Thread

Relates to #

Overview #

  • some elements have link to the corresponding websites

Cheat sheet #

  • IPv6 bit length : 128 bit = 8x 16 ibts => 00b1:00b2:00b3:00b4:00b5:00b6:00b7:00b8
  • Link-Local prefix : fe80::/16
  • Mesh-Local prefix : fd00::/8
  • Multicast Link-Local : ff02::1
  • Multicast Mesh-Local : ff03::1
  • RLOC16 : Routing locator in 16 bits 0x0401
  • RLOC16 Router mask : 0x0400
  • IID : Interface Identifier (includes RLOC16)
  • RLOC = Mesh-Local Prefix + IID

Specification #

Tools #

  • install nRF Connect for deskop
  • From within nRF connect, install Toolchain Manager
  • From the Toolchain manager, install the last nRF Connect SDK

Thread Nodes #

A Thread network setup contains the following Nodes

  • radio or network coprocessor : dongle connected to the raspberry pi

  • border router host : services running on a raspberry pi

  • cli tester : command line dongle through serial monitor for testing

  • mqtt-sn : end device with mqtt-sn such as sensors

  • Topology Monitor : GUI interface. Note the hex file to flash on the nRF52840 USB dongle are provided as part of the download pack in nRF_TTM-win32-x64_0.13.0.zip\nRF_TTM-win32-x64\hex. A different CLI or NCP fimware would not work.

  • Wireshark sniffer : dongle that captures all frames and shows them on wireshark

Radio Co-Processor (RCP) #

  • This is the new version recommended by OpenThread for current and new versions aof border routers, see Vendor support RCP for details.
  • How to build
  • built using docker container

OpenThread #

When using docker simply pull the environment

docker pull openthread/environment:latest
docker run -it --rm openthread/environment bash

then continue the same way on linux or docker from windows

cd ~/opentrhead
./script/bootstrap
./bootstrap
sudo rm -rf output/
make -f examples/Makefile-nrf52840 USB=1
cd output/nrf52840/bin/
arm-none-eabi-objcopy -O ihex ot-rcp ot-rcp.hex
nrfjprog -f nrf52 --program ot-rcp.hex --sectorerase --verify

Zephyr v2.5.99 #

  • Zephyr version 2.5.99 has a coprocessor directory replacing the old ncp

  • For details on Zephyr install see

  • add CONFIG_BOARD_HAS_NRF5_BOOTLOADER=n to prj.conf

cd zephyrproject
source zephyr/zephyr-env.sh
cd zephyr/samples/net/openthread/coprocessor
west build -b nrf52840dongle_nrf52840 -- -DCONF_FILE="prj.conf overlay-rcp.conf overlay-usb-nrf-br.conf"
cd build/zephyr
nrfjprog -f nrf52 --program zephyr.hex --sectorerase --verify
border router error details...

tested version in zephyr 2.5.99 and border router openthread docker

Mar  6 13:00:06 3d926b9c2cee avahi-daemon[129]: Server startup complete. Host name is 3d926b9c2cee.local. Local service cookie is 2646371747.
Mar  6 13:00:07 3d926b9c2cee otbr-agent[145]: [CRIT]-PLAT----: HandleRcpTimeout() at ../../third_party/openthread/repo/src/lib/spinel/radio_spinel_impl.hpp:2168: RadioSpinelNoResponse

Network Co-Processor (NCP) #

Note, see the RCP version above for recent border routers. Given the open source nature of OpenThread, it is quite challenging to find the right build instructions and version match to the right border router. See Vendor support NCP for mode details. Different NCP versions are listed here.

Nordic - nRF 4.1.0 #

  • successfull match between the SDK and Rpi image, both available from the link below
    • nRFSDK for Thread and Zigbee v4.1.0
    • RaspPi OT Border Router Demo v4.1.0-1.alpha

build and flash the ncp example

>cd "examples\thread\ncp\ftd\usb\pca10059\mbr\armgcc\Makefile"
>make
>make flash_mbr
>make flash

Zephyr v2.4.99 #

  • This section is about the nRF Connect SDK using the zephyr directory

  • successfully built and tested with v1.4.99-dev1 which contains Zephyr version 2.4.99

