Which is better: RFM69 or NRF24L01+?


  • Hero Member

    I notice that today's MySensors release v1.5 contains support for RFM69. So, which is better: RFM69 or NRF24L01+?


  • Hero Member

    I'm going to to out on a limb here and say RFM69. The range and wall penetration is in another league altogether from what I've seen, given similar input current. And if I remember correctly you can force much lower bit rates than NRF24? Also, afaik, no knockoff issues. The issue for me is that I now have a ton of NRF24s and I'm reluctant to switch plus the RFM69s are hard to come by outside of the US, where the manufacturer has an official outlet. I've seen them occasionally on AliExpress but they have never seemed to catch on.

    Would be great if we could get ITEAD to carry them perhaps?
    @jerry



  • Hi I am using both at this stage and is busy change all my nodes over to the RFM69 and I don't have issue with range like I do with the NRS24L01+. I order my radio from Anadruino (http://www.anarduino.com/) to date I did not had any problems with the deliveries I get it relative fast. Also, it is easy to fit the radio on an Arduino mini pro see picture 1. Your footprint with the RFM69 is must smaller than it is if you fit the Arduino and NRF24l01 like I did with this LED dimmer and PIR Sensor see picture 2. The only problem I have at this stage is my power consumption is still high and I don't know why it is this high 3mA.

    Picture 1:
    upload-098ae33c-2c84-4cf2-8361-11ef71e094dc

    Picture 2:
    upload-93f251ef-24d1-4735-9f27-2336934df5ed


  • Hero Member

    Sorry for so basic question --- But I think you needed to adapt the gateway, in order to run both radios together (mix of RFM69 and nRF24L01+ nodes) ?



  • @rvendrame yes I running 2 serial gateways on my Domoticz controller.


  • Admin

    @rvendrame

    the new GW device that I work on, has sockets / pads for both radio versions (rfm69 and nrf24). And in theory it should have enough power to control both radio networks at the same time.


  • Hardware Contributor

    I agree with you too. RFM is very good quality and @tbowmo GW will be sooo great! atsam is little beast and our GW will be much much powerful! Like some people I prefer not using wifi for GW (security question for me), usb is much more secure I think. And for radio, RFM is a killer!


  • Hero Member

    @tbowmo , in that case we need to adopt the gw sketch to run both radios in parallel right?

    And @Francois , by running two distinct GWs, I guess you don't have to worry about duplicate node IDs, right?

    Thank you guys!



  • @rvendrame I give all my nodes static ID's and this is working for me in Domoticz


  • Hero Member

    If you were starting from scratch, would you still put both radio types in your system, or would you put all of one type only?



  • @rvendrame I will only go for the RFM69. When I start playing with the Mysensor project Hek only had only support for the NRF24l01+. Once they port the library over to support the RFM69 I stop using the NRF24L01+. Luckly I don't have big installation on the NRF24 radio.


  • Admin

    @rvendrame

    Yes, there will be some adjustments to code here and there.. But first the prototypes needs to be build, before we can make code for it.. (Also, I don't have any rfm69 hardware at the moment..)


  • Hero Member

    @Francois darn, by now i can wire the nrf from memory. Now to learn new wiring....
    The power consumption in idle is still something to consider


  • Hero Member

    @Moshe-Livne said:

    The power consumption in idle is still something to consider

    According to JeeLabs, " The RFM69 draws 0.1 µA in sleep mode." Say, isn't that lower than for the NRF24L01+?

    Or, by "idle," were you referring to something else?


  • Hero Member

    @NeverDie I mean in reality... people here measured 30uA compared to 3uA in similar nrf setup. could be the result of many things, might be just a kink that has to be ironed in the software.


  • Hero Member

    I haven't measured it myself, so I'm very open to everybody's data. Hopefully more people will post results of their own measurements and a pattern will emerge suggesting what's truth.



  • Just curious if anyone has tested the power consumption yet? But to be honest only one of my sensors is battery powered so I'm not overly concerned 🙂



  • @francois where did you get your antenna for rfm69. DIY ?



  • Hi,

    Anyone got the Ethernet gateway going with RFM69? I am struggling and I am not sure, but I think there are a few issues in the V1.5 for RFM69.

    @NeverDie, a 78mm piece of wire works well for antenna.
    *Edit - Sorry, this is assuming 915MHz. See https://www.easycalculation.com/physics/electromagnetism/antenna-wavelength.php and choose quater wavelength


  • Hero Member

    @mrmin24 said:

    Hi,

    Anyone got the Ethernet gateway going with RFM69? I am struggling and I am not sure, but I think there are a few issues in the V1.5 for RFM69.

    @NeverDie, a 78mm piece of wire works well for antenna.

    Does it make any difference what the wire diameter is? I'm assuming the thicker the better?



  • @NeverDie Probably, but I don't think you should stress too much. The power is not "that" high.

    See http://ham.stackexchange.com/questions/140/good-wire-for-wire-antenna for what seems like valid response.


  • Hero Member

    @mrmin24 said:

    @NeverDie Probably, but I don't think you should stress too much. The power is not "that" high.

    See http://ham.stackexchange.com/questions/140/good-wire-for-wire-antenna for what seems like valid response.

    Right, I'm just not t sure how to account for the "skin effect".



  • @fets yes ons DIY. I am using 433mhz radio and I just wound the wire around screwdriver the thickness of the wire is 5.8mm and it is working for me.


