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New FeatherWings for Particle Mesh to help 
you rapidly prototype

What's a developer kit without the best accessories? We just added three new FeatherWings to the preorder store. Add one or all three to your Particle Mesh cart with no additional shipping costs.

David Scheltema article author avatarDavid ScheltemaMay 05, 2018
New FeatherWings for Particle Mesh to help 
you rapidly prototype

Today, the Particle store is getting three new Adafruit FeatherWing accessories: an OLED Wing, a INA219 power monitoring Wing, and a trusty relay Wing.

Each of these FeatherWings works with the Argon, Boron, and Xenon and are easy to add to your existing Particle Mesh preorder — Feathers and Wings shipping in October.

Add a display with an OLED Wing

The 128×32 monochrome OLED Wing is a great way to quickly add a display and start to visualize what’s going on under the hood of your project. Measuring roughly 1” diagonally, the OLED Wing features a high-contrast screen for great readability. Plus, there are three onboard, user-programmable buttons which are handy when building a user-interface.

Monitor power use with the INA219 Wing

The INA219 Wing is indispensable if you need to measure the power consumption of a device. It’s is a great way for measuring the high side voltage and DC draw with one handy Wing.

Relay, the fancy switch

The Relay Wing is a great addition to the workshop and gives your Argon, Boron, or Xenon the ability to safely turn on and off power to things like lamps or fans that run off AC. Gone are the days of needing to be in a room to turn on and off the power. That said, make sure you read the specs of this Wing before attaching it to AC devices.

What’s all this avian talk?

All of the new third-generation Particle hardware — the Argon, Boron, and Xenon — use the Feather specification from Adafruit. In creating the spec, Limor “Ladyada” Fried the founder of Adafruit, set out to solve a few problems that she saw with the available development boards.

  • Board size – lack of consistent dimension and connectors
  • Stacking height – adding accessories boards made unwieldy towers that were difficult to work with
  • Lack of connectivity – most dev boards lacked built-in radios, but most projects need connectivity
  • Battery power – portable projects are increasingly the norm not the exception

The Feather specification offers solutions to these problems and advances a few other nice-to-have features too. In the FeatherWing world, main boards are called Feathers, and accessory boards are called Wings. To count as a FeatherWing, a main board needs to follow the following.

  • Standard board dimension
  • Presence and location of a JST-connector and charging circuitry for a battery-based operation
  • Pinout placement for peripherals like GPIO, I2C, SPI, and UART

While some aspects of the specification are more loosely defined (like exact pinout and Wing design), there is little question that moving the developer hardware community towards a standard will benefit us all. For more information on the FeatherWing form factor, make sure to read Ladyada’s history and description of the specification: here.

All three of these FeatherWings are available in the Particle Mesh preorder store along with the Argon, Boron, and Xenon — shipping in October 2018.

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