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.
Jeff, Here you go, some old school, 10 second Guru post...it's not "Forest through the Trees" - it's "Forest For the Trees" - in other words when someone says "Can you see the forest" - you say, "I can't see it, there are too many trees in the way" and it's not that their being there would prevent you seeing through them to the Forest on the other side...because they Are the Forest, therefore a superfluous argument as you do not need to see Through them at all.
Have you ever had the old "Can you turn that down so you can hear what I'm saying!?!" - "Wait a moment, I can't hear you, let me turn this down!"
One more thing......Being corrected 2 hours after your (fantastic) rant....Sucks
Keep up the sucky work...haha. jk.
I have a chainsaw if it helps
Ahhh yess...then it will be "I Can't see the Forest for the...firewood."
I can agree with many of the points you cited. I have spent literally hundreds of hours following the threads to make my APM2 work. Each firmware release purports to resolve the stability problems, but it seems that only a few can get it working with any degree of success. For others, the same old problems seem to persist. I believe one of the biggest problems is due both to GPS placement and the use of a less than stellar GPS. It appears that I will need to purchase another GPS, unsolder the existing GPS, and mount the GPS on a pole similar to the way DJI does.
Tuning APM2 is a nightmare and the answers to many problems are scattered all over the forum and the wiki. Finding the answers takes a very long time due to the format of the documents. They need to gather the important information into a single document and update it frequently to keep up with all of the changes in the firmware.
APM2 promises capabilities that should equal or even surpass the Wookong M with 50 waypoints. I believe that they will eventually get it working as promised. I wish I could retrieve all of the money I have thrown down the drain for APM2 and the 3DRadio, but such is unlikely.
That said, since I want to fly and not tinker, I purchased a DJI NAZA and GPS. I had it working in minutes using the factory default parameters with reasonably good stability. I then increased the default parameters by 10% across the board and now the GPS performs flawlessly and holds the aircraft within a 1m circle. Altitude hold is unbelievably good after the 10% increase in the vertical. This is my first time flying a multi-rotor and I am amazed at how good it flies in the hands of a novice. I learned to fly after three flights with my experienced colleague standing by to take control when I started losing the aircraft. I am now flying by myself without crashing.
NAZA tuning is very simple with only a few values to adjust. I am very happy with my NAZA/GPS flight controller and can now spend the time previously spent researching on learning to fly my aircraft. This venture has finally become fun.
I wish you luck in getting APM2 working. It is my belief that the development team will ultimately get the product working but perhaps with different hardware, thus I may revisit APM2 in the future.
DJI is not perfect either. I bought and received the new GPS unit and it was defective out of the box - the compass was not accessible by the MC. I spent a week bashing my head against the wall trying to get it to work. After weeks of e-mail and waiting for DJI China or DJIUSA to respond, they both said to send it back to DJIUSA. That was 3 weeks ago and despite repeated e-mails I haven't heard anything back from them. Zero. Postal tracking says they accepted it. They now have my money and my defective gear and I have nothing except a very bad taste in my mouth. I really don't want to buy anything DJI ever again.
If you think that by spending a bit more money you're going to have a trouble-free experience, be prepared for a disappointment.
I did not intend to insinuate DJI is perfect. I can only speak to my personal experiences and that of three of my colleagues, all of which have been very good. I bought NAZA based upon their recommendation and had a great experience. YMMV. I had heard DJI had problems with some of the first GPS assemblies, which now seems to be fixed. You are indeed correct about having a trouble free experience by simply throwing money at a problem. This time, it worked for me but it has not always worked out that way.
Have you contacted Robert at DJI-USA. He is hard to reach by telephone but he regularly trolls the forums. Try contacting him on HeliFreak
Thanks for the contact info.
I have indeed tried to contact Robert. 9 e-mails and 2 phone calls in the last month. He has responded to 2 e-mails about 3 weeks ago, nothing since. I'll see if I can get a response from him on HeliFreak.
I've really tried to be nice about this so far, I understand there can be issues and problems with products, especially new ones. I've tried to be patient. But it's just not cool to keep customers hanging for weeks when you have their money and their product. I'd at least like a three-word "I got it" update.
You certainly have cause to be upset. No excuse for that. I purchased my GPS from RC-Dude and got free two day shipping. Fortunately, I did not need any support, but my guess is that I would have had a fast response from them for a defective unit.
Robert really needs to improve his contact process. I last spoke with him about six months ago when we were trying to get the 64-bit driver for my colleague's Wookong M working in Windows 7. We had to call several times before getting him.
I just, seconds ago got an e-mail from Robert. He has mailed my defective unit back to DJI China and we're waiting on them now. I assume that could take weeks just in shipping so I guess I just need to be a lot more patient. Sigh.
I am glad to hear that Bruce. Sorry that you have to wait so long. DJI really needs a presence in the US to handle such problems. A US warehouse would be a huge plus. Let's hope someone at DJI is listening.
Please keep me updated when you get NAZA flying. Would love to hear your experience when everything works as it should. Before I had the GPS, my colleague could fly my aircraft in ATTI mode and said it worked quite well. As a novice, I was having problems, but the GPS really makes a difference. My confidence in my piloting abilities has increased after four flights that I am now ready to try flying in ATTI mode. That should be a baptism of fire!
You'll have fun with ATTI mode! Just be sure you're flying over nice soft deep grass! And be careful of how that GPS is mounted. If you happen to land upside down or take an inverted skid you don't want the mounting post to skewer it. I happen to know service on them sucks!
I thought DJIUSA was their US presence?
It's interesting to compare DJI to Spektrum. Two weeks ago I sent Spektrum a receiver that I thought had gone bad. Two days later I got a call from a very friendly service tech. We talked through my problem for about 30 minutes while he worked on it. Turns out I had a bad cable - something I should have checked on myself. But they were super friendly about it, and he returned it with a free spare satellite receiver and some of his own personal antenna protective tubing. Within a week the issue was totally resolved, I was flying again and I was super happy. I've got to imagine the profit margin on a receiver is much less than on a Naza, but they did a stellar job. Spektrum has a customer for life. DJI has been the opposite experience for me.