  • recognised as USB device

  • add CONFIG_BOARD_HAS_NRF5_BOOTLOADER=n to prj.conf

cd nrf/v1.4.99-dev1/zephyr/samples/net/openthread/ncp
west build -b nrf52840dongle_nrf52840 -- -DCONF_FILE="prj.conf overlay-usb-nrf-br.conf"

Nordic - nRF Connect #

  • This section is about the nRF Connect SDK using the nrf directory

  • Not yet successfull with the nRF52 dongle, likely due to the missing usb overlay

  • add CONFIG_BOARD_HAS_NRF5_BOOTLOADER=n to prj.conf

cd nrf/v1.4.99-dev1/nrf/samples/openthread/ncp
west build -b nrf52840dongle_nrf52840 -- -DCONF_FILE="prj.conf overlay-logging.conf"

Open Thread #

  • Available pre-build ncp firmware
nrfjprog -f nrf52 --program ot-ncp-ftd-gd81d769e-nrf52840.hex --sectorerase --verify
  • for build instructions see the rcp building steps in the rcp OpenThread section, the build commands generates both npc and rcp elf files.

Border Router #

OpenThread - docker #

latest #

This method only deploys the lates available docker container, see version for a specific version.
  • use with the OpenThread dongle firmware detailed above
  • The docker command below runs deamonized (in the background) and maps port 80.
  • Note that restarting the same container does not work there fore -rm would help restart a new container each time
  • Two issues happen when mapping port 80 only, the Topology menu does not show anything and the Android comissioning App can’t reach the border router so a falback on host networking with the second docker command solves these issues.
docker run --rm --name otbr-metal -d --sysctl "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0 \
        net.ipv4.conf.all.forwarding=1 net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1" \
        -p 80:80 --dns=127.0.0.1 --volume \
        /dev/ttyACM0:/dev/ttyACM0 --privileged openthread/otbr \
        --radio-url spinel+hdlc+uart:///dev/ttyACM0

docker run --rm --name otbr-metal -d \
  --sysctl "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0 net.ipv4.conf.all.forwarding=1 net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1" \
  --network host --dns=127.0.0.1 \
  --volume /dev/ttyACM0:/dev/ttyACM0 \
  --privileged openthread/otbr \
  --radio-url spinel+hdlc+uart:///dev/ttyACM0

Below commands to run in separate windows

  • listen to the conainer logs
  • open a shell in the container
  • open a command line to the RCP
docker logs --follow otbr-metal
docker exec -it otbr-metal /bin/bash
ot-ctl

version #

These commands allow creating a docker image based on a specific commit, e.g. for testing with Thread version 1.1 instead of 1.2. The image is built with this Dockerfile.

git clone https://github.com/openthread/ot-br-posix
cd ot-br-posix
git checkout 4b6d3b863f
#git checkout 615de5  #2021-03-22
#git checkout thread-br-certified-20180819
git submodule update --init --recursive
docker build --no-cache -t openthread/otbr -f etc/docker/Dockerfile .

Now running the same command above from the section latest with the same image openthread/otbr will run the newly built image.

OpenThread - setup #

git clone https://github.com/openthread/ot-br-posix
cd ot-br-posix
./script/bootstrap
NETWORK_MANAGER=0 ./script/setup
nano /etc/default/otbr-agent
sudo reboot now
sudo systemctl status
sudo ot-ctl state

issues: in case a dnsmasq service already running, might have to be disabled first

