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I have a FRDM K64f board that is using the nRF24L01+ as it's wireless transceiver.

I want to communicate between the K64f board and my PC locally.

I am struggling to find the hardware needed on my PC's side.

I had thought of using a USB to TTL adapter and connect a nRF24L01+ on the PC side and communicate this way.

Would this be viable?

Or is there a simpler way?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Using Zigbee (Xbee) modules would save you a lot of work and would be a less pain. Effective. Simple. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Jan 6 '16 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Someone else had suggested this but has I have very little knowledge of electronics I wasn't really sure what I was looking for \$\endgroup\$ – user3473406 Jan 6 '16 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's easy to setup and easy to use even after you've configured it. Novice level videos are available on YouTube. If you have time and money, explore that option. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Jan 6 '16 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ InBuilt ADC, RX TX , Digital I/O. It seems that you should buy a zigbee. Good Long term investment. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Jan 6 '16 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ If asking for a simpler way i`d suggest using the esp8266 WIFI module In this case you can easily communicate with your board from any PC connected to the LAN using a TCP or a UDP you can also build a simple C# interface that talks to your board! \$\endgroup\$ – Elbehery Jan 6 '16 at 16:01
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If you have a lot of cash to spare, Nordic makes an evaluation kit for the nRF24L01+, part number nRF24L01P-EVKIT, that should probably fulfill your needs.

However, considering the sparkfun product Andy aka posted has the schematic, eagle, and code files available, it would probably be cheaper to have one of those made at oshpark or similar.

You could also use a Bus Pirate as a USB->SPI bridge, and hook that up to one of sparkfuns nRF24L01+ modules, and write a little program to talk to it through the bus pirate. The Bus pirate has an additional IO pin you can use to strobe the CE line on the Nordic chip.

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I had thought of using a USB to TTL adapter and connect a nRF24L01+ on the PC side and communicate this way.

Would this be viable?

Your PC will need a driver installed (if there is one) and that driver has to match the Nordic chip's data protocol and take heed of any subtleties in the TTL to USB interface circuit. Keep searching.

Or is there a simpler way?

Try and make the USB interface "con" the PC into thinking it is talking to a generic USB to RS485 converter (or RS232 if those things exist).

See this related question. See also this sparkfun serial interface that has a Nordic nRF24L01 interface: -

enter image description here

Apparently it's not a current design but you may be able to find one (I like to call this inspirational assistance).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for a very detailed answer! Gutted that the Nordic Interface is no longer available would have made life alot easier! \$\endgroup\$ – user3473406 Jan 6 '16 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Keep searching - someone is bound to sell one (gut feeling). \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jan 6 '16 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try this: achuwilson.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/… \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jan 6 '16 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The nrf24L01/+ is a synchronous serial device, not an asynchronous one with which a normal USB serial can work. The sparkfun board appears to be using a more advanced ftdi part with the mpssi or whatever they call it to implement spi. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jan 6 '16 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton I neither agree with your conclusion nor see the relevance. At not one point in the pdf for the device does the word "synchronous" appear. So, on what are you basing your comment? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jan 6 '16 at 15:35
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The NRF24LU1+ is a variation of the NRF24L01 idea with an on-board microcontroller having a USB interface. It is commonly found in wireless keyboards and mice, but also used for some custom projects. You would have to find or create firmware for this.

Another option would be to simply use another Kinetis Freedom board to bridge the radio to the PC over its USB interface, or use or create a simpler/even cheaper board based on another Kinetis M4 or even M0 part.

Or if you feel in the mood for Arduino, those readily handle the NRF24L01+ too - basically, any MCU which can talk both SPI and USB will work if you are familiar with working with it.

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