Can't find parent after changing NRF24L01+ radio



  • For several months now I have been successfully using my Sensebender micro boards with some NRF24L01+ radios bought on eBay from China. On some of my furthest nodes from the gateway, I do get some data loss, so after reading on the forum about the multitude of fake radios around, I thought I would try and buy some genuine ones to see if they perform better.
    I bought these recently from Itead, and have been testing them today, but cannot get communication going with my gateway. After enabling debug mode on the Sensebender micro, I believe the serial output indicates that it can't find the parent:

    22:10:32.837 -> 16 MCO:BGN:INIT NODE,CP=RNONA---,FQ=8,REL=255,VER=2.3.2
    22:10:32.870 -> 28 TSM:INIT
    22:10:32.870 -> 28 TSF:WUR:MS=0
    22:10:32.870 -> 36 TSM:INIT:TSP OK
    22:10:32.870 -> 38 TSM:INIT:STATID=9
    22:10:32.870 -> 40 TSF:SID:OK,ID=9
    22:10:32.870 -> 43 TSM:FPAR
    22:10:32.870 -> 47 ?TSF:MSG:SEND,9-9-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    22:10:34.893 -> 2056 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    22:10:34.893 -> 2058 TSM:FPAR
    22:10:34.893 -> 2062 ?TSF:MSG:SEND,9-9-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    22:10:36.930 -> 4071 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    22:10:36.947 -> 4073 TSM:FPAR
    22:10:36.947 -> 4077 ?TSF:MSG:SEND,9-9-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    22:10:38.969 -> 6086 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    22:10:38.969 -> 6088 TSM:FPAR
    22:10:38.969 -> 6092 ?TSF:MSG:SEND,9-9-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    22:10:40.991 -> 8101 !TSM:FPAR:FAIL
    22:10:41.024 -> 8103 TSM:FAIL:CNT=1
    

    If I put the old NRF24 module back into the Sensebender micro (after powering down and up again), it successfully connects and starts transmitting data. I've tried the following without success:

    • Move node closer to gateway
    • Added a 470uF electrolytic capacitor between GND and VCC of the new NRF24L01+ board (the 'old' radio board doesn't have one, and works ok)
    • Cleared the EEPROM of the Sensebender micro before uploading the same sketch that was successfully running on it previously
    • Testing it both from the laptop USB supply and 2 x AA batteries

    Is there anything specific that needs to be done when changing radio modules? Any tips on what else I can try?

    I did notice that the new radio modules I bought seem to have less SMD components on them, see here (left is the working eBay variant, while right is the non-working Itead variant):
    20210105_223303.jpg

    The gateway is an amplified NRF24L01+ module connected to a Raspberry Pi 3+. I did compile it about a year ago, so it is probably not the latest version (though if I'm honest I am not sure how I can check), but it does work with the old radio module.
    If required, this is the code running on the Sensebender Micro (with the only changes being the addition of a node number, and some updates to the sending of battery voltage, as I believe there was/is an error in the standard code for sending the raw values):

     * The MySensors Arduino library handles the wireless radio link and protocol
     * between your home built sensors/actuators and HA controller of choice.
     * The sensors forms a self healing radio network with optional repeaters. Each
     * repeater and gateway builds a routing tables in EEPROM which keeps track of the
     * network topology allowing messages to be routed to nodes.
     *
     * Created by Henrik Ekblad <henrik.ekblad@mysensors.org>
     * Copyright (C) 2013-2015 Sensnology AB
     * Full contributor list: https://github.com/mysensors/Arduino/graphs/contributors
     *
     * Documentation: http://www.mysensors.org
     * Support Forum: http://forum.mysensors.org
     *
     * This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
     * modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
     * version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.
     *
     *******************************
     *
     * REVISION HISTORY
     * Version 1.0 - Thomas Bowman MC8rch
     * 
     * DESCRIPTION
     * Default sensor sketch for Sensebender Micro module
     * Act as a temperature / humidity sensor by default.
     *
     * If A0 is held low while powering on, it will enter testmode, which verifies all on-board peripherals
     *  
     * Battery voltage is as battery percentage (Internal message), and optionally as a sensor value (See defines below)
     *
     *
     * Version 1.3 - Thomas Bowman MC8rch
     * Improved transmission logic, eliminating spurious transmissions (when temperatuere / humidity fluctuates 1 up and down between measurements) 
     * Added OTA boot mode, need to hold A1 low while applying power. (uses slightly more power as it's waiting for bootloader messages)
     * 
     * Version 1.4 - Thomas Bowman MC8rch
     * 
     * Corrected division in the code deciding whether to transmit or not, that resulted in generating an integer. Now it's generating floats as expected.
     * Simplified detection for OTA bootloader, now detecting if MY_OTA_FIRMWARE_FEATURE is defined. If this is defined sensebender automaticly waits 300mS after each transmission
     * Moved Battery status messages, so they are transmitted together with normal sensor updates (but only every 60th minute)
     * 
     */
    
