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I have set up a system using 4 arduino clones, each wired to an NRF24L01+ radio. I am using the RF24 library by maniacbug (https://github.com/maniacbug/RF24) and have set-up the nodes with 1 base node as a receiver and 3 child nodes that transmits continuously to the receiver.

What I want to do is to send the read and analog value wirelessly from the child nodes to the base node as fast as possible. I used the starping example as a guide and it looks almost realtime when only 1 child node is active. When I turn on another child node, most of the time the update stops for a while then continue on, with randomly updating either child 1 or child 2.

I'm guessing there's a collision that's causing the delays. How do I lessen these delays? I'm thinking of having some sort of scheduling system for the children to send their messages (like, child2 will send only after child1, etc.) I also tried radio.setAutoAck(false) in an attempt to lessen the delays but that made all my readings stop altogether.

base node:

    #include "Timer.h"
    #include <SPI.h>
    #include "nRF24L01.h"
    #include "RF24.h"
    #include "printf.h"

    RF24 radio(9,10);
    Timer t;

    const uint64_t pipes[5] = { 0xF0F0F0F0D2LL, 0xF0F0F0F0C3LL, 0xF0F0F0F0B4LL, 0xF0F0F0F0A5LL, 0xF0F0F0F096LL };
    unsigned int values[3] = {0,0,0};
    void setup(void)
    {


      Serial.begin(115200);
      printf_begin();
      //printf("Receiver Node Active\n\r");

      radio.begin();

        radio.openReadingPipe(1,pipes[0]);
        radio.openReadingPipe(2,pipes[1]);
        radio.openReadingPipe(3,pipes[2]);
        radio.openReadingPipe(4,pipes[3]);
        radio.openReadingPipe(5,pipes[4]);

      radio.startListening();
      radio.printDetails();
      t.every(1, print_values); //call print_values() every 1ms

    }

    void loop(void)
    {
        int sender_id;
        uint8_t pipe_num;
        if ( radio.available(&pipe_num) )
        {
          unsigned int message;
          bool done = false;
            while (!done)
            {
                done = radio.read( &message, sizeof(message) );         
            }
          sender_id = pipe_num - 1;
          values[sender_id-1] = message;
        }
        delay(1);
        t.update();

     }

     void print_values(){
       //formatted for arduinoscope
       printf("%d %d %d 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 \n", values[0], values[1], values[2]);
     }
    // vim:ai:ci sts=2 sw=2 ft=cpp

child node:

    #include <SPI.h>
    #include "nRF24L01.h"
    #include "RF24.h"


    RF24 radio(0,1);

    const int SW01 = 18;
    const int SW02 = 19;

    const uint64_t pipes[5] = { 0xF0F0F0F0D2LL, 0xF0F0F0F0C3LL, 0xF0F0F0F0B4LL, 0xF0F0F0F0A5LL, 0xF0F0F0F096LL };
    int node_id;

    void setup(void)
    {
      node_id=3; //hard coded id
      radio.begin();
      radio.openWritingPipe(pipes[node_id]);
    }

    void loop(void)
    {
        unsigned int val = analogRead(A0);
        radio.write( &val, sizeof(val) );
        //delay(1);
    }
  • You could have the receiver poll the transmitters instead. Maybe using writeAckPayload. – Gerben Dec 12 '14 at 14:24
  • I'd suggest you'd update your library to this. – Avamander Aug 17 '15 at 23:09
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I am too building a RF24 based network there were two issues I encountered:

1) Update your libraries, use TMRh20 fork of RF24 (to make your life easier, use RF24Mesh too)

2) Add a decoupling cap to the NRF24L01+ power pins.

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I can think of 3 ways:

  1. You could have the Base polling for updates to each node sequentially, or
  2. If all child nodes see each other, node2 can hear when node1 finished transmitting so it can transmit and so on. Or
  3. You can punch through collisions setting random delays between each retry
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1) Since these are all one-way communication, disable AutoAck on all NRFs (setAutoAck(false)). You're not doing Ack anyway which will cause retransmission when not acknowledged.

2) Change the address to something better.

Addresses where the level shifts only one time (that is, 000FFFFFFF) can often be detected in noise and can give a false detection, which may give a raised Packet Error Rate. Addresses as a continuation of the preamble (hi-low toggling) also raises the Packet Error Rate

3) Put a capacitor between ground and Vcc on all NRFs.

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