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Using Arduino => Networking, Protocols, and Devices => Topic started by: DocStein99 on May 17, 2017, 06:56 am

Title: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 17, 2017, 06:56 am
I found a few tutorials on this 433 wireless tx module with rx receiver.  They claim it was easy but IT'S NOT.  I only spent a day reading and learning to find all the wonderful signaling that needs to go in the background, and fill me up with detailed information that I really am not interested in knowing right now.

These modules do not come with antenna's.  The tutorials do not explain about antenna.  I have to sift through user comments to find the odd person who hints around cutting 12 cm wire and twisting in random shapes.  After I finally soldered some wires to my modules, I was able to receive some data.  As long as both modules were practically stationary and I didn't breathe while holding the transmitter about 6 feet away.

Ideally, I want to collect data from my R/C robot to monitor sensors - and I don't think this module is going to be reliable for what I am looking to do, at the speed that I need to analyze graphs for voltage and current, etc... 

Is the NRF24L modules more reliable and speedy?  Is this 433 module just something I can probablyh use correctly I receive enough education for a commercial radio transmitter license ? 
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: PaulS on May 17, 2017, 07:08 am
Quote
Is the NRF24L modules more reliable and speedy?
Yes. That's why they cost more.

Quote
Is this 433 module just something I can probablyh use correctly I receive enough education for a commercial radio transmitter license ? 
You can probably use it now. Posting your code would help. Posting a photo of your setup would help.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: LMI1 on May 17, 2017, 08:29 am
I have had two kinds of 434Mhz systems. The first was reliable and easy and it also was more expensive. Receiver was about 50£$€. Transmitter costed like a few euros. It was from UK manufacturer and I did not buy  it from Ebay. All I needed was a serial bus. And the range was a few hundred meters.

The second was cheap from somewhere Ebay. It was hard to get it working and even the range was about 10meters.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: ieee488 on May 17, 2017, 03:37 pm
I have these http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Module-SYN115-ASK-Wireless-Module-/201551034505 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Module-SYN115-ASK-Wireless-Module-/201551034505)

I was able to transmit from upstairs room to a downstairs room in opposite corners of the house without any problem. Used a 12" wire as an antenna.

Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 17, 2017, 07:01 pm
I probably should have been more descriptive.  
This is what the modules look like (http://www.ebay.com/itm/262123832438?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

After many tries, I found this library and example to work (after I soldered a piece of wire)Manchester library and example folder (https://github.com/cano64/ManchesterRF)

Soldering an insulated wire did not seem to work.  It was only by accident I wiggled them around (and mind you - the boards were on the same solderless breadboard inches away from each other).  My "antennas" had a small terminal connected to the ends of the scrap wire I was using.  It's when those terminals seemed to look at each other is when it actually started working.

I removed the terminals and stripped a 1/2" piece of copper.  This improved the reception.  I stripped some more wire - I think it did better, but I can't tell since this isn't really a scientific experiment after I got frustrated and desperate to try anything to work.  I tried coiling the bare wire around a pencil - but that seemed to do WORSE.  Forming the bare ends into QUESTION-MARK shapes seemed to do the best.

I didn't know if coated copper wire was worse than bare copper, or if I should even be using any coating.  I really do not want to know - I am not interested in making my own antenna's and learning about the R/F.  I know it's very involved, I need special tools and test equipment, I am going through HELL trying to get my FPV camera's and receivers to work - learning more than I want to know.

Like I said.  I just want reliable modules that I can send / receive a data stream from the sensors on the robot to the ground station, to process the data.  My FLYSKY r/c controller seems to create a PERFECT stream of data from the controller, to the receiver - into Arduino for me to navigate the motors.  I was looking for that same grade / quality to send my sensor data-stream back.

If the NRF24L01 modules do this - I will just be patient and keep waiting for them to be delivered.  I ordered the ones with the SMA antenna, and the other little ones with the chip antenna.  Ordered more than one module from different vendors, so hopefully - between the 6 that come to me, I can possibly get 2 of them to work.



Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: ieee488 on May 17, 2017, 07:11 pm
Like I said.  I just want reliable modules


Like I said the modules I linked works for me.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 17, 2017, 07:20 pm
Like I said the modules I linked works for me.
Thank you for the link.  Do I just search for any "syn115" 433mhz receiver to work with the transmitter? 
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: ieee488 on May 17, 2017, 08:12 pm
Thank you for the link.  Do I just search for any "syn115" 433mhz receiver to work with the transmitter?  
I would search for an eBay listing that has both the receiver and the transmitter as a set.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Receiver-Module-SYN115-SYN480R-ASK-Wireless-Module-NEW-/311579545049 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Receiver-Module-SYN115-SYN480R-ASK-Wireless-Module-NEW-/311579545049)


One caveat is that I bought my modules 2 years but I would buy them again if I had another project.

Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on May 18, 2017, 09:26 pm
I would search for an eBay listing that has both the receiver and the transmitter as a set.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Receiver-Module-SYN115-SYN480R-ASK-Wireless-Module-NEW-/311579545049 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHZ-Transmitter-Receiver-Module-SYN115-SYN480R-ASK-Wireless-Module-NEW-/311579545049)


One caveat is that I bought my modules 2 years but I would buy them again if I had another project.


Can the setup of the transmitter and receiver change the actual channel # being used? The other day I tuned my ham radio transceiver to 433 MHz and heard perhaps a dozen different devices transmitting on channel 1. One was probably my wife's weather station. But I live out in the country and if I can hear that many devices, city living means channel 1 is pretty crowded!

Paul
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: ieee488 on May 18, 2017, 09:34 pm
I don't recall setting a channel. I used the Virtual Wire library.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 18, 2017, 10:51 pm
Paul_KD7HB: I just realized I could actually use a piece of equipment to tune into a frequency and HEAR what is going on.  Does a newbie/entry level radio receiver allow me to tune up to 5.8 ghz to hear those signals too?  Do they come with strength meters ?
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on May 18, 2017, 11:13 pm
Paul_KD7HB: I just realized I could actually use a piece of equipment to tune into a frequency and HEAR what is going on.  Does a newbie/entry level radio receiver allow me to tune up to 5.8 ghz to hear those signals too?  Do they come with strength meters ?
The quick answer is no. An entry level receiver probably stops at about 30MHz. The 433 MHz is part of the band of frequencies from 430-470 MHz that is shared between amateur radio, government radar, and the 433 part that is used by all the various devices sending telemetry data, including industrial devices running low power. Government has first priority, then amateurs, then all the rest.

There is an amateur radio band from 5650-5925, so some equipment may be available, but is usually separate converters that allow part of that band to be translated down to a lower frequency receiver.

pretty rare that you can find any regular commercial receivers for that high a frequency.

Paul
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: LMI1 on May 19, 2017, 08:24 am
43xMHz band is sometimes crowded. Cheap receivers are sensitive to blocking. That is, any transmitter near by may stop your receiver from working.

Edit: I hear NRF24 chips are not easy to get working without library, but they work with a library. I have tried ESP-01/8266 modules lately, they seem easy enough. But there are so many models and sellers that it is not easy to start. I was able to make a connection with AT-commands, so they can't be too difficult.

DocStein99: Your modules look just like the modules I had problems with. I cannot recommend them. But, like I said with good 433MHz modules you'll have no problems.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 19, 2017, 10:20 am
The ESP modules are for connecting to a WIFI network, which is kind of different.  I got them to work after a few confusing days translating chineese forum to figure out how or why to flash the software on it.

