Skip to Content

Category Archives: Tech Blog RF

Wireless solar communications solutions with LoRa radio

Wireless solar communications solutions with LoRa radio

By Monique Merino, RFI Product Manager (IoT)

As solar installations continue to increase and we move more towards smart grid solutions which require more connectivity, having a reliable connection for your solar system is essential. Modern solar inverters require connectivity to communicate data back to an internet connected portal.  RFI has the innovative solution to for this (and many other) solar applications.

If you have ever had a solar system installed, or are an installer yourself, you will have come across the situation of having to run a hard-line RS485 cable from your inverter to your meter unit through impractical or almost impossible terrain when connecting your inverter to a meter. While this is the recommended solution from many inverter manufacturers it is often impractical, expensive or impossible to lay a hardwired cable for RS485. This calls for a more innovative approach to achieve communications between a meter and inverter.

Communications in solar installations is often seen as a mysterious and complex part of the install, but it doesn’t need to be. Using a pair of Maxon Datamax LoRa terminals a wireless RS485 link can be established within minutes. As small outstation devices, the terminals are fitted with RS485 (and RS232) serial connectivity, this allows for direct connectivity to the inverter comms interface through the RS485 serial connector commonly found on solar inverters. The terminals are then programmed to talk to each other over LoRa radio through paired device IDs, matching frequency and data rate. With supply from RFI terminals can be supplied pre-programmed with settings appropriate for your device to further simplify setup.

So, what are the advantages of using the Maxon Datamax LoRa terminal solution for inverter communications? LoRa is a LPWAN communications protocol, this means that it is low power consumption solution that can communicate over a long range. This makes it better suited to these sorts of applications when compared to other protocols that have been tested for this use case, such as WiFi, which are designed for high-power short-range solutions. LoRa’s embedded end to end encryption and redundancy for packet finality also make it a desirable and versatile solution. The ease of installation of the product and the low power, low cost of the LoRa terminals also makes them an economical solution when compared to the cost of running long cable runs.

Since a large range of solar inverters and meters can be connected by RS485 or RS232 this makes this solution compatible with a wide range of devices and brands. This illustrates the flexibility of the Maxon Datamax LoRa terminal solution for wireless solar communications.

For any additional information, please contact the sales team at

Monique Merino, Product Manager (IoT)

0 6 Continue Reading →

X10DR 2.0. The Next generation

What is the X10DR?

The X10DR® (“Extender”) is revolutionary patented secure wireless microphone that liberates the way you communicate with your two way mobile radio. Finally, you can cut the cord from the vehicle mobile radio and stay in communication up to hundreds of meters from the vehicle. The X10DR® takes the power, range and stability of a mobile radio, right into the palm of your hand or sitting comfortably on your shoulder. The X10DR® enables team members to communicate back to base and amongst other team members onsite, via the vehicle mounted mobile radio. The X10DR® is durable, lightweight, affordable and intuitive to use. Finally, mobile radio users can stay in communication out of the vehicle with ease, comfort and security.

X10DR 2.0. The Next Generation.

The new X10DR versions now allow you to talk up to 500 metres from your vehicle. Introducing the next generation models: X10DR Elite and X10DR Pro. X10DR is a complete mission critical solution that unleashes the power of your mobile radio.

How does X10DR Work?

What are the versions available?

  • Designed to meet the stringent demands of mission critical users
  • Ruggedized Elite models feature 128Bit AES encryption to provide the highest levels of voice security.
  • Engineered to provide IP67 waterproof compliance.
  • The elite model can be connected to special function boxes to allow dual radio access/control operation.
  • Elite gateways can be used to provide an ‘in-car monitor’ function or alternatively, can be used as a public address system.
  • Control buttons on the base of the gateway provide independent volume settings.
  • The Elite model uniquely also provides a capability for a dual handset setup where 2 secure microphones can operate simultaneously with a single gateway for a lower cost setup. This dual connectivity capability means that the cost of a second gateway as well as the antenna, junction box and interface cables are not incurred. A mobile charger is available for the second handset in these situations.
  • The latest incarnation of the patented well proven ‘out of vehicle’ X10DR communications solution.
  • Providing all existing X10DR established ‘out of vehicle’ capabilities, multiple 2nd generation X10DR devices can now be connected to a common mobile radio via a low-cost junction box allowing users to choose to either talk over the radio channel or alternatively, just talk locally “off-net” to other X10DR users sharing the same mobile radio.
  • All voice communications plus system alert tones from the mobile radio and other connected X10DR users are audible at all times ensuring users are totally connected.
  • The X10DR Classic model is intended for deployment into existing 1st generation X10DR-XU1 fleets.
  • This “legacy” model has been configured such that the secure microphone looks operationally identical to previously provided X10DR-XU1 devices so as to maintain common user operational knowledge and functionality.
  • Note: Classic X10DR-XU2 secure microphones and X10DR-XU1 secure microphones will only work with their respective series matching gateway units. Wireless Pacific recommends using Elite or Pro models for new X10DR system deployments.
  • For Classic versions of the X10DR-XX1 series please contact RFI.

