RF401A 900 MHz Spread-Spectrum Radio


The RF401A is a 900 MHz radio designed for license-free use in several countries, including the United States and Canada. It provides a hassle-free way to create long-distance wireless links between your computer, data loggers, and measurement devices. The RF401A has a 910 to 918 MHz operating-frequency range and a configurable transmit-power output of 5 to 250 mW.

Campbell Scientific recommends the RF401A radios for existing installations that require compatibility with products such as the RF401, CR206X, CR211X, AVW206, and AVW211. For new installations, Campbell Scientific recommends using the RF407 or RF451.

Note: The image depicts the RF401A with an attached antenna. The antenna is sold separately.

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Ventajas y características

  • Transmisor de bajo coste y robusto
  • Puede usarse en campo como transmisor o en la oficina como estación base
  • Individual FCC license not required
  • Transmite hasta una distancia de una milla con antena omnidireccional; hasta 10 millas con antenas directivas de ganancia y en condiciones ideales
  • Parámetros almacenados en memoria no volátil
  • Frequency-hops de más de 25 canales que evita interferencias con otras radios spread spectrum
  • Opcional test de temperatura extendido
  • Comunicación más rápida debido a la eliminación de algunos pequeños "paquetes de estado de enlace"
  • Capacidad de actuar como router/repetidores (hasta 8 repetidores)
  • Mayor inmunidad a interferencias y colisiones RF mediante el uso de reintentos de RF
  • Menor consumo del datalogger dado que las radios implementan "filtrado de la dirección del paquete"
  • Diseñado para uso en redes PakBus
  • Menús de setup que permiten acceder a funcionalidad avanzada


Descripción técnica

The RF401A is a frequency hopping spread spectrum radio designed for 900 MHz license-free ISM band operation. It has a 910 to 918 MHz operating-frequency range and a configurable transmit power output of 5 to 250 mW. It provides one of three selectable active connections including CS I/O, RS-232, and USB. It has a reverse polarity SMA (RPSMA) antenna jack connection. It is over the air compatible with legacy 9XStream products including the RF400, RF401, RF430, CR205, CR206(X), and AVW206.



Radio Type Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
Frequency 910 to 918 MHz
Power Output 5 to 250 mW (software-selectable)
Receiver Sensitivity -109 dBm (Campbell Scientific protocols will issue retries wherever a bit error occurs.)
Channel Capacity 7 hop sequences share 25 frequencies.
RF Throughput Data Rate 9.6 kbps
Data Rate 10 kbps
Antenna Connector Reverse Polarity SMA (RPSMA) jack
LEDs Power on, Tx, Rx, diagnostics
RS-232 Baud Rate 1200 to 115200 bps
CS I/O Modes SDC 7, 8, 10, 11, and ME master
Average Current Drain
  • Transmit: < 80 mA (250 mW TX power)
  • Stand-by: < 0.5 mA (depending on power-saving mode)
  • Receive: 15 mA
Power 9 to 16 Vdc
Power Connector 2.5 mm DC power jack
Operating Temperature Range
  • -25° to +50°C (standard)
  • -40° to +85°C (extended)
Communication Ports
  • RS-232 9 pin D female
  • CS I/O 9 pin D male
  • USB Type B jack
Dimensions 11.1 x 6.9 x 2.7 cm (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.1 in.)
Dimension are from the tip of antenna connector to other side of case, and from the bottom of case to the top of DB9 connector jack screw. The width includes the thickness of the screw heads on the screws that hold the case together.
  • 136 g (4.8 oz) without "Ships With" items
  • 283.5 g (10 oz) with "Ships With" items


United States (FCC Part 15.247) MCQ-XB900HP
Industry Canada (IC) 1846A-XB900HP



The RF401A is over-the-air compatible with the RF401, RF430, CR206, CR206X, and AVW206. 

Other Radios

The RF401A is also compatible with the RF400 and CR205, but the communication protocol must be set to transparent. Also, if RF400 and RF401A 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 RF401A radios with Net Addresses of 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The RF400 Net Address of 60 interferes with all RF401A Net Addresses.

Campbell Scientific does not recommend using the RF401A in networks containing FGR-115 or RF450 radios.

Transparent and PakBus Protocols

Do not mix RF401A radios using the Transparent protocol setting with RF401A, RF401, RF430, CR206(X), or AVW206 devices using a PakBus protocol setting. 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.

Data Logger Considerations

Data Logger RS-232 CS I/O
CR300 *
Mixed-array data loggers **

*Use a 18663 null modem cable.
**It is possible to connect a mixed-array data logger (e.g., CR10, CR10X, CR23X, 21X, CR7) by using an SC932A or SC105 between the data logger's CS I/O port and the RF401A's RS-232 port.


Device Configuration Utility v.2.21 (41.5 MB) 22-05-2019

A software utility used to download operating systems and set up Campbell Scientific hardware. Also will update PakBus Graph and the Network Planner if they have been installed previously by another Campbell Scientific software package.

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7 (Both 32 and 64 bit)

Historial revisiones

Preguntas frecuentes

Número de FAQs relacionadas con RF401A: 19

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  1. There is a good chance that they would. However, the RF401A radios have been designed to work with Campbell Scientific dataloggers. There are more generic spread-spectrum radios (off the shelf) that are designed to work in this type of configuration.

  2. There are many cavity- and notch-type filters available from third-party manufacturers.

  3. The RF401A can be powered either from a 12 Vdc source via the field power cable, or from a datalogger via the CS I/O port.

  4. Use of the callback feature is handled under program control by the datalogger and is not affected by the RF401A.

  5. The COM220 and the RF401A can coexist on the CS I/O terminal, provided that they are assigned two different SDC addresses.

  6. Yes, as do all radios. Adjacent radio equipment operating in the same frequency range can cause interference.

  7. The RF401A and RF411A have distinct advantages over their predecessors, including greater maximum transmit power, lower average power consumption, improved packaging, and the inclusion of USB, RS-232, and CS I/O on a single device.

    • The RF401A is compatible with all of its RF400-series radio predecessors, including the RF400, RF401, and RF430. The RF401A is also compatible with the CR205, CR206X, and AVW206.
    • The RF411A is compatible with all of its RF400-series radio predecessors, including the RF410, RF411, and RF431. The RF411A is also compatible with the CR210, CR211X, and AVW211. 
  8. Yes. All antenna cables introduce a loss in the effective output of the system. The longer the antenna cable, the greater the loss.

  9. For an RF401A to communicate with an RF400, the RF401A must be configured to use the transparent communications option.

Casos de aplicación

Louisiana: Sinkhole Monitoring
In August 2012, RESPEC was contracted to provide field instrumentation and early-warning monitoring services at......leer más