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I want to place a Pi 3 somewhere in my house and battery powered sensors. The Pi will read the inputs from e.g. the same level, one level above and the garden. So 1-2 regular brick walls in between and a range between 0-50m.

I looked into different technologies from Z-Wave, Digimesh, XBee, ZBee, Sigfox etc. but in the end I landed on the more common technologies. Because on most of the above technologies you need different players e.g. in ZigBee you have three different types e.g. routers. Also the above technologies require either a very costly commercial licensing or the components are > 7$.

So right now I'm between BLE and Wi-Fi. A college of mine recommended me to use Contiki, an open source OS which makes it easy to setup a communication with sensors.

Questions

  1. He explained to me that there are three layers: physical, protocol and routing. So 6LoWPAN is one of the routing options.

    Can I make a mesh with Contiki and the ESP8266? Otherwise, I would go for the CC2650. I have seen there are mesh solutions with the ESP8266.

  2. Both technologies seem pretty similar to me. Both have ranges ~200m (which are probably more 30m through walls). And are widely used. Where are the differences for my use case?

  • 3
    Please ask your two questions as independent questions. Also, LoWPAN is a WAN (see The Things Network as an example), although it does use a routing architecture too. If you look here, most of your WiFi/BT question may have been covered, so just ask about the gaps. – Sean Houlihane Sep 10 '17 at 8:20
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Disclamer, not going to answer your question directly, but instead I'm going to give to you my experience with home automation

If you want to create a mesh with raspberry pi there some options out there.

You can check openHAB, a software that runs on raspberry pi and can monitor other devices using MQTT protocol. I've no experience with this environment, but there is a lot of info out there.

My personal favorite is Blynk (not the first time I do recommend it here). It's a server + Android App that can be installed and hosted on a Rpi and the control layer (user interface) it's on Android/iOS. Since you (or others) develop the UI, you can customize the UI and how it interfaces with the real world. ie: If you have n nodes with the same sensors and same software, you can use a device selector to change from node to node without needing to create several screens. Really really easy to use and really powerful.

At my place, I've three nodes running. ! uses a photon core to show Temperature and humidity + led strip control, and two of them uses nodemcu boards to show just temperature and humidity. All of them have been running for about 1 year now, and I've faced any server downside yet (I'm using blynk server). but, if you use your own server (could be your own raspberry pi) you will have total control over it.

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