Bad radio performance (small reach)

  • Hi all,

    Please help me solving the problems I have with my bad performing radio network. I'm just a newly within the Mysensors community and recently built an ethernet gateway and some sensors. This is my setup:

    Controller: Domoticz V2.4031 running on Sinology NAS
    Gateway: Ethernet gateway bases on the Mysensors instruction (Arduino Pro mini clone, NRF24L01 radio + antenna, WizNET (W5100) Ethernet module, powered via 3.3 regulated power supply).
    Sensors: The "My 2AA battery sensor" project of m26872.

    Everything is working as it should be, except for the reach between sensor and gateway. If the sensors are on the same floor in my house (say within 7 meters) everything works fine and the serial output shows nice st=ok. When moving the sensors to other floors, even within 10 meters, the connection is lost resulting in st=fail messages.

    What should I do to solve this issues? Thanks in advance.


  • @Tronix
    I put a repeater in a stairwell and it worked well to connect sensors from two floors.

  • Thanks. Do you mean the behaviour on my side is normal? What I understood from the documentation is that it should work with the standard NRF module up to 20-60 meters.

  • @Tronix The construction of your home will alter the radios performance. I have concrete floors and the radio signal does not travel well through the concrete. Interior walls made of wallboard and wood do not interfere as much. 20-60 meters is possible with clear line of sight.

    Any sensor that is mains powered is a potential repeater.

  • Hardware Contributor

    Try to temporary supply your nRF (only) on gateway from 2AA batteries (only) to see if it's a gateway power quality issue.

  • I live in a house full of gyprock walls (The white limestone that has carton on each sides) and this just blocks all kind of signals wifi 2.4GHz is kind of ok, Zwave 868MHz isn't good range, wifi 5GHz poor range. and mysensors 2.4GHz are also challenged

  • @m26872 Thanks for your advise. Just connected the NRF on the gateway side to a 2AA power supply directly. No change, still getting the st=fail messages on the sensor side. But ... I'm feeding the sensor via laptop's USB port. Could it be this source is too unstable?

    My gateway is powered by a Mini 3A 4.5 ~ 28V Input 0,8 ~ 20V Output Step-Down Voltage Regulator. This feeds the Nano, NRF and W5100 (except during the current test).

  • Hardware Contributor

    Sorry need to ask, you have not forgotten the 4.7uF cap on the radios?
    If not I would also believe 1) Power issues 2) bad Nrf modules (fake or not the +) 3) wiring

    1. Try to power gateway and node with seperate power supplies as suggestd
    2. Try to verify what kind of NRF it is
    3. Sometimes powering a sensor like relay this may cause spikes that interfere with the radio. It can be different if you run power and/or ground straight from power supply or arduino.

  • @sundberg84 Thanks. Yes, I use the cap over the power feeds, but use a 47uF variant. Could this be a problem?

  • Hardware Contributor

    Hard to say, I use a 4.7 and a 47 parallell on my GW but onlu 4.7 on my sensors... If you get ST:Fail on your sensors I would try to use a 4.7uF cap... ST:Fails have been seen many times before and the sollution is often power problems/caps.

  • @sundberg84 Ok, I will try changing the cap values. Thanks.