Build an nRF24L01 Adapter for Your Projects

Using an nRF24l01 wireless module in a project can be tricky, not because of programming it, but because the header pins it comes with is not breadboard compatible.

In this post, I’ll show you how to build a simple adapter so you don’t even need a breadboard and it can easily be hardware mounted when prototyping or adding to you project builds.

So let start building !

For your convenience you can also watch the tutorial as a video below:

 

 

I’m beginning to really like the nRF24l01 wireless module because it is so versatile, has great built in functiona, is easy to program and also is one of the cheapest wireless modules out there. One of the major downsides of this module is they don’t suit prototyping breadboards, however, you can connect hook up wires directly up to the pins, but it’s not ideal as the board will never face upwards, it will be either upside down or sideways at best. However, this does not mean it is not usable, it’s just not ideal and could be better.

This is where I’ve built an adapter where the module plugs right into it and you can plug hook up wires directly into the this adapter. The circuitry and building is actually very simple just using a small piece of prototype circuit board,  8 little wires, a 20 pin double row socket and bit of solder.

 

nRF24L01 Adapter Wiring Diagram

This here is the and wiring diagram which we’ll use as a guide to building the circuit.

nrf24l01 adapter wiring diagram

 

Step 1 – Mark out Size of PCB

Get the prototype circuit board and mark out the board size with some cutting lines. I’ve made mine pretty small. It measures 1.5cm x 3.5 cm. You can make it bigger if you like as the bigger the board, the more stable it will be when the wireless module is mounted on it. I’ve kept it small purposely to use in another project.

 

Step 2 – Score the PCB Tracks between the Socket Pins

Before we cut the board we need to use a stanley knife to score out the part of the circuit that is between the pins so they don’t short out. When using the knife, remember safety first and cut away from you fingers and your body.

back board of nrf24l01 adapter

Step 3 – Solder Socket

Solder the 20 pin socket onto the board, remembering the cut line of the PCB goes between the pins. Solder one pin in first to hold the socket in place, then solder the rest of the pins. Once all the pins are soldered we use a multimeter on the continuity setting to ensure there are no shorts between the pins.

 

Step 4 – Solder the Wires

Connect the wires as in the wiring diagram further up the page and solder in the 8 wires. It may be easier to tin the wire ends with solder before placing then through the holes. Once the wires are soldered, trim the excess wire with wire cutters, then use a multimeter to again check for any shorts between the PCB tracks. If shorts are found they will need to be removed by using the soldering iron and some solder removal wick.

 

Step 5 – Drill Hole (if required)

To finish off, I’ve drilled a mounting hole because this adapter is going to be used in an up coming weather station project where the wireless module will be mounted in a weather proof box outdoors.

completed nrf24l01 adapter board

Build an nRF24L01 Adapter for Your Projects | Summary

So this is the finished product, a neat little nrf24l01 adapter board.

I hope this tutorial has been useful to you. If you liked it please share it with a friend !

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