Short range nRF52840

Hello, I just bought two Arduino Nano 33 BLE boards to test the nina-306 u-blox bluetooth module. The datasheet on their website explain that this module reachs up to 1400m. I just modified two examples to create a service with one board and connect the other one by switching on a led when both boards are connected. Unfortunately the range of the connection is very short. Therefore I decided to use a nRF52840-DK board as debugger to program the boards with segger software. I chose this way because Arduino doesn't allow to change the TX power of the module in a simply way. So I downloaded the official nRF52840 FW examples.

I added the following code to the advertising init function on the central board to increase the TX power of the advertising:

sd_ble_gap_tx_power_set(BLE_GAP_TX_POWER_ROLE_ADV, m_advertising.adv_handle, TXPOWER);

I also added the following code to the scan init function on the peripheral board to increase the TX power of the scanning:

sd_ble_gap_tx_power_set(BLE_GAP_TX_POWER_ROLE_SCAN_INIT, BLE_CONN_HANDLE_INVALID, TXPOWER);

I also added the following code to the ble_evt_handler function (connected case) on both boards to increase the TX power of the connection:

sd_ble_gap_tx_power_set(BLE_GAP_TX_POWER_ROLE_CONN, p_gap_evt->conn_handle, TXPOWER);

I did the same on two nRF52840-DK boards to check the differences. Unfortunately with the evaluation boards I olny reached around 60m between the two boards on the oudside (no obstacles between them) and with the Arduino Nano 33 BLE in only reached about half the distance (around 33m). Why there is such a big difference between the two boards?

I know that 1400m is too high but I thought to reach almost 200m, is it possible with these Arduino boards?

Thank you very much

Best regards

I'm just curious: What was the range on the Nano 33 BLE when you were using the Arduino library? Did you put an external antenna on the nRF52840-DK boards?

pert:
I’m just curious: What was the range on the Nano 33 BLE when you were using the Arduino library? Did you put an external antenna on the nRF52840-DK boards?

Hi Pert,
With arduino library just using the peripheral - central examples I just reached about 5m.
It was not very useful.
The last test I performed was using a nrF52840-dk and a BMD-340 with the ble_app_att_mtu_throughput fw example provided in the nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345.
With coded PHY I reached around 200m.
Now I am just ordering a second nRF52840-dk board to test this FW: https://devzone.nordicsemi.com/nordic/nordic-blog/b/blog/posts/testing-long-range-coded-phy-with-nordic-solution-it-simply-works-922075585

The people of this post said that reached 1300m with 0dB and other people reached between 2km-3km with 8dB.
If it will work I will modify the example code to work on Arduino Nano 33 BLE boards and check what will be the maximum range obtained on these boards.

ticinoluca, Were you able to get Long Range Coded PHY working on the Nano 33 BLE boards? Would love to see examples if you were successful.

Many thanks

I would love to hear what you have achieved!
I also need a distance of at least 200-500m in my project.
Is there any code to push the existing Software to use coded PHY or to increase the power to the Bluetooth module?

Many thanks!