as 5 gateways.
Hello everybody, sorry to step in and to resume an hold thread, but I was reading it and I'm not sure if the initial question was answered, so I will try to rephrase that adding my contribution.
Rf nodes communicate between them using a mesh network and using the best route between them to send messages. Now, I suppose the question was: can I create a node using Wifi transport and not RF ? Of course using ESP8266 and not Arduino+RF.
Ok, it's clear the ESP can be used as a gateway, and it's also clear we can add sensors to that gateway. But I imagine this is not the solution. Gateways rely on the Access Point they connect to (SSID and PW). If the AP is momentary not available, sensors will go offline. And Wifi connection to AP usually drops, so that's not a rulable solutions to implement nodes.
I'm evaluating a similar solution: creating a mess network of sensors using ESP8266. I've looked around the web, and found that a few works are going on on mesh network using the ESP, but none are a definite solution. Expressif has published a a Mesh SDK, (https://espressif.com/sites/default/files/documentation/30a-esp8266_mesh_user_guide_en.pdf), but it doesn't seem to address completely the problem, or by the way could not find sample installations. Another library (https://github.com/Coopdis/easyMesh) has been developed, but development seems now stopped, and the main problem is that each ESP in the mesh publish his different SSID, while a single SSID for all the mesh would be desirable.
All that said, I would like to understand if you're going to investigate using the ESP8266 as a node (not a gateway). That would probably require using a low-level network communication between ESP, but I'm not a network expert, so can't really say.
It would be really interesting. It would allow to create a complete mesh network of sensors/actuators using only ESP
Thanks for attention.