RFD900, RFD900+ - New long range radio modem

Hi All,

I would like to introduce you to a new radio modem that we developed for very long range datalinks!

http://rfdesign.com.au/RFD900.php

Some of the key features of the RFD900 are as follows:

  • Multi point and point to point link capability.
  • Long range >40km depending on antennas and GCS setup.
  • 2 x RP-SMA RF connectors, diversity switched.
  • 1 Watt (+30dBm) transmit power.
  • Transmit low pass filter.
  • > 20dB Low noise amplifier.
  • RX SAW filter.
  • Passive front end band pass filter.
  • Open source firmware / tools, field upgradeable, easy to configure.
  • Small (30 x 57 x 13 mm), light weight (14.5g).
  • Compatible with 3DR / Hope-RF radio modules.
  • License free use in Australia, Canada, USA, NZ.

 

These modems are designed to support long range applications, while being easy to use and affordable.  

These modems have been flying in various platforms and have demonstrated excellent performance in real applications. 

RFD900 modems are now available at: http://store.rfdesign.com.au

Support within APM planner and the radio configurator from Michael Oborne is already available.

It works seamlessly with APM planner, all radio Mavlink parameters are available.

Update, December 2014:  The RFD900+ with improved specifications is available now at:

http://store.rfdesign.com.au/rfd-900p-modem/

Seppo Saario

rfdesign.com.au

 

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Mike Mac said:

Why are we getting zero support from the manufacturer?


I ordered a pair of rfd900's two weeks ago, I've had them a little while now, and one of them is bad.. I see features described two years ago, yet I don't see them. (Dynamic output power?) all the docs and firmware have the appearance of something that was abandoned long ago.

I bought these because I had just finished dealing with another product which was "released" two years ago, still has "beta" firmware and tools, and no support..

Now, I hope it's not as bad as it looks.. I'd like to hear what others customers have to say about this. Did anyone else purchase this perhaps based on an illusion?

I hope I'm just looking the wrong places... I want it to work!

The manufacturer is most certainly not "abandon"-ing anything, quite the opposite, they have invested heavily in new design/s, features, code, etc, as will be seen soon enough.... and if you feel their documentation is lacking, then it's only got to be because they are so busy!     They've recently moved to new/better offices too!


With regard to "one of them is bad" - If you've had it only a couple of weeks, it sounds like you need to see if it's a software or a hardware issue (  try re-flashing it, and then be sure to ensure all settings in both radios are 100% identical), and if it's a hardware issue, contact the manufacturer for a warranty claim.



davidbuzz said:

The manufacturer is most certainly not "abandon"-ing anything, quite the opposite, they have invested heavily in new design/s, features, code, etc, as will be seen soon enough.... and if you feel their documentation is lacking, then it's only got to be because they are so busy!     They've recently moved to new/better offices too!


With regard to "one of them is bad" - If you've had it only a couple of weeks, it sounds like you need to see if it's a software or a hardware issue (  try re-flashing it, and then be sure to ensure all settings in both radios are 100% identical), and if it's a hardware issue, contact the manufacturer for a warranty claim.


I don't agree. And yes one of them is absolutely defective .. and yes I have contacted the manufacturer, who is the same as the original poster. And yes I am waiting for a reply.

And the documentation isn't just lacking, it's incorrect in so many places. And there are multiple versions with inconsistent information.. I've had to go through the code on github just to make sure I'm not hallucinating.

Just for the record.... I'm not presenting un-educated opinion here.   I know the manufacturer, they are in the same city as me.  I have visited their offices many times.  

Hi John,

I received your message a couple of hours ago.  It does look like you have received a modem that has issues.

Our field failure rate is very low, but, unfortunately failures can occur with almost any product.

Regarding errors in documentation, feedback is always welcomed and incorporated.

I am arranging a replacement modem for you and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

With best regards,

Seppo



Seppo said:

Hi John,

I received your message a couple of hours ago.  It does look like you have received a modem that has issues.

Our field failure rate is very low, but, unfortunately failures can occur with almost any product.

Regarding errors in documentation, feedback is always welcomed and incorporated.