The status of the running services look as follows

sudo systemctl status
pi@metal:~ $ sudo systemctl status
● metal
    State: running
     Jobs: 0 queued
   Failed: 0 units
    Since: Thu 1970-01-01 01:00:01 CET; 51 years 1 months ago
   CGroup: /
           ├─user.slice
           │ └─user-1000.slice
           │   ├─session-3.scope
           │   │ ├─1663 sshd: pi [priv]
           │   │ ├─1669 sshd: pi@pts/0
           │   │ ├─1670 -bash
           │   │ ├─1687 sudo systemctl status
           │   │ ├─1688 systemctl status
           │   │ └─1689 pager
           │   ├─user@1000.service
           │   │ └─init.scope
           │   │   ├─1637 /lib/systemd/systemd --user
           │   │   └─1638 (sd-pam)
           │   └─session-1.scope
           │     ├─ 864 /bin/login -f
           │     └─1648 -bash
           ├─init.scope
           │ └─1 /sbin/init splash
           └─system.slice
             ├─ncp_state_notifier.service
             │ ├─427 /bin/sh /usr/sbin/ncp_state_notifier
             │ ├─432 dbus-monitor --system type='signal', interface=org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties, path
             │ └─433 /bin/sh /usr/sbin/ncp_state_notifier
             ├─alsa-state.service
             │ └─395 /usr/sbin/alsactl -E HOME=/run/alsa -s -n 19 -c rdaemon
             ├─containerd.service
             │ └─553 /usr/bin/containerd
             ├─systemd-timesyncd.service
             │ └─341 /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd
             ├─NetworkManager.service
             │ ├─420 /usr/sbin/NetworkManager --no-daemon
             │ └─633 /sbin/dhclient -d -q -sf /usr/lib/NetworkManager/nm-dhcp-helper -pf /run/dhclient-et
             ├─dbus.service
             │ └─409 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --system --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-acti
             ├─hciuart.service
             │ └─826 /usr/bin/hciattach /dev/serial1 bcm43xx 3000000 flow -
             ├─udisks2.service
             │ └─394 /usr/lib/udisks2/udisksd
             ├─docker.service
             │ └─853 /usr/bin/dockerd -H fd:// --containerd=/run/containerd/containerd.sock
             ├─ssh.service
             │ └─564 /usr/sbin/sshd -D
             ├─ser2net.service
             │ └─868 /usr/sbin/ser2net -c /etc/ser2net.conf -P /run/ser2net.pid
             ├─avahi-daemon.service
             │ ├─393 avahi-daemon: running [metal.local]
             │ └─398 avahi-daemon: chroot helper
             ├─otbr-web.service
             │ └─428 /usr/sbin/otbr-web
             ├─wpa_supplicant.service
             │ └─419 /sbin/wpa_supplicant -u -s -O /run/wpa_supplicant
             ├─triggerhappy.service
             │ └─442 /usr/sbin/thd --triggers /etc/triggerhappy/triggers.d/ --socket /run/thd.socket --us
             ├─systemd-logind.service
             │ └─439 /lib/systemd/systemd-logind
             ├─polkit.service
             │ └─511 /usr/lib/policykit-1/polkitd --no-debug
             ├─otbr-agent.service
             │ └─423 /usr/sbin/otbr-agent -I wpan0 spinel+hdlc+uart:///dev/ttyACM0
             ├─telegraf.service
             │ └─542 /usr/bin/telegraf -config /etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf -config-directory /etc/telegra
             ├─cron.service
             │ └─437 /usr/sbin/cron -f
             ├─systemd-udevd.service
             │ └─181 /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd
             ├─rsyslog.service
             │ └─403 /usr/sbin/rsyslogd -n -iNONE
             ├─bluetooth.service
             │ └─831 /usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd
             ├─inetd.service
             │ └─857 /usr/sbin/inetd
             ├─bluealsa.service
             │ └─834 /usr/bin/bluealsa
             ├─systemd-journald.service
             │ └─121 /lib/systemd/systemd-journald
             ├─bind9.service
             │ └─560 /usr/sbin/named -u bind
             ├─rng-tools.service
             │ └─415 /usr/sbin/rngd -r /dev/hwrng
             └─dhcpcd.service
               └─473 /sbin/dhcpcd -q -b

After forming a network, the interface would look as follows

ifconfig wpan0
wpan0: flags=4305<UP,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,NOARP,MULTICAST>  mtu 1280
        inet6 fd85:454:6529:a0c5:9ebb:d761:b6d:df4e  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x0<global>
        inet6 fd11:22::7005:5eac:6482:e2ec  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x0<global>
        inet6 fe80::94bf:4de7:183c:f37d  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        inet6 fd85:454:6529:a0c5:0:ff:fe00:fc00  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x0<global>
        inet6 fd85:454:6529:a0c5:0:ff:fe00:d400  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x0<global>
        unspec 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00  txqueuelen 500  (UNSPEC)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 9  bytes 1524 (1.4 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

Nordic - sdcard image #

  • download a ready raspberry pi image
  • successfully tested with the Nordif Firmware from the SDK v4.1.0

Form a network #

Upon success you should be able to connect on the raspberry pi url http://10.0.0.41/

  • on the left menu click on Join then select the required paramters (e.g. Channel,…) then click on FORM

wireshark sniffing #

git clone https://github.com/NordicSemiconductor/nRF-Sniffer-for-802.15.4

  • Flash the nrf802154_sniffer_dongle.hex

When Forming a network, some Pakets can be sniffed including advertisment

MQTT Sensors Node #

  • MQTT-SN is a protocol not requiring Thread necessarily, it is rather a protcol for a bridge that allows clients to interact with an MQTT Broquer with minimal payload and packets transfers, therefore, it is well adapted to ip over low power mesh networks such as Thread.

