I have set up a circuit using my joysticks and nRF24L01 transmitter. While I am waiting for another nRF24L01 to use as a receiver, in the meantime I wanted to check whether the nRF24L01 in the transmitter circuit is working well and sending the signal out for receiver to receive.

Question: is there a way for me to test the nRF24L01 transmitter, without having a receiver circuit in place? I want to see some confirmation on serial monitor on the data being transmitted or in other words, test the radio.write function to ensure the transmitter is working.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE, marc. Add a link to the datasheet for each device (into your question). We might not know all the details from memory - or might not even know what they are. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 23 '17 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ is there a way for me to test the nRF24L01 transmitter, without having a receiver circuit in place? I do not see any other way you could test the transmitter. You need the corresponding type of receiver, other devices also working in the 2.4 GHz band (Bluetooth, WiFi) will just ignore the signal. The only other way to test is with a spectrum analyzer and those working at 2.5 GHz are in the pricerange of if you have to ask what it costs, you cannot afford one. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Jul 23 '17 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Testing the actual transmissions will be hard, but one thing you can and definitely should do is read back enough registers from the chip to verify that it has power and that the SPI communication is fully working. If you rig up a diode power detector (essentially a crystal radio) and get its antenna very close, you may be able to detect that the module is transmitting when commanded to, but you probably won't be able to recover the GFSK data in the way you could recover a more primitive scheme like OOK. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jul 23 '17 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bimpelrekkie - you do not need a "spectrum analyzer" - you merely need a receiver. A spectrum analyzer is a very complex receiver which can receive on multiple frequencies to generate a picture, but the asker only needs something that can receive on the single frequency commanded by their software. Or they can use a diode "crystal radio" which receives on all frequencies. But with any receiver, the next question is interpreting the modulated data. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jul 23 '17 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just be patient and wait for another nrf24l01 as a receiver and in future buy them in pairs, they're cheap enough. \$\endgroup\$ – JIm Dearden Jul 23 '17 at 16:22

I invite you to explore the world of software defined radio. Most all of the dedicated purpose units will easily cover 2.4GHz. I'm using a HackRF One for exactly this. A new contender is the Lime SDR Mini, which is only $139 USD. These things are invaluable for anyone working with RF, since you can see exactly how much bandwidth is used, what else is on the band, etc.

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