3DR telemetry no longer supported by 3DR....options?

I have been using the 915mhz telemetry v2 units with my Pixhawk for a while now.  One of them is not giving the range that it used to and I need a replacement.

I varified the range with the use of my Fighting Walrus iDrone Link and one unit is getting about 100m range while the other is getting good signal to where my hexacopter is just a spec in the distance.

Problem 1:

I can not get hold of Fighting Walrus any more.  They have not answered my emails since about October of 2015.  I am assuming they are no longer active? (also no updates to their iOS app for almost a year)

Problem 2:

3DR are no longer making their 900 or 433 telemetry units. (verified vie an email to them)

"Hello Justin,

Thank you for contacting 3DRobotics customer service.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, we do not have the Telemetry available anymore since they have been discontinued, both the 915 and 433."

I am using a Nexus 7 v2 Tablet with the Tower App (great app by the way)

Question:

Other than the $250 long range 900mhz kits (I don't need/am not allowed to use super long range) or $10 knock 3DR off kits from China (gamble as to whether you get a good one/no warranty), what options are there that are "PnP" ?

I am using a Taranis Plus TX with x8r RX and could use that telemetry but then there is no way to load missions in the field.

Thanks for input

J

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Hi,

I don't see modems in the 900MHz band becoming obsolete at all.  The frequency band is available in a large number of countries with pretty good license conditions (1W in Aus, and 4W EIRP) in the USA being available.  The propagation in the 900MHz band is also much better compared to 2.4 or 5.7GHz. For long range telemetry, I think it a really good solution.

RFDesign will continue to supporting existing products (RFD900+, RFD868+, and u's) as well as developing new ones as long as there is is a need.   Demand for our modems has steadily increased over the years so we will keep actively developing and supporting our products!

Hope it helps with your decisions!

Cheers,

Seppo @ RFDesign

I have read the posts and I understand.  Four years ago, when I started, the current drone frenzy was only a pipe dream.  Back then Micocopter was the only available, "off the shelf drone,"  If you wanted a quad then building it was the best option.

My question:  It was my understanding, perhaps mistaken, that 3dr sponsored the DIYDRONES website.  As such, discussion and support was centered around 3dr products.  Without DIYDRONES we don't have a community.  Is this website in jeopardy?

If this site is not centered on 3dr products then well we all discuss all other flight controllers?  

Rob is dropping out, and the remark is, "I hope the site can maintain itself."  So the developers are jumping ship?

Worried about the future...

Harry: This site is owned by me personally (not though 3DR) and will continue to grow and thrive until the sun goes supernova (as will 3DR!). They're two separate things. 

As for Rob, do you mean Rob Lefebvre? He's one of the most active APM developers and more engaged than ever. Or were you referring to someone else?

Now that the dev teams are so big and some many projects are involved, software development is now primarily coordinated through Dronecode. I'm also the founder and chairman of that so it's all one big happy family, just distributed more than it was in the past due to the growth and maturing of the community and platforms. 

Harry, I am not privy to any info regarding money changing one way or the other, between 3DR and DIYD.  I believe, but could be wrong, that DIYD is owned by Chris Anderson.  And of course Chris is deeply involved in 3DR.  But I don't think there is a direct link between DIYD and 3DR?

For sure, discussion about all things droney are welcome on DIYD, always has been.  In fact, discussion amongst other autopilot groups used to occur regularly here.  AutoQuad, UAV Dev Board, Matrix Pilot, etc.

I have no idea if DIYD is in jeapordy, but I don't suspect so.  Nor is there any indication that the system-agnosticism is under threat.  It could change on a whim, however.

And I am not "dropping out".  3DR have discontinued my funding for community support. I have to find some other source of income, which necessarily means not spending as much time helping the community.  Some others may be in the same situation.  But none of us are "jumping ship" AFAIK.  We will keep doing whatever we can, as all of us got started in this out of a deep, pathological at time, passion for all things droneish.  It's not just a way to make money (which is why I think we're so good at it).  But many of us did in fact "quit our day jobs" to do this stuff full time, and we all have to eat so...

If DIYD did end, I am quite sure you would see us regroup and pop up somewhere else.  Possibly an Ardupilot-centric BBS.  Who knows.  We've come this far, we will not go quietly into the night...

(Ok, I gotta get a drama award for that post).

 So the developers are jumping ship?

I'm not. As a developer, I don't worry about the future. The future is just constantly evolving, and I plan to evolve with it :-)

Chris, Rob,

Thank you for *correct* information.  Your reassurance is gratifying.

If this <drone> obsession and the DIYD community was not so incredibly important to me, perhaps it would not matter so much.  Sorry if my post was a result of an evil daydream.

My Y6 started with one of Rusty's Frames of AGL Hobbies.   Rusty had a reality check and needed to get a day job, and closed down shortly after.  I don't think a traditional frame package with plates and tubes is even available without a "branded" name.  I was sorry to see him go.

Chris, Your work here has made this hobby possible for me.  Thank You, don't stop.  In the case of a supernova, who cares?

