relative range of NRF24L01 and BLE in same environment? Will an antenna help?

I don't need to transmit very far, but it seems that from my lair to the hothouse is just barely too far for an AT-09 BLE transceiver. (also, I'll have one or too more about 20 feet further past the hothouse).

I know that BLE and the NRF sets use the same band, so I assume range will be similar.

Will either have an edge over the other on distance?

The other end will be a Pi 0w monitoring and herding the arduinos in the garden (hey, growing things in the desert takes some doing . . .). Would using an antenna off an old 2.4mhz router or cordless telephone boost the range?'

Hmm, and as I type, I realize that there's one more wildcard: when I was testing for distance, I was using an iPhone 10x to issue BLE commands. I'll take a wild guess that it has a better antenna than a 0w . . .

There is a high power version of NRF24, which has an antenna as you describe, and there are examples of it working over 1Km. About $10. You only need one for the base station. BLE should be good for 100m if it is working as a BLE device, but I'm not sure the comparison is relevant anyway. No comment about the iPhone.

that from my lair to the hothouse

It would help to tell us how far that is.

Also, is there clear line of sight between the wireless devices? If not a diagram showing the obstructions would be useful. I have had a pair power nRF24s with the PCB antenna working at 110m outdoors with clear line of sight.

Lower frequency wireless (433MHz HC12, for example) will have better penetration.

Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial

Wow . . . you can see my hothouse from space . . .

The tree at the center of the hothouse is a bit under 55 feet from my desk. Presumably, the MCU controlling the heater will hang from the center tree.

Between the are the interior drywall/gypsum wall, probably the glass mirrors of the closet (but possibly the very edge of the interior wall, likely the corner of the next wall (drywall with wood frame, but I think there’smnetal at the corner), either the edge of the brick chimney or the heavy glass sliding door, and (in the winter) a 6 mil plastic sheet on the side of the hothouse.

It’s a bit under 75 feet to the two left corners, and a bit under 65 feet to the two right corners.

It looks like about 25-30 feet through an interior wall, a window, and back through the garage wall from the desk to the sprinkler mcu.

Ultimately, the left grapes will have about three controllers (maybe one if the sensor lead lengths work out) and three valves (they get different sunlight), the center grapes will have one, multiple along the back and right wall for the berries (the manifold doesn;'t currently extend that far), probably a couple along the back of the house, , and one or two each left and right of the hothouse, and in the upper right. one at each junction and terminus of the tree manifold (except the junction just outside the hotheouse, so about two dozen in the back (lead lengths to sensors and available pins will govern), and maybe a dozen in the front (it doesn’t show in this, but from where you see the lawn starting to the sidewalk has about a two foot drop, limiting watering time).

Keeping the cost of the units down will help :slight_smile: ![and, it’s part of the challenge. AT-09 are about 1.80, while NRF are about .65, and HC-12 about $2.75. (Minis are about $1.60!).

The “eventual” valves are kind of new, and still about $5 each (latching 1/2", with a pulse that a battery powered 328p could handle), so for the next couple of years, entire manifolds will be on or off.

(How’s that for too much information ? )

probably the glass mirrors of the closet
(How's that for too much information ? )

I'm guessing the only bit that is of real interest is the mirror. That may be enough to kill the wireless stone dead. You might also check for foil insulation. Any stories you read of 2.4GHz are about line of sight. I believe Stanley Seow's NRF24 over a kilometer was in downtown K-L, but still line of sight. In my experience, it doesn't take much to stop Bluetooth, particularly if it is near its "natural limit", and I guess the same goes for NRFs.

(How's that for too much information ? )

Exactly that.