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Is it possible to have the NRF24 module on an Arduino Mini transmitting to an NRF24 with SMA antenna on a Mega? In that case, would the antenna on the Mega help pickup the signal of the transmitting Arduino Mini?

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  • See youtube.com/watch?v=gtM832Z0ujE for an extensive comparison between different types of modules and antennas. What specific model are you talking about? A PA+LNA model, or just one with an SMA antenna instead of the prevalent PCB antenna?
    – Gerben
    Sep 17, 2015 at 8:32
  • @Gerben Just the antenna aliexpress.com/item/… Sep 17, 2015 at 8:35
  • The regular antenna and PCB antenna have different polarization, so not ideal. But you will still get some extended range.
    – Gerben
    Sep 17, 2015 at 12:17

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Yes, and yes.

A module without an antenna is exactly the same as a module with an antenna, it's just that the antenna is part of the PCB. Yes, the module with the antenna will have more sensitivity (able to receive fainter signals) as well as more transmitting power.

The same is true of the modules with the power amplifier. They again have even more sensitivity and transmitting power.

It is quite common to have a single powerful transceiver with power amplifier and antenna as a base station and then smaller modules as the remote slave devices. Especially if you couple the base station with a suitable parabolic or uni-directional high gain antenna to point directly at where the slave devices are.

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  • Your answer is mainly right, but I have to warn that most models with an antenna are fake. You will have compatibility issues when there is a mixed environment with both original and fake chips.
    – Avamander
    Sep 17, 2015 at 21:41
  • As an update, I purchased this and it worked aliexpress.com/item/… I get about 2 meters extra range compared to no antenna when using it through a concrete wall. Oct 21, 2015 at 10:28

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