This product is no longer available and has been replaced by: RF401A. Some accessories, replacement parts, or services may still be available.
RF430 900-MHz Spread-Spectrum Radio


The RF430 spread spectrum radio includes a USB port to make it easier to connect to newer computers that do not have RS-232 ports. This 100 mW spread spectrum radio/modem operates in the 910 to 918 MHz frequency range, which is used in the US and Canada. The RF430 can transmit data to another RF430 radio, an RF401 radio, or a CR206(X) datalogger.

The RF430 supports point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications. Although it typically serves as a base station modem/radio, the RF430 can connect to the datalogger’s RS-232 port to serve as a field modem (requires a null modem cable and a field power cable).

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Benefits and Features

  • USB port for connecting to a computer; RS-232 port for connecting to a datalogger
  • Rugged, low-cost transceivers
  • Transmits up to one mile with omnidirectional antenna; up to 10 miles with higher gain directional antennas at ideal conditions
  • Individual FCC license not required
  • Optional extended temperature testing
  • Settings stored in non-volatile memory
  • Designed for use in PakBus networks
  • Frequency-hops over 25 channels avoids interference from other spread spectrum radios
  • 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.

RF401A RF430
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


Detailed Description

The RF430 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.

RF430 and RF401 Differences

The RF430 radio is functionally the same as the RF401. The difference between the two is that the RF430 has USB and RS-232 ports, while the RF401 has RS-232 and CS I/O ports.


Operating Frequency 910 to 918 MHz
Type Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Transceiver
USB Baud Rate 38.4k, 19.2k, 9600, 4800, or 1200 bps

If an RF430 radio has an operating system prior to OS2, its USB port will only communicate at 38.4 kbps. Therefore, the operating system of an RF430 radio may need to be updated to a newer version if the network will contain dataloggers that do not support 38.4 kbps (e.g., CR200(X), CR510, CR10X).
RS-232 Data Rate 38.4k, 19.2k, 9600, 4800, or 1200 bps
Channel Capacity 65,000 Network Identifiers share 25 hop channels.
Frequency Hopping Patterns Six different selectable patterns
Receiver Sensitivity -110 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
Transmitter Power Output 100 mW (nominal)
Antenna Connector Reverse polarity SMA
Power 9 to 16 Vdc
LEDs Power on, TX, RX, diagnostics
RS-232 Connector 9-pin “D” female (4 wire: Tx, Rx, CTS, GND)
Power Connector Barrel plug, center positive 12 V (used to connect the 14291 Field Power Cable)
Standard Operating Temperature Range -25° to +50°C
Extended Operating Temperature Range -55° to +85°C

The push button that allows you to check/edit programmable settings while the radio is connected to a computer may not operate at temperatures colder than -25°C.
Dimensions 11.4 x 7.0 x 2.9 cm (4.9 x 2.8 x 1.2 in.)
Weight 227 g (8 oz)

Average Current Drain

Standby < 1 mA (power-saving options used)
Receiving 26 mA
Transmitting 78 mA



Other Spread Spectrum Radios

The RF430 radios can be used in networks containing RF401 and RF400 radios. When RF430 radios are used in networks containing RF400 radios, the Protocol must be set to Transparent. Also, if RF400 and RF430 radios will be in the same RF proximity, do not use 28, 44, 52, 56, or 60 for the RF400 Net Address. RF400 radios with Net Addresses of 28, 44, 52, and 56 interfere with RF430 radios with Net Addresses of 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The RF400 Net Address of 60 interferes with all RF430 Net Addresses.

Campbell Scientific does not recommend using the RF430 in networks containing FGR-115 or RF450 radios.

Transparent and PakBus Protocols

Do not mix RF430 radios set to the Transparent protocol with RF430 or RF401 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

If an RF430 radio has an operating system prior to OS2, its USB port will only communicate at 38.4 kbps. Therefore, the operating system of an RF430 radio may need to be updated to a newer version if the network will contain dataloggers that do not support 38.4 kbps (e.g., CR200(X), CR510, CR10X).

Compatible Contemporary Dataloggers

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

Compatible Retired Dataloggers

CR500 CR510 CR10 CR10X 21X CR23X CR9000 CR5000 CR7X

*Although compatible, RF430 radios do not support the CR9000(X)'s fastest communication rates, and are therefore not practical for many of their applications.


RF430 Series OS v.02 (702 KB) 08-30-2011

Current RF430, RF431, RF432 firmware. Requires the Device Configuration Utility.

View Update History

RF430 USB Drivers v.2.08.28 (1.64 MB) 03-05-2013

RF430 USB Drivers for the Windows operating system. 32 and 64 bit support for Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Note: Drivers should be loaded before plugging the RF430 into the computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Number of FAQs related to RF430: 3

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  1. Download the RF430 driver from the Downloads page. 

  2. In theory, a single RF430 can communicate with 4,000 CR206X dataloggers, as this is the maximum number of unique PakBus addresses available for use in a single RF network. The practical limit depends on how frequently data is retrieved from all the remote sites.

  3. 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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