As many others, I have bought some "clone products" from RC-timer in the past, simply because some stuff is pretty cheap there. Now, I got the bill for that and learned that paying less often means paying double.

Earlier this year, I bought two MinimOSD clones from RC-Timer. One went to my copter and the other for the moment into storage for another project. Several weeks later, I took the second OSD out of storage to use in my new project and I found that it was not working. The Arduino IDE kept reporting connection errors and I even couldn't flash a new bootloader with an original Atmel AVR USBISP Mk II and the original Atmel IDE.

I emailed RC-Timer on 22JUL13, and their "Jane" emailed me back on 23JUL13, saying that I should send the OSD back to them and providing a return address.

I sent the item back after returning from a trip on 09AUG13 via registered airmail ($17 from Finland to China) and informed RC-Timer via email. "Jane" was answering that they will get back to me as soon as it arrived.

According to the tracking system (see here), the shipment arrived on 18AUG13. When I didn't hear from RC-Timer until 07SEP13, I sent another email to them, requesting status information. To that email, I never received any reply.

On 20SEP13, I again sent an email to RC-Timer, demanding a status information. Again, I did not receive any reply.

In my opinion, this behavior constitutes fraud. I will, for sure, never order at RC-Timer again and I write this blog post as an intense warning to the community about RC-Timer and to think twice before ordering from far east "cloners".

Opposite to this case, I once had the problem with the serial multiplex chip being fried by a dying ESC on my (original 3DR) APM 2.5. After posting about the problem in the DIYD forum, I was contacted by Rogelio of the 3DR support team and he sent me a new automux chip for my APM for free. No product costs, no shipping costs!

Now you decide... Do you want to save a few dollars when buying the stuff and be left totally alone or pay return shipping for nothing if something goes wrong? Or is it wiser in the long run to pay a few dollars more for your stuff and receive great support?

My choice for the future is pretty clear!

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  • David:

    Yeah, you're probably right. Please do so.

  • Moderator

    Stefan, perhaps it's time to close the thread.  I think your point has been made and well and truly heard.  I did find it an interesting thread, however, I think we can all do without the drama.

  • Nice last words... Now we will all return to being nice and civil! Posts which do not fall in this category will be deleted from now on.

  • @mp1,

    I understand it takes money to make products, but in this obama economy ("exactly" many folks are out of work, etc), quite a few peeps DO NOT have jobs or have the spare change to double the cost of items, specially non essential hobby items, personally, I would not of chosen to try the APM 2.5 if my only option was 3dr pricing, so you tell me to take a hike because I don't have the spare change for over priced HW for a hobby, I am not up to your 3dr standards, lol. 

    I support people that support me, when I ask a question, I would hope in a week or two I might get some help, well you might of guessed it, nada. I have donated to many groups that have helped me (er9x, openTx, astronmy, rcg, etc), when I am really happy with the help/service, THEN I donate and I feel good doing it, pretty simple concept, but I don't donate 30~40% the cost of the HW.

    I did not fail to mention anything about the Taranis, the Taranis has open source FW, SAME with apm (well sorta, they work for free), they might even being kicked down more hardware than the OpenTx developers from 3dr charging IMO just to much for HW. Think about it, if they charged $15 profit on an APM board, (the clone's would not have any profit margin), they might sell way more boards and be the number one most popular FC.

    Are you saying 3DR is not making money off the HW, if that is the case something is wrong? RCtimers IS making money and not charging 3DR prices, what does that tell you, your wrong, unless mismanaged.

    So why in the first place did they make it open source?  lol

    "Your example of Taranis is completely different"

    not from the FW side of the deal. Did you fail to mention this, lol.

    "FS still make money and can create more hardware for the future, something you conveniently failed to mention."

    What about the software developers, aka as in your first statement? lol

    Since you can't keep it civil (attacking, name calling), I will leave your childish comments in the past, go ahead, blast away the next few guys and make more enemies behind your ISP and continue to show your colors, all I was did was stating my experience with RCtimers products in my first post.

    Everybody have a great day flying!