    // Enable debug prints to serial monitor
    #define MY_DEBUG 
    
    // Define a static node address, remove if you want auto address assignment
    #define MY_NODE_ID 9
    
    // Enable and select radio type attached
    #define MY_RADIO_NRF24
    //#define MY_RADIO_RFM69
    
    // Enable to support OTA for this node (needs DualOptiBoot boot-loader to fully work)
    #define MY_OTA_FIRMWARE_FEATURE
    
    #include <SPI.h>
    #include <MySensors.h>
    #include <Wire.h>
    #include <SI7021.h>
    #ifndef MY_OTA_FIRMWARE_FEATURE
    #include "drivers/SPIFlash/SPIFlash.cpp"
    #endif
    #include <EEPROM.h>  
    #include <sha204_lib_return_codes.h>
    #include <sha204_library.h>
    #include <RunningAverage.h>
    //#include <avr/power.h>
    
    // Uncomment the line below, to transmit battery voltage as a normal sensor value
    #define BATT_SENSOR    199
    
    #define RELEASE "1.4"
    
    #define AVERAGES 2
    
    // Child sensor ID's
    #define CHILD_ID_TEMP  1
    #define CHILD_ID_HUM   2
    
    // How many milli seconds between each measurement
    #define MEASURE_INTERVAL 60000
    
    // How many milli seconds should we wait for OTA?
    #define OTA_WAIT_PERIOD 300
    
    // FORCE_TRANSMIT_INTERVAL, this number of times of wakeup, the sensor is forced to report all values to the controller
    #define FORCE_TRANSMIT_INTERVAL 30 
    
    // When MEASURE_INTERVAL is 60000 and FORCE_TRANSMIT_INTERVAL is 30, we force a transmission every 30 minutes.
    // Between the forced transmissions a tranmission will only occur if the measured value differs from the previous measurement
    
    // HUMI_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD tells how much the humidity should have changed since last time it was transmitted. Likewise with
    // TEMP_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD for temperature threshold.
    #define HUMI_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD 0.5
    #define TEMP_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD 0.5
    
    // Pin definitions
    #define TEST_PIN       A0
    #define LED_PIN        A2
    #define ATSHA204_PIN   17 // A3
    
    const int sha204Pin = ATSHA204_PIN;
    atsha204Class sha204(sha204Pin);
    
    SI7021 humiditySensor;
    SPIFlash flash(8, 0x1F65);
    
    // Sensor messages
    MyMessage msgHum(CHILD_ID_HUM, V_HUM);
    MyMessage msgTemp(CHILD_ID_TEMP, V_TEMP);
    
    #ifdef BATT_SENSOR
    MyMessage msgBatt(BATT_SENSOR, V_VOLTAGE);
    #endif
    
    // Global settings
    int measureCount = 0;
    int sendBattery = 0;
    boolean isMetric = true;
    boolean highfreq = true;
    boolean transmission_occured = false;
    
    // Storage of old measurements
    float lastTemperature = -100;
    int lastHumidity = -100;
    long lastBattery = -100;
    
    RunningAverage raHum(AVERAGES);
    
    /****************************************************
     *
     * Setup code 
     *
     ****************************************************/
    void setup() {
    
      pinMode(LED_PIN, OUTPUT);
      digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);
    
      Serial.begin(115200);
      Serial.print(F("Sensebender Micro FW "));
      Serial.print(RELEASE);
      Serial.flush();
    
      // First check if we should boot into test mode
    
      pinMode(TEST_PIN,INPUT);
      digitalWrite(TEST_PIN, HIGH); // Enable pullup
      if (!digitalRead(TEST_PIN)) testMode();
    