  • Example firmware mqttsn_sleepy_publisher and mqttsn_client_publisher are a port of the nRFSDK example from PCA10056 which was the only supported board to the PCA10059, the nRF52840 USB dongle, therefore the search gateway, connect, publish sequence have been merged in on button and run cyclically on each new press.

useful commands

sudo systemctl status paho-mqttsn-gateway.service
sudo /usr/sbin/MQTT-SNGateway -f /etc/paho-mqtt-sn-gateway.conf
sudo nano /etc/paho-mqtt-sn-gateway.conf
paho-mqtt-sn-gateway.conf
#**************************************************************************
# Copyright (c) 2016-2019, Tomoaki Yamaguchi
#
# All rights reserved. This program and the accompanying materials
# are made available under the terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0
# and Eclipse Distribution License v1.0 which accompany this distribution.
#
# The Eclipse Public License is available at
#    http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html
# and the Eclipse Distribution License is available at
#   http://www.eclipse.org/org/documents/edl-v10.php.
#***************************************************************************
#
# config file of MQTT-SN Gateway
#

# IPv4 Address of iot.eclipse.org
BrokerName=10.0.0.42
BrokerPortNo=1883
BrokerSecurePortNo=8883

#
# When AggregatingGateway=YES or ClientAuthentication=YES,
# All clients must be specified by the ClientList File
#

ClientAuthentication=NO
AggregatingGateway=NO
QoS-1=NO
Forwarder=NO

#ClientsList=/path/to/your_clients.conf

PredefinedTopic=NO
#PredefinedTopicList=/path/to/your_predefinedTopic.conf

#RootCAfile=/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
#RootCApath=/etc/ssl/certs/
#CertsFile=/path/to/certKey.pem
#PrivateKey=/path/to/privateKey.pem

GatewayID=1
GatewayName=PahoGateway-01
KeepAlive=900
#LoginID=your_ID
#Password=your_Password


# UDP
GatewayPortNo=10000
MulticastIP=225.1.1.1
MulticastPortNo=1883

# GatewayUDP6Broadcast address is set to all Thread devices address
# in order to enable Thread Sleepy Devices to receive multicast messages
# sent from the gateway.
# UDP6
GatewayUDP6Port = 47193
GatewayUDP6Broadcast = ff03::1
GatewayUDP6If = wpan0

# XBee
Baudrate=38400
SerialDevice=/dev/ttyUSB0
ApiMode=2

# LOG
ShearedMemory=NO;

Test vector for sending a SEARCHGW message to the MQTT-SQ gateway service

#send (Length 3)(MsgType SEARCHGW=1)(Radius 1)
echo -n -e "030101" | xxd -r -p | nc -u fd11:1111:1122:0:98bf:60c7:9431:ee90 47193

Firmware flow diagram #

running the firmware example mqtt_client_publisher results in the following logs

MQTT-SN gateway log
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo /usr/sbin/MQTT-SNGateway -f /etc/paho-mqtt-sn-gateway.conf
ClientList can not open the Predefined Topic List.     /etc/predefinedTopic.conf

 ***************************************************************************
 * MQTT-SN Transparent Gateway
 * Part of Project Paho in Eclipse
 * (http://git.eclipse.org/c/paho/org.eclipse.paho.mqtt-sn.embedded-c.git/)
 *
 * Author : Tomoaki YAMAGUCHI
 * Version: 1.3.1
 ***************************************************************************

20210213 194529.539 PahoGateway-01 has been started.

