"loosing" sensors over time



  • Hi Guys,

    before I come to my problem, first a big appreciation for all the stuff you guys put together here, really amazing. Must have spent lot's of time on this.

    I'm using the Mysensor lib v2.1.1 and am trying to build a network of temperature/humidity/pressure sensors running on batteries.
    I have one Gateway based on a NodeMCU0.9 connected to an NRF24L01+PA+LNA with MY_RF24_PA_LEVEL set to RF24_PA_LOW, no sensor yet (fixed power).
    I have one Repeater based on a Arduino Nano connected to an NRF24L01+PA+LNA with MY_RF24_PA_LEVEL set to RF24_PA_LOW, and a DHT sensor connected (fixed power).
    Also I have 2 more Arduino Nano's (fixed power) connected to an NRF24L01+, one with a DHT, the other with a BME280.
    Finally I have another 6 (and more in the pipeline) Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V connected to an NRF24L01+ with either a 47uF or 220uF low ESR Capacitor and BME280 Sensors connected. Also I measure the batterie power on these devices. These devices are built according to your description of batterie powered devices, removing the LED and powerregulator.

    The final config should only contain the Arduino Pro Mini based batterie powered devices, plus 2 Gateways, or 1 Gateway and a repeater with fixed power.

    My biggest problem seems to be, that in general the whole thing works, but from time to time I'm "losing" the sensors, or some of their measurements. Once I "loose" them, sometimes they come back after quite a while, or not at all.
    The sensors are supposed to send their data every 15 minutes, if there is a change. I switched of DEBUG and pressure readouts, to save batterie power.
    I have no clue why I "loose" the sensors. Maybe it's a collision, maybe ....

    Did I use the correct topology (1 Gateway, 1 repeater and 8 sensors, measuring every 15 minutes), should I use 2 gateways on different frequencies? Why do the sensors get "stuck"/"lost"?

    Any help is welcome.

    Thanks,

    Leon


  • Mod

    @eedlez you need to monitor the debug output of the nodes to see what is going on, or start monitoring the repeater as I noticed some people struggling with repeaters. It will require something attached to serial for a long time until you start seeing any problem


  • Hardware Contributor

    Hello @eedlez, I had a similar problem with battery powered temperature sensors until I started to use a good PA LNA module with RF24_PA_MAX. Then everything became 100% reliable.



  • @eedlez I have exactly the same problem. I have several nodes. One is working perfectly, but it is 50cm to GW. For the others, it is working perfect and suddenly nothing anymore. It can happen in the middle of the night when nothing is working... So I assume it is not an interference issue. Sometimes it comes back after a short or long while or not...

    BUT NOTICE THAT when the communication doesn't work anymore from the node to the GW, strangely the communication from the GW to the node is still working. I mean I can activate/deactivate relays from the controller with no problem...

    I'm not really confident in these nRF24. It is not easy being sure you buy good ones or not. I want to switch these nRF to RFM69 which seems more reliable. I already used these modules for other stuff than mySensors purpose and communication distance was very good with no effort.
    Does anyone has some experience with RFM69 related to this problem ? Thank u all!


  • Hardware Contributor

    @heyjay82 yes RFM radios are much better for range and you can buy the originals directly from the maker so you can have consistent results.

    But you can also buy your nrf 24 from what seem to be reliable companies like CDEByte on AliExpress, they are only slightly more expensive than the clones and their PA/LNA used in gateways seem to have solved problem for everyone who tried them.
    They did for me at last, just replaced the random clone radio in my gateway with a CDEByte PA/LNA and all problems disappeared.


  • Mod

    I have a crappy nrf24 clone sitting half meter away from the PA lna on my gateway and I don't have any issues



  • @Nca78 Thank u for that. I'm tired of these problems. I buy these modules right now!



  • @Nca78 said in "loosing" sensors over time:

    Buy you can also buy your nrf 24 from what seem to be reliable companies like CDEByte on AliExpress, they are only slightly more expensive than he clones and their PA/LNA used in gateways seem to have solved problem for everyone who tried them.

    Nice hint, thanks!


  • Mod

    I got those modules from cdebyte and I am very happy


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