We are pleased to offer a Nano Breakout Kit designed for use on model railroad layouts. In addition to hosting a plug-in Arduino Nano, this breakout board supports an nRF24L01+ radio for easy networking of layout control nodes. It’s compatible with the rest of the Lew’s Duino Gear line, so it has ports for duinoNodes and an optional rj45 connector for the LDG block occupancy detection system.
The kit is partially assembled and comes in two forms with optional additional parts:
- Basic, which includes all necessary parts except the rj45 connector; and
- Advanced which includes the rj45 connector for the BOD system.
An nRF24L01+ radio is available as an option with both kits. The Advanced kit can also be ordered with an LCOS controller — a Master or a Client — giving you a full featured LCOS node for 40% less than the standard hardware package.
What Makes this Breakout Board Special?
Power management. I learned the hard way the nRF24L01 radios are sensitive to the quality and capacity of their 3.3 volt power supply. This board includes polarity protection, a large bulk capacitor for buffering power to the entire board, plus a regulated 3.3v power supply, with filtering, to support the radio. The 3.3v supply has sufficient capacity to support up to 500 mA supply for other 3.3v accessories and peripherals.
The board is rated for 2 amps at 12 volts. With a 2 amp DC power source,plugged into the DC jack, you can distribute 1 amp at 12 volts to other devices through the VIN terminal, and another 500 mA can be distributed through the 3.3v terminal.
Rising Cage Terminals. The terminals we use are the “rising cage” type; a metal cage inside the terminal rises to press the wire against a metal plate at the top, resulting in a reliable connection that easily holds all kinds of wire, including ultra thin magnet wire and stranded wire. These are a little more expensive—but a lot more effective, especially with the smaller wire gauges common to model railroading—than the “leaf spring” terminal type you find on most boards.