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Particle Mesh Support

#1

Hello,

I have a few Particle Mesh devices. I tried to get Blynk working with them, on the Argon (wifi connected) it was super easy, Blynk just worked.

However on the Xenon device (mesh) it seems that the Blynk.begin(auth) function just blocks forever. My guess is that is Blynk.begin() calls connect() which never returns because there’s no route to the Blynk server. Maybe because the Xenons are using IPv6 and the Argon is serving as an IPv4 gateway. That’s just a guess though.

Is Blynk planning on supporting the Particle Mesh boards? Do you have any estimate on when that support might come? I realize that estimates are just that and can be wrong.

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#2

Correct, if no connection (to server) nothing else happens.

Try with Blynk.config() instead… that way you can setup your own network connection type and perhaps Blynk will connect through it?

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#3

There are such plans. There’s no estimate.
The library is opensource and you can contribute, making things happen faster :wink:

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#4

OK, I’ll try to look into this and get a prototype working. I’ll post what I find as I find it so other people can use whatever I find if I don’t finish.

Looking at the Particle Xenon documentation it looks like the Xenons don’t support TCP outside of the mesh network, see TCPClient. So that makes sense that connect() doesn’t work when on the Xenons (but does work on the Argons).

So for me the next step is figuring out if Blynk supports UDP (which the Particle documentation claims the Xenons support) or finding out if the Particle Mesh nodes can be made to support TCP.

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#5

Just a short note here on my quick&dirty trial with the mesh modules: I set up a Xenon as a gateway of my mesh using the Ethernet Feather Wing. I installed the Blynk library and selected Particle Photon in the Blynk app as device. This seems to work.

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#6

I hope Blynk will start supporting the Xenon in connection with the Device Selector. Imagine making the Device Selector select devices in the mesh such as the Xenon!!!

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#7

I think there is a lot more than Blynk simply upporting the Xenon’s. I have encountered this same problem trying to get Blynk to work on a mesh nextwork of Particle Xenons. Currently Xenon’s only will communicate with Particle’s cloud. The TCP protocol is not supported currently although it seems that UDP is. There is a lot of work yet to do on Partice’s end gettng their Mesh working well. Somewhere down the line they may support devices being able to connect to other services directly. I think for it to really work well, the gateway device itself (Argon or Boron) may have to act as a dedicated Blynk service relay.

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#8

I know nothing about the Particle boards or how they work with the Particle Server.
However, the way I use Blynk is to use a product called Node-Red which acts as a gateway between Blynk and the NodeMCU devices that I use on my network. Node-Red runs on a Raspberry Pi (although it can run on other platforms) and my devices talk to it using MQTT messages, so the devices don’t run any Blynk bode at all.

Because Node-Red can use different plug-ins to talk to external services (Blynk, Amazon Alexa, etc) it’s a very powerful and flexible product. I’ve just done a quick search to see if there is any Particle support for Node-Red and it seems that there is:

So, maybe the answer is to have the Blynk side of things handled by Node-Red, and have this sending data to the Particle server?

Here’s a link to how I use Blynk and Node-Red for my home automation system:

Pete.

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#9

Thanks for the reply Pete! I have heard of Node-Red but never have worked with it. I will definitely look into it.

In the mean time I figured out a way to make it work. It make a lot of sense after I thought outside of the box for a moment. You setup your Argon or Boron gateway to run Blynk. The widgets on your phone will be talking to it only. On your gateway device you publish events to the particle cloud. On your Xenon’s you subscribe to the events. I just setup an example using an Argon and Xenon with the Blynk app to toggle the built-in LED on and off and it works great!

Thanks! Tim

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