nrf24l01 advice

I want to do some putzing with wireless, and I see some nrf24l01 pair on ebay nice and cheap, is this a good device? I don't need any specific range or crazy speed, just need to know if its easy to use or atleast simple to learn If its junka, any other suggestions on a low budget?

I see some nrf24l01 pair on ebay nice and cheap, is this a good device?

You get what you pay for.

I don't need any specific range

Perfect. They'll work fine, then. Just put the two devices real close.

just need to know if its easy to use

A few wires to plug in is all.

or atleast simple to learn

There's a library that makes it easy.

If its junka, any other suggestions on a low budget?

A bigger budget?

PaulS:

I see some nrf24l01 pair on ebay nice and cheap, is this a good device?

You get what you pay for.

This is true, but it's also true that it's really easy to overpay for what you need. My grandma should not buy an Alienware tricked out gaming rig PC on the notion that she'll "get what she pays for". A $300 low-end machine from Dell will be plenty powerful.

Same with RF radios. There are lots of expensive units out there in the world with lots of high-end functionality. Most of it is wasted. nRF24L01's are excellent cheap radios that can do more than an Arduino beginner will need.

They work great for me, just be sure to buy an extra, once in a while u get a dud or faulty piece

(or blow one up). Note the NRF24L01+ is a 3.3V device (but tolerates 5V signals). It may take more current than the Arduino's rather wimpy 3.3V supply if a Duemilanova (The Uno I think has a better regulator).

The nrf24l01 takes 12.8 ma at most im sure there isn't a regulator out there that can't handle it

Ah yes, forgotten it was only 1mW output... A lot of ISM RF modules are 10 to 20mW out and more like 30mA supply...

Anyone experience with Ciseco XRF modules ? Includes a uC (texas) on board, seems easy to use (transparent serial - RF- serial), but a bit more expensive (10 UKP + taxes + s&h)

There is also the Hope RF12, used by the Jeenodes, interesting but the 2mm pitch SMD is annoying me a bit.

Ciseco has announced a "Gateway" that could include 4 RF devices together, that would be great for playing, but apparently it's not yet available.

In any case, users, share your experience on forums !

quick note on nrf24l01. I realized that IRQ line does not need to be connected. Also SPI uses CLK for D13, and this works better for me. This post pointed me in the right direction: http://maniacbug.github.com/RF24/. But I couldn't get the libraries to work, so I made my own.

Power setting should be set to max,and data rate should be set to less than max. I am able to tx/rx from 1st level to 2nd level of my house.

The lower the data rate, the longer the range. If possible, unless you require a higher data rate, always use 250Kpbs mode.

Also, if you have the PA+LNA modules, and if you are using your radios close together (such as on your desk/bench), you'll likely find things are far more reliable if your turn the PA down. When you get ready to deploy, turn it back up to whatever level you require, and no more. This type of tuning will allow you to maintain low retry counts and maximum throughput for a given data rate. A lot of people think setting everything to 11 is always best. With RF, a lot of times this isn't true.