Using nRF24L01 radio module to control RC quadcopter etc

I’m making a series of videos showing how I used nRF24L01 radio transceiver modules for radio control.

With the transmitter using a high-power version of the module, range should be a few hundred meters (clear line-of-sight).

I’m using this with quadcopters, but it would work fine for cars, boats etc as well. There is an arduino pro mini onboard the quadcopter which feeds PPM signal to the flight controller, so any flight controller that can use PPM would work (I am using MultiWii in this build, but I also use the same system with CC3D on my other quadcopter). For simpler servo-only systems like cars/boats/planes that don’t have a flight-controller, you can use the servo library directly.

The nRF24 modules can send 32 byte packets, so you could have a large number of ‘channels’. For example, using one byte for an analog channel (allows 255 positions), you could have 32 channels. Binary status data such as switches for landing gear, lights, buzzers etc are only one bit, so you could fit 8 of those in one byte, for a potential maximum of 256 ‘channels’. Since the packets are digital data, you could also send any other kind of data that two computers can interchange, eg. text strings, floating point numbers to set GPS coordinates etc.

With ACK packets turned off (essential for fast one-way communication) the data rate can be up to about 300 packets/sec at least that I have seen. You can also return similar 32 byte packet data from the vehicle in the ACK packets, but I do not cover that in this video series, and you would need a high-power version of the radio module at both ends if you wanted to get any decent range.

The drawback is of course, you need to make the transmitter yourself too :wink:

Nice looking project iforce2d. I'm looking forward to seeing the remaining videos.
Will you be updating this post when new video is released so I know to go watch?

Nice!! :smiley: thank you!

Will you be updating this post when new video is released so I know to go watch?

No, but I'll probably post here again once all the parts are uploaded. YouTube has a subscribe button though :slight_smile:

Impressive project!

Just posting to say that the series has been completed. There is a playlist here for convenience :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tutorials, very interesting and informative and I could see myself building something remote using this idea.

The switches on the HK transmitter you hacked in the end tutorials could have been wired so one wire was to ground and the other to the arduino pin with internal pull-up resistors enabled. You would then not need the external pull-down resistors.

Thanks for the great video series, and yes I did a YT sub 8) Two questions if I may; can you supply a link to purchase the micro-heli in your first video please, and are you an Aussie or Kiwi perchance. Thanks Pedro.

@Riva yes, I knew about that but it seems like a hacky way to do it, and may not work on all variants of microcontroller. I ended up just wiring both ground and vcc to the switch.

@Pedro147 That micro-heli is called Hubsan X4, there are zillions of them out there I'm sure you can find one if you search for that name. But there are many other similar ones that would be just as good too, usually you can get something for $30-$40 or so. Yes, I'm from NZ :slight_smile:

Thanks iforce2d. I only just saw this reply as the notifications system on this new forum software is total crap. I am really enjoying your continuing series on the cheap-ass quadcopter, keep up the good work please :smiley:

Really well-done videos. Congrats!

Can u provide me with the program code of transmitter for quadcopter