DIYDrones Rants and Raves

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 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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  • I don't know if this is the right place for a customer service rant, but today I ran out of patience. I ordered a 3dr radio system in late November  and received it shortly after. The air unit did not work from day one and I of course didn't have an ftdi cable which I ordered on Dec. The cable went on BO sometime after I ordered it and I didn't receive the cable until the 15th. Hooked the air unit and confirmed it was bad. Got an RMA and shipped the units back on the 21st of Dec. Due to holidays they didn't look at it until Jan 3. Confirmed it was bad. Shipped a new unit out Jan 4. I received the air and ground units today-Jan 8 and the final straw in my patience category went over the edge. They shipped an air and ground unit with only one antenna, so the unit is worthless to me until they find my antenna. This is going on 2 months now and the frustration is mounting. They said they will ship an antenna and I requested that it be shipped overnite, but I won't hold my breath on that. Ok, I'm done venting now and will take something for my nerves

  • I ranted the other day and so now I'll rave.  My APM 2 was waiting for me when I arrived home Monday evening.  It took me about 20 minutes to solder all the pins on.  I then uploaded the firmware with the mission planner.  I got a GPS lock from the MediaTek GPS in about a minute.  I probably won't have time to hook it to the quad until this weekend but so far everything looks pretty good.  One minor point, under guages, the VSI jumps from about negative .75 to plus .75.  I'm not sure what is up with that yet.

  • My rant for today - my second 3DR parcel arrived - the Ardustation...


    Can someone anywhere point out to me where it states the Ardustation is Un-Assembled?  maybe I just missed it, and I'm fine with putting it together, just a little warning would be nice.


    Just looking at it all it's very basic ATMEga128/UNO - so I might even use a spare ATmega2560 which as ethernet built in and make a Super Mega Ardustation - will post elsewhere with code and plans if I do. 

    I'm a dreamer first...and a Do'er in my dreams :)

  • It would be nice if 3Drobotics answered their email! I have placed a bunch of orders this year without any problems but now my new GPS isn't working so I started emailing 3DR on Wednesday and can't get a response. 3DR is seriously lacking in customer service!   

  • Hi, in other systems adding a ground plane - a piece of tin sheet - under the GPS rx has improved reception significantly. Eg. MikroKopter "GPS shield". I would give that a try. Regards, Søren
  • Ok going to double post this - cause it's a bit of a rant - having just received my APM - GPS reception is dubious..


    ...Not sure what the go is, as I have been using GPS devices for many years, I developed a tracking system with Franson many years ago and use SANav devices, and leadtek, and even Nokia...all have fantastic GPS pickup, but the Mediatek onboard seems a little insufferable.

    I have seen so many suggestions of "unplug your receiver" and remove your ESC, etc...but if these are all solutions by the time I'm finished the only thing that will be in the UAV will be the APM itself - it can't be a solution to remove all other electronic equipment just to get the GPS to pick up more than 2 sats.

    OK - a bit of ranting there, but then that being said early on in the evening (I'm guessing it was before the clouds rolled in.) I did have good sats (6 I think.) and was getting to within 3-4 metres without much drift...interestingly right before I got nothing I started to see my plane icon in mission planner slowly creaping north until it was over the back fence of the neighbour across the road.  Althogether not to bad really...But I suppose the reason I am posting this is...HAS ANYONE...managed to increase the pickup ability of the Mediatek GPS - whether onboard or offboard by changing the antenna...

    What I've seen is every manufacturer is SO very proud that their GPS is smallest on the market with small Ceramo-helical GPS Patch antennas smaller than my thumb.   But the reality is I am not THAT void of space that I can't afford a few more mm for a bigger antenna.  SO my question really is, is there any merit or harm in creating an external antenna to attach to the GPS module...and if so does anyone have any plans/calculations like iBcrazy's CL and SP antennas...


  • I received an email today saying that my order had shipped.  Checking the status at the web store, I found a tracking number.  Thanks to Lorenzo and Chris Anderson, I will be ordering from 3DR again in the near future.

    This is a duplicate post because I didn't want people to have to dig through the above posts to find it.

  • Customer service at 3DRobotics is among the worst I've experienced.  I ordered an APM 2.0 unassembled kit on June 27, 2012.  I ordered the unassembled version because the shipping time was 1-2 weeks and the fully assembled version was 2-4 weeks.  On July 11, 2012 the website said my order status was "processing."  During the prior two weeks, the website showed an quantity of 30 or more every time I checked. I sent an email to asking for a possible ship date.  Chris responded with a boilerplate letter stating that it had been 14 days since my order so it "may ship within the week."  As of today, 3 weeks after the order was placed, the website still says "processing."

    After reading Chris Anderson's post about ArduCopter 2.6.1, it seemed like the uBox GPS might be a better choice.  I sent another letter asking if it would delay my order to switch out the media tek gps for the uBox.  I also asked about switching to the fully assembled version since I'd already waited 3 of the 2 to 4 weeks those supposedly take to ship.  Chris from sales answered my letter again telling me that any changes would require cancelling the current order and thus the extremely long wait would start again from scratch.  I replied telling them to leave the order as is so that there would be no added delay.  I also asked for a firm shipping date.  I received the boilerplate letter in response, again stating that my order "will be shipped within the week."  At least this time it didn't say "may be shipped."  Big relief there.

    I'm not sure I understand how it can take three weeks, and I'm guessing twice that or more by the time my unit actually ships, to ship orders when the website states there are 30 or more in stock.  There were 108 in stock when I checked this morning.  The email also suggested that I look at the T-shirts and hoodies.  I guess I could purchase a hoodie since it might possibly arrive in the 3 or 4 months until the cold weather starts.  A T-shirt might get here by next summer.

    3DRobotics has had my money for three weeks now and I still have no product. A week ago they told me my order "may be shipped within the week."  The website uses the phrase "usually ships" and Chris used "may be shipped."  I can only speak for myself but I'd be a much more satisfied customer if they used accurate information rather than using ambiguous words that give a false outlook on shipping times.  Good customer service is important to a business.  So far I'm not at all impressed with 3DR's customer service!

  • Is the DIYDrones store website down? 

  • I've left several messages requesting a delivery estimate from and I haven't yet got a response other than it will take 2-4 weeks from date of order.  However that response was over 5 weeks after the date of order??!! Tomorrow it will have been 6 weeks since the order was placed and without a response I'm getting concerned that my money and order may never be seen again.  What is going on?


    Jeremy L.

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