NRF24l01+ vs. NRF24l01+ pa + lna

  • Hardware Contributor


    i have some trouble with the pa lna Module. Is something different between the normal Module and the pa lna? I use an Arduino Nano, with the "normal" it work perfect if I Connect the pa lna Module the serial connection will disconnect.

    I will use it as an Gateway.

    I try two different Nanos and nrf24l01+ lna pa


  • Hardware Contributor

    It uses much more power. The arduino can't handle that so you need an external power supply. It might also need shielding. There are many threads about that in this forum. Just search for them.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @LastSamurai ok I will try it with an external Power source.

  • Hardware Contributor

    Works like a charm! Thanks a lot!

  • Hardware Contributor

    Glad that I could help.

  • Hi,
    I have a very similar problem.
    I have a sensor network with several nodes and one gateway, all using NRF24l01+. Everything works fine.
    Now I want to substitute the NRF24l01+ on the gateway with a NRF24l01 PA NLA to extend range.
    If I use the working gateway note and attach the PA NLA version I get ST=fail errors.

    Here the gateway log with the NRF24l01+ attached to the gateway:
    0_1464896067263_GatewayWithNRF24l01p.png image url)

    And here with the NRF24l01 PA NLA attached (no change in the Arduino Nano code - exactly same Nano used):

    For both log I did the same (operating a switch on a sensor node on and off).

    Any idea to solve the problem is highly appreciated.

    lg, Jürgen

  • By the way, I tried with 4 different pa lna modules from 2 different vendors, directly connected to the nano and also with external power source. Same result in any variant.

  • Hero Member

    @meju25 try "the ugly fix" it is probably a shielding problem. You can also try to reduce the transmit power in your sketch (Config.h if you are on 1.5 version)

  • hi..
    maybe in myconfig.h put power at max

    #define RF24_PA_LEVEL RF24_PA_MAX

    all grounds connected ? external source and arduino source ?

  • Interesting topic - I have nrf24l01+ PA/LNA connected to Uno (5v pin via LDO as 3.3v pin cannot handle high consumption) on my GW.

    I must admit I tried normal transceiver and there is a huge difference. The amplified version must be properly fed (otherwise you'll get st=fail) and sometimes isolated (ugly fix). I did not have to do this ugly fix, but I have gone through a few modules to get the one working flawlessly

  • Thank you all for your hints.
    Unfortunately for me neighter worked (ugly fix, changing PA_LEVEL, decoupling with caps, using stable desktop power source).
    It seems, that the Chinese modules are very sensitive.
    I decided to give the amplified version a last try and ordered a little more expensive, non chinese (and hopefully better quality) module on Amazon.

    If this also does not work, i will set up a repeater network with the nrf24l01+.

  • @meju25 Just beware that Amazon selling the same chinese transceivers - I tried and returned a few.

  • @meju25

    Unfortunately I have the exact same problem with the amplified version. I have two of them and tried all the mentioned solutions (power, shielding etc) on both modules but none of them work. On the contrary the amplifier version works much worst then the normal version. So I have just given up on this module and put some of the normal NRF as repeater.

    May be as one has mentioned, the Chinese module does not work properly. However the normal NRF module are all from China.

  • I just tried the ugly fix by @Oitzu on my GW and now I can confirm that the reception 3 walls away is much more stable. Generally speakIng my scene controller has been working intermittently and it is super stable now. My advice is as follows:

    1. read the feedback on Alixexpress and order nrf24l01+ + PA from a reputable name. Personally I had to go through several modules.

    2. Feed it from Arduino 5V pin via AMS1117.
      This makes sure the feed is 3.3V solid. You may need to use LC filter to get the ripple out if you have a bad clone or a noisy feed

    3. make sure you solder a cap - 4.7uF or higher.

    4. there are settings in MyConfig.h:


    Which you may need to change.

    1. Try to scan 2.4Ghz and change the channel accordingly

    2. if nothing helps please re-do the steps above. Please note that some Arduino clones are terrible quality. This may have some contribution towards your issue.

  • @alexsh1 is this now officially called "the ugly fix"? 😕
    I should reconsider my naming choices. 😄

  • @Oitzu google "ugly fix nrf24l01+" 🙂

  • Today I received to packets with NRF24l01 pa nla modules.
    1 from China (
    1 from Amazon (

    both are working perfectly (2 other stores from Aliexpress delivered modules with the st=FAIL issue earlier).
    The module from Amazon is rather expensive, but it is shielded (metal body on the pcb).

    So if you are looking for working modules, I can recommend the two modules above.

  • @meju25 €16 for a module???????? Wow
    On Amazon the same Chinese modules are sold - no need to pay 3-4 times more

  • I cannot see any more activity on this topic, but I have the same situation.
    About year ago I bought ebay model with antenna and it worked perfectly and solved my range problem for gateway.
    Now I ordered again from ebay (2 different stores, similar price) but on same arduino , when I replace old NFR24 with new ones (I got 5 different NRF modules) it doesn't work properly.
    Also if I put NRF24 without antenna it works fine,
    None of that ugly fix worked for me (shielding with alu, external power supply....)
    Please note that old NRF24 work without any "ugly fixes", directly connected to Arduino Nano 3.3 (3uF capacitor only).
    Also note that NRF24s without antenna work even without capacitor.

    So my question is simple: can anyone differ good ebay NFR24 with antenna from a nonworking one. I spent not only money but also a lot of time (waiting items from ebay that dont work) without success.

    Now I only can cry that I didnt order more pieces of that "old" model I had.
    But I hope someone will be able to tell.

    Currently I got 5 nonworking and 1 working with antenna, and 10 working NRF24 without antena.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @Igor-Antolić - sorry to say that i dont have any good answer - but since I have been around this forum for a long time I have seen this questions so many times - and the answer is thats its hard to know what you are buying. Search the forum, there is alof of pictures and discussions on this topic. This ( might be the biggest so far.

    Someone mentioned we should report / keep some sort of register which seller delivers good/bad modules... but just as you I have had some good batches and some really bad.

  • Hero Member

    @Igor-Antolić I assume you have been experimenting with the #define MY_RF24_PA_LEVEL RF24_PA_LOW ? The '+PA+LNA' have a habit of "over shouting" themselves.

  • In my case, the most important things for a successful communication are:

    1. A good 3.3V power source (I used an adapter for nrf24l01 + with AMS1117);
    2. A 10uF capacitor (very important). In my case a 4.7uF capacitor was sufficient to pilot the nrf24l01 + PA + LNA at RF24_PA_LOW level.

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