The more we get into the RC world, the more we're shocked by how overpriced and underpowered a lot of RC equipment is. Most of the specialty electronics, from ESCs to servo amplifiers, are just cheap PIC chips with a few support components. The parts cost a few dollars, but the completed boards often sell for as much as ten times that
A good example is the failsafe/multiplexer ("MUX"), which allows you to switch between two inputs for RC control (in our case, that would be RC or autopilot control). The main one on the market is the RxMUX
, which costs $79 (shown below).
We thought we could do better. So Jordi created the DIY Drones Failsafe/MUX (shown at the top of the page), which uses the same Attiny45 and multiplexer as ArduPilot. Ours is $16.90
, and is literally both one-fifth the size and one-fifth the price as the RxMUX. It also includes all sorts of other goodies, such as recognizing the middle position of a three-position switch and having a programmable signal-loss behavior. Plus it's open source, so you can do anything you want to the code.
Our failsafe/MUX is four channels, rather than eight (everyone preferred the smaller one and thought four channels was enough) but if you want an eight channnel one like RxMUX we can make it for you easily for about the same price.
Here are the two side-by-side, with a 9V battery for scale.
What else can we take 80% of the cost and size out of?