User Manual


Users Manual

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2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

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      Functional description


      The Xenon is a low cost mesh-enabled development board that can act as either an
      endpoint or repeater within a Particle Mesh network.

      The Xenon is mesh only and designed to function as the endpoint of your IoT network. It is
      based on the Nordic nRF52840 and has built-in battery charging circuitry so it’s easy to                                           1/22

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      connect a Li-Po and deploy your local network in minutes.

      The Xenon is best for connecting sensors, motors, pumps, valves, and points of data-
      interest. Pair it with an Argon or Boron gateway to get all that great data into the Device


              Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC
                     ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz
                     1MB flash, 256KB RAM
                     IEEE 802.15.4-2006: 250 Kbps
                     Bluetooth 5: 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 Kbps, 125 Kbps
                     Supports DSP instructions, HW accelerated Floating Point Unit (FPU) calculations
                     ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
                     Up to +8 dBm TX power (down to -20 dBm in 4 dB steps)
                     NFC-A tag
              On-board additional 4MB SPI flash
              20 mixed signal GPIO (6 x Analog, 8 x PWM), UART, I2C, SPI
              Micro USB 2.0 full speed (12 Mbps)
              Integrated Li-Po charging and battery connector
              JTAG (SWD) Connector
              RGB status LED
              Reset and Mode buttons
              On-board PCB antenna
              u.FL connector for external antenna
              Meets the Adafruit Feather specification in dimensions and pinout
              FCC, CE and IC certified
              RoHS compliant (lead-free)


      Block diagram                                               2/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet


      USB PORT

      The USB port is the easiest way to power up the Xenon. Please make sure that the USB
      port is able to provided at least 500mA. Power from the USB is regulated down to 3.3V by
      the on board Torex XC9258A step-down regulator.

      VUSB PIN

      The pin is internally connected to the VBUS of the USB port. The typical output should be
      around 4.5 to 5 VDC when the device is plugged into the USB port and 0 when not
      connected to a USB source. You can use this pin to power peripherals that operate at such
      voltages. Do not exceed the current rating of the USB port, which is nominally rated to
      500mA. This pin is also protected with an internal fuse rated at 1000mA.

      LiPo                                           3/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      If you want to make your projects truly wireless, you can power the device with a single
      cell LiPo/Lithium Ion (3.7V). The Xenon has an on board LiPo charger that will charge and
      power the device when USB source is plugged in, or power the device from the LiPo alone
      in the absence of the USB.

             NOTE: Please pay attention to the polarity of the LiPo connector. Not all LiPo
             batteries follow the same polarity convention!

      Li+ PIN

      This pin is internally connected to the positive terminal of the LiPo connector. You can
      connect a single cell LiPo/Lithium Ion or a DC supply source to this pin for powering the
      Xenon. Remember that the input voltage range on this pin is 3.6 to 4.2 VDC.

      3V3 PIN

      This pin is the output of the on board 3.3V step-down switching regulator (Torex
      XC9258A). The regulator is rated at 1000mA max. When using this pin to power other
      devices or peripherals remember to budget in the current requirement of the Xenon first.
      This pin can also be used to power the Xenon in absence of the USB or LiPo power. When                                           4/22

2018/11/15                                                          Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      powering over this pin, please connect the ENABLE pin to GND so that the on board
      regulator is disabled.


      There are two options for the Mesh antenna on the Xenon. It comes with an on-board PCB
      antenna which is selected by default in the device OS and a u.FL connector if you wish to
      connect an external antenna. If you wish to use the external antenna, you'll need to issue
      an appropriate command in the firmware.

      FCC approved antenna

      The following antenna is optional, as the Xenon comes with an on-board PCB antenna.

                       Particle Device Frequency                  Antenna Type Manufacturer MFG. Part # Gain

                       Xenon              2400-2500 MHz PCB Antenna               Particle         ANT-FLXV2   2.0dBi peak

      Peripherals and GPIO

                                                  Peripheral Type Qty Input(I) / Output(O)

                                                        Digital          20             I/O

                                                   Analog (ADC)           6              I

                                                        UART              1             I/O

                                                            SPI           1             I/O

                                                            I2C           2             I/O

                                                            USB           1             I/O

                                                        PWM               8              O

      Note: All GPIOs are only rated at 3.3VDC max.


