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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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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                • Thanks Jani for the detailed reply. Just goes to show you get what you pay for! 

                • 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. 

                  • Definitely can be the case.  I had a laptop where I got low range from the radios. I thought all my radios were bad.  But then I heard about this, and now using a different computer, much better.

                  • Developer

                    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..

                    YouTube
            • 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...

              RFD 900+ Modem
              RFDesign designs and manufactures the Antennas, RF Electronics and the RFD900 radio modem
      • I think innovators are never commercially successful. You'd be a fool to believe Bell invented the telephone or Edison invented the light bulb.  The inventors have slipped into obscurity, and we celebrate the people who stole those ideas and commercialized them. 
        Most of the people involved in 'drones' up to this point were the innovators.  I wish everyone the best!

        • May be true - but that's the whole idea. 3DR was supposed to be those later people who were commercializing them. They stated dozens of times that they were going to be the biggest and the best and control the market. They still compare themselves to google and android. That takes more than a bit of hubris IMHO.

          Lots of innovators did profit from their stuff - Fulton (steamboat), Metcalf (ethernet and more), Bill Joy (BSD) - the list goes on. 

          But the truism still stands. I remember when I heard that only 1 out of 250 (or was it 2,000) patent holders benefit from their patent in any financial manner. Those are tough odds. In the Venture Capital world the odds are also very low. Even in regular biz it tends to be only 1 in 5 that makes the grade. 

          Can't fault anyone for trying. However, there comes a time to stand back and look at the metrics and see if  the goals are being met.

      • Have you flown a Solo, how many flights/hours?

  • Well this is all interesting reading...

    Here's how I see things:  The Iris + is discontinued & there's no more support, including the 900mhz.  Happens all the time, not a big deal.  

    I purchased a DJI Phantom 3 Pro and used it at a job site last week.  As compact & cool as it seemed, it also didn't seem super stable.  I had to manually bring it back, it completely lost signal for no apparent reason.  The gimbal was shaky too, not like my Iris + tarot gimbal that's always smooth.  The 5 fly away statement doesn't surprise me after that.  

    The only problem I've had w/ my Iris + is RTL in a spot that didn't have enough satellites, and it crashed.  Now I land manually if there's a sat block.

    The reason I didn't buy a Solo is because the Iris was working just find to collect the data through a GoPro & I thought I'd try an all-in-one platform where I could control the camera in the air.  

    I've signed N/D & can't say a whole lot.  The whole industry is having problems w/ this, plus drones are getting a bad rap.  The fact that the Solo actually came out says a lot for 3DR.  There are super cool drones being promoted that aren't out yet.  Maybe it's time to partner w/ GoPro?  I've said this before, this is all in it's infancy & to start bashing companies who are in the game and evolving to see what the market is, is a little premature.  

    Be part of the solution....

  • 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.  

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