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Old Jun 07, 2014, 08:52 AM
Quad adept
The Netherlands, OV, Delden
Joined Apr 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheQuestor View Post
With all the dirt cheap and not so dirt cheap vibration dampening devices out there I would think that it would be far easier/cheaper/more effective to use a tried and true method.

Cheap

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=40618
10 bucks and works AWESOME [personal experience]

Cheaper
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=4504

it's like 5 bucks and people are reporting good results.

not cheap but AWESOME!
http://www.uavobjects.com/product/rc...ibration-dome/
40 bucks.
Have the cheap and cheaper option and I like the cheaper option better!

I am still thinking about the dome, I always try to get by with the least amount of dead weight.. but that's just the opinion of someone who manages to fly off the connectors of a Lipo
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 11:48 AM
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United States, TX, Victoria
Joined Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheQuestor View Post
This was supposedly already addressed with the latest mission planners. Instead of warn and block it should now just warn and allow. Otherwise you can either just do a little modification to mission planner to bypass the DRM and I think there is a binary hack of "i think" of the file called "px4uploader.exe" the forgoes the checks..

I can't see how it would be too hard to find the part where it looks for a valid certificate and just always return true
I understand now VERY clearly what the issue at hand is, Q. The main issue is that the readily available binary is in fact a custom-compiled version made by MO for 3DR, a fact of which Paul was grossly, painfully ignorant.

If Paul's Code-Fu were a little stronger, he might have understood this and been able to compile a version for his own board. Of course, he might have been able to make the hack you suggest as well.

What I'm after is a simple, clear roadmap for others to follow so that they can be COMPLIANT, and not piss in anybody's Corn Flakes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebevre
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth
But if I wanted to... is there a way to DO IT RIGHT?
Yes, absolutely. It has been done before.

Step 1: Join the Drones-Discuss Google Groups mailing list.
Step 2: Talk to people, specifically in this case, Michael Oborne.
Step 3: Be a nice guy. Ask for help. Don't demand it.
Step 4: It usually helps if your project is actually something new and different, but isn't strictly necessary.

That's about it. Several people who are "not 3DR" have done this already. FlyMaple. VirtualRobotix. etc.
Okay... yes, I see this. But this is where things are different. In each of those cases, the "outside interested party" was ALSO able to contribute technical expertise, and their projects were clearly an advancement of the project; expansion in a different direction.

If the only thing I could offer was a cut of the proceeds, for which I'd need probably a lot of technical help and/or direction, I just don't see any way I could make it happen.

If I were one of these "horrible cloners" who suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to "pay my fair share", I don't see anything even resembling "Donate" button where I could start off by putting up a chunk of money that say, represents a portion of my profits from my theoretical APM-derived sales as a demonstration of "good faith". Is there actually a person, or group of people, one could address with that offer?

Or is that what you're saying; that the Drones-Discuss Google Group IS that group of people, and spending some time there, even if just lurking, would show me who to talk to? That in itself is a VERY important bit of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebevre
You realize that the very first time many people even heard of Paul was on that very popular podcast, where Paul was, non-nonsensically, accusing them of stealing the very code they wrote?

Besides which, none of this is even necessary. First, MP doesn't block uploading to any APM board. Never has. Even if there was, and Michael refused to work with you, it's easy to upload compiled hexes using Arduino. Similarly, it was always possible to use other tools to upload to alternative Pixhawks.

The only complaint ever was, that MP gives a nice user experience, compared to these other methods which are comparatively yucky for most users. And these other manufacturers wanted to use MP. And at some point, MO made it such that MP wouldn't upload to cloned Pixhawks (it always uploaded to any APM, and now also uploads to VR boards, and maybe FlyMaples).
EXACTLY. From a "Business Venture" point of view, MP is NECESSARY. It's what makes the product useable to ordinary folks. Up until now, I was unaware that the commonly available Binary was in fact custom-compiled for 3DR, and that's why it NOW vets a PX4/PixHawk board as 3DR product or not. That fact is not made clear in any prominent fashion that I, as a casual product user, could know. All I would know is that MP, which up to now has been pretty hardware-agnostic, suddenly warns me off the RTFHawk as an unfit clone. I'd be freaking out too, just as a customer!

On top of that, things like Paul's assumption that the battery was currently vibration-inducing dead-weight and the fact that he changed connectors on the board to make it easily compatible with existing off-the-shelf hardware actually make it a Non-Compliant board!

