It has been a rather busy year but I've finally managed to find the time to sit down and work on a new project. I've acquired a number of new gadgets including an Adafruit MCP2221A Breakout, Omzlo FIDI, an NRF24L01P module and a DLP2232M board.

The new project revolves around the NRF24L01P module. I'm going to take a stab at using it to control a small (toy) quadcopter. The NRF24L01P can be talked to using the SPI wire protocol. I'll need to sit something between it and my laptop. MCP2221A was my first choice but I quickly ran out of pins and I'm toying with the idea of using multiple RF transceivers in the future. The (old) DLP2232M board seems like a better idea for now.

Connecting the NRF24L01P module to the DLP2232M board poses a slight issue. The NRF24L01P can't be easily connected to a breadboard so an adapter will be needed. It also runs on 3.3v logic so I'll need a regulator in my circuit too. Adding a 3.3v regulator to the breadboard was easy enough and the DLP2232M provides a filtered power output on pin 21 which helps cut down on the number of components required to provide a clean 3.3v supply. I did connect the NRF24L01P to the breadboard using jumper wires but the result was messy and unstable. To avoid all the wires I turned to Fritzing. The software is easy to use and after a few hours I finally ended up creating a small, breadboard friendly adapter.

Aisler will be fabricating the board and their prices seemed reasonable. Better yet, their system accepts Fritzing's files and allows you to preview the design before ordering. I've just placed my order and it should arrive early in the New Year.

The board I'm getting fabricated is my third design. The previous two had the mounting points for both the NRF24L01P and DLP2232M boards. This made them larger, more expensive to fabricate and less flexible. This final design is far simpler and is really two small boards that work in tandem when mounted to a breadboard. If I solder female headers rather than male pins then I'll be able to use it with other boards if I decide to move away from using the DLP2232M.

While I wait for the boards to arrive I think I'll turn my attention to the 3D Printer sat next to me. My new hotbed arrived and I need to find a way to mount it and connect it up.



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