      The Xenon has a dedicated 10 pin debug connector that exposes the SWD interface of
      the nRF5280. This interface can be used to debug your code or reprogram your Xenon                                                                    5/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      bootloader, device OS, or the user firmware using any standard SWD tools including our
      Mesh Debugger.

      Memory map

      nRF52840 Flash Layout Overview

              Bootloader (48KB, @0xF4000)
              User Application (128KB, @0xD4000)
              System (656KB, @0x30000)
              SoftDevice (192KB)

      External SPI Flash Layout Overview (DFU offset: 0x80000000)

              OTA (1500KB, @0x00289000)
              Reserved (420KB, @0x00220000)
              FAC (128KB, @0x00200000)
              LittleFS (2M, @0x00000000)

      Pins and button definitions                                           6/22


    6 000600600 060
                      MODE BUTTON
                      RESET BUTTON
                      RGB STATUS LED
                      CHARGE STATUS LED
                      USER LED (ON D7)
                      LiPo BATT CONNECTOR
                      DEBUG CONNECTOR (SWD)
                      ON—BOARD PCB ANTENNA FOR MESH
                      u.FL CONNECTOR FOR EXTERNAL MESH
                      ANTENNA (OPTIONAL)

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      Pinout diagram                                           8/22

2018/11/15                                                    Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      You can download a high resolution PDF version of the pin out here.

      Pin description

               Pin            Description

               Li+            This pin is internally connected to the positive terminal of the LiPo battery connector.

               VUSB           This pin is internally connected to the USB (+ve) supply.

               3V3            This pin is the output of the on-board 3.3V regulator.

               GND            System ground pin.

               EN             Device enable pin is internally pulled-up. To disable the device, connect this pin to GND.

               RST            Active-low system reset input. This pin is internally pulled-up.

               MD             This pin is internally connected to the MODE button. The MODE function is active-low.

               RX             Primarily used as UART RX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

               TX             Primarily used as UART TX, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

               SDA            Primarily used as data pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

               SCL            Primarily used as clock pin for I2C, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.

               MO,MI,SCK These are the SPI interface pins, but can also be used as a digital GPIO.                                                                  9/22

2018/11/15                                                        Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

               Pin            Description

               D2-D8          These are generic GPIO pins. D2-D8 are PWM-able.

               A0-A5          These are analog input pins that can also act as standard digital GPIO. A0-A5 are PWM-able.

      LED status

      System RGB LED

      For a detailed explanation of different color codes of the RGB system LED, please take a
      look here.

      Charge status LED

                                                            State Description

                                                            ON     Charging in progress

                                                            OFF    Charging complete

      Technical specifications

      Absolute maximum ratings

                            Parameter                                            Symbol         Min Typ   Max    Unit

                            Supply Input Voltage                                 VIN-MAX                  +6.2    V

                            Battery Input Voltage                                VLiPo                    +6.5    V

                            Supply Output Current                                I3V3-MAX-L               1000   mA

                            Storage Temperature                                  Tstg           -30       +75    °C

                            ESD Susceptibility HBM (Human Body Mode) VESD                                  2     kV

         Stresses beyond those listed under absolute maximum ratings may cause permanent
      damage to the device. These are stress ratings only, and functional operation of the device
      at these or any other conditions beyond those indicated under recommended operating                                                                   10/22

2018/11/15                                                      Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      conditions is not implied. Exposure to absolute-maximum-rated conditions for extended
      periods may affect device reliability.

      Recommended operating conditions

                          Parameter                                                Symbol      Min      Typ    Max Unit

                          LiPo Battery Voltage                                     VLiPo      +3.3             +4.4   V

                          Supply Input Voltage                                     V3V3       +3.0 +3.3 +3.6          V

                          Supply Output Voltage                                    V3V3                 +3.3          V

                          Operating Current (uC on, Radio ON)                      ILi+ avg              6     20     mA

                          Operating Current (uC on, Radio OFF)                     ILi+ avg             TBD    TBD    mA

                          Operating Current (EN pin = LOW)                         Idisable             20     30     uA

                          Sleep Current (4.2V LiPo, Radio OFF)                     IQs                  TBD    TBD    mA

                          Deep Sleep Current (4.2V LiPo, Radio OFF)                IQds                 TBD    TBD    uA

                          Operating Temperature                                    Top         -20             +60    °C

                          Humidity Range Non condensing, relative humidity                                     95     %

      Radio specifications

      Xenon uses the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC as the main controller and the
      mesh radio.