      // Make sure that ATSHA204 is not floating
      pinMode(ATSHA204_PIN, INPUT);
      digitalWrite(ATSHA204_PIN, HIGH);
    
      digitalWrite(TEST_PIN,LOW);
    
      digitalWrite(LED_PIN, HIGH); 
    
      humiditySensor.begin();
    
      digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);
    
      Serial.flush();
      Serial.println(F(" - Online!"));
    
      isMetric = getControllerConfig().isMetric;
      Serial.print(F("isMetric: ")); Serial.println(isMetric);
      raHum.clear();
      sendTempHumidityMeasurements(false);
      sendBattLevel(false);
    
    #ifdef MY_OTA_FIRMWARE_FEATURE  
      Serial.println("OTA FW update enabled");
    #endif
    
    }
    
    void presentation()  {
      sendSketchInfo("Sensebender Micro", RELEASE);
    
      present(CHILD_ID_TEMP,S_TEMP);
      present(CHILD_ID_HUM,S_HUM);
    
    #ifdef BATT_SENSOR
      present(BATT_SENSOR, S_POWER);
    #endif
    }
    
    
    /***********************************************
     *
     *  Main loop function
     *
     ***********************************************/
    void loop() {
    
      measureCount ++;
      sendBattery ++;
      bool forceTransmit = false;
      transmission_occured = false;
    
      if (measureCount >= FORCE_TRANSMIT_INTERVAL) { // force a transmission
        forceTransmit = true; 
        measureCount = 0;
      }
    
      sendTempHumidityMeasurements(forceTransmit);
    /*  if (sendBattery > 60) 
      {
         sendBattLevel(forceTransmit); // Not needed to send battery info that often
         sendBattery = 0;
      }*/
    #ifdef MY_OTA_FIRMWARE_FEATURE
      if (transmission_occured) {
          wait(OTA_WAIT_PERIOD);
      }
    #endif
    
      sleep(MEASURE_INTERVAL);  
    }
    
    
    /*********************************************
     *
     * Sends temperature and humidity from Si7021 sensor
     *
     * Parameters
     * - force : Forces transmission of a value (even if it's the same as previous measurement)
     *
     *********************************************/
    void sendTempHumidityMeasurements(bool forceTransmit)
    {
      bool tx = forceTransmit;
    
      si7021_env data = humiditySensor.getHumidityAndTemperature();
    
      raHum.addValue(data.humidityPercent);
    
      float diffTemp = abs(lastTemperature - (isMetric ? data.celsiusHundredths : data.fahrenheitHundredths)/100.0);
      float diffHum = abs(lastHumidity - raHum.getAverage());
    
      Serial.print(F("TempDiff :"));Serial.println(diffTemp);
      Serial.print(F("HumDiff  :"));Serial.println(diffHum); 
    
      if (isnan(diffHum)) tx = true; 
      if (diffTemp >= TEMP_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD) tx = true;
      if (diffHum >= HUMI_TRANSMIT_THRESHOLD) tx = true;
    
      if (tx) {
        measureCount = 0;
        float temperature = (isMetric ? data.celsiusHundredths : data.fahrenheitHundredths) / 100.0;
    
        int humidity = data.humidityPercent;
        Serial.print("T: ");Serial.println(temperature);
        Serial.print("H: ");Serial.println(humidity);
    
        send(msgTemp.set(temperature,1));
        send(msgHum.set(humidity));
        lastTemperature = temperature;
        lastHumidity = humidity;
        transmission_occured = true;
        if (sendBattery > 60) {
         sendBattLevel(true); // Not needed to send battery info that often
         sendBattery = 0;
        }
      }
    }
    
    /********************************************
     *
     * Sends battery information (battery percentage)
     *
     * Parameters
     * - force : Forces transmission of a value
     *
     *******************************************/
    void sendBattLevel(bool forceTransmit)
    {
      if (forceTransmit) lastBattery = -1;
      long vcc = readVcc();
      if (vcc != lastBattery) {
        lastBattery = vcc;
    
    #ifdef BATT_SENSOR
        float send_voltage = float(vcc)/1000.0f;
        send(msgBatt.set(send_voltage,3));
    #endif
    
