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:
Wow great info / links thanks!
Something important to keep in mind. Typically when people who aren't RF design people (and even some that are) think about improving a radio link, the first thing they consider is upping the power. Boosting the power requires more battery, better cooling, more weight and often ugly problems start rearing up such as interference with other electronics and it may help you be heard but it doesn't do anything for your own ability to hear. An antenna that has 3db of gain is equivalent to doubling your transmitted power BUT ALSO makes your receiver hear twice as much so it benefits both directions of the link. You are always better off to spend more time, money and effort to get the best possible antenna for the job than investing in transmitter power. Food for thought.
There is a really awesome highly directive yagi antenna for 900MHZ you can build at home with simple tools for about 5 bucks included in this group of antenna designs. You can mark the elements and wood boom so you can take them in and out for travel:
You can just use one on the ground and it will be noticeably better. Might want to just try this first and see if it helps you out enough. If not get one for the RX side. But also keep in mind antenna's play as much of a role as the radios do. Most of those little antenna's that come with the eBay '3dr radio' are junk. Check out some of these antennas. I noticed a huge improvement with some of these. http://store.rfdesign.com.au/antennas/
Depends on your application. If it is simplex then one should do but for duplex you have the same link budget from both ends so you better have two!
As I understand it you only need one - TX for sure. Folks say it works better with two however....
I got this error message in Mission Planner 1.3.16 when I tried to update the firmware on my RFD900P.
I hit the Yes button to report the error.
I'm using RFD900 both on my Y6 and ground control. I'm using pixhawk as flight control. For some reason, i can't raised the transmit power above 20dbm. The option from the dropdown list on mission planner has only 20dbm max, there are no 30dbm option on that dropdown list. Am i missing something? How can i get the 30dbm? Any advises are welcome
Not sure if 2013 is old enough but here are some http://firmware.diydrones.com/Tools/MissionPlanner/
I'm not positive but I think if you revert back to an older version of Mission planner you will then see the 30dbm available. 2 years ago older I think but not sure.