Use of Tx Rx pins with Gateway shield and Particle Electron


#1

Dear everyone,

My idea project is composed by two devices:

Device 1 containing: Particle electron, connected to the gateway shield. Device 1 has to be powered by the wall outlet. GOAL of device 1: receive by bluetooth and send to cloud data collected by Device 2.

Device 2 containing: Bluz DK, connected to sensors and powered by batteries. GOAL of device 2: collect data and send them via bluetooth to the particle electron, to be published online.

Device 1 also includes a nice touch screen display from 4DSystems, used as user interface. The communication between the screen and the Particle Electron uses the electrons 's pin Tx and Rx.

My question is: using the Particle Electron ON the Gateway Shield, can I still use Tx and Rx pins to control my touch screen display? if not, what would you suggest as a solution?

Thank you very much!

Andrea


#2

Unfortunately, the regular TX/RX pins of the Electron are used when it is plugged into the gateway shield.

There are a few options you could explore:

  1. Use a different protocol for the screen, if supported, such as I2C
  2. Look up a good Soft Serial library and attempt to use that
  3. Use a third device to control the touchscreen and send commands to the other two devices

There is a Serial2 defined by Particle, so that could be an option. It looks like is based on pads on the bottom of the board, so soldering may be required. You can read more here: https://docs.particle.io/reference/firmware/photon/#serial


#3

Luckily it looks like the Particle electron has also a Serial 4 and Serial 5. I will try those:
https://docs.particle.io/reference/firmware/electron/#serial

Moreover I am thinking about stacking the Gateway Shield on top of this Shield:https://shop.controleverything.com/collections/adapters/products/particle-electron-i2c-shield-with-screw-terminals-and-2amp-power-supply

Do you think would it work?

Thank you!


#4

The gateway shield does not come with stackable headers, and I don’t think this board does either. So you physically wouldn’t be able to stack it. You could create the connections, however, through something like jumper wires.

If you were really interested in stacking, we could potentially create a custom gateway shield with stackable headers. If you would like to explore that option, please direct message me.