Introduction

 

As Particle introduced their third generation of hardware. The Particle Argon, Boron, and Xenon are Particle’s latest offering in the world of IoT dev boards, and this time they add mesh networking. The three new boards are all built around the Nordic nRF52840 SoC and include an ARM Cortex-M4F with 1MB of Flash and 256k of RAM. This chip supports Bluetooth 5 and NFC. Breaking the new lineup down further, the Argon adds WiFi with an ESP32 from Espressif, the Boron brings LTE to the table with a ublox SARA-U260 module, and the Xenon with WiFi and Cellular, relying only on Bluetooth, but still retaining mesh networking.

 

In this I am just demonstrate how to use Argon and Xenon. Firstly, we will setup our Argon and then Xenon.

 

Particle Argon

 

                                                                                                                                                  

 

The Argon is a powerful Wi-Fi enabled development kit that can act as either a standalone Wi-Fi endpoint or Wi-Fi enabled gateway for Particle Mesh networks. It is based on the Nordic nRF52840 and has built-in battery charging circuitry so it’s easy to connect a Li-Po and deploy your local network in minutes.

 

Features

 

1. Espressif ESP32-D0WD 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi coprocessor

  • On-board 4MB flash for ESP32
  • 802.11 b/g/n support
  • 802.11 n (2.4 GHz), up to 150 Mbps

2. Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC

  • ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz
  • 1MB flash, 256KB RAM
  • IEEE 802.15.4-2006: 250 Kbps
  • Bluetooth 5: 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 Kbps, 125 Kbps
  • Supports DSP instructions, HW accelerated Floating Point Unit (FPU) calculations
  • ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
  • Up to +8 dBm TX power (down to -20 dBm in 4 dB steps)
  • NFC-A tag

3. On-board additional 4MB SPI flash

4. 20 mixed signal GPIO (6 x Analog, 8 x PWM), UART, I2C, SPI

5. Micro USB 2.0 full speed (12 Mbps)

6. Integrated Li-Po charging and battery connector

7. JTAG (SWD) Connector

8. RGB status LED

10. Reset and Mode buttons

11. On-board PCB antenna

12. u.FL connector for external antenna

13. Meets the Adafruit Feather specification in dimensions and pin out

14. FCC, CE and IC certified

15. RoHS compliant (lead-free)

 

  Block Diagram of Argon

 

                                                                                              

Pin Markings

 

 

 

 

 

Pin Diagram

 

                                                                                         

 

Pin Description

 

1. Li+ ==> This pin is internally connected to the positive terminal of the LiPo battery connector.

2. VUSB ==> This pin is internally connected to the USB (+ve) supply.

3. 3V3 ==> This pin is the output of the on-board 3.3V regulator.

4. GND ==> System ground pin.

5. EN ==> Device enable pin is internally pulled-up. To disable the device, connect this pin to GND.

6. RST ==> Active-low system reset input. This pin is internally pulled-up.

7. MD ==> This pin is internally connected to the MODE button. The MODE function is active-low.

8. RX ==> Primarily used as UART RX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

9. TX ==> Primarily used as UART TX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

10. SDA ==> Primarily used as data pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

11. SCL  ==> Primarily used as clock pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

12. MO, MI, SCK ==> These are the SPI interface pins, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

13. D2-D8 ==> These are generic GPIO pins. D2-D8 are PWM-able.

14. A0-A5 ==> These are analog input pins that can also act as standard digital GPIO. A0-A5 are PWM-able.

How to setup Argon

 

There are many ways to set up Particle devices. The easiest way to set up Argon is using mobile phone (Andriod or iOS) and a connection to the internet. Here, I am using Andriod phone.

 

1. Plug Argon with USB of your computer make sure blue led will blink (Listening mode). When Argon is in Listening Mode, it is waiting for you to configure your mesh network. If it is not blinking blue, to put your Argon in Listening Mode, hold the mode button for three seconds, until the RGB LED begins blinking blue.

 

                                                                                                                    

2. Open Particle app in your phone. If you don't have download it from play store

 

                                                                                    

 

3. Login to your particle account. After login, in "your device" window you will see "+" button to add new device. Press "+" button you will see 4 options select set up a mesh device.

                                                                                                                                 

 

4. Then it will ask for turning Bluetooth ON then choose choose device we want to setup ( we are setting up Argon). Select Argon

 

                                                                                                                                     

 

 

5. Next, it will ask whether you have connected antenna to Argon or not. If you already connected tick the box and press next.

                                                                                                

 

6. Then, it will ask you to scan barcode on the device(Argon). After that, It will start pairing with your device and after pairing it will pop up window as shown below.

