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I have two Arduino Unos (One clone, one genuine) and I'm trying to make a remote and a base station. Got everything working flawlessly, (Using RF24 library) and the last piece of the wiring was to get the remote Arduino off the USB and powered by battery. I have a 4 AA battery holder which I put 4 brand new alkaline batteries in. Soldered up some connectors, plugged it in and...nothing?

Ran the demos everyone seems to use. Nothing again. Ran the "diagnostic script at the end of that thread...results seemed fine...

CheckConnection Starting

FIRST WITH THE DEFAULT ADDRESSES after power on
  Note that RF24 does NOT reset when Arduino resets - only when power is removed
  If the numbers are mostly 0x00 or 0xff it means that the Arduino is not
     communicating with the nRF24

STATUS       = 0x0e RX_DR=0 TX_DS=0 MAX_RT=0 RX_P_NO=7 TX_FULL=0
RX_ADDR_P0-1     = 0xe7e7e7e7e7 0xc2c2c2c2c2
RX_ADDR_P2-5     = 0xc3 0xc4 0xc5 0xc6
TX_ADDR      = 0xe7e7e7e7e7
RX_PW_P0-6   = 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
EN_AA        = 0x3f
EN_RXADDR    = 0x03
RF_CH        = 0x4c
RF_SETUP     = 0x07
CONFIG       = 0x0e
DYNPD/FEATURE    = 0x00 0x00
Data Rate    = 1MBPS
Model        = nRF24L01+
CRC Length   = 16 bits
PA Power     = PA_MAX


AND NOW WITH ADDRESS AAAxR  0x41 41 41 78 52   ON P1
 and 250KBPS data rate

STATUS       = 0x0e RX_DR=0 TX_DS=0 MAX_RT=0 RX_P_NO=7 TX_FULL=0
RX_ADDR_P0-1     = 0xe7e7e7e7e7 0x4141417852
RX_ADDR_P2-5     = 0xc3 0xc4 0xc5 0xc6
TX_ADDR      = 0xe7e7e7e7e7
RX_PW_P0-6   = 0x00 0x20 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
EN_AA        = 0x3f
EN_RXADDR    = 0x03
RF_CH        = 0x4c
RF_SETUP     = 0x27
CONFIG       = 0x0e
DYNPD/FEATURE    = 0x00 0x00
Data Rate    = 250KBPS
Model        = nRF24L01+
CRC Length   = 16 bits
PA Power     = PA_MAX

Ran test on the working arduino, and got a similar result. Checked continuity on all pins twice. Can't think of what could have suddenly gone wrong? Definitely didn't change my code, but just to be sure tried the examples from the above thread...

The only thing I did different was supplying power from VIN at 6.5 V (Measured with multimeter). Should be well within range for the linear voltage regulator? Definitely correct polarity. Hooked in a servo and wrote a quick sketch to drive it then powered the PWM from the battery powered arduino. Other function from my code (rotary encoder, OLED, etc) all seem to be functioning perfectly.

Fried module?

EDIT

I was powering the module through the 3.3V regulated output pin on the Arduino.

Noticed with the battery plugged in whenever I check the voltage with my meter 3.3 pin bounces to 3.7 then settles to 3.3. Not sure if that's the meter, or just the regulator catching up to the (what should be very low with a multimeter) load. Same behavior occurs with USB.

  • Unrelated; 6.5 Volt is on the low side for Vin. And this voltage will drop even lower when the batteries drain. Minimal recommended voltage is 7 Volt. – Gerben Jul 26 '18 at 15:07
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If I remember correctly (IIRC) The nrf24l01 module:

  • runs on 3.3 Volts
  • doesn't have a voltage regulator

It could be fried, try supplying a regulated 3v3 supply and see if it works then.

  • I should have mentioned that I'm using the 3.3 regulated voltage on the arduino to power the module. This has worked for me, and is still working on the other arduino. Didn't even need the capacitor as some people suggest. When I plug in the battery the multimeter says that it's at 3.3 V. – Allenph Jul 24 '18 at 20:18
  • perhaps the LDO on the uno can't power the wireless interface; i know the esp8266 is like that. I's possible that with a higher input voltage and a strong load on the LDO it could overheat and/or fail – dandavis Jul 24 '18 at 21:03
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As per the datasheet nrf24L01 runs for voltages below 3.6V ~ 1.1V. Also soldering a capacitor between the Vcc and Gnd of an nrf24L01 module would help you to in connection issues. Please see this video for further assistance on working: A network of nrf24L01

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The 3.3V regulator on the Arduino is only good for 150mA. On the clone, who knows. If you're seeing 3.3V, the regulator may be capable. The nrf24L01 draws more current when transmitting, so it's possible it looks good at time and fails at other times.

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