AeroLink RFD Adapter Board Manual

AeroLink RFD Adapter Board Manual

Table of Contents

The AeroLink RFD Adapter Board is a quick and simple way to install a RFDesigns modem into your chosen vehicle or application. This simple product allows you to connect to the modem with a standard JST-GH cable whilst also allowing for an external power supply to be used to power the modem, as is recommended by industry professionals.

Reading This Manual

To make the reading of this manual easier, we have included a number of different coloured callouts to highlight key information, safety warnings, tips and tricks.

Note or Reference
Hints and Tips 
Important Message
Warning 

Downloading/Printing this Guide

You can download and print a copy of this guide by clicking the download PDF icon at the top of the page.

If you download or print this guide, please remember to regularly check back to this online guide to make sure there hasn’t been any updates or changes made since you downloaded/printed the guide.

Most countries have regulations in place that govern the use of different radio frequencies. It is up to the user to ensure that they are operating within their local restriction.

For more information regarding the use of radio equipment in your area, please contact your local authorities.

Authorities by Country

CountryAuthority NameContact Information
AustraliaACMAhttps://www.acma.gov.au/contact-us
New ZealandRAMhttps://www.rsm.govt.nz/about/contact-us/
USAFCChttps://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

The AeroLink RFD Adapter Board is a modem mount that provides seamless integration between the RFD900 modem series and your vehicle. Eliminating the need to carry specialist items (such as FTDI cables), the Adapter Board can connect COMs (serial link) and power via a standard JST-GH cable, or power can be supplied through an external source (recommended).

The AeroLink RFD Adapter Board is compatible with the RFD900+, RFD900x and RFD900u modems. While the RFD900u modem requires soldering, the RFD900+ and RFD900x modems can be quickly and easily changed or replaced when needed.

This product is suitable for all UAV and UGV applications where a wireless serial link is required. Ideal for users of all experience levels.

Included:

1x RFD Adapter Board

1x 15cm 6 Pin JST-GH Cable

2x 3 Pin Right Angle Header Pins

3x M3x6 Mounting Screw

1x M3x10 Modem Retaining Screw

Adapter Board - front and back view

The AeroLink RFD Adapter Board can be configured to power the modem via an external/separate power source, or an internal source (the same source as your flight controller).

You will need to configure the Adapter Board before installing your modem.

The modems should not exceed 5V regardless of how your system is configured.

It is recommended that you supply your telemetry modems by an external supply, separate to your flight controller or sensitive electronics. This can be a separate BEC or regulator. Regardless, the supply to the modems should not exceed 5V.

Selecting a Power Supply

Selecting between different power sources is done via the jumper pads on the rear of the AeroLink RFD Adapter Board.

Power supply

External Power Source (Recommended)

By default the AeroLink RFD Adapter Board is designed for use with an external power supply. It is manufactured with the jumper for External Power already closed by an internal trace.

To connect an external power supply, solder the provided right angle header pins or your wires directly to the power ports.

The JST-GH connector is used for your serial link.

External power connected

Even if you are using an external power supply, there is no need to modify the JST-GH cable.

Flight Controller Power

Closing the jumper between the center pad and the right hand pad will allow the system to draw power through the JST-GH cable (refer to Power Supply Diagram). This often means drawing from the same power lines as the connected flight controller or other sensitive electronics. This is not advised, but may be required for some applications, such as:

  • Power limits
  • Vehicle size restrictions
  • Other redundancies in place

PPM Connector

The PPM connector allows the RFD900x modem to be used as a range extender for RC signals to the vehicle. The connector should join to the RC IN port on the vehicle.

This function is reserved only for the RFD900x modems and may still require setup through software. See RFD900x manual for more details.

Installing a RFD900+ or RFD900x Modem

  1. Configure power input for your preferred power supply.
  2. On the front side of the Adapter Board, slide your chosen modem onto header with heatsink facing up.Install Modem
  3. Secure the modem with the M3x10mm screw.
  4. Connect antennas to your modem.
  5. Connect the JST-GH cable to your AeroLink RFD Adapter Board and to your flight controller.
  6. If using an external power source for the AeroLink RFD Adapter Board, confirm this is connected.

Installing a RFD900u Modem

  1. Configure power input for your preferred power supply.
  2. Align the RFD900u modem to power pads on the front side and solder to the Adapter Board.
  3. Connect antennas to your modem.
  4. Connect the JST-GH cable to your AeroLink RFD Adapter Board and to your flight controller.
  5. If using an external power source for the AeroLink RFD Adapter Board, confirm this is connected.
RPSMA Extension Cables are available of your antennas are located away from the main modem

Why is an internal power supply not advised?

The modems had a temperamental power system that can have random spikes and fluctuations. This has the potential to glitch the flight controller, or damage the BEC/regulator that is supplying the flight controller. Unless your system has other power redundancies in place we recommend drawing power to your modems from an external source.