LoRa SX1278 with Arduino Nano

Hey there, I am using a SX1728 Breakout V1.0 with an Arduino Nano. I’ve see threads around saying the Nano cannot shift 3.3v correctly, and it causes issues with the LoRa. Would this be affecting range? My Nano and LoRa module have been working fine, just the range is a bit smaller than I expected it to be. They are sending & receiving on both sides, and all I am having problems with is range. I decided to pick up some 3.3v regulators so I can use that with 4x AA batteries to power the LoRa separately from the Arduino. Would this fix the problems I am having? Would I also need a 3.3v Regulator on the ground going to the Nano? Does the module I have already support the 3.3v level shifting?

This is the module I am using at the moment: SX1278 LoRa Ra-02 433MHz Breakout v1.0 | Makerfabs

I also swapped out my antennas to something tuned for 433Mhz and I did notice a range increase. These are the antennas I got: 10pcs 2DB 433MHz GSM GPRS Antenna SMA male straight Connector 5CM for Ham Radio | eBay

Please let me know! Any help would be appreciated!

Sure, if you overvolt the logic pins or VCC on the SX1278 you can destroy it and you will have no range at all.

1 Like

Well,As i think i could be good to use seperate but remember to check max Amp too bc Ardiuno Are 3.3-5 Volt

1 Like

Okay thank you so much for your input!

1 Like

LOL I am a ham And I know that having a bad antenna will make a HUGE difference on signal range. It will take a pretty pricey ($20 for one) antenna to get the best range. I recommend a Signal stick bought on amazon, those antennas you got will be Trash when it comes to range. If I were you I would get one of these

Signal Stick SMA Male

Make sure you get the SMA Male option. That is what fits what you are using.
I included a picture of what options you need to get for it to work on your setup

image

@srnet It is not entirely connected to a 5v. It is connected to my Arduino Nano 3.3v Pin.

@M4A3E8-Sherman So you feel these antennas are just crappy ones? I actually bought these as an “upgrade” from the paper-like antennas that came with the model. It was a flat, flexible antenna with a sticky side. Those were horrible range. The news one I got, which I thought were good, increased range, but not by much. Perhaps it is the antenna being the culprit again. The antennas you sent say 440Mhz? The LoRa Module usess 433Mhz frequency, so wouldn’t I need an antenna tuned to exactly 433Mhz (like the ones I got?)

Yep those antennas you got are referred to as “rubber ducky antennas” Technically the smaller your antenna is the worse it is. Yes it would be an upgrade from the stock ones. But not a HUGE difference.

Yes you can have a small difference in frequencies. You can’t get good antennas for 433 MHZ, So if its 440 MHZ that’s fine

But the logic pins are connected, so you will be exceeding the absolute max voltage on the LoRa device.

I guess its a case of how lucky feel, maybe when Semtech quote an absolute maximum voltage for their devices, they made a mistake.

@M4A3E8-Sherman Alrighty I’ll give these a try. They will be used in a dense forest, so I am trying to figure out the best solution for low power, high range radio sending/receiving. Perhaps LoRa isn’t the way at all, I need to find someone good with radio engineering to figure out the best solution for this. I am looking for usage in a dense forest, anywhere from 1+ KM. 2KM even would be a huge bonus. Currently I am getting only about 600 meters in a somewhat open environment, which I know will be much much lower in a forest.

@srnet Perhaps, I’ve never had one fry or malfunction wiring directly to the Nano, just poor signal. I’ve run many range tests, so I don’t think overvoltage is a problem here. I wanted to switch the system to AA batteries so it offload’s the power off the Nano in terms of VIN pin. So bringing it back to these AA batteries, will just the 4xAA batteries + a 3.3v Regulator be safe?

I don’t know how much more range you can get with that system. do you have a Amature Radio license?

@M4A3E8-Sherman
I do not, and here’s the thing I was thinking about. I want this product to eventually be something I can sell publicly (Just like Walkie-Talkies for example). That being said, everyone who buys it most likely won’t have a radio license. So does that mean I can only build a product using license-exempt products? Or is there a way I can build it, where I require a license to build/sell it, But then my customer base does not? I am new to this whole radio thing, but the invention itself, and code, have already been made and is stable. Now is just trying to find the best solution for long range, dense forest usage.

Products are not in themselves ‘licence excempt’ although the use of them might be.

In a lot of places in the World, the certification and testing required for commercial RF products is going to cost you in the circa £25,000+ region.

And the invention is ?

@srnet Cost won’t be much of a bother, I am expecting to be spending around that much for testing & certification. I can’t really say much about the product yet until the patent processing is approved (which god knows how long that takes, or if it even IS approved).

Essentially I am using some sort of localized, 2KM range signal, to send/receive very small amounts of data between 5-10 transceivers. Sending is not continuous, but within allocated scheduled bursts that have been assigned to each device during the handshaking stage.

Oh I see.

Do those on this forum of volunteers offering free advice get a cut of the profits ?

I worded it a bit incorrectly. It is going to be used for myself. I haven no immediate plans to make it commercial right out the gate. It’s just something that MIGHT (very unlikely) end up going for sale if I feel like people could actually use/want this item. It is not being developed from the very beginning for commercial. It has been a hobby of mine, for months working on this thing, with my 3d printer, and ordering dozens of parts online to try and test out. When he asked about the license, I just didn’t want to go a route where I don’t need a license, then waaaaaay down the road if I were to sell it to someone like my friends, that that’d need a license too. I’m a programmer by career. I’ve probably practiced more code than English at this point, so I am terrible at getting my thoughts out of my brain into a format people can read lmao. I only plan to Patent SOME part of this so people to rip off the idea completely, and steal it.

Interesting.

@srnet

I live in a very remote location, and I like tracking the deer movements in my area. I have trail camera’s set up on multiple trails around different parts of my property, all in the woods. Ideally, I’d like my computer to log these passes, with a date, time and camera location, but this signal needs to reach my house, from all the way in the woods. All cameras are in a 1.5km radius. The reason I mention selling, is my uncle, may want to buy one from me if I managed to get this working, as he’d like the same logging on his property. I have no intentions for mass production.