                                         Feature                    Description

                                         Operating Frequencies 2360 to 2500 MHz

                                         Output Power               Programmable -20dBm to +8dBm

                                         PLL channel spacing        1 MHz

                                         On the air data rate       125 to 2000 kbps

      I/O Characteristics

      These specifications are based on the nRF52840 datasheet.                                                                  11/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

               Parameter                                          Symbol         Conditions          Min      Typ    Max      Unit

               Input high voltage                                 VIH                               0.7*3.3   --     3.3       V

               Input low voltage                                  VIL                                 0             0.3*3.3    V

               Current at GND+0.4 V, output set low, high drive   IOL,HDL      V3V3 >= 2.7V           6       10      15      mA

               Current at V3V3-0.4 V, output set high, high drive IOH,HDH V3V3 >= 2.7V                6       9       14      mA

               Pull-up resistance                                 RPU                                 11      13      16      kœ

               Pull-down resistance                               RPD                                 11      13      16      kœ

      Mechanical specifications

      Dimensions and Weight

              Weight = 10 grams                                                                            12/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      Mating connectors

      The Xenon uses two single row 0.1" pitch male header pins. One of them is 16 pin while
      the other is 12 pin. It can be mounted with matching 0.1" pitch female headers with a
      typical height of 0.335" (8.5mm). When you search for parts like these it can be difficult to
      navigate the thousands of parts available online so here are a few good choices for the

                                      Description                          MFG       MFG Part Number

                                      16-pin 0.1" (2.54mm) Female Header Sullins PPTC161LFBN-RC

                                      16-pin 0.1" (2.54mm) Female Header TE          6-535541-4

                                      12-pin 0.1" (2.54mm) Female Header Sullins PPTC121LFBN-RC

                                      12-pin 0.1" (2.54mm) Female Header TE          6-534237-0

      Recommended PCB land pattern
      The Xenon can be directly soldered onto the PCB or be mounted with the above
      mentioned female headers.                                              13/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      The complete schematic and board files are open source and available on Particle's
      GitHub repository here.

      Power                                           14/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet



      Interfaces                                           15/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      Ordering information

      Xenons are available from in single quantities.

      Qualification and approvals

              Model Number: XENN
              FCC ID: 2AEMI-XENN
              IC: 20127-XENN

      Product Handling

      ESD Precautions                                           16/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      The Xenon contains highly sensitive electronic circuitry and is an Electrostatic Sensitive
      Device (ESD). Handling Xenon without proper ESD protection may destroy or damage it
      permanently. Proper ESD handling and packaging procedures must be applied
      throughout the processing, handling and operation of any application that incorporates
      Xenon. ESD precautions should be implemented on the application board where the
      Xenon is mounted. Failure to observe these precautions can result in severe damage to
      the Xenon!


      There are four connectors on the Xenon that will get damaged with improper usage. The
      JST connector on the circuit board, where you plug in the LiPo battery, is very durable but
      the connector on the battery itself is not. When unplugging the battery, take extra
      precaution to NOT pull the connector using the wires, but instead hold the plug at its base
      to avoid putting stress on the wires. This can be tricky with bare hands - nose pliers are
      your friend here.

      The micro B USB connector on the Xenon is soldered on the PCB with large surface pads
      as well as couple of through hole anchor points. Despite this reinforcement, it is very easy
      to rip out the connector if too much stress is put on in the vertical direction.                                            17/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      The u.FL antenna connector is a very fragile piece of hardware ( and is fancy too with all
      the gold plating). The connector was not designed to be constantly plugged and
      unplugged. Care must be taken not to put stress on it at any time (yes, swinging the
      Xenon by the antenna is a very bad idea, this is not your cat). The antenna pin is also the
      most static sensitive and you can destroy the radio with improper handling. If you are
      feeling adventurous, we highly recommend putting a tiny dab of glue (epoxy, rubber
      cement, liquid tape or hot glue) on the connector to securely hold the plug in place.

      The 10 pin SWD connector provides an easy in-system debugging access to the device.
      The pins on the connector can easily be damaged if the mating connector cable is
      inserted improperly. If you are trying to debug the device, you probably are not in a good
      mood to begin with. The last thing you want is to render the connector useless. Be nice,
      and be gentle on the connector. Good luck with the debugging!


