Wireless Chat using NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz RF Transceiver on Arduino & Raspberry Pi Ubuntu Linux

After a bit of success implementing an Arduino 2.4GHz Transceiver, I was encouraged to explore a more familiar environment, something with Python and Linux in the mix.

After a short period of research I landed on the circuitpython-nrf24l01 pypi project page, and quickly began digging through their examples.

It wasn’t long after I had a working prototype that mirrored my Arduino code quite closely:


import sys
import select

from circuitpython_nrf24l01 import RF24
import board
import digitalio as dio

# addresses needs to be in a buffer protocol object (bytearray)
address = b'Nessy'

# change these (digital output) pins accordingly
ce = dio.DigitalInOut(board.D4)
csn = dio.DigitalInOut(board.D5)

# using board.SPI() automatically selects the MCU's
# available SPI pins, board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO
spi = board.SPI()  # init spi bus object

# initialize the nRF24L01 on the spi bus object
nrf = RF24(spi, csn, ce, ask_no_ack=False, data_rate=250)
nrf.dynamic_payloads = False # this is the default in the TMRh20 arduino library
nrf.payload_length = 32

# get username
username = input('Enter Username: ')

# set address of RX node into a TX pipe

# set address of TX node into a RX pipe
nrf.open_rx_pipe(1, address)

nrf.listen = True

print('Welcome %s' % username)
while True:

    # handle write
    if select.select([sys.stdin,],[],[],0.0)[0]:
        nrf.listen = False
        for line in sys.stdin:
            msg = b'[%b] %b' % (username.encode(), line.rstrip().encode())

    # handle recieve
    if not nrf.listen:
        nrf.listen = True

    if nrf.any():
        # retreive the received packet's payload
        buffer = nrf.recv()
        data = buffer.decode().replace('\x00', '')

Wireless Chat using Arduino & NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz RF Transceiver

It has been quite some time since I’ve tinkered with an Arduino, and this go around I decided to learn something new.

The NRF24L01 2.4GHz Transceiver is an extremely affordable wireless chip, I managed to pickup 10 units for around $12. This chip allows sending and receiving on the 2.4GHz wireless band.

Lucky for us there is a great Arduino library just waiting to be imported, thanks maniacbug!

So what did I set out to accomplish you ask? Why a chat application of course!


Source Code

#include <SPI.h>
#include <nRF24L01.h>
#include <RF24.h>

#define CE_PIN   9
#define CSN_PIN 10

const byte Address[5] = {'N','e','s','s','y'};

RF24 radio(CE_PIN, CSN_PIN);

String username = "";
String dataInput;
char dataToSend[32];
char dataReceived[32];

void setup() {
    Serial.println("Enter username...");
    radio.setRetries(3, 5);
    radio.openReadingPipe(1, Address);

void loop() {

  // set username
  while (username == "") {
    if ( Serial.available() ) {
      username = Serial.readStringUntil('\n');
      Serial.print("Welcome ");

  // listen for radio data
  if ( radio.available() ) {
    // read data from radio
    radio.read( &dataReceived, sizeof(dataReceived) );

  if( Serial.available() ) {
    // stop listening on radio
    // get serial input
    dataInput = "[" + username + "] " + Serial.readStringUntil('\n');
    dataInput.toCharArray(dataToSend, 32);

    // send data
    radio.write( &dataToSend, sizeof(dataToSend) );