Ok guys, with all the people waiting on APM2 and all the exciting new alpha and beta releases of APM firmware coming, I think many people are starting to chomp at their bits, a little.
To that end, I've opened up this discussion for all those with complaints. As I've joined the Dev Team, and not at a productive stage yet, I'll monitor this discussion, and relay things to the others on the Dev Team.
These could be both hardware or software, or just general rants and raves!
Hope everyone takes advantage of this! Maybe we'll all learn some things in the process.
Just wanted to add this response from Chris Anderson:
Please just contact firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire about the status of your order. They are not necessarily shipped in order. For example, the unsoldered ones are shipped first, because they're faster to put together. Then soldered with GPS, then soldered without GPS (or maybe those two in reverse order, I can't remember). There are approximately 50 going out each day and the team tells me that the backlog should be over by Mon/Tues of next week.
I agree, please use this discussion for Rants and Raves. Order issues should be directed to 3DR directly. I think you will get better response there.
Get this - 12 Sats on the way home in 70 clear skies with large Cumulo Nimbus mottled coverage - put ALL gear bag onboard, Receiver, ESC, Servos, minimOSD, xBee 900mhz, put it on the parcel shelf, laptop on passenger seat Mission Planner open.
It took a few minutes and 5 or six kms before getting 4 sats and only locked once I had 5. but from there I heard Servo 5 & 6 (i've dedicated to camera mount p&t) whirring each corner I made, and was even able to specifically tell Camera to "point over here" and then you hear the servos doing microadjustments until you pass quickly by the landmark you painted and the servos go crazy to keep on target.
This is all amazing stuff - can't wait to put it into a bird and get it up. But anyway looks like the Mediatek is indeed OK - just not best performing under poor cloud cover.
It would be nice if 3Drobotics answered their email! I have placed a bunch of orders this year without any problems but now my new GPS isn't working so I started emailing 3DR on Wednesday and can't get a response. 3DR is seriously lacking in customer service!
Jason: I'll ping the customer support desk and see if I can find out what went wrong in this case.
Thank you Chris!
Jason, it seems that they are having some... hiccups from at least my experiences thus far..
A few days ago I posted within this thread a few issues I was having with lack of communication regarding APM2 orders, and an issue with a shipping refund that had been perhaps put in the circular file..
I'm happy to say one of the issues was resolved fairly quickly, but another has cropped up..
The shipping charge that USPS refunded to 3DR due to a lost package that they misplaced for a day on overnight delivery is being refunded back to me as per a call from 3DR customer service on Friday - I very VERY much appreciate the fact that they called to let me know. A big thank you for taking the time to do that.
A second issue has cropped up though. Lorenzo at 3DR messaged me here in the forums and asked if I could directly email him concerning my experience with customer service. I did so, and explained the back and forth I got with the shipping charge credit, as well as asking if he could assist me in getting an RMA for a bad oilpan I received with my kit (The baro sensor gave random readings for a few days, then quit completely, never to come back.) I received a fast email back (of which I appreciate) and was told that what I experienced with the shipping charge ordeal was apparently ok with 3DR as it was standard practice, and that I would have to email help@3dr and explain what was going on and ask for a replacement and an RMA # for the old one. While I appreciate the info, after all the crap I've been through back and forth and even just for the reason that he contacted me personally and asked me to email him details, you would think he could just have forwarded the email I sent him to help@3dr, but no, a few more hoops I need to jump through. Ok.....
I emailed help@3dr Friday asking for an RMA # for the bad oilpan and asked if there was a way that I could have a replacement sent to me quickly (they still had my overnight shipping charge in their possession) and if so, please let me know as I need to get this copter back up in the air by mid-week this week to not lose money on a project I'm working on. A few hours later, I received a reply from someone at 3DR letting me know an RMA number, and said I should get a fedex return label via email that day, and to reply to them if I don't get it by the end of the day. I was also told the new oilpan would "ship soon" - whatever that means. So I thought I would get a ship notification later that day, but did not.
After midnight Saturday morning, I emailed the address back (as asked to do so) stating that I never received a fedex email at all (not in inbox/spam/outer-space, etc..) and asked if they could at least let me know when the oilpan would be shipped, and that I would even pay for express shipping if needed as this is extremely important to me.. I CC'd this email to Lorenzo.
