Is this the end of nrf24l01?

  • Hi! I have many nrf24l01 chips at home, but it looks like all of them are useless cheap crap. So I looked for better ones and found this thread about Ebyte.

    Sounds promising, from what I read there, so I wanted to give the E01-ML01D a try. But buying them seems not so easy. Sold out everywhere.

    Nordic itself writes on their product page:

    Not recommended for new designs

    So, is this the end of nrf24l01? Or where could I buy new modules, if I need them? What would you recommend for new projects?

  • IIRC, they are not recommended for new designs for at least a few years now. But you can still buy plenty of NRF24L01 ICs from Mouser or LCSC as of today.

    CDEbyte still stocks various modules with NRF24 in their stores (see CDSENET, Cojxu and CDEBYTE - they all belong to the same company), but it seems like they are gradually drifting towards replacing it with the SI24R1 IC which are then labeled as the E01C series, as opposed to E01 for the NRF24. I don't own any of the E01C modules, but I'd assume that they still work better than the average unspecified Chinese NRF24 clone from eBay.

    What would you recommend for new projects?

    NRF5 maybe? They are fully fledged ARM-based SoCs with the NRF24-compatible transceiver included, but note that they are more difficult to work with than the good old Arduino + NRF24 combo. You'll need a compatible programmer, may need additional programming knowledge and I don't know if there are any through hole modules with pins available.

    Look for the E73 series from CDEbyte. At least the NRF52832 is rather well supported by MySensors.

    There are a couple of threads in the forum to get you going with NRF5, like the NRF5 beginners guide or the NRF5 platform overview. I also wrote a short guide how I got my first E73 to work using an STM32 as a Black Magic Probe.

    If you're looking for replacement transceivers to use with ATmegas, look for RFM69 / RFM9x (LoRa). They have a potentially much higher range than NRF24 due to the lower radio frequencies they use, but need a little more effort to set up, notably because you have to manually solder an antenna to them.

    I designed an infographic about the commonly used RFM modules by HopeRF a while ago if you need an overview.

  • @benhub Sad news - I must get some more nrf24l01+'s - Also has anyone seen a PA/LNA version of NRF5? IF it is bluetooth device then I suspect not as it would be out of spec for that usage.

  • @BearWithBeard Wow, thanks for this detailed answer!

    Today, I received an answer from Ebyte:

    Yes, because of the shortage of chips, E01-ML01D is temporarily out of stock. It will be available in next mouth, if you have a purchase plan, please book as soon as possible.

    @skywatch So, there is hope 🙂

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