RF416 2.4 GHz Spread-Spectrum Radio

Overview

The RF416 has a 2.45- to 2.46-GHz frequency range, which is used in many countries worldwide. This 50-mW spread-spectrum radio can transmit data to another RF416 radio, an RF432 radio, a CR216(X) datalogger, or an AVW216 interface.

The RF416 supports point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications. It can serve as a field modem/radio while connected to the datalogger or as a base station modem/radio while connected to a computer. The radio can also serve as a stand-alone RF router/repeater.

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Benefits and Features

  • Rugged, low-cost transceivers
  • Can be used in the field as a transceiver or in the office as the base station
  • Transmits up to one mile with omnidirectional antenna; up to 10 miles with higher gain directional antennas at ideal conditions
  • Settings stored in non-volatile memory
  • RS-232 port for connecting to a computer; CS I/O port for connecting to a datalogger
  • Designed for use in PakBus networks
  • Frequency-hops over 25 channels avoids interference from other spread spectrum radios
  • Optional extended temperature testing
  • Faster communication due to elimination of some small "link state packets"
  • Ability to have stand-alone RF router/repeaters (up to 8 repeaters)
  • Greater immunity to interference and RF collisions by using RF retries
  • Reduced power consumption by the datalogger, as the radios perform "packet address filtering"
  • Built-in setup menus allow access to advanced functionality

The RF401-series and RF430-series spread-spectrum radios are similar. The models in these two series differ in their ports used for connecting to computers/dataloggers, in their frequencies, and in their transmitting power. Refer to the following table for specifics.

RF401
(retired)
RF401A RF430
(retired)
RF411 (retired) RF411A RF431 (retired) RF416 RF432 (retired)
Frequency 910 to 918 MHz
US & Canada
920 to 928 MHz
Australia & New Zealand
2.450 to 2.482 GHz
USB Ports
CS I/O Ports
RS-232 Ports
Transmitting Power 100 mW 250 mW 100 mW 100 mW 250 mW 100 mW 50 mW 50 mW


Purchase of this product is not recommended for new networks to be deployed in the European Union (EU) that may require future expansion. This and other RF-compatible products will not be available for sale in Europe after 01 Jan 2015 due to changes in EU legislation.

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Detailed Description

The RF416 reduces susceptibility to RF interference from other spread spectrum devices by providing user-selectable frequency hopping patterns. Spread spectrum radios spread the normally narrowband information signal over a relatively wide band of frequencies. This process allows communications to be more immune to noise and interference from RF sources such as pagers and cellular phones.

Specifications

Frequency 2.450 to 2.482 GHz
Radio Type Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
RS-232 Baud Rate 38.4k, 19.2k, 9600, 4800, or 1200 bps
Channel Capacity 65,000 Network Identifiers share 25 hop channels.
Frequency Hopping Patterns 6 different selectable patterns
Receiver Sensitivity -104 dBm at 10-4 bit error rate (Campbell Scientific protocols will issue retries wherever a bit error occurs.)
Interference Rejection 70 dB (at pager and cellular phone frequencies)
Power Output 50 mW (nominal)
Data Rate 10 kbps
Antenna Connector Reverse Polarity SMA (RPSMA)
FCC ID OUR-24XSTREAM
Power 9 to 16 Vdc
Operating Temperature Range -25° to +50°C
LEDs Power on, TX, RX, diagnostics
Power Connector Barrel plug, center positive 12 V (used to connect the 14291 Field Power Cable)
Current Required
  • Transmit: 75 mA
  • Receive: 36 mA
  • Sleep: 1 mA (power-saving options used)
Communication Ports
  • RS-232 9-pin D female (4 wire: Tx, Rx, CTS, GND)
  • CS I/O 9-pin D male (Newer dataloggers provide power to the radio on this connector. Dataloggers purchased before December 1997 require the pn 14291 Field Power Cable.)
Dimensions 11.4 x 7.0 x 2.9 cm (4.5 x 2.8 x 1.1 in.)
Weight 227 g (8 oz)

Compatibility

Communications

Internal Radio of CR216(X) Dataloggers

The RF416 spread spectrum radio can communicate with the internal spread spectrum radio of our CR216(X) dataloggers. Certain RF416 settings must match the CR216(X) settings for communications between the radio and datalogger to be successful. The factory default settings of these devices may not match; therefore, they may need to be reconfigured before communications can take place. For more information, refer to the Quick Reference Guide for Setting Up RF401-to-CR206 Communication application note (see Documents on the right).