 

                                                                                            

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

7. After that, it will start updating Firmware.One updated it will ask you whether you wanna use it in mesh network or not (I have selected yes).

 

                                                                                                                       

 

8. Then, it will ask you to connect with WiFi. I am facing some issue with connecting with WiFi network with security (will be fixed in upcoming firmware). So I created a network without security.

9. Once connected it will ask you to give a device name.

 

                                                                                                                  

10. Next, it will ask you to give a network name and set a password. Once you set password it will create a network.

                                                                                                                       

              

After setting up gateway you will see a window as show shown below

 

                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                            

 

 

You can set up more device or select I'm done. Our Argon is now ready. You can see name of your device.

 

                                                                                                                                 

 

We have successfully set up our device.

 

11. Now go to Particle IDE

 

                                                                                    

 

Login to your account. Now, we are going to program our Particle Argon. First select your device(Argon) by click on star. You can see I already selected Argon as shown below

 

                                                                                     

 

 

We are using led test example. Go to code section and you will see examples app.We are using led test example.

 

                                                                                                                                           

    

Select blink an LED, to use this app click on use this example.

                                                                                                                                             

 

 

                                                                     

To upload a code, select a board and then click on flash.

                                                                    

Connections

 

Particle Argon

GND ==> LED(-ve)

D2 ==> Led(+ve)

Once flashed you will see D2 and D7 led will start blinking.

 

         

 

Particle Xenon

 

                                                                                                                                               

 

The Xenon is a low cost mesh-enabled development board that can act as either an endpoint or repeater within a Particle Mesh network. The Xenon is mesh only and designed to function as the endpoint of your IoT network. It is based on the Nordic nRF52840 and has built-in battery charging circuitry so it’s easy to connect a Li-Po and deploy your local network in minutes.

Block Diagram

 

                                                                                              

 

 

Pin Marking

 

               

 

 

 

Pin Diagram

 

                                                                                         

 

 

Pin Description

 

1. Li+ ==> This pin is internally connected to the positive terminal of the LiPo battery connector.

2. VUSB ==> This pin is internally connected to the USB (+ve) supply.

3. 3V3 ==> This pin is the output of the on-board 3.3V regulator.

4. GND ==> System ground pin.

5. EN ==> Device enable pin is internally pulled-up. To disable the device, connect this pin to GND.

6. RST ==> Active-low system reset input. This pin is internally pulled-up.

7. MD ==> This pin is internally connected to the MODE button. The MODE function is active-low.

8. RX ==> Primarily used as UART RX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

9. TX ==> Primarily used as UART TX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

10. SDA ==> Primarily used as data pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

11. SCL ==> Primarily used as clock pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

12. MO, MI, SCK ==> These are the SPI interface pins, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

13. D2-D8 ==> These are generic GPIO pins. D2-D8 are PWM-able.

14. A0-A5 ==> These are analog input pins that can also act as standard digital GPIO. A0-A5 are PWM-able.

15. D4 ==> TX for Serial2. Can be used as GPIO if not using Serial2.

16. D5 ==> RX for Serial2. Can be used as GPIO if not using Serial2.

17. D6 ==> CTS for Serial2. Can be used as GPIO if not using Serial2.

18. D8 ==> RTS for Serial2. Can be used as GPIO if not using Serial2.

How to setup Particle Xenon (Adding a Xenon to an existing Particle Mesh network)

 

1. Firstly, set up Xenon as we did for Argon. In "your device" window you will see "+" button to add new device. Press "+" button you will see 4 options select set up a mesh device.

 

 

                                                                                                                            

 

Select Xenon

 

 

                                                                                                                                      

 

2. After that it will ask you to scan barcode. Scan the code and it will start pairing.

 

                                                                                                                  

 

3. Once pairing is done, it will start updating firmware. After update it will search for mesh network (Name you gave to your mesh network while setting Argon).

 

                                                                                                   

 

4. After selecting mesh network(name you gave while setting mesh network in Argon). To add Xenon to mesh network it will ask you to hold mode button to make it in listening mode.

 

 

                                                                                                                            

5. Once your Argon is in listening mode press next. Then, it will ask you to scan barcode on Argon.Once it is paired with Argon it will ask for mesh network password.

 

                                                                                                                      

 

6. After that it will start joining Xenon to mesh network.

 

 

                                                                                                                                          

7. Once it joins the network give name to a device.

                                                                                                                                           

 

 

                                                                                                                                                     

 

We are done with setup of Xenon.

8. Now, open particle IDE. Select Xenon and flash the same blink an led example.