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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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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Replies

  • MR60

    @Chris Anderson, thx for clarifying 3DR's business evolution, which if I understood correctly, will stop selling 3DR radios, will stop Pixhawk autopilot. To the understandable community stunned and rather negative reaction, which I can position myself, you answer that all of these components are open source and can be sourced from Chinese sources and others like HK, etc. So the DIY is safe. 

    However, do you realize that between big commercial actors like DJI (and like what 3DR is wanting to evolve to) and the hobbyist in his garage, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of small and medium companies that live from building and assembling prosumer and professional UAV solutions based on 3DR radios, 3DR Pixhawk. I am myself in this category. I can't even imagine proposing a professional UAV solutions based on HK or Chinese sources components lacking the properties that are essential for trusting a pro platform: a big enough active user base all using the same  core components driving a continuous improvement loop, lacking a minimum quality level you can trust, lacking connectors standardization, etc.

    I have to admit, like many others, I feel disappointed 3DR will just become another DJI with financial growth as the main driving force, thus closing products into expensive commercial platforms and making it as hard as possible for smaller companies being able to assemble and build less expensive functionally equivalent or even superior drones. That is a 180deg reversal in 3DR initial spirit that made its popularity. But I guess recruiting ex DJI gurus does not help...

    • I do agree with you. We used 3dr for 2 years starting a drone business, now what?
      Arsov boards looks great, but what will be the future? This may not apply to Arsov, but great products made by small companies that disappear as fast as they came out is common.
      On the other side, professionnal needs quite differ from Solo or Inspire 1. Solo sdk... let us know how to connect, and provide the dedicated connector?
    • Hugues, you raise some very valid points.  There are quite a few commercial operations who are very concerned about the direction things are heading.

      3DR is saying they will keep producing Pixhawks for some time, and then there will be something else after that.  The problem is there are quite a few signals that lead people to question what the future holds.  What is this next thing?  Will if force users to adopt an entirely new and different ecosystem (ie: WiFi only, no 900Mhz telemetry, no 2.4GHz Spread-Spectrum control?  Will it be open source (both software and hardware?)  Nobody outside of 3DR knows, and it's very frightening for many people who have based their businesses around 3DR hardware.

      All I can do, is to suggest to work with companies who work with us to develop the products we need and communicate openly with us.  RFD has long done that on the radio side.  And now Arsov Tech has developed the next Reference Design (PixRacer/PX4V4) collaboratively with us. 

      • Moderator

        Hi Rob (and others) 

        I totally agree with your point, it is hard enough running any small business without being concerned that the staple parts you need are suddenly not  available because your supplier decides the profit is not enough for him.

        Yes, there are other systems being developed and it is to these that we will all turn in greater numbers as our normal supplies dry up. Thank you to the new suppliers.

        its just sad that it is going this way.  

    • 3D Robotics

      3DR is going to continue selling Pixhawk-compatible autopilots for years. It will be the current Pixhawk for the next six months or so and before that time a new improved Pixhawk will be released. Not sure why people aren't getting this message, despite our many announcements, but I'm happy to keep repeating it until they do. 

      • Hi Chris. Just a note to give you my appreciation for the support you've given to the community - there's been a lot of altruism and business experimentation on your part; lots of scut work and community building... lots of risk taking. You answering questions personally here is a sign of your dedication. A note of encouragement : although not perfect, I know first hand that the 3DR DIY parts are more reliable than the clones and I'd be in a bind if they disappeared. Safety and assured airworthiness has a $ cost, and until it is well-understood, people will experiment with cheap clones. But when it catches on - and it necessarily will (perhaps requiring enforcement by the FAA or Transport Canada up here) - 3DR will be rewarded. In short, thanks, and don't let 3DR change too much please.

        A question : why have you been waiting so long to launch the Pixhawk2? To give the Solo some room to grow?

        • 3D Robotics

          Thanks, Frederic. We decided not to release the Pixhawk 2 as a stand-alone, since it required too many external components to work as well outside of Solo as it does in it (not just the all the IO interfaces but also a stand-alone SoloLink). Instead, we're going to release a smaller Pixhawk, and then quickly move to next-generation architectures. The 32-bit era is coming to an end, and it's time to move in more revolutionary, not evolutionary ways. 

          • Very interesting but when will the smaller version as well as next generation be out?

          • dont be such a tease ;) now we will pulling our hairs as to when that new smaller pixhawk will be out and even more on when you guys will move to 64bit and make that public after declaring 32bit era coming to an end. 

      • you might sell Pixhawk compatible auto pilots for a long time to come, but the point is, it won't be as good as it could be without the rest of the 100% compatible hardware to go with it. 

        I buy from you guys for the assurance of quality. 

        Cheers

        J

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