 ConfigFile: /etc/paho-mqtt-sn-gateway.conf
 SensorN/W:   Gateway Port: 47193 Broadcast Address: ff03::1 Interface: wpan0
 Broker:     10.0.0.42 : 1883, 8883
 RootCApath: (null)
 RootCAfile: (null)
 CertKey:    (null)
 PrivateKey: (null)



20210213 194535.931   SEARCHGW          <---  Client                              03 01 01
20210213 194535.932   GWINFO            --->  Clients                             03 02 01

20210213 194541.989   CONNECT           <---  nRF52840_publisher                  18 04 04 01 00 3C 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 70 75 62 6C 69 73 68 65 72
20210213 194541.997   CONNECT           ===>  nRF52840_publisher                  10 1E 00 04 4D 51 54 54 04 02 00 3C 00 12 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 70 75 62 6C 69 73 68 65 72
20210213 194542.042   CONNACK           <===  nRF52840_publisher                  20 02 00 00
20210213 194542.042   CONNACK           --->  nRF52840_publisher                  03 05 00

20210213 194542.055   REGISTER    0001  <---  nRF52840_publisher                  1D 0A 00 00 00 01 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 72 65 73 6F 75 72 63 65 73 2F 6C 65 64 33
20210213 194542.056   REGACK      0001  --->  nRF52840_publisher                  07 0B 00 01 00 01 00

20210213 194550.331   PUBLISH     0002  <---  nRF52840_publisher                  08 0C 20 00 01 00 02 01
20210213 194550.331   PUBLISH     0002  ===>  nRF52840_publisher                  32 1C 00 17 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 72 65 73 6F 75 72 63 65 73 2F 6C 65 64 33 00 02 01
20210213 194550.338   PUBACK      0002  <===  nRF52840_publisher                  40 02 00 02
20210213 194550.338   PUBACK      0002  --->  nRF52840_publisher                  07 0D 00 01 00 02 00

20210213 194557.499   PUBLISH     0003  <---  nRF52840_publisher                  08 0C 20 00 01 00 03 00
20210213 194557.500   PUBLISH     0003  ===>  nRF52840_publisher                  32 1C 00 17 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 72 65 73 6F 75 72 63 65 73 2F 6C 65 64 33 00 03 00
20210213 194557.515   PUBACK      0003  <===  nRF52840_publisher                  40 02 00 03
20210213 194557.516   PUBACK      0003  --->  nRF52840_publisher                  07 0D 00 01 00 03 00

20210213 194602.541   PUBLISH     0004  <---  nRF52840_publisher                  08 0C 20 00 01 00 04 01
20210213 194602.542   PUBLISH     0004  ===>  nRF52840_publisher                  32 1C 00 17 6E 52 46 35 32 38 34 30 5F 72 65 73 6F 75 72 63 65 73 2F 6C 65 64 33 00 04 01
20210213 194602.547   PUBACK      0004  <===  nRF52840_publisher                  40 02 00 04
20210213 194602.547   PUBACK      0004  --->  nRF52840_publisher                  07 0D 00 01 00 04 00
Firmware J-Link RTT log
<info> app_timer: RTC: initialized.
<info> app: Thread version   : OPENTHREAD/20191113-00534-gc6a258e3; NRF52840; Apr  5 2020 21:53:43
<info> app: Network name     : OpenThreadDemo
<info> app: Thread interface has been enabled.
<info> app: 802.15.4 Channel : 13
<info> app: 802.15.4 PAN ID  : 0x1234
<info> app: Radio mode       : rx-on-when-idle
<warning> app_timer: RTC instance already initialized.
<info> app: State changed! Flags: 0x0117D33D Current role: 1
<info> app: State changed! <info> app: (0)
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client has found an active gateway.
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client has found an active gateway.
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Gateway discovery procedure has finished.
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Gateway discovery result: 0x0.
<info> app: (1)
<info> app: Wake up first time
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client connected.
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client registered topic.
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Topic has been registered with ID: 1.
<info> app: (2)
<info> app: Wake up next times
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client has successfully published content.
<info> app: (2)
<info> app: Wake up next times
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client has successfully published content.
<info> app: (2)
<info> app: Wake up next times
<info> app: MQTT-SN event: Client has successfully published content.

Firmware search gateway #

Building on other frameworks #

Platformio #

  • although Zephyr is integrated in platformio, openthread is unfortunately not yet supported as of framework-zephyr 2.20400.201210 (2.4.0)
  • docs.platformio limitations

Arduino #

  • in discussion in this openthread issue#1803, the issue is that Arduino lacks the netwroking layers required to provide a descent interface to the app.

CHIP Node #

As the CHIP Protocol can run over Thread, it is possible to connect CHIP applications.

