In-Depth Analysis of the Improvement of Nordic's Dongle based on nRF52840 May 09, 2020
Dongle was first launched by Nordic in 2018. Nordic claims that nRF52840 Dongle is a small, low-cost USB Dongle. It also supports Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4 GHz proprietary protocols. Although Nordic has priced the official Dongle at US $10, it still says that it is cheap and good. However, for many customers, this price is too expensive. Moreover, there are still many defects in Nordic's official dongle, such as the weak USB interface, the uninvolved NFC interface, and the repeated welding of the fragile stamp half-holes have brought a lot of trouble for the developers to follow up.

Based on various defects of Nordic's official Dongle, RF-star Technology has launched Dongle product RF-DG-40A based on nRF52840 to help users test wireless hardware devices. What advantages does the nRF52840 Dongle have?

First of all, Nordic's original nRF52840 Dongle uses a built-in USB. While this structure is less robust. In contrast, the metal shell used by nRF52840 Dongle USB launched by RF-star Technology is more solid and reliable, and there is no need to worry about the damage of the USB port when plugging and unplugging multiple times.

In terms of pins, nRF52840 dongle launched by RF-star technology adopts the convenient and direct welding general-purpose pin header, which can be used on the pin header just by welding. It is convenient for users to carry out secondary development and reduce the R & D cycle. Then look at the stamp half hole used by the original factory, it is not easy to weld the pin headers, and repeated welding is very easy to damage the pad, or even cause the pad to fall off, unable to use. In contrast, the nRF52840 dongle launched by RF-star technology has a longer development life.

Moreover, the nRF52840 Dongle launched by RF-star has an external NFC antenna. Customers can directly develop NFC related products. Although Nordic's original nRF52840 Dongle supports NFC function, it does not pull out an NFC interface and cannot perform NFC related debugging.

In addition, RF-star Technology inherits the Nordic original nRF52840 Dongle using components that are almost the same as the original, basically maintaining the consistency with the original.

It also has plug-and-play features, supports the original nRF Connect software, and can be easily tested and developed using official software

RF-star nRF52840 Dongle retains all electrical connection features, supports more than 20 open source projects on GitHub, and is compatible with the original Dongle program.

RF-star 's RF-DG-40A built-in USB device controller provides a high data throughput communication interface, used with nRF Connect for Desktop, it is supported by most nRF Connect for Desktop applications, and will be programmed automatically as required. In addition, you can make a custom application and download it to Dongle. It has a user-programmable RGB LED, a green LED, a user-programmable button, and 15 GPIOs that can be operated in the form of stamp half holes or pins. The sample application is provided under the name PCA10059 in the Nordic official website nRF5 SDK.


Developers can directly see the status of wireless devices through the PC desktop without purchasing a complete development kit, which is further simplifying the application design and program development process. nRF52840 Sniffer can be very convenient for packet analysis of BLE data.


RF-star Technology has been focusing on the Bluetooth field for over one decade and has rich experience in solution design. RF-star 's Nordic Sniffer solution has performed well.


RF-star Technology is a core supplier of wireless RF solution and low-power RF device with excellent industry reputation and credibility. Its products include rich of Nordic series products, such as nRF52840. The professional technical team provides you with professional customized services. For more Nordic solutions, please follow RF-star Technology.

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