Rob, and all the other developers, your contributions are greatly appreciated.  And yes, you allowed to give yourself a big award for your past work, and the drama.  If an opportunity to make my living in this field presented itself, you bet I would jump in!

I don't need to buy dyi parts from 3dr.  I'm not so worried now.

A big thank you, all around.

As for Rob, do you mean Rob Lefebvre? He's one of the most active APM developers and more engaged than ever. Or were you referring to someone else?

Chris,

http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/notification-my-community-support...

Then what does this post mean?

J

I sure hope that this doesn't shut down!!  This has helped me tremendously, I try to help when I can too.  Someone recommended this site to me last year when I was first starting my business.

This industry is still in it's infancy.  

Excellent! I assumed it would be okay but got caught up in thinking about WiFi for everything. While it can be convenient to have all data (control, telemetry, video) in one stream, having the better propagation through air (and walls to an extent)  is still going to be important as you don't necessarily have to have video all the time.

I'll have to save up to pick up your set.

Seppo,   Thanks for pointing out the rfd-900u radio modem.     That looks like an excellent radio modem.     The antenna cables are reasonably priced too.   They will provide a lot of flexibility in locating the dual antennas.

I can hardly wait to try one out.

Just in case you have not read this, Chris Anderson,

I asked you "Then what does this mean".  

Just in case the link didn't work, here is a copy and paste.

Your silence is deafening.

Now I am really worried about 3DR.  You say one thing and yet here is an open letter on your site saying the opposite.

J

Hello everyone, I feel the time has come to make an announcement, which I've been avoiding for a few weeks now, but which I can't put off anymore.

As some people are aware (and some maybe not) for a little over a year I have been doing development work and community support as a full time job, with the generous support of 3DRobotics.  This represented a major shift in the direction of my career from industrial mechanical engineering, to this burgeoning field of aerial robotics.  However, 3DR has decided to discontinue that support.  As the project has grown in scope and complexity, the overhead time requirements just to stay on top of program development and developer group communications has grown with it.  Prior to the support provided by 3DR, I was moonlighting while maintaining a "day job" outside of the industry, but that ended up burning me out and I won't go back to that situation.

This has led to me scrambling to figure out what to do next in order to pay the bills, etc.  I actually saw the writing on the wall several months ago and began working in the direction to solidify my future in this industry, but the change happened a little before I was ready.

In any case, regretfully I must announce that my efforts to directly support the community, answering questions, analyzing logs and doing general improvements to the code will be ending.  I am committed to seeing AC3.3 finally go Stable for Tradhelis, and updating the Wiki to be up to date with this.  But beyond that, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help out.

My hope is to produce revolutionary new turn-key UAV helicopter systems and use them for professional services, or 3rd party sales.  If I can make this transition, I will likely continue to do Alpha testing on new AC code and contribute new features.  I have almost completed design of an excellent new 700 helicopter design, and hoped to do a proper 500 size helicopter for mapping after that, but likely won't have the cash to bring these to market on my own at this point.  Unfortunately, due to timing, I may be entering into development contracts with other companies which will be a bit more "closed" in nature.

It is my hope that the community can get to the point where it is self-supporting.  We already have several members who are quite successful with helicopters, and are still coming around to help others, and that is encouraging.  Hopefully this can continue to grow.  I don't want to see Helicopter support in the code die.  Helicopter mechanics are largely a "solved problem", and this platform delivers superior combination of flight performance.  VTOL of a multirotor, range and speed similar to many of the foam airplanes used today, and absolutely unmatched stability and weather tolerance, while carrying payloads greater than any platform of similar size. And Ardupilot is the only full-featured autopilot system that will fly a UAV helicopter, unless you purchase military-grade autopilot systems. I feel, and I think the worldwide UAV community agrees, that Ardupilot is the most reliable, full-featured, high performance and cost effective autopilot system available.  The fact that it is truly open source, distributed under a GPLv3 license means that is flexible, extensible and capable of meeting the needs of all users, big and small, while reflecting a share-and-share-alike mindset.  And I don't need to tell you guys that Ardupilot is flexible and cost effective on the hardware side as well, capable of running on a wide variety of hardware systems from many companies offering differing capabilities to meet various user needs.  This could be anything from tinkerers and hobbyists, to small service companies, UAV builders, academics and research groups.  It's important that the project continues to keep UAV technology accessible to all, and not be locked down by big corporations or governments.

Best Regards,

Rob

Thanks for posting that; I hadn't clicked on the link in your earlier comment, so my comment was based on what Rob's actually doing in the dev community, rather than what he said in that post. He is at the moment the most active developer on the Skype dev list, and you can see a glimpse of that with this screenshot of just the last 20 minutes of chat (trust me, Rob is just as present on the previous infinity hours, and appears never to sleep). 

In short, I think you may be reading too much into Rob's post. He's going to cut down on his public-facing support function, but I see no slowing down of his actual development contributions at all. He is, as always, a rockstar. 

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