        // Calculate percentage
    
        vcc = vcc - 1900; // subtract 1.9V from vcc, as this is the lowest voltage we will operate at
    
        long percent = vcc / 14.0;
        sendBatteryLevel(percent);
        transmission_occured = true;
      }
    }
    
    /*******************************************
     *
     * Internal battery ADC measuring 
     *
     *******************************************/
    long readVcc() {
      // Read 1.1V reference against AVcc
      // set the reference to Vcc and the measurement to the internal 1.1V reference
      #if defined(__AVR_ATmega32U4__) || defined(__AVR_ATmega1280__) || defined(__AVR_ATmega2560__)
        ADMUX = _BV(REFS0) | _BV(MUX4) | _BV(MUX3) | _BV(MUX2) | _BV(MUX1);
      #elif defined (__AVR_ATtiny24__) || defined(__AVR_ATtiny44__) || defined(__AVR_ATtiny84__)
        ADMUX = _BV(MUX5) | _BV(MUX0);
      #elif defined (__AVR_ATtiny25__) || defined(__AVR_ATtiny45__) || defined(__AVR_ATtiny85__)
        ADcdMUX = _BV(MUX3) | _BV(MUX2);
      #else
        ADMUX = _BV(REFS0) | _BV(MUX3) | _BV(MUX2) | _BV(MUX1);
      #endif  
    
      delay(2); // Wait for Vref to settle
      ADCSRA |= _BV(ADSC); // Start conversion
      while (bit_is_set(ADCSRA,ADSC)); // measuring
    
      uint8_t low  = ADCL; // must read ADCL first - it then locks ADCH  
      uint8_t high = ADCH; // unlocks both
    
      long result = (high<<8) | low;
    
      result = 1125300L / result; // Calculate Vcc (in mV); 1125300 = 1.1*1023*1000
      return result; // Vcc in millivolts
    
    }
    
    /****************************************************
     *
     * Verify all peripherals, and signal via the LED if any problems.
     *
     ****************************************************/
    void testMode()
    {
      uint8_t rx_buffer[SHA204_RSP_SIZE_MAX];
      uint8_t ret_code;
      byte tests = 0;
    
      digitalWrite(LED_PIN, HIGH); // Turn on LED.
      Serial.println(F(" - TestMode"));
      Serial.println(F("Testing peripherals!"));
      Serial.flush();
      Serial.print(F("-> SI7021 : ")); 
      Serial.flush();
    
      if (humiditySensor.begin()) 
      {
        Serial.println(F("ok!"));
        tests ++;
      }
      else
      {
        Serial.println(F("failed!"));
      }
      Serial.flush();
    
      Serial.print(F("-> Flash : "));
      Serial.flush();
      if (flash.initialize())
      {
        Serial.println(F("ok!"));
        tests ++;
      }
      else
      {
        Serial.println(F("failed!"));
      }
      Serial.flush();
    
    
      Serial.print(F("-> SHA204 : "));
      ret_code = sha204.sha204c_wakeup(rx_buffer);
      Serial.flush();
      if (ret_code != SHA204_SUCCESS)
      {
        Serial.print(F("Failed to wake device. Response: ")); Serial.println(ret_code, HEX);
      }
      Serial.flush();
      if (ret_code == SHA204_SUCCESS)
      {
        ret_code = sha204.getSerialNumber(rx_buffer);
        if (ret_code != SHA204_SUCCESS)
        {
          Serial.print(F("Failed to obtain device serial number. Response: ")); Serial.println(ret_code, HEX);
        }
        else
        {
          Serial.print(F("Ok (serial : "));
          for (int i=0; i<9; i++)
          {
            if (rx_buffer[i] < 0x10)
            {
              Serial.print('0'); // Because Serial.print does not 0-pad HEX
            }
            Serial.print(rx_buffer[i], HEX);
          }
          Serial.println(")");
          tests ++;
        }
    
      }
      Serial.flush();
    
      Serial.println(F("Test finished"));
    
      if (tests == 3) 
      {
        Serial.println(F("Selftest ok!"));
        while (1) // Blink OK pattern!
        {
          digitalWrite(LED_PIN, HIGH);
          delay(200);
          digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);
          delay(200);
        }
      }
      else 
      {
        Serial.println(F("----> Selftest failed!"));
        while (1) // Blink FAILED pattern! Rappidly blinking..
        {
        }
      }  
    }
    

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