nrf24l01 does strange things

I've always had bad luck with these radio modules, but I though I can give it another try.
I have a bunch of PA LNA modules, and one or two simple ones. But none of them is working properly.

I can connect for example a pa lna to my arduino pro mini, or the nano, I upload the pingpair_ack sketch, and it does nothing. It prints out real informations but then it freezes, and does nothing. The arduino accidentally processes the serial buffer, but cannot change role (the same applies to the getting started sketch of the library).

If I remove the serial module, and start the arduino it gives false informations, but it "works" the normal way.

I power the whole system (arduino and radio chip) of a single usb port on my machine. Could it be a problem?


First, the 3V3 supply on most any Arduino is not a reliable source of power for the nrf24. Use this adapter for either version of the nrf24. Be sure you buy the 8-pin version. The 10-pin is for an older nrf24.

Also, either version of the nrf24 can have it’s receiver overloaded if the TX module is too close, especially the LNA version. Always test on the bench with the lowest power setting and several feet of spacing.

Many folks have success by adding a 10uF electrolytic cap across the nrf24L01+ module VCC & Gnd pins, helps out the 150ma available from the Uno/Mega 3.3V regulator.

Just as a general rule, when anybody says something is acting wacky, start with the power supply and connections. Marginal power supplies (or my favorite a missing ground somewhere) can cause the oddest things to happen and you can waste a lot of time looking in the wrong places. Make sure the supply is clean - at least with a meter, even better with a 'scope and don't run the supplies close to their limits (the advertising folks seem to think that "absolute maximum" is a good starting point ... + 10 percent for sales).

This Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial may help. I have deliberately kept the examples as simple as possible.


Okay, so you suggest to get a smoother and bigger source of power for the transmitter.
I have a pretty reliable 5v PSU, in the long run I will use a Li-ion battery with the cheap protection/charger/5V step up breakout board. But to step it down to 3.3V can I use only an LD1117V33 or I should get something better?

can I use only an LD1117V33 or I should get something better?

That should be fine. It works well for me.