Ok guys, with all the people waiting on APM2 and all the exciting new alpha and beta releases of APM firmware coming, I think many people are starting to chomp at their bits, a little.  

To that end, I've opened up this discussion for all those with complaints.  As I've joined the Dev Team, and not at a productive stage yet, I'll monitor this discussion, and relay things to the others on the Dev Team.

These could be both hardware or software, or just general rants and raves!

Hope everyone takes advantage of this!  Maybe we'll all learn some things in the process.

Just wanted to add this response from Chris Anderson:

Please just contact sales@3drobotics.com and inquire about the status of your order. They are not necessarily shipped in order. For example, the unsoldered ones are shipped first, because they're faster to put together. Then soldered with GPS, then soldered without GPS (or maybe those two in reverse order, I can't remember). There are approximately 50 going out each day and the team tells me that the backlog should be over by Mon/Tues of next week. 

I agree, please use this discussion for Rants and Raves.  Order issues should be directed to 3DR directly.  I think you will get better response there.

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We offer two kinds of customer supports: One is for sales and the other one is for hardware. Sales is very easy and we have a good system to help customers with their orders and shipments. Hardware is a whole different story. We only have one person dedicated to this and some customers take around 2 hours to be dispatched (and we receive around 20 calls a day). Solution? Increase prices to possible $1000-2000 per board and hire 10 full time engineers to assist you (Try micropilot.com for ~$5000).  Or just pay $199, learn and get fun.

Remember for this kind of customer support we need very smart people or workers with engineering background and here in California everybody is expecting high salaries. We can't just hire a low wage person and teach him/her all our products tricks and tips.

Unfortunately we can't help customers to solve their software/setup issues (To many different setups out there, we can't simply keep up with so much diversity). Just general questioning  and assistance on possible "faulty" hardware in order to proceed with a RMA in case is necessary. 

We are also planning to setup a hardware customer support center in Mexico (2013), this will allows us to afford more capable engineers to help you guys.

My only question that I have is that I sent my APM 2 back with a RMA because the gyros wouldn't work and some whitechip in the middle of the boards was floating around. Never got to put the APM2 in the plane. I waited month on Pre orders and then had to send it back so now it been few months. The guy said that should be back couple of days after testing little over weekago. I bought pretty much everything you guys sale so I am not one time customer. P.S. sales customer support is great and hardware service. I bet he is busy. Also, I have spend about 3k on this project this is why I rant on the rant page.

I have a question on the APM:

In my particular setup, i would need a non-GPS mini-board as the GPS get's covered in my setup with batteries.

Unfortunately, it is only possible to choose the GPS / non-GPS board during order time. Adding a GPS is also not possible if you already have a internal GPS.

3DR: Please make replacement mini-boards for the APM 2.0 with and without GPS available as separate item. (i am talking about the magnetometer, micro-sd and eventually GPS board which sits on top of the APM 2.0).

I have three APM 2.0 now, all with on-board GPS and can not use a single one of them and would need to order a 4th.. - This is a bit annoying, especially as i could not get a single one working up to now (ok, maybe i should have not ordered three, but they were on pre-order from different places and shipped all at the same time..).

Hey Florian, I'll take one of those APM2 off your hands.  I don't have mounting restrictions on my quad.

Hello Ellison,

i have just had a look at the circuit diagram and found that the only difference between the non-gps and gps variant seems to be the voltage regulator. If i unsolder the GPS and put it on an external board, i assume the problem of the two clashing GPS signals could be fixed ? - I still got some flytron GPS boards here, so maybe, i could give it a try.

If i break it, i still have the other units. - As i am still waiting for the other props for my octo, i am in the process of making a small quad (almost finished) to practice and another medium quad (first parts done on the cnc) maybe to take with me for holidays - so in the end, i could eventually use all three of them - if i fix the GPS problem (which seems to be doable now investigating a bit closer..).

I agree with you!  WHY NO UPDATES?

It's common courtesy to keep customers on backorder informed of what is going on.  Even an automated system saying "No new information on ship date or production status" is better than ZERO information or support.

I know it's tough to be on the cutting edge, but they must have SOME idea when stuff will ship.

It had to be because of the rant.  I've been on backorder for weeks longer than you were charles and no sign of shipping.

In some states, I know Washington is one of them and I'm surprised California is not, it is illegal to charge for an item more than x days before it ships.  In Washington I believe it's 10 days.  I wouldn't be surprised if DIY's business practice is not legal.

Call it whatever you want, since APM2 got listed for sale on the website, any order is a backorder.

This is a weird industry though - lots and lots and lots of vaporware, some that we have to pay for.  

Here's 3DR Twitter feed for last few days:

3DRobotics Last APM2 order out today 19782yesterday · reply · retweet · favorite

3DRobotics Jordi on the cover of the San Diego Business Journalpic.twitter.com/alUHcvGW3 days ago · reply · retweet · favorite

3DRobotics Last APM2.0 order out today 197465 days ago · reply · retweet · favorite

3DRobotics First 3DR box shipped :)pic.twitter.com/EbXgK3R15 days ago · reply · retweet · favorite

skelly .@3drobotics boxes!pic.twitter.com/OVIFPWb0

If they were at 19782 yesterday, 19746 5 days ago, that's 7.2 orders per day.  By my estimate, they will get to 22179 in about 332 days.  Of course there was a weekend in between.  Btw, I think they are relying on people to follow their twitter feed rather than doing individual e-mails.

My order number is 19749, so it is supposed to have shipped, but I didn't receive the fedex tracking number or any email from 3DR about my order.

Please just contact sales@3drobotics.com and inquire about the status of your order. They are not necessarily shipped in order. For example, the unsoldered ones are shipped first, because they're faster to put together. Then soldered with GPS, then soldered without GPS (or maybe those two in reverse order, I can't remember). There are approximately 50 going out each day and the team tells me that the backlog should be over by Mon/Tues of next week. 

I didn't get a tracking number either but one day my APM2 just showed up in my mailbox, right on schedule in the batch of corresponding order numbers they were posting on twitter.  I have no complaints. It seems to me that 3DR is being up-front about how it works. It may not be how you want it to work but it says on the web site that you can expect to wait several weeks before it ships. So if you don't want to wait several weeks, you have the option of course to simply not order one until the backlog is gone and the web site says it is in stock.

The point is they're not deceiving or misleading anyone. It is what it is. They're making them as fast as parts and equipment will allow. The price is crazy cheap. I personally am thrilled to have one. If they hire more people the price goes up. So I'm happy with things like they are. Of course I already have my APM2 (which I ordered in Feb and received last week).

I'm not worried about not getting it or complaining about the wait time, just think they should send an email when your order is shipped with the tracking number. I have yet to see any store that ships your order without letting you know it has been shipped and providing a tracking number when there's one.

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