Adafruit SGP30 ) and particulate matter (using a Sensiron SPS30 ).

So I am looking to setup the xenons to report to the argon which will then send the aggregated data to a telegraf gateway then on to a timescale db and grafana for visualization. Not sure which is simpler - having the xenons report directly to the telegraf gateway individually ( so each unit sends its data separately and not in a mesh network) or let the argon aggregate the data before sending out. Also I see I could also send the data to particle cloud before sending on to telegraf. What are the benefits of going through the particle cloud before hitting telegraf - easier setup ?

I have a poe capable switch and network drops around the house to leverage poe for each of the units easily. I assumed its much easier this way than powering the xenons with something else ? Will appreciate any help as to how to optimally set this up. My very first IoT project.

Cool - nice idea. In your case - the xenons may not always in range of the argon - and seeing as you already have the cabling and PoE - just use the xenons to publish to the particle cloud. Then use a web hook to deliver the data to your visualisation platform. In this way all your data is secured and can be examined in the particle console if needed.

Secondly take a look a losant.com as a platform - thier free offerings will be able to give you very rich functionality. I use Thingsboard.io - similar, but you would have to host your own server (local or cloud) and is probably not worth the effort for 5 devices. Do a forum search on losant, there is lots of info on how to make it work as well as this

hello @shanevanj can you explain this a bit? does that mean I should not setup a mesh network? Also making each xenon report directly to the cloud via ethernet makes it a gateway ( so will end up with multiple gateways ?)

So if you already have eth cables to the xenon then do not activate as a mesh mode, just use as an Ethernet connected device. It won’t be a gateway since you you haven’t enabled it as a mesh device.

This will mean you can use Particle.publish() to send data without going to a gateway.

@shanevanj What is the benefit of setting up each device this way - vs going through a gateway ( from a data aggregation perspective ). What other advantages does going through a gateway provide ?

The gateway mode is just that - if you had xenons (no eth wing) they can only connect to cloud via a gateway. You have the Eth so the gateway function is not needed unless you wish to treat the Argon/Xenon(s) as a product in the particle console.

The big advantage of having each device (Xenon) in an ethernet featherwing with a wired LAN connection should be you will get a near flawless connection to the internet and you don’t have to worry about acknowledgement because it will use TCP. Next you will be able to use a much simpler application because it is powered all the time and does not need to sleep. If you are sure of the power supply to all end nodes then you can use Mesh comms to the gateway but the Mesh comms is using UDP and doesn’t have an acknowledgement method.