NRF24L01+ range of only few meters



  • Hey there,

    I have multiple NRFs bought on ebay. Those are probably not genuine, but up to now they worked. I was only building sensors on my desk and tested them. Now I wanted to move one of my sensors... and got no receiption. Moving it back to my ESP gateway I got it back working at a range of about 4-5 m with only a lite wall in between. I think thats not the normal range, or many others would have realy a problem.
    Is this maybe caused by bad ESP positioning (short cable on my pc for new uploads, next to some mains adaptors and my monitor)? Or might it be caused by many wifi-networks in our area?
    Does anyone have a good idea how to get better range?



  • @sundberg84 I have the same problem. Can't get those radios talking to each other over a distance longer than 3 meters. I did everything described in many other posts. Capacitors, seperate 3.3v power source, etc, etc.

    Only thing is, gateway is Uno powered from the USB port on my computer and sensor is Pro Mini powered through a phone charger. I supply 3.3V regulated power through LM1117 on the sensor. However, I use Uno's 3.3V on the gateway. I am using MYSController to test the connection.

    I am really enthusiastic about MySensors project, but really got stuck at this very first stage. Please, need help.



  • the 3.3V on the arduino boards suck. Do not use that, instead use the 5V with your own 3.3V regulator.


  • Hardware Contributor

    Well, you should be able to debug by changing position of the sensor and see if that helps. If you have a 3.3 try to power it with 2xAA (little noice) to see if that helps. Also if you move the sensor it might need some time to find its way through the network if you have repeaters and so...



  • @ericvdb said:

    the 3.3V on the arduino boards suck. Do not use that, instead use the 5V with your own 3.3V regulator.

    I'm using 7 nodes with nRF directly connected to my 3.3v pro mini's vcc. Never had any problems with range, since I'm using the nRF Version with antenna on my gateway.

    @Anduril are you using capacitors? Try exchanging the nRF which is attached to your gateway.



  • I also have such problems, the following video helps me. I use 3.3V pro mini.
    Cheap DIY NRF24L01 Antenna Modification – 02:48
    — Pete B


  • Mod

    @sven said:

    the following video helps me

    @petewill strikes again ;-)


  • Hero Member

    I have an issue in a room where nothing goes out (but before yes...) : nor Zwave or nrf24L01 from itead in normal or amplified, either on batteries or on AC... any idea how to investigate this ?

    Some wifi is in, I am wondering of a local gateway to wifi to circumvent this...


  • Hero Member

    @sven is this a quartew or half wave what he proposes ?



  • @epierre
    petewill propose full wave antenna, please look here: http://forum.mysensors.org/topic/775/8-lamp-outlet-smart-plug-module/67


  • Hero Member

    @sven I did ad a home made half wave on a 433Mhz device (Imagitronix), and also added a quater wave on the RFXTRX to improve the range.

    Frequency = 868 MHz
    Quarter Wavelength: 82.2 mm = 3.235 inch
    Half Wavelength: 164.3 mm = 6.470 inch

    so it is a quarter Wave as the amplified version propose



  • @epierre
    The NRF24L01+ is working on an other frequency, it is 2400 MHz and not 868 MHz. I think to post http://forum.mysensors.org/topic/775/8-lamp-outlet-smart-plug-module/67 might be correct.


  • Hero Member

    @sven on the video he shows 83.38 ?? you are right, it is 2.4GHz

    1/4 wave antenna is 31.25 mm long
    1/2 wavelength is 62.5mm.

    so why did he mesured 83.38 ? was it inches ? (imperial non universal?)



  • @HenryWhite yeah I have caps at all my nrfs. Will try with a different power source, as mine is attached to my pc usb as well. At least for testing it should work on batteries.


  • Mod

    @epierre said:

    @sven on the video he shows 83.38 ?? you are right, it is 2.4GHz

    1/4 wave antenna is 31.25 mm long
    1/2 wavelength is 62.5mm.

    so why did he mesured 83.38 ? was it inches ? (imperial non universal?)

    As Pete explains in the video, you need to add 83.38mm to the pcb antenna to get a full wavelength.


  • Hero Member

    @mfalkvidd said:

    83.38mm to the

    I'd like to understand @petewill



  • @Anduril said:

    @HenryWhite yeah I have caps at all my nrfs. Will try with a different power source, as mine is attached to my pc usb as well. At least for testing it should work on batteries.

    If that doesn't help try exchanging the Gateway Radio module.



  • Basically, from what I understand, a few meters of range is abnormal, and there is something I am doing wrong (a lot of which you outlined above and elsewhere). I understand that if powered correctly and fitted with capacitors and, if need be, some home made antennas, they should communicate through concrete walls up to 10-20 meters.

    Do you confirm? Only then I will have the stamina to go back and spend another weekend crouched on that desk. :wink:


  • Mod

    The nrf should have about the same range as regular wifi. So if regular wifi works in that room, you should be able to get the nrf working. If wifi doesn't work, you are not likely to get the nrf working either. In that case you'll probably be better off using ethernet (place an ethernet gateway in that room, with wired access to your home network) or use rs485.

    10-20m solid concrete is going to be tough (for almost any type of radio signal), but with regular walls you should get at least 10m, probably 20-50.


  • Admin

    @epierre my notes are in inches so forgive me not converting it here. My thinking was to make a full wavelength antenna using the existing pcb antenna. A full wavelength antenna for 2.4GHz is 4.92 in. I measured the existing pcb antenna on the nRF and it was 1.64 in. So, 4.92 - 1.64 = 3.28 in. (or 8.3312 cm). I'm not claiming to be an expert at all (an other people have said this shouldn't work) but it has worked well for me so I keep doing it. :) Others have reported success too so hopefully it will help you.

    (thanks for your help @mfalkvidd)

    @nunver Have you changed the PA level to MAX in myconfig.h?


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