Gateway question

  • I'm totally new to mySensors and is trying to understand how it works and what I need to get started.
    Are all kind of gateways dependent on the NRF24L01? There is no way to make a gateway without this?
    Or is it possible to have a arduino and ESP8266 connected acting as a sensor and then a Raspberry Pi3 as controller/gateway, since the Pi3 has builtin wifi?

    If I understand things right I must use a NRF24L01, but asking if I got it all wrong?

  • Hero Member

    @raptorjr The basic setup looks like this

    Controller <--------------------->Gateway<--------------------->Sensor Nodes

    The controller is a Hardware/Software device that allows you to interact with your MySensor nodes. For example if you had a set of outdoor lights controlled by a MySensors Node and you wanted to turn them on at sunset you would use the controller to set that up. A list of compatible controllers is here

    The Gateway is the bridge between your sensor nodes and the controller. So the gateway needs a NRF24L01+ to communicate with the sensors and also needs a way to attach to the controller. This can be via USB, Ehternet or WiFI depending on what your controller supports and which gateway you build. You can see the Gateways here

    Once you have the controller and Gateway in place that is when the fun starts! Your Nodes all need a NRF24L01+ so they can communicate with the gateway, they can also talk to each other. Some Nodes can also be set as repeaters, this makes it possible to spread the network out beyond the range of the original gateway.

  • Admin


    We do support radioless gateways, with sensors connected directly. But it's not nearly as fun πŸ™‚

    We basically have 3 sensor "networks" that we support:

    1. Nrf24l01+, 2g4 radio link
    2. Rfm69, 433, 868 or 915 MHz radio link
    3. Rs485 wired multidrop link

    (please note that we do not support mixing two different network types on a single gateway)

  • Mod

    As @tbowmo said, you can connect sensors directly to the gateway (esp8266 in your case). No need for nrf radio.

    More information:

  • @tbowmo
    I want and will be part of the fun πŸ˜ƒ But before I found MySensors, and the existence of controllers I ordered a bunch of things thinking I had to do everything by myself. Therefore I don't have any RF modules. And since it takes a week or two to order and get the cheep ones I would like to get something going while waiting.

    And in my first order I got some temp sensors and other things I could control, a arduino and two esp8266. I also ordered a RaspPi3.

    So my intention now is to make a node with my arduino/esp8266 and some sensors attached, and get it to talk with my Domoticz controller on the Pi3. Just wanted to make sure that it was possible to go all Wifi.

    But I do see the fun with RF and will be doing that in a few weeks. But I have been waiting all summer for the vacation to end so I could start to experiment and can't wait two more weeks πŸ˜ƒ

    Thank you for your help.

  • So I realize that I need to do some more shopping. But to avoid to end up short of things again I thought I'd ask what to buy.

    I need NRF for gateway. Is there any benefit of buying one with an antenna for better reception? Or should I just buy a pack of 10 ordinary and that would be enough for the gateway too?

    What kind of Arduinos to use for their nodes? Arduino Pro Mini? Or is Sensebender a better solution? I'm just looking for a decent starting ground to be able to create a few nodes. Don't really have any plans for more nodes right now, just for future ideas.

    Anything else that is good to have?

  • @mfalkvidd

    So I am really trying to understand how this works, and unfortunately the links don't help that much. Feeling really stupid.

    Either it is possible but no one has done it or I don't understand how it has been done. But after reading everything I can find I still don't understand how it works.

    All the examples about gateways include a NRF module, with exception of having the gateway directly on a ESP8266. But then you get very limited with I/O ports.

    I would like to have a Arduino as a gateway, and instead of using NRF for communication it should use a ESP8266. No sketch or anything on the ESP, only used for communication. All sensors and things should be connected to the Arduino.

    What am I missing?

  • Mod

    @raptorjr I don't know if anyone has done it before but it might be possible to use rs485 between the esp and the Arduino. See the example at

    Or ditch the esp and connect the arduino to a computer directly

  • This will be far more complicated than I have knowledge for right now.

    I just think it is kind of strange that the combination of a Wifi enabled controller and Wifi enabled node is not supported. For me as a beginner it is just another media for communication.

  • Mod

    @raptorjr wifi-enabled nodes are supported, in the ways described earlier.

