- Brandon Satrom
- Blinky of IoT
- Parker unboxed a Particle Photon
- Included in the box is a photoresistor, a LED, breadboard, and some resistors
- Parker built the circuit and programmed the Photon in under 5 minutes
- Building an IoT Device
- Spec Sensors 3SP Ethanol 1000
- Low Power Consumption of around 10 to 50 uW
- Individually Calibrated with NIST Traceable serial number
- 0-1000ppm Ethanol range
- It has 3 analog outputs
- Vgas which is proportional to the gas we are measuring
- Vref which is around half the supply voltage and is used as a fixed zero reference
- Vtemp is the temperature of the sensor used to set the temperature compensation
- Particle Photon reading the analog outputs of the Spec Sensors 3SP Ethanol 1000
- Posts to the cloud about the status of the sensors
- Code for this can be found here
- Issues porting the Arduino Code to the Particle Platform
- Floats -> Doubles
- Particle.Variable do not show up if you are doing Particle.Publish too fast
- Another Particle Photon pulls data from the particle cloud and drives a relay board
- The relay board is connected to an industrial light tower
- Light tower – NPTL5-W-E
- Pull down I/O lines to turn on lights
- Light tower – NPTL5-W-E
- Spec Sensors 3SP Ethanol 1000
- Other Questions
- Future of IoT?
- Particle Hardware Tech Details
- Why use a Particle device over a ESP32 or ESP8266?
- Discount codes for MEP Listeners
- Particle is giving MacroFab Engineering Podcast listeners a discount
- Use the URL https://store.particle.io/discount/MacroFabFam to get 15% off anything in the Particle Store
- For free shipping use the code “”ParticleFamShipping”
- Gets a free starter kit with the mesh Particle boards by using the code “ParticleFamStarter”
Visit our Slack Channel and join the conversation in between episodes and please review us, wherever you listen (PodcastAddict, iTunes). It helps this show stay visible and helps new listeners find us.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:11
Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. I'm your guest, Brandon Sasha,
Host 2 00:15
And I'm your host, Sparky Dohmen. This is episode 112 22. So before we start, we have a event next week the Houston hardware Happy Hour first Thursday of each month, June 7 at slowpokes, come bring your hacks and hardware and come hang out, drink beer, drink coffee, eat some food. And I think Brandon has a happy hour as well.
Host 1 00:38
There is there's an Austin hardware happy hour that happens the third Thursday of the month. So you can actually attend both Houston and Austin. Yeah, there's no conflicting that usually I think that next one will be on the 21st. And that's it. Velvet taco in the domain
Host 1 00:52
Velvet Taco Bell
Host 1 00:53
The taco. It's fantastic.
Host 2 00:55
Host 1 01:19
That's a pretty good summary? I like it. No, yeah. I mean, I have I've been in particle for three or four months now. But my my background is I like to tell people I am a recovering software developer and recovery hiring maker, and hardware and firmware developer as well. So I spent most of my career in the software side of the world. And in the last four or five years have gotten more into hardware and making and things like that, which has been more of a passion for me. And recently, I had the opportunity to make that part of my full time job working for particle and helping them
Host 2 01:54
Cool. So what is the current shiny tool or tech
Host 1 01:59
The current shiny tool for me? Boy, that's a that's a great question. Because I feel like I the current new shiny tool for me is that I just got a question. I feel like I'm put on the spot.
Host 2 02:19
If I can, I can tell you mine. Okay, yes, tell me here. So I can remember the part number but I have a a four to 20 million pressure transducer, wow, industrial pressure transducer, and I'm going to use it to hopefully with this podcast learn enough about IoT stuff. And I want to IoT a phi, the air compressor here at macro fab. I like I think I've said that on the podcast like a year ago and never got around to it because I basically hit a couple of roadblocks and like, oh, well, you know, whatever. But so I dug up the pressure transducer and started actually like getting measurements and stuff out of it. That's awesome.
Host 1 02:57
That's very cool. All right, so I'll give you one this is this is gonna sound like I'm doing party line stuff because a particle but I swear this is the shiny thing for me. I am very excited about getting the some of the new mesh hardware that we've got coming in the fall specifically the Xenon which is going to be our sort of mesh only little board because it is going to be I have so many projects at home that are waiting for something that I'm I am big on doing home home automation stuff that doesn't put everything on Wi Fi and the with the Xenon we'll actually be able to get stuff online that talks to a local network but not be on the open internet and I'm, I've got you know, home garden projects and all kinds of different things that I'm very excited to get that happening. This right. Yes. Exactly. Sounds like a Star Wars character.
Host 1 03:44
Oh, man. Oh, yeah. Kind of like a robot. Um, yeah. You see solo?
Host 1 03:52
I have not yet okay.
Host 2 03:53
It is. I saw opening night, okay. And I'm a person who did not like the last Jedi. Okay. Solo was really good. Really, it was way better than it should have been.
Host 1 04:06
Okay, see, I was I really want to my wife and I actually did go and see a movie this last weekend because we had a kid free weekend for Memorial Day and you saw Deadpool. So see I was on the fence. I kind of go chronologically with these things and I hadn't yet seen Infinity War. So I was like well, I guess we got to go see that first. And I liked it. I liked Infinity War a lot excited for the next one. But I the whole time I'm sitting there and Alamo Drafthouse thinking like should we have seen Deadpool instead? We talked about maybe just turning right around and coming back in and seeing Deadpool or solo because I want to see those I heard yeah, here they're both really good.
Host 2 04:39
I need to go see the new Deadpool movie I heard it's yeah, love the first one. I got. No, I love it. So what's carrot pants press.
Host 1 04:49
So carrot pants press is sort of a that is a side passion for me. But as I was in between jobs and startups and projects over the last couple of years years I, part of the reason why I got into making in electronics to begin with was to sort of scratch my own itch. But also to introduce my kids to this world, I have three boys, they're nine, seven, and four. And the older two, when I first started getting into Arduino based stuff, the older one was with me, along with a lot of those projects, he loved all the blinky led stuff that was huge for him. And how old was he, at the time, he was six. Yeah. And he now I was, you know, I was doing a lot of like, actually putting components in breadboards. But he was right there alongside me helping out and, and as I was going through a lot of that, I, I wanted to create something that was going to be accessible for those for those three, even my younger two sons, to get them to introduce them to electronic concepts and components, the things that I was learning, but to do it in a way that was engaging for kids. And so last year, we did a Kickstarter campaign for a children's book for an illustrated children's book about electronics, it's called Ed gets his power back. And the whole point of the book was to tell a story about this green LED that needs to find a way to blink his Lartigue light up his light before the sun goes down. And he's has to illuminate his neighborhood. And so along the way he gets, you know, he kids will understand sort of what a LED is, and you learn about resistors, and capacitors and batteries. And the whole point is really to get kids excited about this world and willing to learn more. But they're meeting great characters, and they're hearing a cool story to go along with it. So we did that campaign last year, that was our first Kickstarter. It was successful. We delivered the books in January, and we decided we wanted to keep going. So pet care prints, carrot pants press, excuse me, was really the business that we formed around creating these books and these resources. And we're in the midst of actually working on the getting ready for the second campaign now, which is going to launch next month for
Host 1 07:00
The second book, in tidbits for that one. And he taped it Yes.