      The breadboard provided with the Xenon is specifically designed to require low insertion
      force. This makes it easy to plug the Xenon in and out of the breadboard. If you end up
      using a different breadboard, remember that it may require more force. In this case,
      always remember to pinch-hold your precious Xenon by the sides (along the header pins)
      when plugging-unplugging and not by the USB connector (don't be this person).

      Default settings

      The Xenon comes preprogrammed with a bootloader and a user application called Tinker.
      This application works with an iOS and Android app also named Tinker that allows you to                                           18/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      very easily toggle digital pins, take analog and digital readings and drive variable PWM

      The bootloader allows you to easily update the user application via several different
      methods, USB, OTA, Serial Y-Modem, and also internally via the Factory Reset procedure.
      All of these methods have multiple tools associated with them as well.

      FCC IC CE Warnings and End Product Labeling

      Federal Communication Commission Interference Statement This equipment has been
      tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15
      of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against
      harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can
      radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the
      instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is
      no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment
      does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined
      by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the
      interference by one of the following measures:

              Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
              Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
              Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the
              receiver is connected.
              Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.

      FCC Caution: Any changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party
      responsible for compliance could void the user's authority to operate this equipment. This
      device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two

       1. This device may not cause harmful interference, and
       2. This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may
             cause undesired operation.

      FCC Radiation Exposure Statement: This equipment complies with FCC radiation
      exposure limits set forth for an uncontrolled environment. This transmitter module must
      not be co-located or operating in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter. This                                             19/22

2018/11/15                                                  Particle Datasheets | Xenon datasheet

      End equipment should be installed and operated with a minimum distance of 20
      centimeters between the radiator and your body.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: In the event that these conditions can not be met (for example certain
      laptop configurations or co-location with another transmitter), then the FCC authorization
      is no longer considered valid and the FCC ID can not be used on the final product. In
      these circumstances, the OEM integrator will be responsible for re-evaluating the end
      product (including the transmitter) and obtaining a separate FCC authorization.

      End Product Labeling The final end product must be labeled in a visible area with the

               Contains FCC ID: 2AEMI-XENN

      Manual Information to the End User The OEM integrator has to be aware not to provide
      information to the end user regarding how to install or remove this RF module in the user’s
      manual of the end product which integrates this module.

      Canada Statement This device complies with Industry Canada’s licence-exempt RSSs.
      Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

       1. This device may not cause interference; and

       2. This device must accept any interference, including interference that may cause
             undesired operation of the device.

      Le présent appareil est conforme aux CNR d’Industrie Canada applicables aux appareils
      radio exempts de licence.

      L’exploitation est autorisée aux deux conditions suivantes:

       1. l’appareil ne doit pas produire de brouillage;

       2. l’utilisateur de l’appareil doit accepter tout brouillage radioélectrique subi, même si le
             brouillage est susceptible d’en compromettre le fonctionnement.

      Caution Exposure: This device meets the exemption from the routine evaluation limits in
      section 2.5 of RSS102 and users can obtain Canadian information on RF exposure and
      compliance. Le dispositif répond à l'exemption des limites d'évaluation de routine dans la
      section 2.5 de RSS102 et les utilisateurs peuvent obtenir des renseignements canadiens
      sur l'exposition aux RF et le respect.

      The final end product must be labelled in a visible area with the following: The Industry
      Canada certification label of a module shall be clearly visible at all times when installed in
      the host device, otherwise the host device must be labelled to display the Industry                                              20/22

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      Canada certification number of the module, preceded by the words “Contains transmitter
      module”, or the word “Contains”, or similar wording expressing the same meaning, as

              Contains transmitter module IC: 20127-XENN

      This End equipment should be installed and operated with a minimum distance of 20
      centimeters between the radiator and your body. Cet équipement devrait être installé et
      actionné avec une distance minimum de 20 centimètres entre le radiateur et votre corps.

      The end user manual shall include all required regulatory information/warning as shown in
      this manual.

      Revision history

                                                Revision Date            Author Comments

                                                v001        26 Oct 2018 MB         Initial release

      Known Errata


      Community Forums

      Email                                              21/22

Document Created: 2019-03-07 15:52:08
Document Modified: 2019-03-07 15:52:08

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