Simple setup for networking, etc

For many of our use cases it will be important that it is easy for non-technical people to set things up. Having some kind of configuration wizard can help speed up the setup process even for the most skilled of us.

I think the ideal solution would allow for multiple configuration UI options. e.g. Command line/config file, local web UI, and centralized management. For example, any device with wifi can create a network and publish a configuration UI. See for one implementation of this.

The same basic approach can be done over Bluetooth as well

After networking is set up, then there could be options for sensor configuration, etc. or maybe that could all be handled in the cloud via a device management platform like or FarmOS

I think the next step is to test out some of these options and document any missing requirements. This may not be in the critical path but I think it could really help streamline our other work.

I wanted to follow up after that call about Particle also. These are the new versions of the particle board.

These are super compelling because of price, ease of use, low power, and sheer number of options (BLE + lora for low power drive by gateway style, cell for low power but out in the field continuous upload, and wifi for standard wired mesh applications). The key is mesh isn’t easy, and if they truly have the firmware to manage it effectively, that’s massive time savings (in short and long term software maintenance)

To the open question… they are partially open source - sounds like their cloud services are not open source. That’s not a big deal, as the cloud isn’t really the focus here and wouldn’t be used by farmOS. The hardware and firmware however would be.

Definitly seems like we should sign up to buy some and test them out. @dornawcox Do you want to do that?

I am interested to learn more…

They are using standard arduino for firmware - so no changes there. The hardware and firmware are certainly not closed, or there would be way more negative feedback on the forums. It sounded like they provide easy access to standard settings within the devices via their fancy web-based interface, but those are entirely optional (you can always either do it yourself via code, or just upload new firmware).

The mesh network is also a bit confusing. They reference it both in connection with Lora and Wifi (which both can have legit mesh connections)… so perhaps they have routines for both?

I’ve preordered a few of each already, so we shall see, but perhaps we could talk to someone there or post some questions to the forum?

@gbathree have you used the Electron or the Photon? I wonder if they would worth experimenting with until the new ones are available.

Honestly no, I’m just going by what it says on the box :slight_smile: But you certainly could buy one of the current versions now and try it out.

Looking at it says the mesh range is “roughly
comparable to bluetooth (tens of meters)”. I am not seeing anything about LoRa. Do you have more info or a link?

One of the challenges to getting a Raspberry Pi set up is the networking. Often you don’t have an Ethernet cable to plug in to and you don’t want to set up a whole keyboard/mouse/monitor just to configure wifi. While there are ways to do this by editing files on the sd card I using a wifi access point config is the best default setup for most people.


@chrowe this is super late, but your right about LoRa and Particle, I’m not sure how I misinterpreted that. Just BLE and Wifi and cell… There are some folks using LoRa with Particle but it’s not built in. Bummer.