Host 1 07:04
So that one I am really excited about because that one is actually going to feature a new main character le a blue LED, but will also feature a 555 timer chip to help create the circuit for that as well. So yeah,
Host 1 07:18
Does it have a name? Chip, the
Host 1 07:19
IC chip, like maybe I took the lazy way out on naming. Like it works. That kind of works. And we have the I have the character designs for him. He's actually he's he and Ellie are both on my laptop. Which folks? Oh, yeah, not not not here right now. Can't see. But that's, that's really, that's really exciting. Because part of what we're doing this is we're also, we're introducing new components, but we're actually going to take it into the realm of reality and introduce the concept of printed circuit boards to kids. So instead of building on a breadboard, like we did in the first book, you're actually going to be building a circuit on it on a PCB. That's cool. Fun.
Host 2 07:53
Yeah. Cool. And so what do you do at particle then?
Host 1 07:58
So I particle I am particles, developer evangelist. So my job is to, I get to keep building cool stuff, and building stuff with our hardware, building stuff with with other people's stuff and just talk to developers about what they can do with particle with our tools with our hardware and our software. And also just to hear what people out there are doing and to help get developer feedback back into the company. I have done evangelism roles before I was an evangelist at Microsoft a long, long time ago. And what
Host 2 08:30
Is it really hard to get people excited about Microsoft products? This
Host 1 08:33
Time? It was very hard to get people excited. Yes, absolutely. Let me just say that I was there when when what we were talking about a lot was was a nine. So let's just you know, that was, it was an interesting time. But I learned a few tricks. So one of the things that I learned that was really important for evangelism is that it's a great way to it's a great way to build relationships with developers and get their honest feedback and get that back into the company. To me, that's almost it that is either as important or more important than going and speaking to the community about your products, was really giving them a voice and making sure that the internal teams really understand what challenges developers are having and how we can make the product
Host 2 09:12
How your how your customers are actually using your product actually
Host 1 09:14
Using absolutely, yeah, so that's what I do. And that's a lot of fun. I've been doing that for about three, three plus months now. That's cool. It's still new. Yeah. So
Host 2 09:23
How did you get started in that then? Did you apply? Or did you just like, did they come to you? I
Host 1 09:29
Did, I did apply. Actually, it was a bit of both. We I had the the person who hired me. We have some mutual friends in my time as an evangelist at Microsoft, and then I actually did some product management work for a software company after that and I had, you know, a bit of a network and close friends over the years that as we moved into different places, we would keep in touch and hear of other opportunities that came up and so this is one of those cases where actually one of the a good friend who actually also was A backer of our Kickstarter campaign. He and I were talking at the launch we did for the book. And he had mentioned this role his evangelism role at at particle. And I had it turns out I had just applied like two or three days before I seen it. I've been a particle customer for three and a half years. I mean, I in the in the spark core days, I remember getting still have that board, it still works. It's still actually powering something in my office. And and so when I saw that there was an opening, and I was sort of on the hunt for the next thing and like how I'm totally applying for this. And he had mentioned that he had heard about the job and knew the hiring manager and made a mutual intro and
Host 2 10:37
Banner. We are yeah, here we are. Yeah. So what is your favorite thing you've built at particle then? Because that's part of your job. Yeah, things.
Host 1 10:46
So my favorite thing was actually a badge. Blazer. And as a badge is such a huge thing. Now, everybody's on the bad luck bandwagon, myself included. We actually, myself and a few others very, very capable folks we have internally helped me. We created a badge for our booth at Maker Faire. So we were saying area make? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Host 2 11:09
They call it very, or is it San Mateo? It's
Host 1 11:11
Called the Bay Area Maker.
Host 2 11:13
Yeah. When I went it was the same. Well, I guess like it depended on who you ask. Some people call it the San Mateo Maker Faire or, or it was the Bay Area. Very
Host 1 11:23
Mega. Yeah. Or just z like something?
Host 1 11:26
It was originally? Yeah, no, that was large one. Yeah.
Host 1 11:30
It's huge. I mean, I have been, I've been to the one in Austin several times. It started as a Mini Maker Faire, it got a little bit bigger and became sort of a proper Maker Faire. This. The one in San Mateo is ridiculous. The
Host 2 11:42
One with the sannan. San Mateo one is they get all the Burning Man people too. And so you get all those crazy sculptures and stuff that's on fire and stuff. Absolutely. That's my favorite part.
Host 1 11:51
I absolutely, yeah, we actually have a total sidebar, but one of my favorite things I saw is a few of us actually walked around a bit. And we saw a couple of the guys that are working on mech racing, like they're trying to build a mech Racing League. Okay. So it was like the first public display of one of these mechs that they've been working on for 12 or 13 years. And very Pacific Rim style, like the pot, the captain has all four of his limbs hooked up to four different it's four legs on this robot. Yeah. And he's got, he's got all four of his limbs hooked up to these four legs, and it was their sort of first display in public. And it was awesome. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in a Maker Faire, but huge. This just this huge, huge mess. Yeah. And that's I love that. That was the stuff that I looked at the
Host 2 12:35
One times I went they had a group brought a ginormous train. But it was an old steam powered one, all that and they had it running a like a whole bunch of tools. And it was like the crate, like just how much water that thing uses was, oh, gosh, it's just crazy. And then one time I went there was a ginormous like, wheel dragon. That was like the size of this room. Oh, yeah. And it was blowing fire out of his mouth and stuff. And yeah, it's just like, how do you get insurance for that is make it make you sign a general waiver,
Host 1 13:13
They must something I don't know. I know, I my aspirations are much, much smaller scale, right. So I feel good about just creating a badge and there's giant robots out there. But this was that was a big thing. I my intention originally with creating the badge was that we're doing a bunch of conferences through the rest of the year and workshops about particle. And we're I mentioned already, but we have new hardware coming in the fall including that low powered Xenon device. And so my original intention was to build to use that as the foundation for a badge. And and I got you know, a few helpful colleagues suggested, hey, you know, maker fairs coming up. Let's let's go ahead and try to shoot through the badge for that. And we're about a month away. And I'm kind of like, Alright, I guess I'll give it a try. And then I basically spent every waking moment for the next month, building it building that badge and getting together, which was a lot of fun. It was actually the first time that I had worked with our cellular board the electron, which has way more pins which is cool. So I was I stuffed a whole bunch of stuff. I mean, I've got there's even some things I put on that board we didn't even implement. It's the kitchen sink of the kitchen sink of badges. Yeah, absolutely. Running 2500 milliamp LiPo batteries on the back, which maybe that's not what you want to do for a mass produced badge. But that was fun. We it was actually a lot of fun to do that. It gave us a great opportunity to tell folks sort of about about the hardware and things like that and I got to work this is sort of my first time also working with some of our internal firmware engineers and we've got some particle of some pretty amazing firmware engineering talent and a few folks on the hardware side that helped me helped me actually check the board for it went to fab and things like that. He had one shot I had one shot exactly. And as a as a as a self taught maker I had I have this history of I never get the board right the first time like I'll get excited. I'm sure everybody does that, but I'll get excited. I'll order the board's are much parking, they'll come in and I'll realize within five minutes what I did wrong, I've done that. And I'm spinning them again. And all that. And this one, I had two or three other eyes. That actually helped me, you know, make sure we didn't you know, we didn't miss a few things. But we still ended up on the final badge had to bodge
Host 2 15:17
Wire barbed wires to barbed wire. So how many? How many badges that you build? We ended up building 11. So you only have to do 22 wires, the ladder to
Host 1 15:25
22 wires? That's right. No, it's not too bad at all. Yeah, and we hand soldered molecules, including some qf fins, which was which is fun.
