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!


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:


Seppo Saario



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          • On the same subject..... if you have a RFD900 on the ground plugged into a droid phone or small tablet you do need to read the specs on the usb power. Many do not supply enough power to enable full power on the rfd900. My Macbook air does... 2 amps I think it is. Many devices it's 2-300 milliamps maxed out.

        • I power my RFD900 from the pixhawk - haven't seen any issues. can you elaborate?

          • I just always thought at full power, you should power with an external bec...  Thought that came from the manufacture, but I could be wrong.  Of I could just owns share in bec companies lol!  On my Devourer 1300 I've got no less than 5.  One on the front end of the Pixhawk with a Attopilot 180 (only running through one of the two 22ah6s packs), one for the landing gear, one more for the modem and two seperated by a MBR1545CT powering the servo rail on the Pixhawk.  Oh yea, and a zener diode on the rails just in case.  Maybe I should stop giving advice and go to a 12 step program : )  I think the two on the servo rail was a bit of overkill. Now all I need to do if finish adding the second GPS.  I'm big on backup.

            • Yea your set up is probably safer. I've never had a bec burn out but working it hard all the time will make it only a matter of time. I think it also depends on what power setting you have the RFD900. On max I can easily feel it getting warm [30] on a lower setting it's no big deal I don't think to power it through the pixhawk. I read all the specs once it did fall below the max.

              Re- back ups,, yea I wish copter 3.2 could use the second onboard compass as a back up to the external but I guess it's not %100 working right now. If any part of the system could use a back up its the compass IMHO it seems to be the first glitchy thing. I recently lost a quad.. I watched it fly away over Lake Huron toilet bowling. 

              • I guess in fairness I should also note that 3.2 WAS warning me the compass offsets were really high I had to turn of compass checks to fly. Dumb was me... :[

  • This makes me wonder what the power output limit of my tablet and OTG cable is. I don't see myself needing the full 30dBm output but I wonder what the amp draw limit would be to much for a mobile device. Figure 4.2 from the data sheet shows 0.2A as the lowest current draw which may be possible. Trees and a big hill here keep my stock 3dr units from reaching.

  • Hi,

    I am using RFD900 from jdrones.com and minimosd v1.1 on my apm2.6. I am requesting a wiring quary. The splitter cable minimosd came with has this cable. There are four cables for telemetry whereas my modem has already 5 wires. How do I connect them?




    • I think the only required connections are RX TX 5v and  ground. Here's a pin out hope this helps

      telemetry pin out.jpg

      • Is it the same with rfd900...in your attachment it's 3dr telemetry module.

  • excuse me for asking but if you use 433 for long range telemetry what will you use for radio then ?

    I'm asking because i always thought its better to use 433 radio and 900 for telemetry and 1.2-1.3 for video for long range setups.

    Sorry i have just saw the date ...

This reply was deleted.


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