nRF24L01+: Fixing the “magic finger” problem

This time I was spending the holidays as usual away from the city, further improving my smarthome. This time I was installing a bunch of devices with nRF24L01+ radios. When I was running out of spare nRF24L01+ modules, I noticed that I was left with a bunch of weird modules that kind of work, but really crappy. They feature huge packet losses, but whenever you touch the PCB antenna, it goes away. I decided to look into the problem and document my findings.


Pssst, dude! Wanna some secondhand chips?

There are many wonders in electronics land. Even more await an engineer that stocks up at aliexpress to save a bit on his hobbies. Well, I needed a few RTC chips for some prototype hardware, so I picked DS1307. As usual, placed an order at aliexpress. once in a while shit happens .

No, this time they didn’t write ‘sex toy – 3$” on the customs declaration sticker, as they did on a parcel with a dozen of TRIACs a few weeks ago (Or, did I use TRIACs wrong my whole life! Should have asked them for instructions!)

Anyways this time I received some second-hand chips. Packed in a plastic tube, no flux whatsoever, but small solder blobbies are all over the pins. Without unpacking, I’ve made a few pics. Sorry for the quality, but I put my USB microscope somewhere far and my usual camera doesn’t handle focusing on something that close well.