I think your question is can you use the P1 as an evaluation tool for the WM-N-BM-14? The WM-N-BM-14 is the OEM "un-programmed" WICED device. The P1 is the exact same device (as far as I can tell), with Particle.io's software programmed into the processor. My best guess is that the P1 is the ideal tool to demonstrate the WM-N-BM-14, but it varies only in the software loaded. The advantage of the Photon containing the WM-N-BM-09 is that it is already attached to a PCB and along with the "Photon Programming Shield", it provides a super easy to evaluate the WICED design and software. I personally have been using a BCM943362WCD4_EVB for my software development efforts and prototyping. That EVB is about 2X the price of the Photon + Programming Shield and it does not require any soldering to get operational. The EVB is slightly less flexible than Photon after you figure out how to use it. The problem with the P1 solution is that it will require you to have a PCB to mount the P1 on to and it won't have the USB programming interface and serial interface of the Photon + Programming Shield. As far as I can tell, the P1 will require an SMT oven to mount the module it to a PCB. I suspect the programming challenges are clearly described in my original posting and would apply exactly to the P1. The P1 should allow you to evaluate the WM-N-BM-14 as long as you account for the above discussed challenges.
So, if I understand you correctly, all that one would need to do is to "re-program" the P1, without any further changes ?
( lets leave aside the physical layoutting/soldering issues, as it's beyond the scope of this thread; I completely agree and aware of your notes though )
P1 is a production module
Photon is more of a development/prototyping tool
The development board is obviously setup to be programmed multiple times in a very simple and straightforward manner.
The module is not.
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Yes, all you would need to do is 're-program' the P1. This magic is that some portion of the existing Particle.io module software has protected blocks. The original post tells you how to un-protect the protected blocks and then reprogram the module. I guess the only question I'd ask is why not use the WM-N-BM-14 from USI, and if the answer is availability, then I fully understand. I really like the Photon for my initial production solution because it is already FCC approved. Although there are a number of other solutions out there like the EMW-3162/3165, I think the Photon is worth the extra money for the quality control aspects. I struggled with one of my first Photon modules because it apparently had a deaf receiver but after I tried other devices, I discovered it was the only one of five units exhibiting the receive sensitivity problem. It was an early device, part of the Kickstarter initiative and perhaps they were rushed to ship the initial shipments. So much for the early quality control. I did discover today that apparently Particle.io is no longer selling the Programmer Shield. That is a disappointment because I intended to purchase others and use that platform for prototype development work. It allows us to program the Photon by plugging it into the programmer. I hate to do it but I may have to roll my own.
To clarify and follow up on comments from above.
WM-N-BM-14S is the P1 and is meant for production/scale.
WM-N-BM-09S is the PO and same chip on the Photon (photon meant prototyping and testing). Also you could use the BMO9S/P0 to if you don't need the extra storage space and trace antenna and want to save onboard space in comparison to the P1.
The P1 has our stock system firmware on there and an instant connection to our cloud.
We are still selling the programming shield, however not actively as we are in re-production of that board -- we sold out.
We are currently recommending the STLINK V2 20pin programmer.
Note that ST has the STLINK V2 20pin programmer in stock on their website: ST-LINK/V2 ST-LINK/V2 in-circuit debugger/programmer for STM8 and STM32 - STMicroelectronics
Additionally, if you guys need to compare and contrast the WICED modules available from USI/Particle, I just added an easy to use selector guide in the back of the Mass Market Products - 2016 Product Selector Guide