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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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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ahh yes that's right ,,, that is where I got one of my RF900. I forgot you made the 100mW version.. excellent :] The antenna's you have are WAY better than HK as well. 

I think I got one here as well in all fairness  http://store.rfdesign.com.au/rfd-900p-modem/

I've had really good luck with this antenna as well http://www.droneshop.biz/radio-gear/telemetry/900mhz-3dr-radio-tele...

Jani,

Are all of your 915Mhz modems (long and short range)100% compatible, plug and play with Pixhawk?

J

As being one of the creators of these all.. For sure they are. It would be rather stupid to make stuff that is not compatible with "your" other stuff :)

Is it true that the usb versions often don't have the range because of noise from the computer it's plugged into? Or is this one of those questions that isn't really a yes or no answer too many variables? I just saw that mentioned once. I like the usb version for my MacBook Air... nothing dangling around on a wire. 

There have been some issues when you plug modem directly to your USB port. This can happen due various reasons, interference from USB port, interference from display, power systems etc from computer itself, RF being blocked by components inside the computer etc..

As far as I can see, MBA can cause even more problems for the reception as it has been made from solid aluminum and if your laptop is between your receiving and transmitting modems.. For sure there will be signal issues.

None of our modems are connecting directly to computer with USB connector. All our Ground modems have long USB cable that you can attach/detach and you can easily mount modem for example behind your display in way that antenna is over the display or put it on table or have it on separate stand.

Another thing on those modems is that HopeRF modules aren't really meant for long-range communications and they are not made by RF people. Originally those modules was intended for close range communications like between devices inside houses etc. Our Devs just were able to extend their ranges with custom made software and we were able to replace old Zigbee based telemetry modems.

On the other hand, jD-RFxxx radio modules are made by professional RF people who have been working on field of RF technologies over 20 years and they are designed to work as telemetry modems and for long-range.

There's a nice video made by Trent/MyGeekShow to show difference between 3DR and jD-RFxxx ranges.. I think jD-RFxxx test was starting somewhere at 4:20 areas.. But better to check whole video to see it all.

NOTE! On Trents video he had old type modems, now they all have detachable cables!! And extra filtering etc inside to make even better those..

Pitty i cant find 433Mhz in your shop....

Thanks Jani for the detailed reply. Just goes to show you get what you pay for! 

I figured as much Jani, but, hence the title of my OP, I just wanted to make sure.

Cheers mate

J

You mean long range or short range modems? Long range only exists on 868 and 915 Mhz models.

solution where u can also order protected radios.... http://madhacker.org/cryptotelemetry-secure-radios-to-prevent-drone...

Yes we all know that. That's why we upgraded our modems to use those new RF+ modules as they can offer an encryption option to prevent this to happen.

It's not issue just with 3DR based modems, it's an issue of all open communication systems. Same goes on WiFi unless you encrypt it's communications.

MAVLink development group is well aware of this situation and it's will be taken care of in upcoming releases. We are currently drafting new protocol specs that will be released rather soon.

Adding an encryption to MAVLink protocol it self is not an option as we want to keep it as light as possible and that way we rely on outside encryption and adding encryption to MAVlink protocol would cause extra CPU load to all MAVLink aware of devices which most likely would lead on some flitghtcontroller crashes etc. And definitely we don't want that to happen. So again, outside encryption is best choice.

i have 4 3DR radios and 2 RFD900's. i'm not worried at all about hacking.

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