Test and Debug #

with server command line #

  • using wpanctl
host wpantund wpanctl. Click to expand...
sudo nano /etc/wpantund.conf

sudo wpanctl status

sudo wpanctl scan

sudo wpanctl leave

sudo wpanctl setprop w

sudo wpanctl setprop Channel: 15

sudo wpanctl setprop Network:PANID 0x1234

sudo wpanctl setprop Network:Key 00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff

sudo wpanctl config-gateway -d "fd11:22::"

sudo wpanctl form "nRF52840thread"

sudo wpanctl permit-join 300

w join -n "MeasureFall" -c 15 -k 00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff -p 0x1234

cli on border router #

sudo ot-ctl

cli openthread firmware #

cli Nordic firmware #

  • A dongle flashed with cli firmware can be attached to the serial console and offer a command line interpreter that helps with testing

build and flash the cli example

>cd "examples\thread\cli\ftd\usb\pca10059\mbr\armgcc\Makefile"
>make
>make flash_mbr
>make flash

on the cli

panid 0x1234
panid
channel 13
channel
networkname OpenThreadDemo
networkname
extpanid 1111111122222222
masterkey
ifconfig up
thread start
state

Note masterkey command is for the Network Key

at this stage the state command should log child

wireshark should log the join as follows

  • it’s possible to ping with the router ip
>ping fe80::c85c:d0c4:1103:31d5
Done
> 16 bytes from fe80:0:0:0:c85c:d0c4:1103:31d5: icmp_seq=2 hlim=64 time=12ms

a good exercice is to commission a device through CLI

cli reference #

ncp cli. Click to expand...
cu -l /dev/ttyACM0 -s 115200
panid 0xabcd
ifconfig up
thread start
state
ping fd00:0064:0123:4567::0808:0808
router list

adresses

panid
rloc16
eui64
extaddr
extpanid
ipaddr
ipmaddr
leaderdata

Thread over Zephyr #

for installing Zephyr see

building cli #

  • add CONFIG_BOARD_HAS_NRF5_BOOTLOADER=n to overlay-minimal_singleprotocol.conf
  • Not yet successfull with the nRF52 dongle due to the missing usb overlay
source ~/ncs/zephyr/zephyr-env.sh
cd ~/ncs/nrf/samples/openthread/cli
west build -b nrf52840dongle_nrf52840 -- -DCONF_FILE="prj.conf overlay-minimal_singleprotocol.conf"

FAQ - Discussion #

What is the difference between RCP/NCP Thread Stack ?
RCP stands for Radio Co-Processor and only includes the MAC Layer not the full Thread Core stack. More details : https://openthread.io/platforms#network-co-processor-ncp
What is the link between FTD/ETD Thread Devices ?
FTD = Full Thread device can be a Thread router or more, an ETD End Thread Device can be M:minial or S:Sleepy and in both cases does not route packets. More details https://openthread.io/guides/thread-primer/node-roles-and-types
What is the difference between using an RCP/NCP and running Thread as a stand alone device ?
The difference only lays on the partitioning of the application, in the RCP/NCP the application runs on the Host be it a raspberry pi or another uC, in the stand alone the whole thread stack and app run on the same device. We can think of the NCP as example like the CLI=command line interface Thread utility, but the protocol is not text mode rather binary. If the host is an uC itself, the question would be, why using two uC and if it is possible rather to merge them in just one, a corner case might need that like for example a double uC with WiFi and thread capabiltiy.
Does the Thread Topolog Monitor use the same CLI firmware as the openthread CLI ?
No, the Thread Topology monitor TTM comes with it own firmware that needs to be flashed
How does the Thread Topolog Monitor work ? What can it see ?
The Thread Topolog Monitor TTM is an active node on the network, it needs the credentials to be able to join it and only then it can retrieve info from the network it will also display itself in the network.
What is the difference between the Thread Topology Monitor and the 802.15.4 sniffer ?
The 802.15.4 sniffer does not join the network and is totally passive. It can listen to all the traffic of the channel it is in, including all pan ids. If it has the master key, it can then decript data from the corresponding network.
can I run openthread with Arduino ?
No, at least not at the moment and not within a native integration similar to the wifi and network in arduino. Despite being known to be an IDE, under the hoods, Arduino is also a framework. The current preferred and supported framework for openthread is Zephyr-OS.
can I run openthread with platformio ?
This is under investigation and should be available soon. The current platformio integration of Zephyr-OS does not include openthread, but this is likely to change any time soon.