Introduction: Make an NRF24L01 Wireless Adapter Board

About: As and electronics engineer I am amazed at how gadets work. Having experience in PIC programming using low level assembly language, I am very impressed at the Arduino platform and how quick and simple it is to…

The nRF24L01 is a brilliant little wireless module that operates on the 2.4GHz ISM band and has plenty of features packed into a small chip that is usually found on a PCB about the size of half a matchbox. However there is a little issue with some of these boards - they can not be used on a prototyping breadboard due to the double row header pins used on them.

Why Use an Adapter Board ?

Although you can plug hook up wires directly to the wireless module's header pins, it is not ideal and through my own experience, I found that your always repositioning the module by moving it or bending the hookup wires which is not ideal.

The solution to this problem is to either make a prototype breadboard adapter or use an adapter like I have made so you can not only use it to connect to a breadboard with hookup wire but also use it directly with non breadboard projects.

Below I've included a video of how to build the wireless adapter board as it helps to visualize the project.

Step 1: How Do You Make the NRF24L01 Adapter Board

The board is very simple to make using a few components:

  • Prototype PCB Board
  • 8 wires
  • 20 pin double row socket

The wiring diagram can be seen in the image at the top of this step.

Mark out the Board Size

The size of the board I made is about 1.5 x 3.5cm. It was marked out with a pencil.

Before you cut the board to size, the tracks between the two rows of the socket pins needs to be removed so there is no shorting between the rows of pins. This is done easily by scoring with a stanley knife until there is no copper track left in the score line. See image Above. Remember when scoring with the knife, safety first, take care cutting and make sure your fingers are our of the way of the knife blade and you cut away from your body and fingers.

Once the score line is cut you can cut the prototyping board to size.

Step 2: Add Componets to the Board

Solder Socket and Wires

The last step is to solder the socket to the board making sure the scored line that was made in the previous step is between the rows of socket pins (see image of back of pcb board above).

Then lastly solder the wires to the board. Then it is all complete. It's a good idea to use a multimeter on the continuity setting to test each track of the board to make sure there are not shorts between each track.

How to Plug the nRF24L01 board in the adapter

Plug the nRF24L01 board pins into either side of the adapter (see top image above), just make sure you follow the wiring diagram when connecting hook up wire from the adapter to your microcontroller board or Arduino board.

What next ?

That was simple nRF24L01 adapter board that can be made with a few components that should help you when connecting this wireless module with your microcontroller boards.

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