Host 2 15:31
That's always fun. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, my, the, the company I worked at before Mac fab. I hand built all the prototypes. Oh, god, it's probably one of the reasons why when I started macro fab, I'm like, I want to never build a prototype. Again. I totally identify doing qf ends and Oh, four twos by hand gets old.
Host 1 15:52
Thankfully, this smallest we had over six oh threes on there. Other than the cute fins. A cute pen was it was a Silicon Labs 7021 Temperature and Humidity Sensor, which was an awful that was the smallest thing that was on there. But I had thankfully I had helped because I built the first one in Austin before I flew out to San Francisco for meetings for that week. So I had the week before maker fair to get help from the team. But I did the first one just to see if I so I could keep working on the firmware. And it took me probably about four hours to hand assemble that first badge and my back was killing me. hunched over and hunched over. And then I get to the particle office and there's a microscope on the bench in the office and I'm like I have not been living life.
Host 2 16:31
Oh yeah. That's thing is I built all those prototypes and stuff by hand without without a scope on like, so don't Oh, for two and stuff without that. Oh my god. I mean, when I started using scope, I'm like, oh, yeah, it's pretty easy. And I tried to go back without one. Can't do can't do it. No, like, I can't like I'm like, How did I even focus on that? Oh, for two part.
Host 1 16:51
I see. By the end of that week. I'm like, I don't know if I can do this at home ever again. Because I feel like I've been spoiled on this scope. Oh my gosh, yeah. Yeah. So that is that's the that's the most fun. I've had building anything with particle I've done I've done a few other things over the years, I actually built a still in project in progress. But I have been working on a little home brewing setup. So I basically just uses
Host 2 17:16
A common theme with our guests on the podcast.
Host 1 17:19
One I've noticed that less than a while is hey, you know what, it's why not? It's a great way to leverage technology. Oh, yeah. So I actually have a photon powered board that just does temperature monitoring. The one thing I wanted to add to it was actually some knock sensors to give me basically an alert me when fermentation starts. And some of those things that sort of come in in Prague in progress even
Host 2 17:39
Has these I can't remember I spindles that have a photon board in it. Oh, really? And you and you, I think it's photon? Yeah. And you put it in in your ward and so it will measure the density of the sugar. Yeah, yeah, check out that episode. But yeah, yeah, look back. Episode is I think if you read it, no matter macro Frabill Papa. Oh, cool. Yeah. So yeah, so I guess today we're going to be trying to get a Iot Blinky Yeah, equivalents. Yeah. So Blinky is like the, the first thing you do with a new microcontroller. That's right. And so yeah, we're gonna I guess, open up a photon and try to get something working. That's right. So yeah, Brandon brought a photon box.
Host 1 18:30
This is Yeah. So the this is the photon development kit,
Host 2 18:34
Like how you gestured towards we're like, no one can I know.
Host 1 18:39
I need to become more of a season podcaster in the next five minutes, right. Yeah. This the box is we have a few different variants of the box. Well, thank Yes, it is. Yeah, like I take no credit for it. It works. It's nice.
Host 2 18:54
So yeah, it's a box about four inches by four inches by an inch. And I guess we can open it open it up. Yeah. So inside, it's got the photon. And then a says particle.io/start. So this is where I go.
Host 1 19:09
That's where you go. Yeah. So when you open up the box, you'll see a particle that IO slash start. There are inside the box, there's a piece of foam and the photon sitting in the center. And then at the top, there's a little enclosure in here, enclosure and if you call that little cardboard insert that has the USB cable that was just ripping other parts out. Rip the whole thing out. So we got a sticker. Yeah, everyone needs to stick and Yeah, can't share without stickers. So we've got
Host 2 19:38
A couple of resistors a T one LED I think that's five millimeter LED. I think that's a T one Yeah. And then photon in
Host 1 19:49
Already breadboard sitting in a breadboard with some instruction instructions and
Host 2 19:53
Cardboard overlay. So before I like mess that up looking at a nice little picture of that. And this
Host 1 19:59
Is this is actually Really cool. I mean, one of the things as someone who is a relatively recent to the maker world myself, one of the things that I think I love about particle is that we find a lot of folks that end up getting into the space. From Software, it's becoming more and more frequent, more common that people are coming into the IoT space, the makerspace, the embedded space, and their experiences on the software side, it can be really intimidating to jump that gap. And now you're working on hardware. Yeah.
Host 2 20:29
Because this is the I come from the opposite direction I were. I've done hardware all my life. And so like, I put this perspective, a year and a half ago was the first time I did an API call. Oh, really. And when I got information back from the server, it just blew my mind right exam like whole, like, when I when I made a microcontroller blinking LED, I'm like, okay, Whoo, yeah. It's I was already doing hardware and like, I made LEDs blink, doing other things. So I'm like, Okay, I've wrote some C code and made that work. But like, when I request the data from some unknown, and cloud and I got stuff back, I went, Holy crap, that's amazing.
Host 1 21:09
See, I absolutely, cuz yeah, for me, like the first like, we we have come to refer to it right as the it's the hello world of IoT, or hardware projects is blinking, blinking the LED or, you know, Chris gamle has in his contextual electronics course, the getting to Blinky, that's like, sort of, you feel like the bar and I had that same same feeling, but API cuz like, oh ho hum, I've done API calls. That's no big deal. But it's when you got the hardware, they want to get the hardware working. And what was funny is after I went through all this Arduino based stuff, I sort of had this moment because again, like, approaching this approaching the hardware world through a microcontroller does lessen the learning curve from somewhere for someone from the software side. And then you get past that point. And you're like, wait a minute, you mean, you can blink an LED without a microcontroller? I want to try to do that. And that's sort of the additional mind blowing sort of sort of stage of things, which is cool.
Host 2 21:59
Yeah. So I went to that particle.io Start. And so it's got this is what device are you interested in? Finding the second was select the photon?
Host 1 22:14
So from here,
Host 1 22:16
Let me turn the screen so you can read it?
Host 1 22:20
Yeah, so from here, what this this dumps you into sort of our comprehensive guides for the device itself? Is there gonna want to go next, is
Host 2 22:29
There like a 00, I can punch to like, get started, like, going dial in? And you're like, here's how to get the operator right away, right?
Host 1 22:35
It's that set of my photon button. Okay. Yeah, you can just jump there and go, Okay, power on power on the device, get
Host 2 22:42
This USB cable. I'm gonna try to make this entertaining for people who can't, can't see us doing this, as well
Host 1 22:53
Describe the blink rates of the LED onboard LED that comes on, that's about half for about
Host 2 22:59
Two months. So you plug it in a blue LED starts blinking.
