New RFX Carrier Board for Arduino Nano added

10 Jan

Pleased to announce to announce yet another addition to the RFX board line-up, this time a breakout/carrier board kit that provides a neat and compact and prototyping/development set-up with nRF24L01+ support for the 5V/16MHz Arduino Nano and clones. Also provides convenient support for breadboarding and expansion using proto board via the second 0.1″ grid-aligned set of headers.

All through-hole parts for easy soldering (as with all our kits), although a SMD SOT-223 package LD1117v33 voltage regulator (shown in picture below) can be substituted for the through-hole TO-220 part on this board, if so desired. (The TO-220 part is supplied if ordering kit with components.)

This board is basically a riff on the RFX carrier board for the PJRC Teensy 3.x, which has become the most popular of the RFX board line-up so far. The decision to produce the Nano version of the board was based on the current pricing of the Nano clones available from, e.g., eBay, where a Nano clones are now selling for under $4. At that price, they represent a real alternative to inexpensive “bare bones” Uno-class dev/deployment board, like the RFX 328p board, for example. Compared to a DIP 328p based “bare bone”, it has the advantage of built-in USB, as well as the two additional analog input pins available on the SMD 328p package. And all for a price comparable to the low-price bare bones boards!

Having said that, the RFX 328p board has a couple of advantages too, such as the inductor improving the analog section power supply, and the more compact size, so it will continue to be available as an option in the RFX line-up. But choice is good!

All the pins on the Nano that correspond to the Uno R3 shield layout pins are directed there, with the additional two analog input pins A6 & A7 broken out onto a separate header. The Nano can be powered via the USB connection, or by supplying Vin DC to the board via a standard 5/2.1mm barrel jack connector mounted on the carrier board. Like an Uno, it has an automatic power selection circuit, so power from one or even both sources works without having to set jumpers, etc.

A nRF24L01+ connected Nano via this carrier board working with the RFX gateway solution is a compelling price/performance proposition for multi-project wireless Internet connected situations. You get the power of the Uno with a Wifi shield attached (actually, much more than this) for a fraction of the cost per node.

Scalability! For basic applications, use one of the cheap and cheerful 328p-based solutions – e.g., the RFX Nano or 328p boards. For more resource intensive applications, and for not many $$$ more, a PJRC Teensy 3.x paired with the RFX carrier for the Teensy is an attractive choice. In between? There’s the RFX “Skinny Bob” 1284p board, or attach an RFX shield to a Mega2560, perhaps…

Choice is good! :-)

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