Learn More

RFI has a comprehensive range of videos, brochures and applications notes to download.

0 16 Continue Reading →

The new 43-10 and the Mini DIN confusion

The new 43-10 and the Mini DIN confusion

Connector manufacturers have released a new cellular connnector 4.3-10 (often referred to as 43-10), soon to the be industry standard in cellular applications. This new connector has recently been confused with a mini DIN. It’s important not to confuse 43-10 with 4.5-9.5 the so called “mini DIN”. The two connectors are not compatible. Although the Mini DIN will screw onto the 43-10, it will destroy the 43-10 female in the process. As you can imagine this would have catastrophic effect if the 43-10 female is on an antenna or a piece of transmission equipment!

For any additional information, please contact the sales team at

0 6 Continue Reading →

The NEW LTE antenna range

RFI's global-leading LTE Antenna Product Range

Introducing RFI’s global-leading range of LTE antennas. The LTE series of antennas are compatible with an enormous variety of hardware from various manufacturers and networks. Our antennas have been developed to help users maintain a dependable data connection and fast transfer speeds wherever they are in the world and whatever the application.

What is Long-Term Evolution (LTE)? LTE is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals which is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It increases the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. Different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries mean that only multi-band hardware and antennas which are able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.

Any Band. Any Application. Anywhere.

0 11 Continue Reading →

M2M Devices Using LTE CAT 1

M2M Communications Using LTE CAT1

M2M Devices using LTE CAT1

Higher speeds with mobile broadband was initially the main driver for the development of 4G LTE standards by 3GPP. The rising popularity of smartphones pushed many carriers to launch and expand their 4G networks much faster than initially planned.

Although lower category LTE devices were included even in the initial releases of 3GPP LTE standards, these weren’t fully supported by the carriers or the device vendors as the broadband applications were dominant.

Most of the M2M applications however have a very low throughput demand. With the recent introduction of CAT 1 cellular modules into the market, the maximum throughput can be reduced to 10 Mbps. This in turn allows reductions in the cost, power consumption and the complexity of the device as huge savings on the processing power, clock speeds and memory requirements can be achieved.

This trend will continue with the introduction of CAT M1 and CAT M2 (NB-IoT) devices in future where the channel widths will also be reduced to 1.4 MHz and 200 KHz respectively. This allows even greater reductions in the complexity, power consumption and the cost of the devices. A link budget improvement of 15 to 20 dB is also expected to be achieved with these devices that will considerably enhance the coverage.

by Alireza Etemadfar, Business Development Manager at RFI
by Alireza Etemadfar, Business Development Manager at RFI
The new Intelimax Lite 4G has all the essential functionality for today’s M2M environment including Packet Switch Data, 2-way SMS, Circuit Switch Data and IP Stack.
0 6 Continue Reading →

4G – Futureproof your M2M Communications

4G - Futureproof your M2M Communications

With the fast moving pace of technology in the mobile communications area, Australian carriers seem to be very keen to keep their infrastructure updated. As each generation of mobile technology is introduced, carriers tend to phase out older generations to keep the operation costs down and also to reuse the existing licenced spectrum for newer technologies.

Telstra recently switched off their 2G network with Optus and Vodafone to follow this year. It’s more than 10 years now since the first 3G network was launched in Australia. With the fast growing 4G coverage across the country and the upcoming 5G technology already in the horizon, Telstra has announced plans to phase out 3G by 2020.

Although telephony subscribers still form the majority of mobile network users, the number of M2M subscriptions is also rapidly growing. We all have heard of the famous forecast of 50 billion connected devices by 2020. As the industry is heavily investing in M2M devices, it’s very important to select the right technology that survives for a reasonable number of years.

When the first 4G network was launched in Australia back in 2011, higher download speeds and smaller latencies were the main differentiators that attracted customers. Ethernet 4G modems/routers were available in the Australian market shortly after as such devices are normally used in throughput demanding applications. Low cost 4G serial modem market on the other hand, didn’t really pick up because of the low speed nature of serial devices as well as the significantly higher cost of 4G cellular modules compared to the 3G devices.

As the cost of 4G devices continues to decline and the possibility of 3G shut down in the next few years gets more real, many industries now prefer to use 4G devices instead of 3G even if 3G satisfies their current requirements.

by Alireza Etemadfar, Business Development Manager at RFI
by Alireza Etemadfar, Business Development Manager at RFI
The new Intelimax Lite 4G has all the essential functionality for today’s M2M environment including Packet Switch Data, 2-way SMS, Circuit Switch Data and IP Stack.
0 8 Continue Reading →
_linkedin_partner_id = "2481852"; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids = window._linkedin_data_partner_ids || []; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids.push(_linkedin_partner_id);