Host 1 23:03
So every every particle device actually has an onboard RGB LED, that's actually a CRI. I can't remember the exact part number, but it's a CRI LED. Well, that's, that's tiny too. And it's really, really small. And that led is actually one of the primary ways that the particle, the AR device, os firmware, sort of tells you what's happening. So in this case, what's happening right now is the blink rate. It's
Host 1 23:24
Like our two D twos beeps.
Host 1 23:25
It's exactly right. Yeah, absolutely. So right now the device is in listening mode, which means it's ready. It's it is, it's got soft AP turned on so that you can jump onto the device and get it on Wi Fi. So let's do that. So then the next step is going to be going to click
Host 2 23:47
Setup.particle.io. So it's got a link there. So click that guy. Ah,
Host 1 23:55
So my information now, yes, now is the Create an Account part.
Host 1 23:59
Okay, so let's see. Let's go ahead and make an account. Well, that's how did it know my last name?
Host 1 24:09
Oh, my gosh, I don't know. It's almost like maybe you've done this before.
Host 1 24:17
I guess it's Mikey with a new account then.
Host 1 24:19
Okay. So while Parker is doing his part of the reason why we like for you to create an account when setting up these devices is that there's more to the particle ecosystem than just the hardware itself. There's a lot that we provide on board and the devices that's meant to make it really easy for you to get these devices connected and to use our device cloud to actually publish information from the device to onto the internet and interact with it. So from here, you can actually click on setup a photon,
Host 2 24:47
Okay. It's in beta though in beta. It's like Gmail. Right, exactly.
Host 1 24:51
So originally, when you set up a photon or original spark devices, you used your mobile use your mobile phone to do so but we actually have support through the Now as well, so
Host 2 25:01
It's making sure that we have a all our stuff. So we have a photon USB cable, and it says Wi Fi, we have Wi Fi and my laptop is connected in it, then network credentials. So we got that. Okay, so download the photon set of files.
Host 1 25:18
So. So the way that we yeah, we do the web based setup through a local file, because that's what we needed it South AP access to the devices. So you'll just, you can save that, save it, open it up. So we're opening up the photon setup doc. And so from here, you want to change your Wi Fi access point. to anything that looks like the photon, it'll begin with
Host 2 25:44
Photon go says photon dash 34 e j by going yes, that that's the one that yeah, that suffix is going to change depending on whatever
Host 1 25:53
Device you have. Okay. So now it's connecting your computer's connecting to the device itself. And that the page notice that so it's actually asking you now to pick whatever your local Wi Fi network is. Okay? And the password and the password. And then at this point, the light has now changed to blinking green to blinking blue now it is what we refer to as breathing cyan or I don't know you pronounce that cyan is always cyan. Yeah. Breathing cyan. So what's happening now is this device is connected to Wi Fi. It's connected to the particle device cloud, and is checking. Oh, now so now what you'll need to do on your laptop is actually get back to your wife made notes on there. Okay. All right. It says name my device so you can name your device. Okay, we typically will we have an auto suggester squeamish dentist, squeamish dentists,
Host 1 26:49
I will rename it. Yeah, map one to two.
Host 1 26:53
Now. There you go. So it follow, then you're gonna have you're gonna onboard one new device for every episode of the podcast. So now I'm saying Yeah, you're good to go. And so I guess we just click Start building, click Start building. Yeah. So from here, when you click Start building is it is going to take you it took us back to docs took you back to the docks. And so this is basically giving you this is where you're sort of path can fork based on what you want to do. There are two or three primary ways that folks will build firmware with particle devices. They either use the web based IDE, or you can use a desktop IDE slash are command line tools. Okay, that's typically what I do. I use the desktop ID and a lot of stuff of the command line. But the Web IDE is a really quick way to just get to Blinky on the device. And so I think we should chose this
Host 2 27:47
Hardware came with Yeah. Oh, actually has looks like a frequency sensor frequency. You
Host 1 27:53
Know, there is a it's a photoresistor. Oh,
Host 2 27:59
Yeah. Okay. So yeah, let's use this hardware. And I guess we copy the diagram that's on the, on the, on the cardboard that's on the breadboard. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. So if you want to take control the laptop and get the whatever, I guess web ID, I
Host 1 28:17
Will Yeah. So from here, we're gonna go to build particle.io, which is the way of getting into the way of getting into the Web IDE.
Host 2 28:28
So it looks like on this cardboard that you just kind of punch. Let's say this
Host 1 28:32
Word. You may need a pin. Yeah,
Host 1 28:34
It the leads did not want to go through Yeah, that's
Host 1 28:37
What I have usually done. So once you're inside build up particle that I Oh, there's actually a couple of example apps that are loaded up you can get a new device connected to in addition to the onboard RGB LED particle devices actually also include an onboard status LED D seven. So there's a the D seven pen you're welcome to do is a GPIO. But we also have a an LED wired up to that that you can use. There we go. Cool. So right now Parker is plugging in. Plugged in the photoresistor. Plugging in the LED,
Host 2 29:21
And I wonder if these resistors are the same?
Host 1 29:24
They look they are Yeah, I think they are. I can't remember.
Host 1 29:28
Yeah, they're the same. So we're getting plugged those guys
Host 1 29:31
In. So do you have do you have resistor band? Colors memorized? No. Okay. Okay.
Host 2 29:38
Even does Stephen does Steven is I don't know how he does it. I tried learning once. And I was just like, No, I actually was thinking about a good exercise for me, at least in terms of like, computer vision because I was actually part when I was in school. I did a image processing. Oh, sweet, okay. And so I was like, oh, I'll just build a app. that. Yeah, does that.
Host 1 30:01
Really? That would be awesome. Because yeah, I tried to learn to Adafruit actually has a mobile app where they like quiz you. Oh, okay. And I went, I don't know. 1520 minutes. I'm like, I'm never gonna know this.
Host 2 30:14
I just, I can't remember anything. Right. Like, yeah. The worst is like actors and movies. I don't care. Yeah. I can't remember the character's names. I'm just like, oh, yeah, that's a character.
Host 1 30:27
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. All right. So we have everything plugged in.
Host 2 30:31
Also, it's actually got blinking LED. Okay.
Host 1 30:34
So yeah, so the examples sketches if you're if you're in build up particle that IO,
Host 2 30:40
We give you a couple of like I did the most important thing we got. We got put the sticker on the laptop. Oh, I
Host 1 30:44
Love this. Yeah. So then I'm have to take a picture of that, of course.
Host 2 30:51
Oh, I got, you should take a video of it. And then do the slow motion. Oh, yeah. All right.
Host 1 30:57
Here we go. All right. All right. I got Slobo. Ready, yes. Alright, so inside, there's a couple of example apps. When you onboard a new particle device in your inside build, typically the first sort of blinking LED, there's, there's examples sketches that we can load up for you. So in this case, we have blinking LEDs, D zero, and D seven. Yeah, these are nd seven. So you already have one of those LEDs, pre populated, it's D seven, right, and then your other the other one, you plugged in 00. Yep. So from here, I'm going to say use this example. So inside the ID, I'm basically sort of cloning that example into your account. Okay. And in the lower right hand corner, you'll notice a couple of things. One is the actual name of the currently selected device. So if you have multiple particle devices, this will show up here, sort of in your left in your left hand
Host 1 32:08
Menu, and here it says, map 112,
Host 1 32:09
Or 122122. Yeah, I made that mistake in the beginning of the podcast.
