Showing posts from December, 2018

Optimizing your nRF24 range with a simple test rig

I'm working on a commercial project and I need a low power wireless interface to send data reliably in a crowded indoor environment. There are many standards and protocols to choose from, but the Nordic Semiconductor nRF24 and its 'shockburst' small packet protocol seemed like the best fit for the job. Three advantages of the nRF24 are its incredibly simple interface, that it uses very little power when idle and that it operates in the unlicensed spectrum near 2.4Ghz. Bluetooth low energy (BLE) could potentially do the same job, but the available devices and RF protocol are a bit more complicated and more expensive than this project requires. I started by buying some inexpensive nRF24L01+ development boards from Amazon that cost around $1 each.

I wired them up to some ATmega328's for testing and tried the simple "Hello World" chat app; they worked as expected. Next, I added them to my product prototype and that's where the trouble began. My project has an…