I think the next most difficult module to try and use would be the BLE 4.1 connecting to an android application (including trying to to write android software to transieve BLE data).
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: LMI1 on May 19, 2017, 05:24 pm
The ESP modules are for connecting to a WIFI network, which is kind of different.  I got them to work after a few confusing days translating chineese forum to figure out how or why to flash the software on it.
Yes but so are NRF24s aren't they? I used, or tested, ESP-01 modules without flashing a new firmware. There are so many models of 8266 that it is difficult to say what they are not. But they use WLAN frequencies. ISM band 434MHz devices are easy because serial bus is usually easy.

In the 434MHz transmitter, we used just bundle of wire about right size. It was in a small box with the rest of the electronics. Receiver antenna was a fine commercial 144-400MHz antenna. It was supposed to be cut in the correct length. We didn't because it worked without any cutting.

But for those cheap modules, you also tried, I had to cut wires with about correct length, and still the range was short.

What I know the the 434Mhz ISM band antenna should be around 300/(434*4) meters. But with bad modules it wont help and with good modules anything goes.

I think the next most difficult module to try and use would be the BLE 4.1 connecting to an android application (including trying to to write android software to transieve BLE data).
I can imagine.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 19, 2017, 09:44 pm
Yes but so are NRF24s aren't they? I used, or tested, ESP-01 modules without flashing a new firmware. There are so many models of 8266 that it is difficult to say what they are not. But they use WLAN frequencies. ISM band 434MHz devices are easy because serial bus is usually easy.
What ?!!?  They ARE ?  I did NOT know that.  I guess anything is possible with enough knowledge and experience with time.  But yea, I'm looking for a straight-up wireless MEDIUM range (just my back yard for now) reliable serial port for my projects.  Modifying an ESP and playing around with the code is a project for itself.

The older Bluetooth (HC-05 OR 06) works very good, I made my vehicle keyless entry remote start project for THAT and it's impressive.  I use it to connect to an Android application for my phone (since I always have phone with me and forget where I put my keys and often LOSE the keys).

The problem with HC-05 bluetooth to android, is that if the signal is lost the application spazzed out and went through a re-connect procedure to establish a link again.  It's not good if I wanted to stream debug data processing - but got the job done for remote-control switches, buttons.  If I did not move around the phone the connection would be stable.  I also had issues with the RANGE on these devices as it seems some of them would be shorter than others, and I never seen any models or projects for me to add antenna or boost it's range.
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: LMI1 on May 20, 2017, 12:49 am
What ?!!?  They ARE ?  I did NOT know that.  I guess anything is possible with enough knowledge and experience with time.  But yea, I'm looking for a straight-up wireless MEDIUM range (just my back yard for now) reliable serial port for my projects.  Modifying an ESP and playing around with the code is a project for itself.

As far as I know, they are.

If I really wanted a reliable "wireless wire", I would take a 43XMHz ISM TX/RX module from lets say Radiometrix or RF solutions. Because they worked in paid job here. We used those modules in a couple of ski resorts at summertime, so there was not much garages or garage openers or radio amateurs. I was warned that those could block those modules. The only problem was that they were in a moving vehicle. Every thing was shaking loose in time. Not the modules themselves but they separated from the PCB.

Testing ESP01 modules was fun, but they need a processor to drive them. There are models which have those processors inside them. I got a net server and straight data transfer working, but the modules were connected in this same PC. I used two Arduino serial monitors and hand fed the AT-commands. So the range was around 1 meter or 3 feet. Sometimes even quite literally because I was between them.


Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: DocStein99 on May 20, 2017, 02:25 am
1-3 feet is not a good distance to do too many things with.

What was the range on "43XMHz ISM TX/RX module Radiometrix" ?
Title: Re: cheap 433 module - antenna please? Is this a waste of time?
Post by: LMI1 on May 20, 2017, 02:47 am
A few hundred meters. Enough. We didn't measure it. The receiver was at foot of the hill and transmitter could go just beyond it.

"1-3 feet is not a good distance to do too many things with." No, but that was the size of my table and USB cables. I plan to connect one of them to some processor board and take it further away. "When I have time" "any day now"