Host 1 32:17
And then there's a couple of different menu items within here, but since we can, we can load this up unchanged. inside the IDE, I can click the flash button on the upper left hand side. And what it's doing at this point is it's actually compiling the firmware up in our device cloud it is and then and then signaling to flash the device.
Host 2 32:35
Wash green and now it's a magenta
Host 1 32:39
Now it's magenta which is in in safe mode which means it's receiving the new firmware download and all the even though you're connected to serial by default, this device is actually flashing over there. Okay, so you can you can flash via via serial In fact, when you're using our cellular board, most people will flash the serial because it's cheaper than Yeah, you tell us Yeah. Alright, so now it's it can take a bit especially for first time because what it's also doing as well as making sure that the firmware is up to date. If this was if we read the firmware a few times since this was actually shipped from the factory, then you're going to get newer firmware.
Host 2 33:13
Yeah, I noticed that it says our devices 5.3 and 7.0. Point Zero is the current firmware right? So it's gonna take a while.
Host 1 33:22
And it's going alright, so the status and you can see it's actually giving you an event tracking right so flash status was success. Now it's going to reboot. And I always love watching this RGB LED it's a very mesmerizing thing.
Host 2 33:40
You probably have a couple people at particle that just do that part. Absolutely.
Host 1 33:45
Oh, yeah. Yeah. It's really cool too. Is our device so as firmware alright, that's coming on now. So we're actually gonna go flat.
Host 2 33:52
Hey, and I plugged the LED in right? Yeah.
Host 1 33:56
The fun test right. Is it on is a burning Dyer pop? It's fine. Yeah, there
Host 1 34:00
You go. It's blinking. So it's playing Yeah. So
Host 1 34:02
We're getting the D seven onboard blinking as well as the the LED plugged in is into D zero. Video. So what was that? That was about? It was less than 10 minutes. Yeah, we
Host 2 34:13
Got done. So let's get this frequency thing going or the light sensor? photosensor? Yeah. Is there a default?
Host 1 34:20
Alright, so let me go for that. Yak. Yeah, into code. Yep. I think with this one. Trying to remember what let me take a look at the board real quick.
Host 2 34:39
Or we can just write some quick coda. Analog read on a file.
Host 1 34:44
Yeah. Let me scroll down here. So the example the built in of your scroll on
Host 1 34:58
So in the example code, there's a few different things that you can do. There's a blinking LED, which we just did. And then we have a few other built in as well. One is that you can actually use a few of our primitives built into the device. Oh s to toggle the LED based on a cloud connected function. Okay. So that is one thing you can do. I'm looking for the one with the photoresistor. I think it's actually inside there it is. The function variable.
Host 2 35:24
Yeah, there is in the end, the top says a photoresist. Yeah,
Host 1 35:27
Let me can I can we increase the text a bit? On the Yeah, let's see. Are there? Or not navy?
Host 1 35:46
Oh, there we good. Are there yeah, there we go. There we go. Okay. All right. So from here, yeah, so the photoresistor is at a zero, right? Yep. photosensors at a zero. And so here, what we're doing is we're actually going to set a variable particle variable, and particle function. So those primitives, the device o s, that we ship on all on all of these off, photons and electrons, provides a number of additional classes that you can use to do things like publishing variables and functions to actually doing, publish and subscribe between devices. There's also cool things on there, like you can actually control the onboard LED RGB LED yourself. I've done some stuff of that, which is kind of fun just to just to play with it. But one of the things that folks tend to use the most is because, again, like you're building a Wi Fi or cellular enabled project, typically you want to leverage the power of the internet for that. And so particle variable and particle function give you the ability to inspect the values of what your devices sensors are reading, through variables, or even to control to control actually what the device is doing, turning on LEDs, spinning motors, and actuators, things like that, using functions as well. So in the sketch that we have loaded up, right, now, there's a few things that you can do. One is that we have a particle variable for the analog value that we're reading from a zero, so I sort of know where the photo resistor is. And then the second is a function that you can use to toggle the LED on and off. So we're going to use this example. And go ahead and flash it to the device, I predict that this flash will be faster because the firmware is now up to date with version seven. So we're going back through. And then once we get this on here, we can actually go over to and I'll go ahead and preload it, we can go to console.particle.io. Maybe. So particle build is the Web IDE, the particle console is sort of the way that you can interact with your online devices.
Host 2 38:00
So we can see the map one to two, guy. Yeah, so
Host 1 38:05
You have a device list. You can do other things like you can create products, if you have a series of devices that all have the same firmware, and things like that, if you have cellular devices, you can manage the SIM cards and things like that. We have some integrations. But the big thing is actually managing individual devices. So you can check, you can click on an individual device, maybe, or copy the device ID, I click on the right place in here. And then from here, from the console itself, and I think we're good. It's back to blinking again. The console itself gives you sort of the the gives you event logs, anything that gets published, you can publish events to the device of your event is subscribing to receive devices and interact and you want to test it.
Host 2 38:45
So you can kind of like do a you can you can write your receiver part first, and test that in the browser in
Host 1 38:53
The console. Yeah, before you actually build the center part, whether it's a mobile app or another device or something along those lines. Yeah, that is very helpful. You can also you can also see where your anything that you do a particle variable or particle function shows up in the console as well. So what we're looking at now on the right,
Host 2 39:08
So you actually have functions and the variables that are in that
Host 1 39:12
Code. Yeah, so we can actually see the analog value of the photos. Right now. My finger is 66. We tap again now 168. Yep. So you can actually see those values and then we can actually call the functions as well. Let me see if there's an argument that has to be sent here. I might have to go and check the source code.
Host 1 39:32
No, no, he's not read the main
Host 1 39:34
Page. I know. I know. To toggle on the LED Oh, yeah. We have to say on or off. That's right. Okay.
Host 2 39:41
So oh, she just give it a Oh, you can just send the function a variable. Yes.
Host 1 39:46
A variable accepts a string as a variable. Okay. And then you can use that to sort of parse some sort of a hey, so he passed an LED on it turned it turned on we just called it we called it through the console we can pass in led off
Host 2 40:00
And it turns out that's crazy. Yeah, so I guess, uh, yeah. I guess so I guess we're gonna take what I learned here. Yeah. And when we come back, we're gonna have a kind of like a Iot system
Host 2 40:24
And we're back with Brendon from particle. We just created our first Kickstarter prototype for the IoT breathalyzer.
Host 1 40:35
That's right. That's right. Coming next month, right. Yeah. Next month.
Host 2 40:37
Yeah. And we'll ship it the month after absolutely right when it closes is when people will get it
Host 1 40:42
First Kickstarter hardware project. Not late, right? It's not late.
