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I have 2 nRF24L01+ modules that were working fine then...stopped. I'm wondering if I accidentally fried one of the modules.

When I run the RF24 library GettingStarted example, this is the output of the module I believe may be fried:

RF24/examples/GettingStarted/
ROLE: Pong back
*** PRESS 'T' to begin transmitting to the other node
STATUS        = 0x00 RX_DR=0 TX_DS=0 MAX_RT=0 RX_P_NO=0 TX_FULL=0
RX_ADDR_P0-1  = 0x0000000000 0x0000000000
RX_ADDR_P2-5  = 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
TX_ADDR       = 0x0000000000
RX_PW_P0-6    = 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
EN_AA         = 0x00
EN_RXADDR     = 0x00
RF_CH         = 0x00
RF_SETUP      = 0x00
CONFIG        = 0x00
DYNPD/FEATURE = 0x00 0x00
Data Rate     = 1MBPS
Model         = nRF24L01
CRC Length    = Disabled
PA Power      = PA_MIN

I've changed out cables and connections all the way through. I also replaced this module with the other one directly and the other worked fine.

So, my question: Is this output showing definitively that I've killed the module and just need to buy a new one? Or is there some way to "flash" or reset the module?

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    If one works, and the other (in the same circuit) doesn't, then it does indeed look like it's fried. There is no way of resetting these devices.
    – Gerben
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 18:35
  • First, you should check continuity of your wiring (wire connections may become loose after some time, in particular if you move your circuits around). Then, if you have access to a digital analyzer you could check levels of all connections between Arduino and NRF (MISO, MOSI, SCK, CS, CE) and see if something is wrong.
    – jfpoilpret
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 8:15
  • Output says no connection with the chip, if you have not messed with it, if it has not been shorted or in any other way mishandled, I'd suspect wiring. Because I have never heard of anyone frying the neat chips neither somehow damaging. But if you give it 5V instead of 3.3V or short the board itself somehow everything is possible or just ESD above the rating killed it.
    – Avamander
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 16:45
  • Also these devices lack any permanent configuration, power is cycled means settings are lost. It also lacks any reflashable firmware.
    – Avamander
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 17:05

2 Answers 2

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Assuming you have triple checked all your wiring before posting this question you should add a small capacitor between Vcc and GND near the nRF24: anything between 10uF and 100uF will do.

Rationale: these devices draw quite a decent amount of current when bootstrapping and transmitting and if they don't receive enough juice they just reset themselves showing those all zeroes settings.

They are pretty robust devices, not that easy to fry.

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The nRF24L01 modules are very sensitive to electrostatic damage, I have killed three. By bit-banging the SPI lines it appears that the SCK line dies as I can detect MISO change on activating CSN (since status information should be returned whatever command is sent). I surmise the zeros you see in the status report are the first pre-clock bit repeated when there is no clock signal received. I put a 33k pull-down resistor on SCK.

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