I received an email from only Lorenzo a little bit later (I had gone to sleep, so I got it Saturday morning) stating that the oilpan would go out that day. (Don't know if he meant friday or saturday, as he is located on the opposite US coast as I am, so there is a difference in time) - Saturday goes by, no fedex return label for old oilpan, and no ship notification for new oilpan - and I could have sworn that 3DR is closed on the weekends.
So here I am, confused, and pretty much done with 3DR after all this. I'm not asking for gold here. I'm simply trying to get through multiple hoops that have been set up by 3DR to get an oilpan replacement that never worked properly from day 1 due to a simple sensor issue, and am now getting misinformation from someone who was supposed to be helping. I am a -very- understanding person when it comes to backlogs, mixups, etc, but all of these in a row to one person, and when I say that I'm having an issue, I get even more wrong info?
My rant for today - my second 3DR parcel arrived - the Ardustation...
Can someone anywhere point out to me where it states the Ardustation is Un-Assembled? maybe I just missed it, and I'm fine with putting it together, just a little warning would be nice.
Just looking at it all it's very basic ATMEga128/UNO - so I might even use a spare ATmega2560 which as ethernet built in and make a Super Mega Ardustation - will post elsewhere with code and plans if I do.
I'm a dreamer first...and a Do'er in my dreams :)
Right in the product listing: "NOTE: Some assembly required!"
It's the third line. Pretty hard to miss.
Sorry mate - I suppose I just figured putting the LCD on was the limit of it...and as opposed to the images supplied for the APM Assembled and un-assembled, the Ardustation is only depicted as Fully built.
Oh dear - but further to this, I had two parts missing from the pack when it arrived, there are supposed to be 7 .1uf capacitors and 3 LEDs. I was only given 2 leds (red and green), and there were only 6 capacitors - and since they come in a strip, as a general practice I side-cut them from the strip, leaving a qtr inch part of their leads in the strip, which meant that once I was done I have a definate account that there were only 6 supplied (i.e. one wasn't floating around in the bag, or fallen ont he floor.)
Luckily I had a spare .1uf and although I didn't have a blue LED I did have similar super brights (although different polarity, but that's fine.)
All that aside construction was done and all works fine.
i think suggestions for further consideration is to also supply either some soft EPP backing for the LCD, or even some nylon spacers, once the LCD is firmly attached to the back of the main PCB there are quite a lot of closely spaced exposed contacts between PCB and LCD - even when using good quality soldering and good side-cutters.
Chris - apologies for somewhat thread-jacking, but I sent you a message on the forums concerning my above issue earlier today, and would appreciate it if you could get back to me once you've read it. Wasn't sure if it got lost in the millions of notifications you must receive.
I ranted the other day and so now I'll rave. My APM 2 was waiting for me when I arrived home Monday evening. It took me about 20 minutes to solder all the pins on. I then uploaded the firmware with the mission planner. I got a GPS lock from the MediaTek GPS in about a minute. I probably won't have time to hook it to the quad until this weekend but so far everything looks pretty good. One minor point, under guages, the VSI jumps from about negative .75 to plus .75. I'm not sure what is up with that yet.
I don't know if this is the right place for a customer service rant, but today I ran out of patience. I ordered a 3dr radio system in late November and received it shortly after. The air unit did not work from day one and I of course didn't have an ftdi cable which I ordered on Dec. The cable went on BO sometime after I ordered it and I didn't receive the cable until the 15th. Hooked the air unit and confirmed it was bad. Got an RMA and shipped the units back on the 21st of Dec. Due to holidays they didn't look at it until Jan 3. Confirmed it was bad. Shipped a new unit out Jan 4. I received the air and ground units today-Jan 8 and the final straw in my patience category went over the edge. They shipped an air and ground unit with only one antenna, so the unit is worthless to me until they find my antenna. This is going on 2 months now and the frustration is mounting. They said they will ship an antenna and I requested that it be shipped overnite, but I won't hold my breath on that. Ok, I'm done venting now and will take something for my nerves