Other Spread Spectrum Radios

RF416 radios can be used in networks containing RF432 and RF415 radios. When RF416 radios are used in networks that include RF415 radios, the Protocol must be set to Transparent. Also, If RF415 and RF416 radios will be in the same RF proximity, do not use 28, 44, 52, 56, or 60 for the RF415 Net Address. RF415 radios with Net Addresses of 28, 44, 52, and 56 interfere with RF416 radios with Net Addresses of 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The RF415 Net Address of 60 interferes with all RF416 Net Addresses.

The RF416's 2.4 GHz radio is also a good fit for parallel operation in RF450, 900 MHz networks due to the frequency difference (i.e., 2400 MHz versus 900 MHz).

Campbell Scientific does not recommend using the RF416 in networks containing FGR-115 radios.

Transparent and PakBus Protocols

Do not mix RF416 radios set to the Transparent protocol with RF416 or RF432 radios set to either of the PakBus protocols, since this will produce RF traffic without any RF communications. However radios with the PakBus Aware and PakBus Node settings can coexist in the same network (i.e., some radios set to PakBus Aware and some radios set to PakBus Node).

Datalogger Considerations

Compatible Contemporary Dataloggers

CR200(X) Series CR800/CR850 CR1000 CR3000 CR6 CR9000X CR300
* **

Compatible Retired Dataloggers

CR500 CR510 CR10 CR10X 21X CR23X CR9000 CR5000 CR7X
*

Notes:
*Although the CR9000 and CR9000X are compatible, RF416 radios do not support their fastest communication rates, and are therefore not practical for many CR9000(X) applications.
**Use a 18663 null modem cable.

Enclosure Considerations

A desiccated, non-condensing environment is required. The 14162 Mounting Kit includes hardware for securing the RF416 to an enclosure backplate (see Ordering Info).

Compatible Enclosures

ENC10/12 ENC10/12R ENC12/14 ENC14/16 ENC16/18

Downloads

RF401 Series OS v.04 (646 KB) 08-14-2008

Current RF401, RF411, RF416 firmware. Requires the Device Configuration Utility.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Number of FAQs related to RF416: 6

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  1. Yes. The BMP5 Direct SDK can communicate with the datalogger as long as two conditions are met:

    1. The communications link between the datalogger and the computer is transparent.
    2. There are no excessive delays.

  2. These radios ship with an SC12 serial cable and a 10873 RS-232 cable.

  3. The RF416 is a 50 mW, 2.45 to 2.46 GHz radio that requires true line of sight. In a dry environment, with absolutely no physical obstruction to impair the line-of-sight path, and with the proper and elevated antennas, the expected range is approximately 5 miles for the RF416. 

  4. Antenna selection depends on multiple criteria: 

    • Consider how many stations a particular station needs to communicate with. For remote stations in communication with only one repeater or base station, a directional or Yagi antenna may be an appropriate choice. In contrast, repeater stations that receive data from many different locations will probably require an omnidirectional antenna. 
    • Consider if a high-gain antenna is needed to overcome the path between two points. Higher-gain antennas are larger and more expensive. 

    To help with antenna selection and site placement, consider renting and using a demo kit to test the pathway quality. Campbell Scientific offers a 900 MHz demo kit for the RF401, RF430, CR206X, and AVW206, as well as a demo kit for the RF450. Contact Campbell Scientific for assistance.


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