Introduction: NRF24L01 : Fixing Connection Issues

Some cheap NRF24L01 modules are affected by connection issues. This can be solved by following these simple steps.

Step 1: The Error

Many of us have been in the following scenario: You are ready to implement wireless communication in a project, you have already connected the modules, loaded the corresponding sketch to your Arduino, and when you try to test everything... It doesn't work. Your modules can't receive and/or transmit data.

The error shown in the screenshot corresponds to the Getting Started sketch, one of the examples included in ManicBug's excellent RF24 library.

If you have already checked that the connections are in the right place and the problem still persists, then it's time to make a few adjustments to your NRF24L01 module.

Step 2: Cleaning the Pins

Due to some manufacturers' poor soldering quality and improper storage, some modules might end up with a grey "crust" over the pins and the underside of the crystal oscillator, as seen in the above photos. This crust can affect the conductivity and/or create electrical noise.

Using a small flat screwdriver or a toothpick, carefully remove the crust. Then, wipe the remaining dust using a dry cloth.

Step 3: Solder a Capacitor

Solder a 10 uF electrolytic capacitor to pins 1 (GND) and 2 (PWR) of the module. Take care to align the positive lead of the capacitor to pin 1 and the negative lead to pin 2.

After you have finished soldering it, trim away the excess leads.

Step 4: Try Again!

Connect the module back to the Arduino and try to run your sketch again!


DavidCl made it!(author)2016-08-07

Thanks for putting this together. But, why add the capacitor?

Vexelius made it!(author)2016-08-08

Some versions of this module tend to draw a lot of energy, which some models of Arduino can't provide. When this happens, the module is unable to work properly.

The capacitor stores a little amount of power, which can be given to the module when needed.

DavidCl made it!(author)2016-08-08

Okay, now I get it. Thanks for the clearification.

seamster made it!(author)2016-08-03

Very good info. When in doubt, clean the pins!

Thanks for sharing, and welcome to instructables! :)

Vexelius made it!(author)2016-08-04

Thanks for the warm welcome! I'll try to be more active in this site ;)