  • Hero Member

    @Francois said:

    @fets yes ons DIY. I am using 433mhz radio and I just wound the wire around screwdriver the thickness of the wire is 5.8mm and it is working for me.

    Is it just bare copper, or does it have some kind of thin insulator on it like magnet wire has?



  • @NeverDie it is just bare copper wire.



  • Bare or insulated wire will work the same. I use insulated on my 433mhz transmitter/receiver node to prevent the antenna from shorting anything on the board, just in case.



  • @francois nice job


  • Hero Member

    @fets said:

    @francois nice job

    +1


  • Hero Member

    Here a theory as to why the RFM69x might be better, at least for some people. Broadly speaking, RFM69x apparently has better range under regular conditions. "Well," you say, "I don't need better range. I live in a matchbox. My existing range is fine." Yes, when you're batteries are providing 3.3v, maybe it is. But what about when they're low and supplying closer to 1.8v, or whatever your cutoff is? How good is your range then?

    So, my hope is that RFM69x will be sufficiently awesomer that it will have at least as good a range at, say, 1.8v as an NRF24L01+ does at 3.3v.

    To be a good, reliable engineering design, you need to build your nodes/system for the worst case: i.e. their range is still effective even when all their batteries are on the verge of cutting out.

    So, you could compensate for NRF24L01's lesser range by deploying repeaters, if necessary. However, you might avoid that cost and higher latency and possible deployment/maintenance hassle if you funnel those dollars into nodes that have better radios in the first place.

    Anyhow, just thinking out loud here, of another angle on how to decide which is better for you.


  • Hero Member

    Looking into it, it's beginning to look as though the RFM69HW can't be scaled back on Tx power by much, if any. That's because, allegedly, it's PA has to be turned on if it is to work at all. So, this may explain why some people are opting for the RFM69W instead.


  • Hero Member

    @Francois said:

    Hi I am using both at this stage and is busy change all my nodes over to the RFM69 and I don't have issue with range like I do with the NRS24L01+. I order my radio from Anadruino (http://www.anarduino.com/) to date I did not had any problems with the deliveries I get it relative fast. Also, it is easy to fit the radio on an Arduino mini pro see picture 1. Your footprint with the RFM69 is must smaller than it is if you fit the Arduino and NRF24l01 like I did with this LED dimmer and PIR Sensor see picture 2. The only problem I have at this stage is my power consumption is still high and I don't know why it is this high 3mA.

    Picture 1:
    upload-098ae33c-2c84-4cf2-8361-11ef71e094dc

    Picture 2:
    upload-93f251ef-24d1-4735-9f27-2336934df5ed

    Francois,

    What pin-mapping did you use? i.e. For each pin you used on the RFM69W, which pin on the RFM69W to which pin on the pro mini?

    I have the parts, and I'm ready to wire one up. I'll try thinking it through from scratch, but it would be nice to compare notes also.



  • @neverdie I just using jumper wire to connect the radio to the Arduino mini pro see picture. This is working for me now as it is fast to get a sensor up and running.Also, it have a small footprint as well.

    upload-a4bf229a-8612-4f62-83c5-631787aaac0f


  • Hero Member

    @Francois said:

    @neverdie I just using jumper wire to connect the radio to the Arduino mini pro see picture. This is working for me now as it is fast to get a sensor up and running.Also, it have a small footprint as well.

    upload-a4bf229a-8612-4f62-83c5-631787aaac0f

    Thanks! I've been wracking my brain, but for the cost in time and money I can't think of (or find) anything better, so I'm going to roll with what you did. A+


  • Hero Member

    @Francois said:

    @neverdie I just using jumper wire to connect the radio to the Arduino mini pro see picture. This is working for me now as it is fast to get a sensor up and running.Also, it have a small footprint as well.

    upload-a4bf229a-8612-4f62-83c5-631787aaac0f

    @Francois
    Thanks again for the photo. I recently wired this up using an RFM69W, not HW, and it seems to work.

    However, I did find hat I needed to define pin D10 as an output pin using pinMode, or else it created aggravation. Setting it this way fixed that problem:
    pinMode(10,OUTPUT);

    I seemed to be getting unexpected current flowing through the DI00 wire, which seems to be connected to Pro Mini pin D2 (?) if I'm looking at your photo right. How are you initializing that pin in your code? Are you just defining D2 as an input pin, or is there more to it than that? Also, I'm guessing that at some point in your code you are attaching interrupts to D2?


  • Hero Member

    @Francois

    The pin labeled "d00 irq2" looks like Arduino digital pin 2 (aka int0). Right?


  • Hero Member

    Maybe an easier way to ask the question would be: which mySensors software are you running on it, and did you need to modify the code at all, or did it work just fine as is?

    Hopefully:
    pinMode(2, INPUT);
    is all that will be required, though I haven't tested it yet to know whether it's sufficient. If it is, then be aware that, if running on batteries, you may want to set this even if you aren't actually using it in a particular sketch. Or, perhaps there's a better setting when it's not actually being used, so you can turn off the ADC. Some earlier measurements I did seem to indicate that leaving it floating produces higher current losses, draining your battery faster. Unfortunately, I had to pack things up for the near-term, or else I'd just go back and remeasure with the above setting. For now, all I can offer is a "heads up" that it may be an issue.



  • Hi guyz, i just wanted to ask if I would need to make any modification to the code if i were to switch my current Ethernet gateway and my sensors from NRF24 to RFM69


 

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