Host 2 40:45
Yeah. So we use the spec sensor, three, SP, ethanol, 1000, which is a a solid state ethanol sensor that is very low power and only pulls like 10 to 15 micro watts. It's different from the the element style sensors that you can get from like SparkFun, or add a fruit or whatever, which burn a lot of power. The cool thing about it is that they're individually calibrated and have an NIS T, like, serial number. So you can actually like backtrack when it was calibrated. Yeah. And so it's got three analog outputs. So it has V gas voltage gas, which is the proportional to how much particles it's detecting.
Host 1 41:28
Get that articles. Nice. Awesome. Yeah,
Host 2 41:31
I'll put a V reference voltage, which is usually the, it's the like zero parts per million output. Basically, it's like around half the voltage. And it's fairly stable. So you use that as your reference voltage when you're reading stuff in, and then you get a voltage that's proportional to temperature. And so that you can do a temperature coefficient offset for for the sensor. And so you take all that, mix it together in a big pot, look at the datasheet. And you have this really long formula, calculate a couple variables, and you can get a parts per million output from V gas voltage gas. So we did that. We'll post the code in our in the podcast description. So we did that. And we used a new function that called Particle publish. Yeah, yeah. And so we basically took the parts per million. And then we said, if it's within a certain range, we basically submitted a string to the server. And it was between, you know, a different range, send the string and a different string. So basically, the server is getting a bunch of strings saying, What? What parts per million it's getting, right? Yeah.
Host 1 42:47
So an article published is it actually allows you to do there's the publish on the sensor side, and then subscribe on another device. It gives you that sort of Pub Sub mechanism between devices, you can publish events, public or private, and then read them on the other end.
Host 2 43:03
Yeah. So and then what so I was setting up the sensor side. Brandon was sending up the, I guess, receiver and so what do you do so on the
Host 1 43:14
On the receiver, and we basically hooked another photon, we want onboard a second photon. We hooked it up to a relay and this, this awesome. It's like a natural light stack.
Host 2 43:28
Yeah, it's a light tower that you would see on like, industrial equipment. Yeah. So it's got a green, a yellow and a red light.
Host 1 43:34
Yeah, so we hooked it up there on three of the digital pins to represent green, yellow, and red. And then in the code on that side, I say I used a particle subscribe. So when you do a particle publish, you give your event a name. So in this case, Parker set it up as output color. And I set up a particle subscribe on the other end, so that I could read that color. And then when you do that, you basically specify a handler function to to based to marshal to write. So I set up a handler function, and then I'm reading that event. And if it's green, I'll turn on the green light. Turn off the others if it's yellow, yellow, and red, red, and we got to work in
Host 2 44:12
Yeah. And the so how the relay tower works is this is a 24 volt model. Do you give it 24 volts and then you pull the that light color down low and so I just said that the relays to be like that, and it really just clicked when I kind of blew into the sensor. Back to green. Yeah. So yeah, so since the sensor gives out parts per million, we kind of don't really have what that would be in PAC. Right? So it kind of just guessed, it's like okay, we've had two beers. So when you blow it apart should be yellow. And yeah, and then we set the boundary the red to be, I basically took a, a napkin with some rubbing alcohol and kind of waited over the sensor and then set it to that number. So like, if your breath was like that, you probably should not do it. All right, Bob might have to go. Right, right. So yeah, and I wrote the code for the sensor on an Arduino. And it was written in with, you know, and outputting it with Serial print. So basically, I just took the Serial print commands and turn those into particle publish commands. And that seems and then change kind of formatting. Because you have to send it a, a, what you want to call the variable on the server and stuff like that, right? So it's a slight formatting change there. And also, the interesting thing is the, we found that all I found was the particle ID. It didn't like floats, right? So
Host 1 45:44
When you do a particle, this, we discover this because we also actually use particle variable to publish some of the intermediate values for V gas. Correct.
Host 2 45:51
So that's why you see these variables in the in the browser, right? And
Host 1 45:56
Then the raw PCM, because we want all those available in the console. And when you publish particle variables, you can use int strings or doubles. Yep. So we need to do a bit of conversion there. Yeah. So I got it, right.
Host 2 46:07
Yeah, I actually just did like a CTRL. F, float and change it to double. And all the math still works. So that's nice. Yeah. Which is nice. So I did have to redo all the math. And yeah, so that was nice. And then another thing was the first time we put everything together, the variables were not showing up in the browser. And that ended up being from it was publishing too fast. So it's probably I'm going to guess that the particle OLS prioritizes. publishes Yeah, instead of putting the variables up on Yeah, posting
Host 1 46:43
Very valuable, because I think we have what we had is what we're effectively doing in the loop as we were averaging a new order to get a stable value for the variables. We're filtering 100 readings. Yep. And then pushing those up. That was happening in a loop and the loop was happening so often. Yep. Just doing a Publish. And yeah,
Host 2 47:01
So now we have I have it set up to where it does a publish every seconds. And now we get our variables pushed up to the the browser as well. So that's actually it wasn't that bad getting them to work? So if it was pretty easy to get the Arduino code of work on all over? Yeah, yeah.
Host 1 47:23
Yeah. Would you say it was about an hour in 10 minutes? Yeah.
Host 2 47:26
Our intention is to get this whole Kickstarter project going. That's right. So yeah, this is a next, like, unicorn.
Host 1 47:33
I think so. I mean, are we? Are we still talking Kickstarter? Wait, like Series B now, right? Yeah. Get that? Yeah.
Host 2 47:43
So yeah. So check out the podcast notes for more pictures and the code examples and stuff like that. So time for the hard hitting question, right? Yeah. What's your favorite bagel? Oh, man, is actually the most popular question from our Slack chat.
Host 1 47:58
And yeah, I you know, when I first saw that question, I thought as well it's got to be the everything bagel. But you know what, I noticed that I kind of agree with zaps. comment here. I blueberries really good. Blueberry and cream cheese are very simple bagel. It's you can't can't really beat that. Yeah, I like it.
Host 2 48:14
I actually tend to like the idea of plain bagel and toasted. Yeah. And then just peanut butter on it. Oh,
Host 1 48:20
That's. See I can I yeah, I can have my mind changed on this. Yeah, that sounds awesome.
Host 2 48:27
The poem with that. It's like 800 calories. Mm hmm.
Host 1 48:31
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. It's not an everyday kind of bagel experience. Okay,
Host 2 48:37
So on topic. Yeah. Future of IoT.
Host 1 48:42
Oh, this is great. I love this question. Because as you know, I am a I'm a listener of the podcast. And you know what I'm about to say, right? Because y'all did you did the the awesome crossover episode with the embedded FM folks recently added a comment. I think it was you Yeah, that you made the comment on IoT in general, right. Like that. IoT is kind of bullshit. Right. And I totally agree. Because I think in many ways that where we have been in the last several years is, you know, we started started to get it become cheap to put Wi Fi radios and embedded systems. So we put Wi Fi radios and everything, everything. And then everybody put everything on the internet. It was one of those like, just because we could we didn't stop to think about whether or not we showed you in a moment. Yeah. And that's been many of the early years of the IoT. And you have everybody talking about building connected coffee pots and connected refrigerators. And you name it right. I mean, there are full episodes of Silicon Valley that are dedicated to this idea. Yeah, absolutely. And I think we are finally getting to that point where the future of IoT is more about people solving real problems than just putting things online because they can because it's cheap to put a Wi Fi chip in those devices and I think we are at that point now where most of what, they're always going to be weird examples of people doing things. I mean, I started liking this to the early days of the Internet, when we all tried to get, you know, businesses got online because they felt they had to be but went to Pizza Hut, or I think they call it pizza net in the early days, if you went to pizza, that's a website, in the early days of the internet. There, there wasn't anything useful on there. You couldn't order a pizza online. Yeah, commerce didn't happen online in the early 90s. But everybody felt like they had to be there. And I think that's where now I can get something online. So sure, legit, let's just put it online. But I think the future of IoT is going to be driven by by people and by businesses that think about leveraging that connectivity in ways that make sense that actually not having that connectivity is important. Whether it is because you need to do some sort of processing, I think machine learning kind of goes hand in hand with IoT in a lot of areas because you your embedded system can't do that level of processing. And you need that intelligence somewhere else yet.
