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1  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 25, 2014, 08:10:38 am
We have contact !

It had nothing to do with the antenna, though I will be trying several setups to see how they affect performance.

I use the RadioHead library. It is meant for all modules RFM69xxx. I'm using the HCW variant, as opposed to the older W or CW. I think the C designates the formfactor, the H stands for High Power (up to +20dBm). Now in order to use the H variant you have to set a specific register to use the high power boosters. The RadioHead library has not implemented this for the H-version. Without setting this it does not work.

My current range is 10 meters line of sight, but I still have to check all register settings and mount a decent antenna. Seeing that people almost squeeze a 1000 meters out of a 17cm wire I have to be able to do better. I have to look into the data rate I'm using now. I will get back on this.

I'll inform the guys at RadioHead about my findings.

Cheers,

Jack

2  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 25, 2014, 04:50:50 am
I have connected the MOSI, SCK, NSS, through a CD4050 level converter, MISO and DIO0 connect directly to UNO. Source is 3v3.

I'm pretty sure SPI is working all right, because I can read all registry values from the module and the results make sense, I compared them to the data sheet.
3  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 25, 2014, 03:04:44 am
This is my design for the breakout board, as simple as possible, SMA as close to the RFM69HCW module as I could manage.



The entire bottom of the PCB is groundplane.

I don't know whether there is a risk of a short with the bottom of the RFM module, so I kept that area clear of copper.

Cheers,

Jack
4  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 24, 2014, 02:59:10 pm
Well just to be sure I added some code to read all registers from the module, and that works without problem. The radiohead library states it is intended for use with this module, so I guess changes for a software problem are very small.
5  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 24, 2014, 02:41:31 pm
I'm amazed, because most 433 MHz units are way smaller than 17x17 cm, and still have good range. I don't even think I have a pcb that large. Ofcourse, I can create a bigger square with aluminum foil for effect, see what it does. I do hope the soldering on a pcb will do the trick. Tomorrow will be etching day.

I use RadioHead library, the module is RFM69HCW. Seeing that other people make do with 17 cm of cable I keep wondering whether I do something else wrong.

Cheers,

Jack
6  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 24, 2014, 02:09:05 pm
Does the soda can act as ground plane ?
7  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 24, 2014, 12:35:16 pm
Alright,

I'll design a breakout board for the module, with the SMA connector soldered to the PCB, the center pin in a straight line to the ANT of the module, as close as possible. The bottom side of the PCB will act as ground plane entirely, on the top side everything I don't need will be ground as well.

* Is it okay if I solder the outside pins of the SMA connector to the bottom part of the PCB ?
* "has to be as big square as the antenna is long", so for my 17 cm antenna a 4 cm x 4 cm board would do ?

Cheers,

Jack
8  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: Do I need to add an antenna? on: June 24, 2014, 02:34:28 am
Yes, you do need to add an antenna for increased range, I'm having my own struggles now with a different type of 433 MHz module. Some people have good results with soldering a 17 cm piece of wire to ANT. Most likely your receiver has a similar hole, refer to the datasheet to be sure.

Cheers,

Jack
9  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 23, 2014, 05:37:54 am
Right,

I fear one of the answers to my own question regarding the use of wires to connect the sma connector is: microstrip. You can't use regular wires, and need either something coaxial or such, or build something that resembles this on a pcb.

However: this doesn't explain why some people still get great results with only a piece of wire attached to the module.

Jack
10  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 23, 2014, 04:40:44 am
Mike,

thanks for your reply. I can solder the SMA connector to the PCB, this will automatically ensure the antenna will be at right angles with the ground plane. I can solder the pin for the antenna to a wire and connect that to the RFM module. and use another wire to connect the ground plane to the ground of the RFM module. Or do all of these wires have to be etched traces on a PCB to make this even remotely work ? I included some links below that suggest that you should at least get /some/ range with seemingly easy solutions.

1) Will soldering the sma to the pcb work, with wires running to the module ?
2) Any suggestion on the size of the ground plane ?

Some working versions which seem simple:
https://bitknitting.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/antenna.jpg?w=400&h=600

http://www.hackster.io/rayburne/hoperf-springs-eternal

Cheers,

Jack
11  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 22, 2014, 03:18:52 pm
Right, did the single straight antenna, still no connection. It pushed over 7 packets, that's it.

Can anyone here confirm they have a RFM69-module working with Arduino UNO, preferably with monopole antenna and soldered connections like I have. If so: what library are you using?

Cheers,

Jack
12  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: Strange behaviour of Nordic nRF24L01+ 2.4GHz RF module on: June 21, 2014, 05:35:05 pm
Did you try and switch out modules ? Just to be sure you don't have a faulty one... it's my biggest fear when I test new gear and I am pretty sure everything is hooked up and programmed just right and... it doesn't work. Happened to me with a display, in the end the display turned out to be out of order.

Cheers,

Jack
13  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: newbie quiestion: nRF24L01+PA+LNA talking to nRF24L01+ on: June 21, 2014, 04:24:25 am
Hello,

yes as long as both are NRF24L01+ they can talk together, I can interchange them without problems. However: I use a seperate 3v3 LDO regulator to supply my NRF24L01+ modules, with extra decoupling capacitors on them. A few posts mention the 3v3 supply from the arduino is not adequate.

Second: I would test the NRF24L01+  +PA+LNA with a similar one, just to see whether it functions.

Cheers,

Jack
14  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / RFM69HCW: no range at all on: June 20, 2014, 09:12:59 am
Hello,

I have two RFM69HCW modules, each connected to Arduino UNO with a level shifter (CD4050) and a seperate 3v3 supply for the RFM module, decoupling capacitors in place. I use the RadioHead library with the default examples for RFM69. I'm pretty sure everything is wired up right, because the modules initialize over SPI without problem. However, I have hardly any range. When I touch the antenna's together I have a "wireless" connection, as soon as I move them apart they stop seeing each other.



I have attached the SMA connector with a short wire to ANT and GND of the RFM board. For good measure I added a small groundplane to the SMA connector, but it doesn't seem to help. The antenna was bought specifically for 433 MHz.

I'm pretty clueless how to go at this from here, because I have hardly any experience with antenna's. Suggestions are welcome.

Cheers,

Jack
15  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Strong Infrarot-LED for "Laser"-Tag on: June 19, 2014, 02:33:58 am
TSAL6100 IR led
TSOP receiver from Vishay

With a 50mm lens setup you can easily achieve the 100 meter range

Cheers,

Jack
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