What is that RCTimer ArduFlyer V2.5 Kit Flight Controller compared to 3D robotics? it seems to be the same but much lower price, it should be a stupid question, but why do they have such low price?

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Hi Saurabh,

Your confusion is understandable and I suspect it's a little what Chris intended.  He wants to scare you out of buying an RCflyer and push you into buying from his company, 3DR.  A normal reaction, he's protecting his income.

Let me assure you that you CAN upgrade to arducopter 2.9 on the arduflyer when it comes out, just like with a 3DR board.  The 32u2 chip is the small processor that handles your inputs from your receiver, combines them and feeds them to the main atmega2560 processor.  Actually this chips hardly ever needs updating.  I've never update mine in 3 years.

Updating a new arduplane/copter firmware is done on the atmega2560 chip (not the 32u2), which works just fine on the arduflyer, either with arduino or with mission planner.

The fact that the arduflyer comes with the latest stable arducopter firmware loaded is just an extra service from RCTimer.  You can change this firmware on the arduflyer, just like with 3DR boards.  I have changed the firmware on my arduflyer to arduplane 2.66 with mission planner.

So in short, as a normal enduser you most likely will never have to update that 32u2 chip.  You shouldn't worry about it. 

Hi u4. Thanks a ton for your lovely explanation. It surely makes sense.

I am soo relaxed.... Eagerly waiting for the 2.9 version. I heard there have been a lot of GOOD improvements.


Appreciate your time and efforts.


Wish you a Very Happy New year ahead.




Just to add... I have 2 boards from 3DR and 1 board from RCTimer with 433 modems . The RCTimer modem had a small PCB board attached to the bottom side which had "RCTimer" printed on it. I happen to peel off that board and below that it read "3D Robotics"...

LOL !!!

Your confusion is understandable and I suspect it's a little what Chris intended.

Honestly, that seems a little unfair don't you think?  What Chris wrote is clear as day.  

It might be clear to you and me Rob cause we know what the 32u2 does, but the moment I read it, I thought : people are gonne assume arduflyers can't update their arduplane/copter firmware. (cause that's the firmware everybody knows how to update)

However I kept from replying at the time.

But look, a day later someone is already indeed confused about it, feeling bad/worried about having bought an arduflyer.

If Chris wanted to be clear, he should have included the info that the 32u2 chip rarely needs updating and that this does not affect the ability to update arducopter/plane firmware.

I disagree.  The only thing that is confusing here is why somebody who doesn't know what 32u2 means would buy hardware from somebody offering zero support.

This is the problem with these things.

There's big problem with the "old" ArduPPM encoder and Futaba rx, i broke my quad often for this reason, so this update is quite important if you have a Futaba rx.

Well done u4eake - it was about time someone 'clarified' the situation.

I have been a long term supporter of DIYdrones - and no doubt will continue to be - but I'm also a discerning buyer and don't care for deliberate obfuscation.

Chris could just as well have said nothing, and let RCTimer board users try and figure out the source of the problem them self's. He/3DR has no obligation what so every to support RCTimer customers.

And if you read the post Chris wrote, there are no factual errors and every line is clearly referring to the 32u2 chip and ArduPPM firmware.

3DR and the developers have spent a lot of time to make the system 'brick proof' and relatively easy to upgrade. It's not our job to hold hands if/when someone else breaks the system.

"And if you read the post Chris wrote, there are no factual errors"

what about this "which can destroy the board if used incorrectly (wrong fuses set). "

a wrong fuse setting can happen no matter which board you have, no matter how it is programmed,

Fact is, you really cannot DESTROY the board with a wrong fuse setting, you can temporarily stop it from working but NOT destroy it, and it applies equally to APM and ArduFlyer

Answering we don't support xyz to even the simplest attempt at discussion sends a really bad message.

Hello all, this is my first message; I'm uni. student and I'm building a quadrotor and waiting the shipment from hobbyking. (this is how we introduce ourselves I think:) ).

About this topic, I want to know wheter purchasing arduflyer or any other clone is illegal (violating your patents etc)?

As I know, 'open source' means not only everyone can see and alter the code(or schematics,hardware etc) but also can use it as a commercial product.

Anyway, let we know that first.

I still don't see anything to suggest that Chris was trying to misdirect anyone. He pointed out the missing bootloader,and ergo the need for a jtag, and anyone who has used a jtag on a microchip will tell you that it is not the most foolproof way to program a chip. He also took the time to point them in the direction of info regarding that chip. And you can't fault him for not supporting a clone....I know I wouldn't. And without knowing of any other irregularities it would be irresponsible to support it. I also have yet to see actual 3DR officials play "victim"  They knew that clones would emerge when they chose the open source path. But again nothing says they should support problems that happen with hardware built by a 3rd party. THat honor falls to the company making the clones. IF your going to sell a product, supporting is always a good idea. And just saying that "we copied the plans from X, so if you have an issue please consult X)

You have clearly picked up on the fact that people on this forum would rather buy hardware that supports the community.(and future development)..but you will find the same sentiment with people buying from farmers markets rather then supermarkets.

But On the same token, you seem to have the same leanings and bias toward 3rd party clones (hence your new clone website) I'm not saying that's bad, and I can only hope that you are doing it in the true spirit of open source......That is to foster new innovation. But we have yet to see that materialize.


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