nRF24L01+PA+LNA



  • Knows anyone someone who use this module with power amplifier ??
    Rf module nRF24L01+PA+LNA . I test it .. but still have same distance like module with no PA .. and searching way to obtain why .. and if is it possible ..
    I use antenna .. standard antenna from WiFi router.. gateway is powered from USB .. use 3.3V regulator .. and very big capacitor on power pin for RF module. if measure 3.3V deviation in Tx mode then have less than 13mV .. and I don't think that 13mV is big .. ..I test it with small sensor with led and buzzer .. if lost signal then give me signal.. also use nRF24L01+PA+LNA module with big capacitor .. but power from 2xAA battery .. total 3V .. and I don't think so this is problem..

    in all is used MySensors firmware with ATmega328p , internal 8Mhz RC oscilator..

    how to test it .. how to check what is problem .. if test module with PCB antenna then have same distance.. and it's not normal.. if module with PA just add 1 or 2db then must have more then 10% longer distance ..

    IF I test module CC1101 with maximum +12db output power (868Mhz) then have very nice distance .. I know 2.4Ghz is different like 868Mhz .. But I test in free space.. not in building..

    best regards..

    your's idea ??





  • I try contact him .. but not respond .. 😞


  • Hero Member

    @dzairo Did you try to adjust the power settings in "MyConfig.h"? I increased the range by lowering the power to "RF24_PA_LOW' = 12dBm.

    ifndef MyConfig_h
    #define MyConfig_h
    
    /***
     * Configure Sensor Network
     */
    #define RF24_CHANNEL	   76             //RF channel for the sensor net, 0-127
    #define RF24_DATARATE 	   RF24_250KBPS   //RF24_250KBPS for 250kbs, RF24_1MBPS for 1Mbps, or RF24_2MBPS for 2Mbps
    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL 	   RF24_PA_LOW    //Sensor PA Level == RF24_PA_MIN=-18dBm, RF24_PA_LOW=-12dBm, RF24_PA_HIGH=-6dBM, and RF24_PA_MAX=0dBm
    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL_GW   RF24_PA_LOW  //Gateway PA Level, defaults to Sensor net PA Level.  Tune here if using an amplified nRF2401+ in your gateway.
    #define BASE_RADIO_ID 	   ((uint64_t)0xA8A8E1FC00LL) // This is also act as base value for sensor nodeId addresses. Change this (or channel) if you have more than one sensor network.
    
    // MySensors online examples defaults
    #define DEFAULT_CE_PIN 9
    #define DEFAULT_CS_PIN 10
    
    
    /***
     * Enable/Disable debug logging
     */
    #define DEBUG
    
    #endif
    


  • Hi. Right now I tested with this setting:

    #ifndef MyConfig_h
    #define MyConfig_h
    
    /***
     * Configure Sensor Network
     */
    #define RF24_CHANNEL	   76             //RF channel for the sensor net, 0-127
    #define RF24_DATARATE 	   RF24_250KBPS   //RF24_250KBPS for 250kbs, RF24_1MBPS for 1Mbps, or RF24_2MBPS for 2Mbps
    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL 	   RF24_PA_MAX    //Sensor PA Level == RF24_PA_MIN=-18dBm, RF24_PA_LOW=-12dBm, RF24_PA_HIGH=-6dBM, and RF24_PA_MAX=0dBm
    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL_GW   RF24_PA_MAX  //Gateway PA Level, defaults to Sensor net PA Level.  Tune here if using an amplified nRF2401+ in your gateway.
    #define BASE_RADIO_ID 	   ((uint64_t)0xA8A8E1FC00LL) // This is also act as base value for sensor nodeId addresses. Change this (or channel) if you have more than one sensor network.
    
    // MySensors online examples defaults
    #define DEFAULT_CE_PIN 9
    #define DEFAULT_CS_PIN 10
    
    
    /***
     * Enable/Disable debug logging
     */
    #define DEBUG
    
    #endif 
    

    what do you mean .. I must set lower power output ??? write more .. if set lower power in standard module (no PA or LNA) .. then maximum is +0db and distance is around 30m , but I use in gateway and in sensor madule what contacin external power amplifer .. +20db (MCP01 IC) .. and standard antenna.. .. write more .. what module you use ..??? send photo is you have..

    best regards..


  • Hero Member

    @dzairo I feel we are repeating your discussion which took place a 4 months ago... . I am using kind of standard modules from ebay upload-f5d61a9c-4376-4c87-8222-947ebe901bdd
    upload-1f36b4bc-a3c1-4e90-87c5-7fc59283e5ce
    It just happens that they don't perform very well under high power settings. When set to Medium or Low. performance is much better. The best performance I have is when attach them to a separate power supply with > 100 uF & 100nF ceramic capacitors added in parallel to the power lines (directly on the connector). These boards (store) happen to work pretty well as a power supply..
    upload-6a78cf4e-c496-4369-80cb-bfc11260ed0d

    Mostly trial and error. I need to cross several brick walls.....



