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  I am assuming they are no longer active?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 for the suggestion Rick.

Again a quality and compatibility issue with clones.  I have tried 3 Minim OSD from 3 different places and have had 1 DOA, one would not program with the OSD software and one that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.  About $60 down the drain and I still don't have OSD working properly due to poor quality products.

Again, it would be nice if 3DR kept supplying parts manufactured to their quality standards. I understand they might not actually put them together, but they are made to their QOS and therefor work OOB.

There are plenty of good reasons to not support RTF Quads other than not being a supporter of the project. You get MUCH better customer service from Banggood and Goodluckbuy, not to mention Hobbyking. Those companies are quite impressive actually. I often get my stuff in 8-9 days from China. I simply think RTF quads is just proof that some companies can succeed by pricing everything $1 lower then the competition -- he is usually $1 lower than Banggood! If something is DOA or missing with RTFQuads you can basically forget about it. Dealing with the cable company is more rewarding. He has no staff really and no margin built in to ever have staff.

This may not be the place to discuss this but I do wish that the Dev team could find a better way to support themselves than 'moral blackmail.' I was never really interested in buying from 3DR as I never thought your web store was very compelling (sorry, no offense meant -- and it is moot now as it pretty much does not exist). But I would want to support the dev team (in ways other than buying a Solo) or remembering to donate (and that is not a good funding model).

Maybe 'Dronecode' can find a way to address this, as I imagine it is now the future of Arducopter. I would buy an annual 'Dronecode' subscription for example for maybe premium access, maybe some online features, interactions with devs, coffee mugs etc etc. Whatever. I think a lot of people might pay $5 per month or just $60 per year, or something. Just a thought. Maybe someone can start a thread on this.

I purchased 5 '1W' OrangeRx Futaba 433 modules for $5 when HK were selling them off. Using ULRS and with some soldering and a few mods to increase the power output to closer to 1W, you have a 20+ Km Telemetry(at 19200!) and RC system that seems as reliable as anything I have used after you have done the QA and changed the antenna connectors which are the weak point with OrangeRx stuff. Cost all-in was about $20 for Tx and Rx units and bluetooth, which is almost immoral.

re- declines in clone/compatible hardware [ and every other thing ] from China

re-and US regulatory compliance

There is sure a lot of this going around :[ Hence companies leaving the states in droves.

re- no word from iDrone control... yea I noticed that. VERY disappointed the thing wasn't cheap and I was counting on follow me mode being supported at some point. Seems a waste they had all the hard stuff done including getting approved by Apple! I hope they come back and continue with it. Then again $10 3dr radios from China can make a $100 product hard to explain. Yet another option gone and one of the only DIRECT connect to an iPhone or iPad. Bummer. 

I have had more than 50 modules (433 MHz) from HK. I could get a few of them to connect to 3DR radios, some of them only sporadic, most of them no connection at all. The HK modules would happily connect with other HK modules.

I have my own developed boards using Hope-RF modules (again at 433 MHz), and these would also not talk to the HK modules, but no problem with 3DR radios.

And yes, I have the same settings in both ends ;)

EDIT: This was with HK modules when they did not use the HopeRF modules, only the SI1000 chip (and claiming that they were compatible with 3DR/Hope). I now see that the V2 modems claims that a Hope RF module is actually used, so maybe this will work now ?)

From the V2 433 MHz modules on HK web:

The system utilizes the 433Mhz band and provides a full-duplex link using HopeRF's HM-TRP modules running custom, open source, firmware.

With ESP8266 options it's easy to connect either directly over WiFi to a drone or create a WiFi to 915MHz bridge. Cost is $3 dollars and up.

This is supported in MAV Pilot http://AppStore.com/MAVPilot

If anyone is interested - I can provide 433/868/915 units in reasonable prices - details via PM.

Design based on 3DR Radio v1, UART port (can be used with any USB/UART converter, i. e. FTDI-, SiLabs- or Prolific-based.

Bill,

That looks awesome!

One question before I download a $13 app, does the WiFi connection interfere with the other on board frequencies like it used to?  One thing I remember popping up quite often in the forums was fly ways and brown out type symptoms due to interference with WiFi and 2.4 transmitter/receiver systems.

Thanks for the post

J

You can use a 'bridge'. This is one that I built before. (I need to update the instruction on how to do this with a newer ESP8266 chip)

http://www.communistech.com/support/

As for interference. The main issue is the distance between the antenna on board. if they are far enough apart it's not a problem. That said one of the devs is actually working on using only an ESP8266

see https://github.com/davidbuzz/esp8266_wifi_tx & video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-0GJ21oUO4

Seppo,

Is there a US distributor for the RFD-900U?  

-Don 

What's the likelihood of the 900MHz modems becoming obsolete? I'm curious as I'm interested in purchased some RFD900+ modems but don't want to put the money down for them if we're moving away from that realm.

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