My best nRF24L01+PA+LNa node (gateway/ repeater) so far


  • Hero Member

    After spending (a lot of) time in finding ways to extend the range of nodes I (by accident ;-) ) ordered a cheap metal enclosure. Pictures speak for themselves....

    0_1465744032042_upload-aa38d27e-b299-4a79-82a3-4868797230ac

    Finally found a drill for perfect (large) round holes (after 30 years of "square" ones)
    0_1465744105582_upload-6977f6f5-b62a-4a28-bc26-8033dccc3ed2

    just before assembly (hard to beat duct tape)
    0_1465744196914_upload-c6da29ce-fd74-4517-8be0-b3c1b9bd83ea

    and the final result. This is only a repeater node.. can't find a spot in the street without reception.
    0_1465744544197_upload-6862ec67-c5f3-420b-bb24-da8eeec783fb

    0_1465744322334_upload-126a9cda-3f83-4514-8c6e-40110fc7cf27



  • @AWI
    Nice product.



  • @AWI nice finnish :+1:
    I wonder if the nrf24 shielding is still necessary in a metal enclosure.



  • Very neat case in the photo!
    After accidentally burning the Nano in a metal enclosure due to several pins shorted, this is a no go for me personally. Obviously, enclosure can be isolated inside. Meantime, I'll stick to 3D printed ones.


  • Hero Member

    @Oitzu the shielding in the case is not needed but I already wrapped this one. It needs electric isolation though :wink:


  • Hero Member

    @alexsh1 The whole purpose of this case was shielding... but I agree it has the looks :eyes:



  • Nice case @AWI
    Any tips for getting a repeater working? Tried the example sketch from 1.5.4 but the repeater seems to freeze when trying to boot. Using a nano with normal NRF radio.


  • Hardware Contributor

    I just want to add how important i just experienced this is! I upgrade my GW and 2 repeaters to 2.0 and added a metalic case. Nothing more. The reception has improved VERY MUCH! In one repeater, I just coated a plastic case on the inside with aluminium foil - works great. All my garden nodes (which maybe had uptime of 90-95% before and went red in Domoticz from time to time is 100% upp since this.

    So we should not underestimate this - the radio makes alot of noice which interfere with tha radiowaves.
    Thank you @AWI for this.



  • Today I took time to check why my node didn't work for more than 1 hour.

    If I have the antenna like this it doesn't work
    0_1473617579086_20160910_065058350_iOS.jpg

    If I have it like this it works
    0_1473617588771_20160910_065042757_iOS.jpg


  • Hardware Contributor

    @flopp yep, I also get better reception pointing it vertical. I have one repeater under a bed and the antenna was pushed to a horizontal position and it was almost useless.


  • Hero Member

    Not a radio expert but i think all your antennas should be on the same plane to work properly. So if your gateway antenna is vertical then you should try and setup your nodes the same way.



  • I had I running for 4 days now with serial monitor I had 9 failures during this time.

    One sensor sending data every 30 minutes and 2 other sensors sending every 2 hour.



  • above was not the solution, after a few days it stopped working again and since then I have been trying to get it to work.

    I change the direction for the antennas and it worked a few days, I change the location for my controller, wrapped the PCB with metal folie, I bought a nRF with metal case, nothing helped until I change the repeaters nRF, now it has been working for 96 hours without problem :smile:

    So my suggestion to you is, buy at least 2-3 nRF from different sellers, to avoid problem with batches. If you buy 3 nRF at the same time from same seller, maybe that batch is a bad one.



  • Now it is working extremely much better, I have 8 days in a row without any errors.
    I think this is how it should be.


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