I am arranging a replacement modem for you and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

With best regards,

Seppo

Hey there, oh I'm so relived to hear back! I've had some rather unpleasant experiences recently.
I just sent another message to you at the same time, so no need to duplicate here..
but I want others reading this to know that I'd be happy to create some high-quality documentation for the product, if you have no objections.

i have designed your product into a project for search and rescue and will be buying the product in the next few weeks.  i HOPE this thread is not representative of the product or your technical support level.  i can't afford to have these "not work"....

dennis



Seppo said:

Hi John,

I received your message a couple of hours ago.  It does look like you have received a modem that has issues.

Our field failure rate is very low, but, unfortunately failures can occur with almost any product.

Regarding errors in documentation, feedback is always welcomed and incorporated.

I am arranging a replacement modem for you and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

With best regards,

Seppo

I own 4 of them radios and have absolutely no complaints, Please also note that this thread has 44 pages and probably IS REPRESENTATIVE of the product

Dennis Okeefe said:

i have designed your product into a project for search and rescue and will be buying the product in the next few weeks.  i HOPE this thread is not representative of the product or your technical support level.  i can't afford to have these "not work"....

dennis



Seppo said:

Hi John,

I received your message a couple of hours ago.  It does look like you have received a modem that has issues.

Our field failure rate is very low, but, unfortunately failures can occur with almost any product.

Regarding errors in documentation, feedback is always welcomed and incorporated.

I am arranging a replacement modem for you and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

With best regards,

Seppo

understand...   a couple of years i tried to buy a couple of these and go ZERO response over months from the only source i could find.  i got a bit discouraged to say the least.   to hear that the product in hand by the previous poster doesn't have the advertised technical features is rather unsettling.  that's all i am saying.

Paul Meier said:

I own 4 of them radios and have absolutely no complaints, Please also note that this thread has 44 pages and probably IS REPRESENTATIVE of the product

Dennis Okeefe said:

i have designed your product into a project for search and rescue and will be buying the product in the next few weeks.  i HOPE this thread is not representative of the product or your technical support level.  i can't afford to have these "not work"....

dennis



Seppo said:

Hi John,

I received your message a couple of hours ago.  It does look like you have received a modem that has issues.

Our field failure rate is very low, but, unfortunately failures can occur with almost any product.

Regarding errors in documentation, feedback is always welcomed and incorporated.

I am arranging a replacement modem for you and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

With best regards,

Seppo

Hi,

Just to make sure the thread represents the state of the product. We have around 30 to 40 of these and they all work absolutely great. Very high quality and no one is defective. The only issue we have is that you have to run the RFD868+ with the MP firmware and then RSSI logging is not supported yet but the manufacturer is working on solving it.

The hardware certainly appears to be high-quality. Whenever I get new electronics, I like to put them under the microscope and have a close-up look at the assembly.. these look flawless to me. (Compared to other products I've seen.. ) I don't see any cheap components or sloppy work. I don't mind that in this case one of them has a defect. As long as it's taken care of.
Also, my order was shipped immediately and went out the same day. The antennas are the nicest I've seen in quite a while.

Once I get a reply (via email) and make sure we're on all on the same page -- we all want to love the product; I would like to discuss, in a new thread of course, some of the other issues that are not at all unique to RFD, as I mentioned I went with the RFD modems after my original choice wasn't what it claimed to be - I had spent a lot of time considering what the best solution was for my project, then weeks to decide what to do.

So, I'll post again later with a link to the thread, and I hope to make it a positive thing and it is not, absolutely not, directed at any particular maker/seller/developer/manufacturer.

g'day mates
Attachments:

Hi John,

Have replied to your email.. Arranging a replacement for you.

Hi Dennis,

The RFD900 modems will be around and supported for as long as there is demand for them. 

The only feature that has given a hard time has been the AES implementation on the 8051 based chipset on 900+.

There was an update post regarding it some pages ago I think.  Essentially, we do have an implementation of it available, but, the serial throughput is not good enough for general use.  The hardware does support AES, but the software, (which is open source), does not at the moment.  We have released the current work in progress in a branch on https://github.com/RFDesign/SiK/tree/AES .

Regarding warranty support, there are a few standard things to test/try.  Generally a re-flash will correct any firmware issues, but in the event of a hardware failure within the warranty period it is replaced.  The only things that generally aren't covered are things like putting 12V into a 5V radio, or damage caused by digging it out of the ground after an inflight incident--

Best wishes to all from Brisbane,

Seppo :)

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