  • @Oz

    Your example of Taranis is completely different. I was referring to buying h/w from 3DR rather than RCT to help the other h/w side. Taranis may have O/S software but theres only one h/w manufacturer. Again your not really comparing apples with apples. FS still make money and can create more hardware for the future, something you conveniently failed to mention.

  • @Oz

    You completely failed to address my point about helping fund albeit in a minor way the hardware and software that is the APM ecosystem and so on.

    Most of what you said in this last post is completely incomprehensible. What exactly does the "Obama crisis" got to do with buying multicopter parts ?

    Again so you like RCG, that completely ignores my q about you supporting the shop that supports the hardware and software that you use. 

    Im not defending 3DR or claiming they are perfect in all manners, but your examples are crap, you are looking for any excuse to defend the fact your a cheap ass. You simply dont look at the future. So perhaps you saved $150~ i wont dispute that, but again if nobody supports in a small way the innovators what will happen with the cloners remaining ? All we would have is the same APM and the same software until they get round to cloning the next platform.

    That sort of short sighteness actually hurts yourself in the end. You think your saving money today but your killing tomorrow. Your killing the innovators who will bring you bigger better cooler toys.

  • @ Oz...
    Please - some full stops! I'm exhausted after reading that. ;-)
  • @mp1

    Not sure where you get the saving $50 from, I saved $110+ buying the AMP 2.5, gps, telemetry, osd, misc from UAVobjects (mostly RCtimer products), that is more than the rest of the complete cost on my quad, and with 2 day shipping (in US) and with warranty, pretty hard to turndown in my shoes, specialy in this Obama crisis, I need to save everything I can (and please don't tell people to get out of this hobby because they cant toss an extra $110+ on FC, with gps,telemetry, osd). Look at the open source Taranis Tx with OpenTx, a 16 channel Tx for $175 competing with the $3K futaba 18mz, times are changing, AND the Opensource developers are getting paid nothing, but and a huge but, they seam to help rather quickly (openTx forums and RCG are very active, 16,000 postes in ~6 months) and have a donate button, witch I have contributed twice do to their prompt feedback on my problems, what a idea, great service = donations, no? I asked a simple question (on RSSI) on DYIdrones and ~85 views a month later nada, that is why I stopped posting here.

    Please don't get me wrong, I really like the AMP 2.5 FC, and I am learning everyday, since I do not get very much help over here compared to RCG, I am over their most of the time. RCG groups has IMO a much better forum system (with being able to multiple quote, photos, attachments, etc), and "seems" to be a larger more knowledgeable peeps RESPONDING to community to questions (yet the developers are over here). I dont know if the "clones" support 3DR, i dont follow the DIYdrones threads as much as IMO it's not as productive for me and nice as RCG thread features (just typing in this tiny 5 line high box kinda sucks without preview, quotes, attachments, etc) and IMO help for the questions I and two friends have asked without any feedback after 90 views and a month later give me good feedback, did I complain, nope, not till pushed (by yours truly), of coarse YMMV

    Happy Flying!

  • I bought a pre built hexa with APM 2.5 from a YouTube source. It turned out to be an RC Timer clone of a DJI FW550. I got two short flights out of it before it started going haywire. I'm pretty sure it is a bad ESC. I ordered replacements from RC Timer shipped via HongKongPost. It's been over a month and they still haven't arrived. I emailed them I would file a claim with Paypal if it wasn't delivered by the end of next week. They emailed me back that they would resend the order via DHL. In the meantime I put together a DJI FW450 with stock motors and ESC's and a 3DR APM 2.6. The quality of the DJI is a lot better than the clone. I have wrecked the DJI a few times, but haven't broken anything. I had several wrecks with the RC Timer clone after it started going haywire. Every crash either props or arms or both (and multiples) would break. In my opinion the DJI is an all around better deal.

    In all fairness I think there was a problem with HongKongPost in September. I ordered some stuff from HobbyKing around the same time that was shipped via HongKongPost and it took around a month to get.

    I have also ordered stuff from ebay and it's kind of a turkey shoot. Some good buys some not so good buys.

    I am learning and developing a history of the good and bad sellers and products.

  • Actually Steven it is not hard. Everyone here is entitled to their own opinions regardless of how base that opinion may seem to others. Regards

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