Testimonials: Getting started with NeoMesh – as easy as promised?

8th January 2021

Have we promised too much? We’ve asked Dr. Claus Kühnel, electronics engineer, technical writer and consultant, based in Switzerland, and Christian Engstrand, electronics design engineer based in Stockholm.


Ease-of-use and fast start-up time – that is what we’re promising should you decide to invest in a NeoMesh Evaluation Kit. We claim that you just need to complete a few basic steps and then you’re ready to build your application. Have we promised too much? We’ve asked two developers to give us some honest answers:

Dr. Claus Kühnel
Claus is an electronics engineer, technical writer and consultant, based in Switzerland.

– I like to try out new technologies to see if they live up to the potential that the marketing people claim they have. And I’m focusing on applications in the IoT area. In the past I’ve worked a lot with LoRaWAN, and the mesh concept is completely new to me. When visiting Electronica some time ago I learnt more about mesh. They claimed it was easy to work with, so I thought, let’s see if that’s true.

– I bought the NeoMesh Evaluation Kit and started. It was very interesting for me, that when you follow the tutorials and use the hardware that’s offered, then you can very quickly have a working solution.

– That is a surprise in regards to wireless connectivity, because with other technologies you take a few steps and then you have questions. You look to find answers in the documentation, but you find out that it’s not complete and so on. You’ll get a result finally, but getting there can sometimes be very tricky.

– With NeoMesh I had only a few questions, and after I got the answers I realized that I could have found them myself if I had read the documentation more thoroughly. So, this very thorough documentation is really important, in my opinion. And the tools are good, so that you can have very quick results. You can test different options and you can quickly get a working solution up and running. That aspect has been very important for me.

– Also I find it interesting that you can mix technologies, with mesh on the sensor side and then you go with the gateway to LoRa, NB-IoT or something else, so you can have the right technology in the right location.

– All this makes NeoMesh ideal for rapid prototyping. You need to get your customer to follow your ideas, and for that you have to be able to quickly build a working solution, so that you can demonstrate how to solve the technical challenges in a complex situation. Then you get your customer. From my point of view it is a very important thing that NeoMesh offers that possibility. You can do the first prototype, and you can modify it without a lot of expense and effort.

– My plan was to build a bridge between a NeoMesh sensor network and LoRaWan. I’m working with TTN (https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/), and from TTN I can visualize data in a graphical user interface for instance. I have this bridge on my target list and hope to start working on it soon.

Christian Engstrand
Christian is an electronics design engineer based in Stockholm.

– A colleague and I are working on a startup called Nrlyze. We’re doing building analysis, monitoring the performance of the heating system and collecting data to optimize its settings. That is the core idea. It is nothing complicated but we know there are large saving to be made by tuning these systems.

– In general, buildings have good heating systems, but they are more or less incorrectly configured. We want to help with the tuning process. To do it correctly you need to record data over a longer period, measuring temperature indoor and outdoor and correlate these measurements over time.

– We are starting out with cabled sensors. We attach them to heating pipes and put them into the ventilation system on top of the building. This gives us an impression of how the indoor temperature varies and how it relates to the outdoor temperature. Initially we focus on making the measurements reliable, uploading the data, and doing the analysis, which of course is the core of the project.

– Next step for us is to include wireless sensors in our offering, replacing the cabled ventilation sensors with indoor wireless sensors. Initially we aimed at developing a custom-built solution for the wireless link, but soon realized it would be too much work. To develop our own solution, make it stable, reliable, and also add mesh routing on top of it would be close to impossible. The wireless link is not our core product. It just has to work so we can get the data.

– So I decided to look for mesh radio modules. NeoCortec came up in a Google search, and after a meeting with their sales manager I ordered an Evaluation Kit.

– I’ve used a lot of different evaluation kits for processors and stuff, but this is definitely one of the easiest I’ve worked with. It has a very good and intuitive software kit included on the USB stick. That, together with a series of short video tutorials, made it super easy to set up a working mesh network. There are no weird setups or updating of stuff, and no config files spread around or similar things you usually encounter with kits like this. I was surprised. It more or less just started up, and I got everything working straight away.

– Of course, getting into the details of different settings can be complicated. But getting it up and running and seeing that you have communication, that was super easy.

– Right now, I have four of the five evaluation boards in the kit up and running with NeoCortec’s default temperature sensor. One outdoor and three spread out in the apartment. This seems to work just as expected so we have decided to integrate the modules into the next revision of our hardware, and have ordered 100 pcs NC1000-8 for the first batch. When installing those during early spring we will learn more about how the NeoCortec network will perform and how tightly we need to place the nodes.

Claus and Christian, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the NeoCortec Evaluation Kit. We’re trying hard to live up to our ambitions to provide a solution focusing on ease-of-use and fast start-up time, and your stories seem to confirm that we’re on the right track.
For more info on the NeoCortec Evaluation Kit, including distributors and online purchase please look here

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