Gateway with both RFM69 and nRF24l01+ ?

  • Is it possible to use dual radios for a gateway? I am currently using RFM69 but I have tons of nRF24l01+ radios lying around. Can I some how add a nRF24l01+ radio to the gateway?

  • Hardware Contributor

    Do you need 1 gateway? Since the two radio-types do not interfere, it only depends on the controllers capacity to use more then 1 gateway. I think Domoticz can handle two seperate gateways, other controllers probably as well.

    As far as I know, there are no gateways for the moment that allow use of both radios at the same time. I think @Anticimex made a board that can use either RFM69 or NRF24. Both radios need SPI.

  • Contest Winner

    I would recommend two gateways. One for each radio as the MySensors library will not be able to properly route messages in two radio interfaces simultaneously. @tbowmo is working on a "high end" gateway which also support both radios like my sensor board does. Same "constraint" holds true in that case. But at least you only need to buy one board type and create to "instances". I think the raspberry pi gw type is more likely a target if you only want one hw. Since it runs a full os where it would be possible to execute to MySensors tasks simultaneously (one for each radio).

  • Ok is there any advantage to use a long range nrf on the gateway?

  • Contest Winner

    I am considering using all rf69 myself. Not fully decided yet and currently my gw only can do rf24. I am waiting for the "high end" one 🙂
    As for the long range need, it depends on topologies. A lot of walls and beams will decrease range and if you are willing to deploy powered repeaters/relay nodes at strategic positions. I have not had the possibility to benchmark but as I have understood, rf69 will have greater range. But it is not just a matter of carrier frequency. For rf69 you are also "responsible" for the antenna. Messing that up will ruin the range. But I hope to find a lot of references through Google and this forum to make sure the length is good (I plan to just use a wire monopole). Once deployed I can investigate the appropriate orientation (vertical, horisontal, could, straight, etc) which also depend on node placement and gw orientation. I think, for me ultimate it will be power consumption that is the decider, unless I can use rf69 without any repeaters (and I doubt it since my current home is an apartment, but my future home will be a house). But I would suspect rf69 is slightly more power conservative so it leans in that direction. Hw support for AES encryption is also appealing since I won't need to spend valuable flash space implementing it in SW 🙂

  • Hardware Contributor

    FYI - I used these 915MHz coil antenna and ran a mock sensors test around my house. I had several areas where the NRF radios had terrible coverage (even with the various antenna mod ideas floating around). The RFM69 with this little antenna worked perfectly in all of those areas. The only area I couldn't get anything was out at the street by the water meter - but that's under 18 inches of ground and concrete so I'm not too surprised by that. No idea on power usage - I'm using/planning on hard wired nodes everywhere so range and encryption are the major selling points for me. I haven't tested the encryption yet but it's on my list to do.

  • Contest Winner

    @TD22057 cool. I never even considered prefab wire antennae. I just planned to cut my own. Not sure my pcb has the appropriate hole diameter to accommodate that (and I use 868mhz). But nice to see options 🙂

  • Ok, but regarding the dual gateways for different radios. I am currently using a rpi+arduino Nano with domoticz for the rfm69. Do I just add another nano with an nrf to get dual radios?

  • Contest Winner

    @Cliff-Karlsson yes, at least that is one option. You then get two distinct gateway interfaces for your controller. One for each radio network.

  • Contest Winner

    I think that will be my strategy. That is, I keep my current rf24 gateway and larer on add a "69" gateway when the rf24 does not really cut it abd i have to use 69 nodes (typically the ones far away). I am not too fond of deploying wired repeaters unless I have to.


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