Raspberry Pi as gateway

If I get a bunch of Particles for a mesh, can I hook them all up to the Raspberry Pi as a gateway to the internet? If not, is there any compatability between the two?

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It may be possible one day, but we won’t have software support initially. We recommend you use an Argon or Boron to act as a Gateway for Xenons.

I had the same thought at first, but isn’t the fact that Raspberry doesn’t have the mesh radio going to be a showstopper?

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Circling back on this, has anyone had any luck with Pi + Xenon as the gateway?

@emile, the chances of having a Pi as a gateway are slim to none. Particle is focused on providing stability to its mesh products and then adding the HA and mesh management features originally planned.

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@peekay123 Thanks for the reply. Might be a dumb question, but what is HA?

I was looking at using a bunch of Xenons to build a mesh network, and then with a Xenon serially attached to the PI. The PI would then connect out to AWS/ the internet.

High-Availabilty I think. The ability to create a mesh network with multiple cloud gateways.

I think this could work. You could create a serial interface to let the Raspberry Pi send and receive messages through the mesh network via the Xenon.

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@nrobinson2000 ah ok thanks for the clarification. My use case is to try and connect hundreds of Xenons together - a bit higher than what I’ve found in the forum so far, but within the Thread specs.

Any ideas on when development for Mesh will be complete?

Just found this - https://www.particle.io/mesh/

Mesh networks are generally limited in size by RAM availability. The Nordic nRF52840 has a generous 256kb RAM and promises to support larger Thread® networks than were previously possible with other chipsets. However, until we’ve completed software development for the Argon, Boron, and Xenon, we won’t know for sure how many children each device can support. You can safely assume that each repeater and gateway will support at least 10-20 devices, making networks of 50+ devices possible.

You might be better off to have a Xenon in an ETH wing as a gateway then using a TCP/IP transport like MQQT to move messages to the PI and then the PI to forward to AWS - easier then creating your own serial protocol and issues with handshaking


Thats a great idea. The handshake is something I am concerned about.

The reasons I have been looking at the Pi over the ETH Wing -

  • Host AWS Greengrass (run AWS Lambda functions natively on the PI for preprocessing data)
  • Local data storage for redundancy incase the connection to the network is broken.

This is all theoretical at the movement. Hopefully I’ll have something running in the next few days.

Just found the OpenThread Border Router thread. That would be perfect for what I need.

Going to hop into that thread, but wanted to leave the link in case anyone else finds this in the future.

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Hi, did you hear about bluz dk node.js gateway ? maybe, somehow, you can play around and port this to Xsenon’s :thinking:

I disagree @peekay. The openthread OTBR runs on a linux machine but is also made to run on a PI. The nrf52840 usb dongles then provide the mesh radio. Theoretically since an Argon is basically a fancy nrf52840 the Argon could be controlled with a serial connection to the PI (Linux machine). All of this would be a lot easier if Particle would release access to the Openthread code it uses.

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@rocksetta, what I said was in context of having the Pi on the Particle OpenThread network. However, you are correct that “slaving” a Xenon or Argon via serial to the Pi and using it as a bridge to the mesh is possible. As for the OpenThread protocol, I believe Particle uses encrypted UDP (via COAP) over its mesh.

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This is what I’m doing with a Xenon -> Pi (connecting the UART pins) for prototyping purposes. I got it working this morning.


Code looks great and so simple (Feels good when it works, especially after a while of it not working. :smiley:). I think we are trying to do similar things, you on the Pi, me with a Linux laptop. Is your next step to use putty or “screen” and send commands?

I feel that the usb cable of the Xenon should be able to be plugged into the Pi usb port and still communicate. In Openthread it is the client connection and the help file is here:

Unfortunately I don’t think the Xenon will respond to any of the commands as I think it needs a bit of programming to activate it.


Nope, I’m going to connect the PI to AWS Greengrass/IOT to store the data in AWS.

That is a great idea, and much easier than going over the pins. Why didn’t I think of that? :thinking:

Hmm do you need those exposed?

For what I’m doing right now, I’m keeping the PI (my gateway) pretty simple. As long as I can read the data over a serial port from a Xenon on the mesh network, I’m good.

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Your system works, that trumps my theory. Good luck with the AWS storage sounds like a great idea.