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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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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Kept in the dark or not, it was nice to be able to buy well made DIY parts at a competitive price. Now we will need to buy hit and miss parts From unreliable sources. I'm sure there is room for 3DR to keep the DIY crowd happy inside their new "Corparate America" business model. You know, for the guys and gals that helped get the company off the ground in the first place. 

The thing I liked about 3DR was (not "is" anymore I guess) that everything was compatible. No guessing and hoping and shelling out money for parts that might or might not work together. 

Any way, I am going to make use of my Taranis telemetry and get a Blue Tooth link for my copter  Thanks for the suggestion Sergio Silva. Fingers crossed. 

I appreciate the kind words and I wish the economics of the DIY market were good enough to keep a factory running in North America to serve that. But our strategy of open source hardware and empowering the community to create both competition and innovation worked all too well, and the price declines in clone/compatible hardware from China were so rapid that it became uneconomic to keep a sustainable business with low-margin prices but full customer support and US regulatory compliance on the DIY products.  Open source is designed to give users more choice, and in many case what they choose is the lowest price, regardless of where it comes from and the support it may or may not have.

(RTF consumer and enterprise products, which require less customer support and are made in China, is the direction all the industry leaders have gone. It's just a case of the market evolving, and companies in it evolving as well, as I said in my post last year.) 

I guess I could get all the same parts from Hobbyking... but I worry about the quality.

HK has been the most reliable clone brand, in my experience. 
At least, as far as the inexpensive simple clones go.  I've had no issues w/ my 3dr pix/telem/gps, and no issues w/ my HK pix clone/telem/gps.  A few other random clones of each of those from other sources have failed on me, or never worked properly.. 

Chris Anderson certainly knows the market and tells it like it is. You can't go against the global economic flow and expect to stay in business, so you are often changing how you do it.

As hobbyists, we must often change where and how we buy our products and put things together. While change can be difficult, it isn't long before it becomes our new norm and our new comfortable way of doing things.

That being said, the hobbyist needs to be aware of some level of technical knowledge beyond the typical consumer. As an example for this thread, the Molex picoblade connector on the HK Pilot version of the 3DR product clones differs from the DF13 connectors used by 3DR. Armed with this type of knowledge, we can plan accordingly instead of being disappointed.

These are cool but much more expensive than the 3DR radios

I've had good luck with the Hobby King versions as well after it became very hard to find the 3DR Models.

I picked Iris+ when I applied for (and got) my Part 333 Exemption almost entirely because the open model promised longevity for the platform. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

I added Solo to my Part 333, but haven't purchased one yet. There are just so many in that capability category and price range.

One of the reasons for the success of 3DR was that normal people like myself liked the opensource system BUT they also PREFERRED to SUPPORT 3DR by purchasing from 3DR and NOT from HK, Bangood etc. As Greg says, everything fitted together with the correct connectors.

I say it like I see it. 3DR have DUMPED the very people who supported it for a long time,

I understand the "new " business model but to remove from sale the 3DR radio telemetry modules that many people rely on is a kick in the pants for active users of these systems purchased with hard earned cash in tough times.

Not everyone can drop 1500$ on a new ready to fly quad,some prefer to build.

@ mr Anderson. I have spent several thousand dollars with 3DR, dont expect that to continue if you are not going to stock the essential "building blocks" of our systems. Yes, I understand that some items have a business life.  

Sometimes the business needs to provide items for the "little people" even if they are NOT profitable in themselves. otherwise the little people will go away.  

You should consider using the RFD900 modules.  They are high quality professional grade items from a reputable manufacturer.  RFD does not simply clone the reference design, but has advanced it. This is what I'll be moving to.

We will face a similar problem when 3DR stops producing the Pixhawk.  So far, Arsov Tech (AUAV) is looking like a good option.  And there is a splinter group working to put the Pixhawk2 design into production. 

I second the RFD900. I've been using an RFD900 on the ground and cheap $15-$20 100mw radios in the aircraft and I'm getting over a mile with 90% or more RSSI quality. With RFD900 on both air and ground, you can expect 20-40km of range. I'll never need more than a mile of range anyways so I'm tickled to death that all I need for any future APM aircraft build is just a $15-$20 radio.

There is also a newer RFD900 out called the RFD900+. Apparently it is even more sensitive meaning you get even more range.

Hi Rob,

I use the RFD900 modules sold by Event 38 and they are a quality product.

Regards,

TCIII AVD

Use RFD's here as well +1

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