I have to second the RFM69 modules over the NRF modules. I was struggling to get more than about 7 metres in open air on the NRF modules that I had, however swapping over to trying the RFM69 modules for me will get me 30m distance through 2-3 brick walls with no hassle at all. I haven't looked back
Posts made by Chester
RE: Reliable communication.
RE: Using a sensor to sense the presence of copper wire.
Capacitive switch sensor like the AT42QT1011 maybe?
Something along the lines of https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14520
Only thing I'm not sure of is whether the copper wire would trigger the capacitive sensor, although if its being inserted by hand then it should have a charge from your own bodies natural charge as well possibly? Or if it is being fed a charge by something else that is touching it, then it might be enough.
RE: Review of first PCB design - Single Switch Node with Hylink AC/DC
@sundberg84 Thank you so much for the advice, I knew that it would come down to small things here and there, and it's so much easier to tinker around in eagle than try to order a board, find the errors and fix/reorder over and over, so I appreciate it very much!
Time to get back in and make some changes
Review of first PCB design - Single Switch Node with Hylink AC/DC
I have been doing some bits and pieces, built a few temperature sensor nodes that are happily collecting information throughout the house.
I wanted to turn my attention to designing some in-wall modules, as I have a specific light switch for my garage that the builders decided to put in a very odd spot, its on the wall right in the middle of where one of our car bonnets end up, so you have to lean across the car just to turn the lights on!
So this is the first module I have ever designed, its done in EAGLE, with a combination of imported libraries for things like the HLK-PM03, and I have modified a pro-mini 3v3 layout to remove some of the pins that I won't use in this project, to try and keep things a little easier to route.
This is also the first time I have done PCB work with 240V power, so I would appreciate any comments that you might have!
One thing to note is that currently there are just mounting holes for the Live and Neutral inputs, I haven't yet decided on the terminals for those, I'll have to pop down to Jaycar Electronics during the week and pick up some samples for measurement so that I can make a footprint for them. Also, the Serial Upload pins shown in the image are just because I didn't get around to removing them from the design, I would still have them on the end product, but I would spin them around so they run over the top of the pro-mini board.
Many thanks to everyone on the "Safe in wall ac/dc converters" thread, that has been very invaluable for research!
I know that I haven't got any voids in the board to section off the AC traces, that is my next learning experience too
Some things to consider, will be that I will have a capacitive switch sensor for the 3 pin header, I will mount that behind a blank faceplate, and have the LED lighting up the faceplate. Further versions will have more than one switch sensor and LED, this is just to get an idea of size and how well it fits behind a wallplate. I'm also using the HLK PM-03, which gives a 3v3 output, so I don't have to bother with voltage regulation for the RFM69, and the capacitive buttons are happy with a 3v3 input too, with no degradation in range/sensitivity.
RE: Flashing solar lights timing out after conversion
Thats kind of where I'm stuck, I'm not sure what to put on to help it, whether its just that the power circuit is slightly higher output voltage than it would normally get from a battery pack or whether I need to have something else added in....Creating these circuits (While somewhat simplistic) is a bit of a first for me, so still learning as I go
Flashing solar lights timing out after conversion
Hi guys... I've been hunting around and hoping that you can give me a solution to my issue! Being christmas, we do a fairly big display at our house (Its a huge thing in Australia!).
I have some solar lights that have worn out over the years, so when the solar controller gets into pretty bad shape, I just knock up a little voltage converter to drop a 5v power source down to about 3V to power the solar lights, and give them a new life, not to mention that I can also turn them all on and off by the same power switches, rather than hunting for all the individual switches out in the garden lol.
I'm a little stumped though, because I have a couple of sets of solar stars that flash, and they would cycle in a roughly 2 second on/off pulse on solar, but now that I've converted it to low voltage mains, it becomes a half second on, 3-4 second off cycle now. I'd prefer to keep them to the same cycle if I can, as now they don't really show up very well.
I have seen some references to the flash being a result of the batteries internal resistance, so I might need to add something to my circuit, but I'm not sure what.... that's where I got stuck.
The circuit is a really simple LM317 with 2 resistors to drop the incoming 5V down to 3V, which then just feeds into the input side of the original light controller, so essentially it replaces the solar panel and the battery inside the compartment.
RE: Another option for AC/DC power? CUI PBO-3 and PBO-5
Not so much cost as an issue, but more being able to pack things into small size requirements, such as light switch casings or junction boxes. I'm happy to use phone chargers for some sensors, but things like light switch sensors and garage or outdoor sensors I need sealed options.
Another option for AC/DC power? CUI PBO-3 and PBO-5
Got an email today from Mouser about a new series of AC/DC modules, and wasn't sure how the idea would compare to things like the HLK units that we are starting to see used.
The package details are at http://au.mouser.com/new/cui-inc/cui-pbo-3-pbo-5/
I'm still fairly new in electronics design, so some of it goes over my head, but on that page they have the diagrams with the application circuits. Does that design mean that in order to use this module, you would need the module itself, PLUS all of the fuses, varistors, caps etc in that application note? Does that then mean that this module would be analogous to just the HLK module on its own as well?
I think this is the reason I haven't yet gone down the route of sensors powered directly from AC (As much as I want to!), is that there doesn't really seem to be a pcb module that has everything included.
RE: RFM69 range issues
Hi @executivul ,
You mentioned in your post that the length of the antenna must be tuned to the circuit - would you mind sharing the process to do the tuning?
Down near the bottom of the page is the lengths of antenna needed for the three primary frequencies used by the RFM board.