Host 1 51:01
Like, like image processing?
Host 1 51:04
Processing? Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, they open MV project is actually one of my favorites. So the guys are doing the open MV cam. Now. They're at a point now with those new with the ARM Cortex M seven chips where they can actually put like TensorFlow, like on, on on devices, which is kind of ridiculous. But even still, like there is a class of, of problems where you need that level of compute power to help process information and then help you make a decision. And and I think that's useful. I think that is really where the future of IoT is, is that we move past sort of this internet of shit era. Everybody's favorite Twitter. Yeah. And into this, this era, where we are actually getting more sensible problems being solved. Like our IoT breathalyze, like our IoT breathalyzer, this is important. Yeah, very important bits of practical applications.
Host 2 51:53
I think I would definitely agree with you. It's going to be it's, you know, your refrigerator doesn't need to be absolutely, yeah, but having devices, like, thermostats, stuff like that, that is more data driven. Yeah. With like, when you get home, or, or not even just it learning, but like, oh, you pulled up in the driveway. Turn on your air conditioner? Absolutely. Yeah. It's stuff like that is a lot more useful for the normal person. Absolutely. Yeah.
Host 1 52:29
And I think not only that, but the future of IoT. Also, I think we're gonna move past this era where every single connected devices connected to the open internet, I mean, the thing that if you look at the realm of home automation, which I think is an area where many of us dabble in, just because it's something we're all used to. It is, it's crazy to think that most of these sort of smart devices in our houses are all connected to the internet, and don't know anything about each other. And I've had this conversation, as I explained this to my, to my parents or relatives that come and visit, you do the fun trick, or you're like, hey, Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree. We did this over Christmas, I was showing my dad this, my Hey, Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree. And it's just a little WeMo plug that's plugged into the back of the tree. And he's like, that's amazing. And then I stopped and said, Do you realize that in order for that all to take place that this Amazon Echo device goes to the open internet, it has a voice translation service, that our speech and text service, it figures out what I want to do, it figures out my intent, and then it goes and calls WeMos service, and then we mo reaches back down into my house like there is no like across the
Host 2 53:33
Room the best. The best thing about that is the intent. It's like instead of like turning on your Christmas tree, it starts thermonuclear war.
Host 1 53:42
But I mean, that's the world. Yeah, these things that seem like oh, it's simple. I'm just talking to devices across the room. It's not No, but I think that's where we need to get in the future is that devices can more intelligently communicate with one another?
Host 2 53:53
Yeah. And yeah, it's one of those. If you single light switch in your house, it is like everything that has electricity in your house. Had to talk back to the internet. Right in my house, like you need multiple just modems, and routers to handle all those connections. Absolutely.
Host 1 54:12
Yeah. It's kind of ridiculous. Yeah. But that's where we are today. Hopefully not in the future. Yeah.
Host 1 54:18
And why in the future, will we not be?
Host 1 54:21
Because I think that I think that providers are getting smarter about, we're getting back to the peer to peer world, which I love. Because I think we are fundamentally what we're in today. And we're in an era of cloud computing. As great as it is we are, the world is a very client server distributed world, right? Every IoT device that's connected via Wi Fi module, is a client server computing device. And I think, to have devices talking to each other, we need to get back to that place where we can live in a peer to peer world. I think mesh networking is a big part of that now No, I am. particle has an opinion about that, obviously. But there are a lot of semiconductor manufacturers that are, are moving into this space. And the inspiration for many of these came from from thread in the, in the stuff that the nest folks have been doing because when nest implemented their, their smoke detectors. The idea then was you had you would have a series of smoke detectors in your house. And they weren't, they didn't all necessarily need to be connected the open internet, they needed to speak to one another, primarily because when one smoke detector goes off in one room, you want to signal all of them in the entire house. And so they created sort of a protocol for that communication thread that then they publish is open thread. And there's a working group for that.
Host 2 55:43
I can I can just imagine like the smoke detector that's in your computer room above your modem. The modem catches on fire and sets off that one smoke detector. And it can't talk to the other ones. Because the Wi Fi
Host 1 55:56
The cloud. Yeah. That is the beginning of an episode of Silicon Valley. Obviously got it somewhere. Yeah. So yeah, that was to try to solve that problem practically. And so particle and others as well. But particle believes really strongly that that is sort of the next era of allowing devices to communicate together so that you can start doing low power, personal wireless networking and get into this place where instead of having a series of single devices that we're all talking on the internet, you can create intelligent networks, and self healing networks that can have a gateway that's connected to the internet, but that the rest of your devices are are local, connected, they're connected to other devices, and they can function as repeaters or endpoints and read from sensors and control actuators. But that the entire network itself had one destination to the internet, instead of every single one of them speaking, speak to the opening. So what
Host 2 56:51
Um, frequency do these, you know, local area wireless networks run on.
Host 1 56:57
So a lot of these now speak specifically about about Particle Mesh, which we can share some info about that we announced these in February are sort of third generation of hardware. And it's shipping in September. So we're still taking pre orders for those right now. And there's three different devices. There's the argon, which is the Wi Fi device, the boron, the cellular. And then the third there, I think is the one I'm most excited about the xenon and the Xenon is sort of the mesh only device that's sort of your local network powerhouse. And all three of these will have a Nordic NRF 52 840. Okay, SOC arm, which is which is really cool. It actually implements 802 15, four, okay, for local communication, they will all use about 2.4 gigahertz for for communication. And then the actually the argon what's really cool is the argon is actually also going to have an ESP 32 coprocessor. For Wi Fi. Interesting on there as well. Yeah. But the point is in all three of those devices is your, your organs, your Gorons, your Wi Fi and cellular devices will function as your as gateway gateway, they can also be endpoints and repeaters, but they are your connection to the open Internet. And then the Xenon has become become a device that can serve a couple of different roles. One is they can be connected to your your ethanol sensors and your light snacks and been in read sensors, control actuators or whatnot. But then they can also pass messages to the gateways. If you have a an endpoint that's too far from the gateway to reach it. So the practical limit will be about 20 to 30 meters, so about 100 100 feet, that they can find another Xenon another mesh endpoint to function as a repeater. So to pass the message on down the line. And if there if one of these Ian's goes offline for some reason, they can find a different path to the network. So you can create some redundancy and resiliency in the network that way, as well. Cool.
