NRF24L01 + PA + LNA issue

  • Hi,

    I'm trying to replace a NRF24L01+ radio with a NRF24L01 + PA + LNA radio (with the antenna) to achieve a better range.
    The node is working with the NRF24L01+ without any problem.

    I now have tried 3 different NRF24L01+ PA +LNA and still end up with the same issue:

    3 TSM:INIT
    4 TSF:WUR:MS=0
    13 TSF:SID:OK,ID=10
    14 TSM:FPAR
    51 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    2060 TSM:FPAR
    2096 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    4106 TSM:FPAR
    4142 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    6152 TSM:FPAR
    6188 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    8196 !TSM:FPAR:FAIL
    8197 TSM:FAIL:CNT=1
    8199 TSM:FAIL:PDT
    18202 TSM:FAIL:RE-INIT
    18204 TSM:INIT
    18211 TSM:INIT:TSP OK
    18213 TSF:SID:OK,ID=10
    18215 TSM:FPAR
    18252 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    20259 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    20261 TSM:FPAR
    20298 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    22305 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    22307 TSM:FPAR
    22344 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    24351 !TSM:FPAR:NO REPLY
    24353 TSM:FPAR
    24390 TSF:MSG:SEND,10-10-255-255,s=255,c=3,t=7,pt=0,l=0,sg=0,ft=0,st=OK:
    26397 !TSM:FPAR:FAIL
    26398 TSM:FAIL:CNT=2
    26400 TSM:FAIL:PDT

    It doesn't want to connect.
    I also tried to use the radio power module but with no luck.

    My serial gateway is also using the same NRF24L01+ PA +LNA and works for over a year ok.

    What can I do to get it working?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @Petjepet power and how you define the radio is the most important part here.

  • @sundberg84 I powered it directly from the Arduino Nano, also tried with separate power supply. No change, same results.
    My gateway works fine with the same type of radio directly from the Nano.

    What else to consider.

  • Mod

    You need an external voltage regulator from 5v to 3.3v for the radio, it is stated in the instructions

  • BUMP! Same issue, and I also used a 5v output just like it was stated in the instructions. Hence to this problem, I ordered 10 RFM69 instead as I read these were more stable compared to the NRF24L01.

  • @gohan That's what I did as mentioned in my post (radio power module) using a separate 5V power supply as well.

  • I had a (seemingly) similar issue with my NRF24+LNA+PA board. The solution was stupid simple - just get the node further away from the GW. Or remove antenna if you have one. We usually develop the node connected to the same PC, both GW and the node. It is simply too strong a signal.

  • @etxmsol I think you might be right about to strong signal.
    I just tried changing the MY_RF24_PA_LEVEL from RF24_PA_MAX down to RF24_PA_LOW and RF24_PA_MIN. With RF24_PA_MIN it worked. 🙂
    I will try again with increasing distance and increasing the level when needed for my purpose.

  • Mod

    Also a capacitor is strongly advised and if the radio module is not shielded, you need to do some shielding when using higher power levels.

  • @gohan A capacitor is used in al my sensors, I did not shield it. Also my gateway has no shielding and is working fine.
    Wat should ne shielded? All the electronics of the radio, so everything except the antenna?

  • Mod

    some people wrapped the pcb with plastic wrap and on top of it used aluminum foil. Personally I buy shielded modules just to avoid these problems

  • I had same issues and I didn't take separate regulator too seriously, which was mistake.
    So I made it work using
    a. separate voltage regulator
    b. capacitor cca 2uF between + and - pins on NRF24
    c. using RF24_PA_MAX
    d. another device was about 2 meters away

    Before that I had only capacitor, and when I put voltage regulator it worked for me.
    I took power from arduino nano (+5V pin). No need for separate power. Powering Arduino Nano over USB is fine.

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