How to connect/solder RFM69 module to Uno

Well, I'm newbie struck. I brought a couple of RFM69HW chips thinking to connect them to an Arduino Uno. Then when I got them, I realized the spacing between the connection points is not .1" bread board spacing, so my breadboard pins don't fit! The hole spacing is about half of bread board spacing.

I made a mess of one of them trying to solder on pins from alternating sides :slight_smile:

I don't mind having to make a permanent thing of it, but it would be nice to be able to move it from one Uno to another. What's the best way to solder wires to this?

Got a datasheet?

Got a datasheet?

Yes, here it's here, in PDF though:

Its likely either 2mm or 1.27mm spacing - pin-headers are available for both spacings.

You'll need a breakout-board with appropriate female headers or to solder wires
directly to the module.

Moral: Read the datasheet, then purchase.

Ooooh, I didn't know there were different pin headers. Thanks, it's 2mm from the package drawing.

xbee uses 2mm headers also.
I think mouser carries them.
These guys do also, here's an example

So...after I get the headers, I'd still need to attach them to the Arduino. Since the spacing is smaller than the breadboard dupont cables I have, does that mean the headers don't really help me? Or is there different size dupont cables too?

These guys do also, here's an example
Phoenix Enterprises product listing RECEPTACLES-SOCKETS PCB MOUNTED 2MM SP

Standard ribbon cables are 1.27mm (0.05") spacing, so can be spread out and soldered to
various pin header styles (fiddly but do-able).

Easier to solder to the header pins than direct to the device.
Then you can always reuse the device later without a solder mess on it.

Ok, thanks for the guidance.

Do you guys use anything to electrically insulate all the pieces for a semi-permanent setup? I'd have a protoshield on top of an Arduino, but also have wires solder from the protoshield to the wireless module...I don't want the wrong pins to touch. Saran wrap?

Easier to solder to the header pins than direct to the device.
Then you can always reuse the device later without a solder mess on it.

Heat shrink tubing. Potting compound. Silicon. 2-part epoxy. Maybe hot glue.

There are a couple of RFM69 breakout board designs out there that make breadboarding easier:

The first is available from OshPark:

I ordered and received some over a month ago, still haven't managed to find the time to solder them up :frowning:

The break-out boards are so pretty...
But, if pretty is not important and you want to be able to use on a solderless breadboard, you can try my technique:

RFM12B shown, but 69C is the same idea. The resulting DIP headers work perfectly in prototyping.

If bailing wire was easily to solder...


more pix here:

Be aware that the power consumption of the H version is much higher than the normal version (up to 150 mA vs. 45 mA). So you can use the normal RFM69 version with the Uno's 3.3 V power line. Wiring and voltage divider see e.g.

This post Creating a Schematic for a RFM69 Breakout Board | bitknitting point out that it isn't so easy in case you use the H version. The Uno provides up to 50 mA at 3.3 V rail and that is insufficient.

You might wanna check this board: Whisper Node - AVR - Wisen

The boards comes with a RFM69, 4Mbit Flash, LDO and a Step-up regulator, making possible to run on a single AA battery. The power consumption for the whole board is less than 4ยตA in sleeping mode, making possible to have projects running for years... or to simply use battery as backup.


Also take a look at a Motieno by Lowpowerlabs.