    If you want to connect an Arduino to a gateway by wire, that is also supported by using rs485 serial communication.

    Is there another wired protocol between nodes and gateway that you would like to use instead of serial communication?

  • @mfalkvidd
    Since I have ordered a bunch of NRF cards this will not be a problem in a few weeks. Just trying to understand and learn things while waiting.

    I would like to make a node that consist of a arduino nano with sensors attached, and a ESP connected to the arduino for communication. I would then like to add that node to Domoticz running on a Pi3 with Wifi.

  • Mod

    @raptorjr that should be possibe by using rs485 serial communication between the esp and the Arduino. Rs485 supports up to 32 connected Arduinos from what I have understood (I have not had any use for rs485 though so I have not tried it)

  • @mfalkvidd
    Maybe I'm starting to understand now πŸ˜ƒ The RS485 gateway sketch on the Arduino, and then I need a sketch on the ESP that transfer the serial commands from the Arduino through Wifi?

  • Mod

    Not quite.

    The device that converts between one protocol (rs485, nrf, rfm) and another protocol (serial, wifi, wired ethernet) is called a gateway in MySensors vocabulary.

    So the esp would be a gateway. The esp talks wifi to the controller and rs485 to the Arduinos.

  • Mod

    The naming in the MySensors examples can be a bit confusing though.

    GatewaySerialRS485 uses rs485 to talk to sensors and (rs232) serial to talk to the controller
    GatewayESP8266 Uses nrf or rfm to talk to sensors and wireless ethernet to talk to the controller
    GatewayW5100 Uses nrf or rfm to talk to sensors and wired ethernet to talk to the controller

  • Mod

    @mfalkvidd said:

    GatewayESP8266 Uses nrf or rfm

    Side note: I'm not sure about the combination rfm & esp, as I've never seen a working setup...

  • @mfalkvidd
    So there isn't really any combination that would work for me?

    I would need a ESP8266Gateway that would talk RS485 to my Arduino with all the sensors?

  • Mod

    @raptorjr no here is no example. It might be really easy to make one though. There is very little difference between the sketches. This might be all that's needed to create a rs485 to wifi:

    Enable RS485 transport layer
    #define MY_RS485
    // Define this to enables DE-pin management on defined pin 
    #define MY_RS485_DE_PIN 2
    // Set RS485 baud rate to use
    #define MY_RS485_BAUD_RATE 9600
    #define MY_GATEWAY_ESP8266
    #define MY_ESP8266_SSID "MySSID"
    #define MY_ESP8266_PASSWORD "MyVerySecretPassword"

  • Mod

    You might want to join forces with @hausinger who wanted to build the same thing just a few days ago at the end of this thread: explains the main difference between rs232 and rs485

  • Thank you, I could look at it, but I think it is way beyond my knowledge level.

  • Hardware Contributor

    for side note, I just would like to confirm that esp8266(nodemcu in my case) mqtt client gw works ok with rfm69 πŸ˜‰ with a nice rgb led using indication api πŸ™‚ but I use serial gw as regular.

    I'm not using rs485 sorry 😞 unfortunately there are some work I think to make what you want working (and that would need software serial stuff, not the greatest thing imho but that's useful sometimes..)
    A bit too bad that you need to use wifi with rs485..but I guess you have your reason πŸ˜‰ I just mean with rs485 you can have long wire so you could reach a simple rs485 gw connected to controller, but maybe you can't reach your controller with wire?

  • Well, it is not so much about having to use a wire although I think that when possible things should be wireless. It is more about that I don't have a NRF card but only a ESP card and I would like to get something working since it takes a few weeks to get the NRF cards.

    Arduino+NRF can be used as a node, Arduino+ESP can't. Wasn't even thinking that no one had done that before and that there wasn't any support for it. The only difference in my mind is that the ESP have to be configured to connect to a wireless network first. After that there shouldn't have to be any difference with the communication. But maybe the example above could work?

    But as I said, I have no experience about this and just got my first Arduino a few days ago, so I have no clue about these things.

  • Mod

    @scalz said:

    I just would like to confirm that esp8266(nodemcu in my case) mqtt client gw works ok with rfm69

    πŸ‘ Thanks for the confirmation!

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