Crazyradio PA

Crazyradio PA

Connecting at a Distance

Long distance communication

How it works

Crazyradio PA is a long range open USB radio dongle based on the nRF24LU1+ from Nordic Semiconductor. It features a 20dBm power amplifier, LNA and comes pre-programmed with Crazyflie compatible firmware. The power amplifier boosts the range, giving a range of up to 1km (under ideal conditions) together with the Crazyflie 2.X and up to 2km Crazyradio PA to Crazyradio PA (under ideal conditions).

Since it’s an open project with firmware written from scratch and a Python API to control it, it’s a great building block for systems that require longer range than WiFi and doesn’t have the same requirements for bandwidth. The hardware comes shipped with the latest firmware as well as a bootloader that enables firmware upgrades via USB without any additional hardware needed. The Crazyflie PA is compatible with the first generation of the Crazyflie, but will not give the same range increase as with the Crazyflie 2.X.

Specifications

Features

  • Radio power amplifier giving 20dBm output power
  • > 1km range LOS with Crazyflie 2.X
  • 2x5 2.54mm header for prototyping (not mounted)
  • Hardware support for PPM
  • Same mechanical footprint as the first generation Crazyradio
  • Open source firmware
  • Firmware upgrade via USB
  • Low latency

Mechanical specifications

  • Weight: 6g
  • Size (WxHxD): 58x16x6.5mm (including connectors)

Electrical specification

  • Based on nRF24LU1+ chip from Nordic Semiconductor
    • 8051 MCU at up to 16MHz with 32Kb flash and 2Kb SRAM
    • 2.4GHz ISM band radio
    • USB device peripheral
    • 125 radio channels
    • 2Mbps, 1Mbps and 250Kps communication data-rate
    • Sends and receives data packets of up to 32 bytes payload
    • Automatically handles addresses and packet ack
    • Hardware SPI and UART
    • Combatible with Enhanced ShockBurst protocol from Nordic Semiconductor
  • Can be powered with up to 13V via expansion header
  • 2x5 2.54mm expansion header with following signals (not mounted):
    • Hardware support for PPM input
    • Up to 13V input power
    • GND
    • PPM
    • SPI/UART
  • Standard USB-A connector

Radio specification

  • Radio specification:
  • 20dBm output power (100mW)
  • Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)
  • RP-SMA connector

Usage

Connect the Crazyradio PA to a USB port on your computer.

On Windows you have to install drivers, please see Crazyradio Windows USB driver installation instructions. For Linux, you will need to setup udev permissions, so for that the linux udev crazyradio instructions.

From there, you are able to install the CFclient and communicate with the Crazyflie.

Development

The source code for the Crazyradio PA firmware can be found on github


Resources

If you have any further questions please contact support@bitcraze.io