How to switch RC zones (SimplePack Plus)¶
As you know, Sigfox operates on different frequencies in different countries, known as Radio Configurations or RC zones. In order for your device to work in both let's say America and Japan, the RC zones need to be switched. There are three ways to do this.
Please note that in order to switch to RC2 and RC4, you have to have an RC2 or RC4 device from the factory as the device has a Power Amplifier assembled. If you have an RC1 or RC3 device, you can only switch between RC1 and RC3. Factory RC2 or RC4 devices can be switched to any zone. Switching the Radio Configuration works like this:
- Turn the device upside down (so the button is facing the ground) and hold the button pressed for more than 6 seconds. The best way to have the orientation right is to place it on a corner of a cabinet so the orientation is rotated exactly to 180°.
- After the initial 6-second+ press (still having the button facing the ground) a short double press (two short single presses) must be made within 5 seconds. If you won't make it in 5 seconds you will not get the device into the switch mode!
- The device is now in zone switch mode, every button press switches the zone to a next one and the current selected zone is indicated by a number of LED blinks. One blink for RC1, two for RC2 and so on.s
- While in switch mode, if the button is not pressed for 10 seconds or more, the switch mode ends and the last selected RC zone is applied.
- Test your device for the correct RC zone in your Sigfox backend. If you are not receiving any messages repeat the procedure from step 1 and select the right zone for your country.
- Congratulations! Done.
Here's a detailed video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T1jxZ0qT10vynPt2aI5kxw6T2rdw0KPF/view?usp=sharing
Monarch is a Sigfox method of switching the zones automatically, you can read more about this topic in this article.
It's possible to set the RCZ value by downlink as well, but we do not recommend this as once you change the zone, you won't be able to switch back since the frequency is different for each RCZ. In general, we only recommend this for Monarch testing. If you want to change the RCZ through downlink, change register 0x47 to values 0x01-0x04.
You can also set up a timer that will change the zone from the one you're in to the one you preset after some time. This is done though registers 0x68 and 0x6, where the first one is the time (in SimpleTime encoding) and the second one is the new RCZ you will change to (values from 1-15).
RC zone switch event (0x88)¶
The 0x88 event is something you will receive when the RCZ of your device changes with the exception of a manual switch.
The 0x88 hex will be followed by a single byte of information from which you can tell two things:
- New RCZ value (low 4 bits represent the new value 1-15)
- The method of change (high four bits represent the methods: 1-Downlink, 2-Timer, 3-Monarch)
You receive the event when the device goes from Japan to Australia and you have set up the autoswitch timer to switch when around the zone barrier. After the switch is done, you receive the following message: 178842
- 17 - Trace me WiFi mode
- 88 - RCZ change event
- 42 - 4 stands for change to RCZ 4 (Australia), 2 stands for change by timer