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Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:41 pm
by robomotic
Hello Brennen,
I am the guy who makes this Arduino based board http://norduino.robomotic.com/about/
and I was wondering how can I make good use of the nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle.
For instance having a very simple protocol to set the nrf parameters at boot or starting from a default config,
the nodes can send a special packet to change to the new parameters.
:geek:

Re: Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:39 am
by brennen
I am the guy who makes this Arduino based board http://norduino.robomotic.com/about/

That's a pretty cool project!

I was wondering how can I make good use of the nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle. For instance having a very simple protocol to set the nrf parameters at boot or starting from a default config, the nodes can send a special packet to change to the new parameters.

It seems like that would be a pretty easy thing to do with the nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle. The nRF24LU1+ could talk to remote nodes, which would allow you to read them, process data, and even send commands over the air to nodes to have them do interesting things. The LU1+ allows you to do up to 32 bytes per RF packet, which should be more than enough for most simple protocols.

Re: Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:00 pm
by robomotic
Oky so let's say I buy the dongle with the firmware as it is and I want to do a simple http://www.norduino.com/norduino-sparkfun-keyfob-tutorials/
can I configure the dongle with the following parameters via serial?
Code: Select all
  //Air data rate 1Mbit, 0dBm, Setup LNA
  Mirf.configRegister(RF_SETUP, 0x07);
  //Disable auto-acknowledge
  Mirf.configRegister(EN_AA, 0x00);
  //The button presses are stored in a 4 byte payload
  Mirf.payload = 4;
  //The Nordic Keyfobs are setup on channel 2
  Mirf.channel=2;

or I have to re-flash the dongle each time to change the parameters?
Do I have to use a separate programmer for that?

Sorry for the naive questions :oops:

Re: Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:57 pm
by brennen
You do have to reflash the dongle each time you want to program it, as it is not set up as a USB-to-serial device (Nordic has firmware to do this, you just have to send their technical support a request for it). The other pain is that you have to have a way to enter the bootloader from your firmware, so what I did was build a little board that had pins that would go into P0.0 and !RESET so I could reset the board and enter the bootloader using push-buttons (see the example code on the product page for how to enter the bootloader with a GPIO pin). For P0.0, the switch shorts to ground when pressed, and requires a pull-up to 3.3V. The switch for !RESET shorts to ground when pressed, but does not need a pull-up as there's already one on the board.

The good thing is that you don't need a separate hardware programmer for the LU1+ as long as you're using the on-board bootloader and our PC bootloader app (linked on the product page). So long as your firmware allows you to enter the bootloader, as I described above, you can do the programming directly over USB from your PC.

Re: Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:59 pm
by robomotic
Hello oky understood.
Here's my idea but I require a bit of your cooperation :D ,
let's say you ship the dongle with a default firmware configured to a certain channel, baudrate, address,payload size etc.
We then define a simple protocol whereby the first received byte can contain two commands:
get nrf parameters: 0x11 payload empty but returns a structure
set nrf parameters: 0x23 payload full with the same parameter structure

In this way we avoid the annoying upgrading firmware issue both on my and your side.
If we combine this setup with the maniacbug mesh network support:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maniacbug/7869287530/
we get a fantastic open source product!
Unfortunately I don't have time to learn the 8051 mcu for the nrf so let me know
what ist he best way to proceed.
I could then buy some of the dongles and do some extensive tests.
I know that is some additional work but we don't have a deadline so feel free to do it
in your spare time.
PS
One of my other little projects was to port SWAP on Nordic chips.
http://www.panstamp.com/
but let's keep it simple at the moment.
:geek:

Re: Norduino and nRF24LU1+ USB Dongle

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:31 pm
by brennen
Could you send me an email to brennen at diyembedded dot com so that we can further discuss what you would like to do? Thanks!