  • I try it .. right now .. thanks ..

    15:36 - I tested .. yes working for longer distance.. suppper... now I try it in free area..

    17:20 - I tested it with battery operated module.
    Receiver : 3xAA convert to 3.3V ,
    MCU : ATmega328p , internal 8Mhz RC oscilator as gateway ,
    RF module : nRF24L01+ , -12dB output powre , 256kbps ,
    This RF module
    no external PA+LNA , antenna is standard antenna from WiFi router , I not use antenna what comming with RF module.

    Transmiter : 2xAA
    MCU : ATmega328p , internal 8Mhz RC oscilator as sensor , send every 1 sec data .. and waiting for ACK , if receive ACK then generate buzzer short beep , if no ACK then generate 2x long beep sound .
    RF module : nRF24L01+ , -12dB , 250kbps with external PA+LNA ( MCP01)

    I test it .. and got up to 600m range . .in free area ..

    exist similar chip .. and is possible replace with nRF24L01 : look at this : RF2400

    best regards.



  • Hello,

    I use 2" nRF24L01+ with PA + LNA " bought on ebay.
    I connected the arduino directly to the nRF including 3.3V.
    I feel the distance very very short. Maybe 4 meters with a Wall... Should I define RF24_PA_LEVEL_GW to max" ?:
    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL_GW RF24_PA_MAX ???
    Can I expect something better ?
    Or should I use a specific 3.3V power supply which is not very convenient ?
    rgds

    thanks



  • @dzairo said:

    RF24_PA_LOW

    this setting use for PA .
    and big capacitor .. I tested with 3V (2xAA) and work very well ..
    nRF24L01+ chip is very good , but will be better to possible set speed less then 250kb , 33kb will be good.. my opinion ..


  • Hero Member

    @doblanch the 3.3V output from an arduino can not provide the current needed for the PA-LNA module.
    Add a seperate power source and/or use a lower setting for your sensor PA level (RF24_PA_LEVEL)" in the MyConfig.h



  • @korttoma OK. Thank you. Should I use an external power source for both GW + node ? If ext power use, I can keep the level set to max ? In fact, what is the best way to get a maximum range ? Also, should I connect a capacitor ? thank you by advance. rgds



  • @korttoma In the arduino doc, it's 40ma for 3.3V pin
    http://arduino.cc/en/main/arduinoBoardUno
    I read in the nrf24L01 doc 11.3ma;
    Transmitter
    � Programmable output power: 0, -6, -12 or -18dBm � 11.3mA at 0dBm output power
    • Receiver
    � Fast AGC for improved dynamic range � Integrated channel filters
    � 13.5mA at 2Mbps

    So it should be enough no ? Did I miss something ?


  • Hero Member

    Thos figures are for the module without the PA LNA. The PA LNA version draws over 100mA



  • @korttoma mmm... that's pretty much clear from now. we are then close to the limit then...which kind of power module is recommended ?
    This one sounds good ? :: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Pcs-New-3-3V-5V-MB102-Breadboard-Power-Supply-Module-For-Arduino-Breadboard/281372556250?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29266%26meid%3D1f59438fd24b4f9eb809f216f307ad1a%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D181718046489&rt=nc&autorefresh=true

    it allows to use with one 5V input, and Two output, one is 3.3V and the second one 5V.... do you have a better idea ? thanks in advance rgds.


  • Hero Member

    @doblanch Take a look at MySensors store. The adapter board works good with the amplified radio.
    upload-9050360c-eaf2-403f-bb52-2b104e42622d



  • @AWI I confused from now. This adapter allow to convert 5V to 3.3V. HOwever my problem right now is a problem of consumption. It seems that NRF+PA consummes 100+Ma... each I/O pin on arduino is max 50Ma... I wil not solve my problem to put a 5V to 3.3V ? I need to add a new power source able to provide more than 100ma or more ? correct ?


  • Hero Member

    @doblanch Sorry for confusing you. If you are using the Uno the 5V pin can deliver about 450mA if powered from USB and 650mA if powered from power jack. This is more than enough to supply the "Socket Adapter Board" which has a powerfull regulator. The 3.3V pin on the Uno can only supply 40mA.

    There is nothing wrong with the supply you mentioned either. The converter board is more convenient to connect and includes the capacitors (ceramic & tantalum) needed for a stable supply . Schematic below:

    upload-484c79ac-6b0d-4723-9674-ccff475064ae



  • @doblanch ehm.. ATmega chip can get around 25mA maximum from one pin .. but nRF24L01 + PA + LNA is not powered from arduino pin .. is powered from converter.. and this converter must give more then 800mA then .. not problem power .. and if you power Arduino from 5V then OK .. nRF24L01+ have pin 5V tolerant inputs ..


