Prepare the header strip:
Cut the strip to length if necessary. It will be easier to solder if you insert it into a breadboard - long pins down
Add the breakout board:
Place the breakout board over the pins so that the short pins poke through the breakout pads
Be sure to solder all pins for reliable electrical contact.
(For tips on soldering, be sure to check out our Guide to Excellent Soldering).
These radio breakouts do not have a built-in antenna. Instead, you have three options for attaching an antenna. For most low cost radio nodes, a wire works great. If you need to put the radio into an enclosure, soldering in uFL and using a uFL to SMA adapter will let you attach an external antenna. You can also solder an SMA edge-mount connector directly
A wire antenna, aka "quarter wave whip antenna" is low cost and works very well! You just have to cut the wire down to the right length.
Cut a stranded or solid core wire the the proper length for the module/frequency
- 433 MHz - 6.5 inches, or 16.5 cm
- 868 MHz - 3.25 inches or 8.2 cm
- 915 MHz - 3 inches or 7.8 cm
If you want an external antenna that is a few inches away from the radio, you need to do a tiny bit more work but its not too difficult.
You'll also need a uFL to SMA adapter (or whatever adapter you need for the antenna you'll be using, SMA is the most common
Of course, you will also need an antenna of some sort, that matches your radio frequency
Check the bottom of the uFL connector, note that there's two large side pads (ground) and a little inlet pad. The other small pad is not used!
Solder in the two side pads, they are used for signal and mechanical connectivity so make sure there's plenty of solder
Solder in the two side ground pads. Note you will need a lot of heat for this, because the connector is an excellent heat sink and its got a huge ground plane