NRF24 Range



  • Seems i just need a little more range from NRF24. I know i can use repeater nodes. But currently the question is if buying an antenna based module and placing it only for the gateway will help (nodes will still use the modules of NRFs with built in antennas)
    Will it help? Or the external antenna modules need to be on both sides of transmission?


  • Mod

    Adding an antenna with higher gain at one side will help both sending and receiving so yes it will help. Adding at both sides will help even more.
    I use larger antenna for the gateway only, to keep the size and cost for sensors down.
    If you opt for a module with power amplifier (PA) make sure you have a stable power source that can supply enough current.

    You can also use @petewill's great solution to add a simple antenna to the pcb. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpMnauHeR7Y&feature=youtu.be


  • Mod

    This post is deleted!


  • Dusting an old post here :)

    That previous video brings a solution... but it seems that it is not quite the right way to do it (by reading the comments, looks like keeping the original trace and adding a wire is not the recommended fashion..)

    Here is another approach, that looks good!
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Enhanced-NRF24L01/

    What about power consumption ? Does it necessarily go up as the range increases ?



  • @ben999 Power input and output remains exactly the same. If you take an analogy of radiated power as a tyre tube, the larger the antenna the tyre tube is squeezed on top and bottom extending the range and conversely sensitivity. Add a reflector and directors (as in antenna beam - yagi) the radiation is squeezed top bottom and back forcing the a lobe out away from the reflector.



  • @zboblamont

    Thank you for the explaination :+1:

    Can you please confirm whether the last link provide or not an acceptable solution?

    Any down-side?



  • @ben999 It should work ok, but may require a bit of tweaking and experimentation to get the correct length. Effectively it is a quarter wave either side but the PCB track also forms part of that antenna so not just a straight calculation.



  • @ben999 Ooops. PS - orientation of the antenna must be the same for send and receive, usually vertical. Do not mix polarisations it will attenuate signal strangth. Have no idea if the board itself would disrupt signal but would play safe and have the antenna end facing intended direction of receive.



  • @zboblamont

    Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    I will have a go then !


  • Hero Member

    @ben999 I have used that di-pole mod on a few nodes now and have found it to make a reasonable increase in range, considering the cost.

    As @zboblamont has said alignment and orientation also play a part as does providing a clear line of sight where possible.



  • i'm bilding this right now: http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/bt_yagi/bt_yagi.htm
    i tell you what is the increment of range in the next weekend ...

    0_1494431994498_upload-5f249d36-0af2-4bd6-b4f3-0b4b13788dad

    i have one of temp sensors under a water solar panel and the aluminium from the frame get me crazy because that sensor lose many of the sent reads to gw. i will finish that yagi antenna and solder that to my nrf24 and i hope signal increase performance.

    in my house (i dont have neighboard les than 80m with wifi signal and noise from other routers or any king of 2.4ghz signals ) i can send a door sensor signal(from my entrance gate) by 50m and 1 wall . that one have this antena alredy on tx:
    http://martybugs.net/wireless/collinear.cgi
    0_1494432012836_upload-41e2f334-6ce8-4308-8b9c-e67b2af5c252



  • @Tmaster A yagi at this frequency is going to be fun building without a GDO, but good luck, have fun... Buil a backfire Yagi and quads in my young HAM days (many moons ago), the quads were way easier. Why did you not try relocating the antenna as a simple dipole on a coax from the board hence avoiding the obstacle frame? Seems like total overkill for ca 50m, but hey it's all fun I guess....



  • @zboblamont said in NRF24 Range:

    overkill for ca 50m,

    overkill for this ebay nrf24L01+? in real life they don't have this range without modifications. 1 wall ..and its done



  • @Tmaster Sorry if I was not clear, your problem as you described it is primarily obstructed signal path. The PCB antenna for sure is low gain but relocating the node antenna to a give clear line of sight is more important than the effective radiated power. Relocating with a decent dipole would dramatically increase gain, as would adding a reflector. Unlike the previous example of directly adding quarter waves to the PCB to make a dipole, using coax to remote the antenna brings it's own issues. A bazooka balun is a simple enough solution to incorporate, but never done one at these frequencies.



  • of corse that a clear path its always better that change what already is made. but i only change the antenna when im in a "hole". On that case i cant move my tx sensors so i have to increse power. i hope with a "mini yagi" i can redirect the signal in one direction insted ominidirectional antena. on gw i`m using an old laptop antenna with good results



  • @Tmaster I am not doubting the principle of increasing effective radiated power by way of relocating the antenna, or improving the radiation lobe in a set direction. The additional gain is important with weak signals at both send and receive ends, but at 50m it should not be an issue at these frequencies unless there are major attenuations to the signal. I have to guess you already have a dipole at the receiver ?


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