Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Reducing the Power Consumption of the nRF24L01 Transceiver

In this video we take a look at the power needs or power profile of the nRF24L01+ Transceiver. We discuss how much power it draws in each mode and how to reduce or optimize its power consumption for battery powered projects or designs. Finally we pair the nRF24L01 with an Arduino utilizing sleep mode and look at their combined power profile.



************Arduino and nRF24L01 Low Power Example Sketch*************
#include <SPI.h> //Call SPI library so you can communicate with the nRF24L01+
#include <nRF24L01.h> //nRF2401 libarary found at https://github.com/tmrh20/RF24/
#include <RF24.h> //nRF2401 libarary found at https://github.com/tmrh20/RF24/
#include <avr/sleep.h>
#include <avr/wdt.h> 

/*WDT BYTE variables for setting timer value
     WDTO_15MS, WDTO_30MS, WDTO_60MS, WDTO_120MS, WDTO_250MS, WDTO_500MS, WDTO_1S, WDTO_2S, WDTO_4S, WDTO_8S */

const int pinCE = 9; //This pin is used to set the nRF24 to standby (0) or active mode (1)
const int pinCSN = 10; //This pin is used to tell the nRF24 whether the SPI communication is a command or message to send out
RF24 wirelessSPI(pinCE, pinCSN); // Create your nRF24 object or wireless SPI connection
const uint64_t wAddress = 0xB00B1E50D2LL;              // Pipe to write or transmit on
const uint64_t rAddress = 0xB00B1E50B1LL;  //pipe to recive data on

void setup() {
  randomSeed(analogRead(0)); //create unique seed value for random number generation
  wirelessSPI.begin();            //Start the nRF24 module
  wirelessSPI.setRetries(15,10);
  wirelessSPI.openWritingPipe(wAddress);        //open writing or transmit pipe
  wirelessSPI.openReadingPipe(1,rAddress);  //open reading or recieve pipe
  wirelessSPI.stopListening(); //go into transmit mode
}

void loop() {
   byte randNumber = (byte)random(11); //generate random guess between 0 and 10 
    if (!wirelessSPI.write(&randNumber, 1)){  //if the write fails
      // delivery failed      
     }
     
   delay(30); //delay for short time in normal mode
   wirelessSPI.powerDown(); //put nRF24L01 into power down mode
   delayWDT(WDTO_30MS);   // Use WDT sleep delay function, argument is byte variable from WDT Library
   wirelessSPI.powerUp(); //power up the nRF24
}

//This function serves as a power saving delay function. The argument is a Byte type variable that is used to set the delay time
//The function sets up sleep mode in power down state. The function then sets up the WDT timer in interrupt mode and sets it.
//It then puts the Arduino to sleep for the set time. Upon wake up the WDT and sleep mode are shut off
void delayWDT(byte timer) {
  sleep_enable(); //enable the sleep capability
  set_sleep_mode(SLEEP_MODE_PWR_DOWN); //set the type of sleep mode. Default is Idle
  ADCSRA &= ~(1<<ADEN); //Turn off ADC before going to sleep (set ADEN bit to 0)
  WDTCSR |= 0b00011000;    //Set the WDE bit and then clear it when set the prescaler, WDCE bit must be set if changing WDE bit   
  WDTCSR =  0b01000000 | timer; //Or timer prescaler byte value with interrupt selectrion bit set
  wdt_reset(); //Reset the WDT 
  sleep_cpu(); //enter sleep mode. Next code that will be executed is the ISR when interrupt wakes Arduino from sleep
  sleep_disable(); //disable sleep mode
  ADCSRA |= (1<<ADEN); //Turn the ADC back on
}

//This is the interrupt service routine for the WDT. It is called when the WDT times out. 
//This ISR must be in your Arduino sketch or else the WDT will not work correctly
ISR (WDT_vect) 
{
  wdt_disable();
   MCUSR = 0; //Clear WDT flag since it is disabled, this is optional

}  // end of WDT_vect