  • Hero Member

    @dzairo The "tolerance" you mention is only for in/outputs not for the power supply. It will most likely burn when you supply it with 5V



  • @AWI of course .. he ask for voltage converter.. from 5V to 3.3V ..


  • Hero Member

    @dzairo Better to be safe 😉



  • @AWI That's clear then.... I didn't know that 5V on uno can draw 450ma... ON their website, they precise only I/O and 3.3V... From now it's very clear. I will use the 5V pin, with "something" to reduce it to 3.3V...
    I have this in stock : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-3A-DC-DC-Converter-Adjustable-Step-down-Power-Supply-Module-replace-LM2596s-/261328784505?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:FR:3160
    a power down module, IN="5V" OUT-"adjustable (including 3.3V)"
    Do you know for the nano the +5V max draw ?
    Thank for your help, grandly appreciated.


  • Hero Member

    @doblanch The Nano has an 78M05 regulator, should be able to supply 500mA (including the power for the MCU and FTDI chip, So more than enough power to power your step-down. Let us know if your problem is solved.



  • @AWI Hello, I put a stepdown module on the both end, added a capacitor. I change the myconfig.h file to put RF24_PA_MAX on RF24_PA_LEVEL and RF24_PA_LEVEL_GW . The result was a little bit better, I'm not even sure 😞 . But from now, result are good, I switch back my current antenna by the original one delivered with the module NRF24+.
    in fact, I installed some big antenna (I have some spare with my routed wifi network), but I think it was a mistake. With the NRF24 bulk antenna, it works really better, I have some others tests to do...I will keep you informed in the coming days. thanks again for you help



  • Hi, i have the same problem. Bought a pa+lna radio with black antenna and only work if i touch the antenna or the radio's pcb, else the data if not sent at all. i added only a 200uf capacitor. Even with the breadboard power supply, to have a separate 3.3v it dont work. My basic nrf24l01+ is working well (except the range) but not the pre amplified one.

    Any one have ideas ?



  • @wico2002 try adding a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of tin foil around the pcb.
    In this process don't let the tinfoil touch the pcb or any connection. This will basically create a farraday cage around your pcb.
    I've learned the hard way that the boosted modules can sometimes, at high power levels, interfere with itself.



  • @Oitzu I try running it at a lower PA level, set in the code, don't know if it helped or not. I also found if I keep the antenna straight (my antenna plug is pointing on the side, so let say 0 degrees) or at 90 degrees no data is sent but if it is fold at 45 degree the data seems to be sent good even if I don't touch the radio (but still don't know if I got a good range or not). seems to work better without the antenna plugged in ...

    i'll try your trick



  • @wico2002 that's all really the typical behaviour i observed, too.
    In reality the module sends the data but will never receive the "ack" because the signal overloads, due to interferences, the nrf24l01+ on the board.
    Holding your hand arround the pcb or antenna or unplugging the antenna weakens the signal and stops this behaviour.

    See also: http://forum.mysensors.org/topic/1877/2-x-nrf24l01-pa-lna-with-rf24_pa_max/12



  • Thank you for this link.

    I will reply in that topic to continue the same subject.



  • Hi,

    I built my serial gateway like two years ago and it is running smooth with nRF24L01+ PA+ LNA

    I remember a had to fiddle with the power setting. Since I am now replacing it with a Ethernet gateway, I plan to use a ld1117v33 to power the radio. It can give 800ma so it should be suffcient to runt it without power issues.

    Did anyone have experience with this? Do you recommend I should set Pa_level to high or Max?



  • @johnr you should give it a try. 800mA is more than enough.
    But don't forget to shield the module probably otherwise you will have the above mentioned interferences.

    Site note: The max setting is actually a special setting for nrf24l01+ clones that have a higher output setting on a special register then the original nrf24l01+ chips. But regardless the chip you can use this. A original nrf24l01+ will simply ignore the register flag.



  • @Oitzu Is that so? How could I find out if my nrf accepts the max setting? Maybe it is not using it at all. What is the default then? I also saw that @GertSanders was recommending to use the "high" setting as maximum. Maybe that is why?



  • @karl261 the MAX Setting is the HIGH setting + a extra bit. The extra bit is ignored by the original nrf24l01+ chips. Some nrf24l01+ clones (also known as the SI24R1) are using this bit to switch into a higher mode.



  • @Oitzu Ok, so, if I understand correctly, then, if I set the nrf to max, and it will ignore the flag, it will be at high, correct?

    Another question: I have a battery sensor with a +pa+lna because I installed a little weather station in a bird house... Concerning battery life, would you run it at min or low?



  • @karl261 with the original nrf24l01+ modules this is correct, yes.
    To save battery use the lowest setting that still works without transmitting errors.


 

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