Host 1 58:55
Yeah. And then, so what about Bluetooth five?
Host 1 58:59
So these devices actually are they are implementing Bluetooth five. Okay. Yeah. So that's what
Host 2 59:06
It was. So what's the difference between four and five, then?
Host 1 59:09
The blue the difference between four and five? He threw me a curveball. It's not just a number difference. No, it's not. It's not just a number difference. I mean, I think that the this is not me quizzing
Host 1 59:18
You, cuz I have no idea.
Host 1 59:19
I know. I know. I know. I know,
Host 2 59:21
The big thing when they went to four was it was lower energy, stuff like that. Yeah.
Host 1 59:26
Yeah. So I mean, the big difference between Bluetooth four and five, at least as far as I understand it, is that it is still low energy, which is great. But it is designed to enable that sort of low power mesh network. Okay, so it implements the 802 15 for Bluetooth five, at least in the Nordic semiconductor chips that we're using implements 802 15 Four. Okay, so that's what allows it allows those devices to very quickly and with small messages, do heartbeat checks with one another to determine the messages get sent or or whether they get dropped? What have you because a lot of the software around this and what we're building right now is designed around setting up those networks. So if you onboard a gateway, your next step is okay, now I have a series of endpoints or repeaters that I have to set up. What's the process for doing that? Letting the gateway know I'm a new xenon. I'm here, here's where I am located. And then here's another one. And then you start sending messages between them. So Bluetooth, the BLE five, Bluetooth five allows us to both quickly onboard those devices, but also allow mobile onboarding as so what we did earlier of using soft AP to get the devices online with the photon with these devices, you'll actually use Bluetooth to onboard.
Host 2 1:00:40
Okay, so you can use your, your phone or computer Yeah, directly. Yeah, absolutely. Cool. So you were talking about? So a cellular connection? And that's on the boron?
Host 1 1:00:53
Yeah. On the new devices that's on the board. And is that gonna be 4g? Or LTE? So it is it is LTE cat and one. Okay. Yeah.
Host 2 1:01:01
So it's actually gonna be mostly future proof. Yep. Absolutely. Yeah. Cuz that's the big thing. When you look at these maker devices that are from, you can buy online stuff, a lot of them are two G. Very, very rarely, you can get 3g ones, right. And so it's like, well, if you get a 2g one, this I was going through when I was designing a cell in the process of designing a, a, kind of like a computer for my jeep. And I want to have connectivity. And I'm like, okay, cellular connectivity is pretty good. And it's not that very expensive to do. But if I went with most of these modules, you get into G, and who knows when that will be phased out? Right? TTS kind of hanging on to it, but I'm probably gonna get rid of it eventually. Absolutely. And so I've been looking for a 4g module. And, yeah, and,
Host 1 1:01:49
And you had so with the boron with our current generation of devices, the the electron, so we have 2g, 3g, and also LTE support coming next month, and those are the boron sort of, yeah, I mean, the preferred approach is LTE cat one, although we do have 2g 3g versions of the boron, if you have an existing setup that relies on that, as well. But I think for everybody moving forward, Lt. Lt. Yeah, you're recommending
Host 2 1:02:14
I guess we'll just go on to the next question then. Okay. Is why you mentioned ESP 32. That's a coprocessor. On the boron, boron. On the argon. Argon, on a Wi Fi device. Yes. So why would so let's say this is backing up to just pure Wi Fi devices. Okay. Is why would someone use a particle? Like the photon that we have here? Absolutely. Over an ESP 3232? Yeah, yeah. That's a great question. Because they both do. Let's just forget about the fact that, let's actually compare it to that was the ESP 8266. Yeah, cuz they both have Wi Fi devices. And they both have pins. And absolutely,
Host 1 1:02:53
Yeah. Yeah. So I think there's a couple of reasons. And I've gotten this question a lot. It's something that I know a lot of people ask themselves. And I think probably the biggest thing is, if you're looking for something beyond just the hardware itself, this particle is not just those is not just those Wi Fi devices. It is also sort of the tools and services and the ability to do over the air updates and the ability to do communication between devices via via publish, and subscribe and managing devices through the console. And I think if you're, if you're in a place where your need is to quickly get device information from device sensors online, or to expose functions for devices, to the cloud, and then to build apps that control those, whether it's a mobile app or web app, and then also to manage your devices via the console, I think that is where, you know, particle is about building something beyond just the hardware itself. And I think I think that's that's one of the big difference, the big benefit. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But even still, like I mean, honestly, like as a, you know, personally, I use, I use ESP 32 devices as well. I think they're absolutely it's a fantastic ecosystem. I think expressive has done some really awesome stuff. And I think that there are definitely cases where you could use either or both in projects where you may want to use both
Host 2 1:04:13
For sure. So yeah, so Brendan, where can people find out more about you?
Host 1 1:04:18
So I am on on Twitter as Brandon satrom You can also find me on on Facebook at facebook.com/tweeted it yet if I have not delete? Yeah, the reason I still have a Facebook account is so that might when my wife posts pictures of our kids, I get tagged and I can see photos that I wasn't present for
Host 2 1:04:41
Yeah, right. So I I have my Twitter account, auto publish to Facebook, Facebook and so so that my parents know I'm still alive. Oh, there you
Host 1 1:04:51
Really do that too, because yeah, much more much more active on Twitter. I am also I do as I'm doing more and more stuff with particle I do post a lot of the detailed stuff that I do on on Hackster so hackster.io If you search for Brandon satrom You can find me I did some stuff with actually created a particle, Alexis skill. So you can actually talk through your echoes to your online devices and things like that. So that's one I do some stuff on the on the particle blog article, or blog particle.io. I have a medium blog as well, which we should link because it's a sort of random integer at the end of my username. And then for carrot pants, care pants studios that's actually carried pen studios.com which is where we do all of the children's publishing stuff. And if you're interested, we are launching the next Kickstarter campaign next month. So check out that site. Yeah,
Host 2 1:05:47
I will definitely tweak that and to talk about that when it comes out. Awesome. Also, you want to sign us out Brennan?
Host 1 1:05:53
Host 2 1:05:55
Do you have anything else to add?
Host 1 1:05:56
No, this has been awesome. It's been a lot of fun. So I appreciate it. That was the macro fab engineering podcast, I was your guest brain etc.
Host 2 1:06:03
And I was your host, Parker Dolan. See you next time guys. Awesome.
Host 2 1:06:16
No, we record every single time. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Yes, you are a listener for downloading our show. If you have a cool idea, project or IoT topic that you want Steven and I to discuss or have another question for Brandon, tweet us at macro fab or email us at podcast at macro fab.com. Also check out our Slack channel Brandon's also in that as well so you can give him all your questions for particle if you're not subscribed to the podcast yet click that subscribe button. That way you get the latest episode right when it releases and please review us wherever you listen as it helps us show stay visible and helps new listeners find us and if you stick around to the end of this podcast particle is giving macro engineering podcast listeners a discount us the URL store.particle.io/discount/macro Fab fam to get 15% off anything in the particle store. Also use the code particle fam shipping to get free shipping and use particle fam starter to get a free starter kit when you order mesh particle boards. You can also get those discount codes in the podcast notes below.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai