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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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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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....

For those who care, some of what I am suggesting is in this video - add it to the other articles, statements here, etc.

I have quoted a small amount of it below. This is very recent (2016)

http://techcrunch.com/video/drones-drones-everywhere-with-3d-roboti...

Moving beyond the consumer to enterprise - release as a product real soon - standardizing on snapdragon.

Solo 2.0 will have these fancy technologies - 2017

How much have you raised?
99 million (CA) 

are you looking for more? - YES (in context it is for this commercial and enterprise newer ventures).

Market is moving toward commercial.
Going from consumer electronics to SAS - gonna take a lot of funding.
Consumer market commotitized - prices have fallen.
Classic Chinese manufacturing biz.
With the regulatory front - have to have intelligence and connected to the clound...

Next thing - how to get beyond the consumer market. This involves a cloud platform.

What market is 3DR targeted to?
We've always been targeted at the commercial market.

All smart companies (we could assume 3DR is one@) start in the consumer busines - but margins have collapsed. (Chris means on the consumer models that he claims he is now focused on)

Companies like our are earning our stripes in the consumer market but the plan has ALWAYS been to make this about the data, not the drones. (that is exactly what I refer to since Chris then indicates that it will be 5 years before this matures).

Do you see yourself exiting the manufacturing of drones?
yeah...it's gonna take maybe about 5 years before the drone market produces hardware which is sophisticated enough to take our software.

-----------------

Folks can read into that and all the various statements, facts and indicators what they will. Everyone has their opinions and lots of people are under N/D.

Let me summarize: 

You said: "Chris said they were going to try something new in enterprise that may come to fruition in 5 years." 

In fact what I actually said was (in answer to the question "Do you see yourself exiting the manufacturing of drones?"): "Eventually, but it's gonna take maybe about 5 years before the commodity drone market produces hardware that is sophisticated enough to take our software."

I think what you meant to say above was "Sorry, I totally misinterpreted what you said and basically made up a quote to support my thesis."

Just shameless. I've seen a lot of sloppy and irresponsible reporting in my life, but this takes the cake. 

Seriously? I think that is delusional. 3DR did were 100% responsible for the disastrous launch and DJI finished them off with pricing that upended their business model. No need to debate it here though but you need to get some perspective. This was a mass consumer product whose marketing and distribution went straight to big box. Potential new customers heard nothing about either those two folks.

Not sure if my posts are posting?  Craig, there are plenty of companies out there making entirely false claims - what's your beef w/ 3DR?  

It is all about the data & a cost that can deliver w/out flying an actual plane over a site. What is wrong w/ you?  Instead of sounding like an informed analyst you sound like a troll.  

Go check into those companies that can't even deliver, now that's an interesting story...

I hate it when people can just google stuff to prove a point.  Prove a point by being a true player in the industry, out there & doing the footwork.  

I see your posts. 

First, if you are under a N/D I don't think it right we debate much of this...you can email me directly if you have something to discuss which is non-public.

But - for posterity.

You are 100% correct. This industry is full of snake oil. Here is just ONE of my articles about it. More are available and more are in the works:

http://www.droneflyers.com/2015/12/fraud-fake-reviews-and-over-the-...

Troll? I am a blogger - writer - pilot - author - technologist and have been into this stuff since I've been 9 years old. 

Before I tell you a little more - can you tell us a bit about that ND? Are you allowed to defend 3DR but not be honest about accurate info regarding things you know? 

Perhaps you are not American? We have this 1st Amendment thing where the Press (that's me) tries to flush out the things that power/money/politics don't want you to know.

Do you read reviews? Even listen to film critics? Read opinion and editorial? 

Yep, that's me. A writer, pundit, critic, etc - and, yes, I fly drones a lot and take nice pics and vids, including work for non-profit land trusts and more.

Lastly I will give you a short answer on your 3DR query. Given that they received more money than any consumer drone startup ever - and made the grandest claims..by far...of any...it would seem as if they have more responsibility than others to be straight. They rode on being "An american company", the idea being they would do business honestly, openly and better than the Chinese. If they didn't say it themselves, they insinuated it and also allowed their proponents to parrot it over and over again.

So - let me ask you. Do you think they deserve to be held to their statements more than..say...PlexiDrone? PD took 2 million+ from investors and has maybe 8 people working for them, 3DR 100 million and (had) 300+?

What if your view on this?

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

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.

Is this The Donald?

"Perhaps you are not American? We have this 1st Amendment thing where the Press (that's me) tries to flush out the things that power/money/politics don't want you to know.
Do you read reviews? Even listen to film critics? Read opinion and editorial?"

OK, I'm out.  

This forum was meant for the original question, 900mhz telemetry.  I'm on here to learn & answer questions when I can & that's been invaluable.  

& my ancestors fought in the Revolution.  

+1 !!!!!  well said Heller

And back to the original discussion.. it would be great if rfddesign would fill the void and make a 100-250 mw radio. I know I'd gladly pay more than one on HK knowing it's made by rfedesign / tested by them. 

jDrones as original creator of ArduCopter, member of core development team and one of the founding pillars of everything that goes in here is still continuing to support those old telemetry modems.

Our modems are not like what 3DR made. We enhanced them a lot. They are still using same HopeRF HM-TRP modules as original 3DR but rest is changed.

Frequencies we offer are: 433. 868 and 915Mhz

You can find those from jDrones Store. But we prefer those jD-RF900 and jD-RF868 longrange telemetries as they are just million times more better than HopeRF based systems.

jD-RFxx systems are really designed to be a robust telemetry system for APM/Pixhawk and for other flight-controllers that are using serial interface.

Longest range what our customers have reported is over 80kms with these telemetry systems.

So no need to go to HK, just get them from jDrones :)

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