nrf24l01+ only sort of works. antenna needed?

So I bought some nrf24l01+ boards from Amazon, knowing literally nothing about the topic (why? because how else am I supposed to learn if I don't have something tangible to work with?).

This is the brand I bought: Amazon.com: MakerFocus 4pcs NRF24L01+ Breakout Adapter with On-board 3.3V Regulator for NRF24L01+ Wireless Module : Electronics

I then visited several different sites that all led me to conclude I needed the rf24.h library, which is now installed. Many of those sites also gave guides for hardware hookup, but I mainly kept with sparkfun's hookup guide, since I know sparkfun has a reputation to uphold.

This is the hookup guide I used, and have checked and re-checked my wiring several times over, sometimes taking a break and coming back to it in the hopes there was something I previously missed, but all has been wired correctly: nRF24L01+ Transceiver Hookup Guide - learn.sparkfun.com

After reading through many reviews on Amazon and many posts here on the Arduino forum, trying to understand what little of it I could, I have also added a 10uF cap between power and ground, which I believe is for decoupling.

Once all the hardware was installed, I tried using the "Getting Started" example of the rf24 library, changing my radioNumber to "1" on one of the programs, but leaving it as "0" in the other, and changed the SPI bus plus pins to 9 and 10.

After both programs were uploaded (one to an Uno and one to a Mega2560 -- two totally different instances of the Arduino IDE), I opened both serial windows. It didn't seem to work at first, until I brought my hand close to both modules (it should be noted at this point, that the modules are currently placed less than 6 inches apart). Once my hand came near both modules, only then did everything seem to work properly.

My concern is, should they really have to be that close in order to operate properly? My guess is "no," and that an antenna should be added to at least one of the modules. The thing is, I cannot see anywhere on the board where I might be able to add one. Again, the module I am using is this: http://a.co/d/hBjk24p

Even if I could find a place to install an antenna, is that even what my issue is? Or could it be something else entirely?

I know I've written a lot in this post all for a single question, but based on what I've seen from a lot of other posts and the implied tone of their replies, it would seem that providing more information is preferable. Hopefully I have provided enough here to avoid any brutish remarks. Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The link you gave is for breakout boards to connect the transceiver boards to an Arduino.

Please look again at the web site you linked to:

"Allows for easy connection to Arduino; "nRF24L01+" module may be purchased here: Amazon.com: 10pcs NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Wireless RF Transceiver Module New Compatible with Ar duino : Electronics. ".

I think you are missing the important piece.

Paul

Hi Paul, thank you very much for your reply.

Crap, so I bought the wrong thing then, didn't I? What I should've bought was something like this:

Makerfire 10pcs Arduino NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Wireless RF Transceiver Module New: Amazon.com: 10pcs NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Wireless RF Transceiver Module New Compatible with Ar duino : Electronics

Correct? In that case, I'm curious as to what I did buy. At my work, breakout boxes are used to take gain access to the wires of corresponding pins so that voltage and current measurements can be taken. Is that basically what these breakout adapters are for?

Thanks!

liquidrain84:
Hi Paul, thank you very much for your reply.

Crap, so I bought the wrong thing then, didn't I? What I should've bought was something like this:

Makerfire 10pcs Arduino NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Wireless RF Transceiver Module New: http://a.co/d/iilpblE

Correct? In that case, I'm curious as to what I did buy. At my work, breakout boxes are used to take gain access to the wires of corresponding pins so that voltage and current measurements can be taken. Is that basically what these breakout adapters are for?

Thanks!

Yup! I bought 4 of them several months ago of Ebay. Tried two and they worked. Haven't tried the others. No current projects requiring them.

What you bought is the interface boards to use NRF24 directly off an Arduino Uno, which only supplies 5 volts. The NRF24 requires 3.3 for power.

Just add the boards to a box of experiences. You may need them someday.

Paul_KD7HB:
What you bought is the interface boards to use NRF24 directly off an Arduino Uno, which only supplies 5 volts. The NRF24 requires 3.3 for power.

Wait, but doesn't the Arduino have a 3.3v pin right next to its 5v pin? Or is that not an appropriate supply for the nrf24?

Also, thanks! I do plan on keeping the boards I currently have. Live and learn and all that jazz.