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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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)


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


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@ Dwgsparky, I too have spent a lot of $ on this "hobby", along this community's evolution/genesis, but we have to remember that as an open-source community, the hardware will evolve and change, and as such the suppliers and the sources of the equipt we use will change.  

Just as I no longer expect Jordi to still supply the original ArduIMUs, I do not fault 3DR for not carrying the same accessories as in the past, especially when I know they are still available from other vendors, some of which were the original sources of these parts.

A company changes its business model based on sales trends:  it is the shopper who ultimately decides what products a company sells, not the board of directors. (nor blog commenters)

You can also buy the on Amazon still.  There are both the 3DR Branded versions as well as 3rd party versions available.



@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...

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. 

Members of a tribe listen to other members of the tribe.

This is a pretty fascinating thing to watch actually from a social standpoint. You built a tribe and now that tribe feels orphaned.

Reminds me a little of RedHat 15 years ago. They abandoned their tribe.

They survived. Did fine for themselves. They embraced something new and it worked for them. Mostly.

The tribe survived and moved to Ubuntu after floundering for several years.

The part I wonder about for you personally is whether you'll like the new tribe if it works out like RedHat and Ubuntu played out.

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. 



Sorry I wasn't clear enough: We'll continue to sell Pixhawk-compatible autopilots *and core accessories*. (GPS, radios, etc).  Overall, the wireless options in the industry are moving more towards wifi and other broadband IP-based protocols, which is what we'll focus on, but I expect we'll offer some form of compatible 915 and 433 telemetry radios as part of the pack. 

Right now we're sourcing them from another supplier (we no longer run our own factory in Tijuana), thus the temporary outage, but they'll be back

This is a good point.  3DR Pixhawk (or whatever comes after?) combined with HK Radios?  And then maybe source the cables to connect them all together from Ebay?

Consider this pure speculation, since I am completely out of the loop, but I think what might happen is a shift away from these telemetry radios, towards WiFi for both control and telemetry.  Basically just as you see on the Solo.

It has some pros and cons.  

There will always be a need for a long range option, and RFD will be there.

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. 

Good point. I actually use an RFD900 on the ground and use it for both telemetry and control. Have 100% success so far without any issues. Arducopter/arduplane is so dang reliable now, I have enough faith in it that I no longer use RC receivers onboard my aircraft. Altitude hold (arducopter)and FBWA (arduplane) are now my manual flight modes in case I have issues in the air.

I don't have good video demonstrating it, but here's a friend flying one of my arduplanes with an xbox controller (through an RFD900):


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.  

I hope so Chris.  I like your stuff.  But for now, I am going the bluetooth rout.  Wish me luck :) 


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