I can see that the PixHawk platform has different accessory hardware intended to be used with it, so his board is actually a hybrid of the PixHawk and APM platforms, not a "true" PX4/PixHawk board. As an engineer, I can see where the designers might be offended; I made lots of very carefully considered choices when I made my designs. Choices which anybody not part of the project wouldn't be privy to.

OTOH, I've been studying the APM platform for months now, and this is the first I've learned of this aspect of the commonly available MP Binary. I always though it was the current "Official Release"; intended for all users of any APM/PX4PixHawk board.

Paul's customer is the utter noob; he has built a reputation and a business on making quads Ready To Fly. Of course he's going to freak out after spending mucho grande $$$ on his first production run and suddenly finds out his board doesn't "Qualify". Yes, everything that followed was in poor taste. But I can sure see how his first (albeit incorrect) conclusion was that ALL versions of MP now have "DRM Inside".

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebevre
Of course the whole thing played out in a difficult manner. I guess Paul didn't really know what was going on. But his first action to rectify the situation was that podcast.
Yup. I don't disagree that there was a LOT of butthurt on all sides. I don't disagree that Paul FOR SURE set fire to a lot of bridges with that podcast. All I'm saying is that a LOT of his frustration was born of IGNORANCE, not necessarily ill will or even gross profiteering as he is often characterized. I'm not saying he didn't do anything wrong, but from out here, there sure isn't any clearly marked CORRECT PATH to follow.

Maybe we can ALL put those fires out together, and try to fix those bridges? Other folks need to use bridges too, ya know.

As Mark said, Paul went about this in the same manner that got him a lot of respect within the MultiWii community; for him it was a chance to advance the hobby and do a stroke of business at the same time. He was IGNORANT of the right way to do it, of the right people to talk to.

Ignorance is curable. Hate is another thing altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebevre
Oh, and another point about the pricing on those 3DR Radios.

I'm not sure if any of you remember back in the day before those radios were created. Our only option for telemetry was Xbees. These were over $200, and didn't work very well. Now, you may remember recently when it was stated that Tridge has a "Open Source or Die" modus operandi. He didn't like this situation, so he set out to create a better option. It took him almost 6 months of working on it, to get this working. The radios work great, and originally sold for $80. We were all elated. And he continues to work on it, they've been improving the firmware steadily such that in the future, you won't actually need an RC Tx link at all if you don't want it. You'll have a low-latency control link so you can fly the aircraft through the 3DRadio link via a laptop or tablet.

Anybody who understands what the alternative is, and what Tridge's efforts are worth, don't have a problem paying $30 or $50 or whatever markup there is.
This too is an area where I'm in awe of the amazing technical knowledge demonstrated by the folks here and in several other similar projects.

When I was working with my tiny helis, I supported the Deviation project with donated TX/RX hardware for protocol analysis, as I didn't have any money or the correct kind of expertise to throw at it. And the 3DRadios would probably be one of the "items I'd buy so that I could contribute" in some fashion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jabram View Post
Is there any more off topic dribble left ?
How could this be any MORE on-topic? It is a frank and open discussion of the root principles of the APM project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermani View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheQuestor
With all the dirt cheap and not so dirt cheap vibration dampening devices out there I would think that it would be far easier/cheaper/more effective to use a tried and true method.

Cheap

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=40618
10 bucks and works AWESOME [personal experience]

Cheaper
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=4504

it's like 5 bucks and people are reporting good results.

not cheap but AWESOME!
http://www.uavobjects.com/product/rc...ibration-dome/
40 bucks.
Have the cheap and cheaper option and I like the cheaper option better!

I am still thinking about the dome, I always try to get by with the least amount of dead weight.. but that's just the opinion of someone who manages to fly off the connectors of a Lipo
I have both as well, and once I am caught up with some real life stuff, I hope to have a good side-by-side test of the two to post.


mnem
I think too much.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 01:10 PM
Arducopter Developer
R_Lefebvre's Avatar
Joined Oct 2010
1,896 Posts
Quote:
If I were one of these "horrible cloners" who suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to "pay my fair share", I don't see anything even resembling "Donate" button where I could start off by putting up a chunk of money that say, represents a portion of my profits from my theoretical APM-derived sales as a demonstration of "good faith". Is there actually a person, or group of people, one could address with that offer?

Or is that what you're saying; that the Drones-Discuss Google Group IS that group of people, and spending some time there, even if just lurking, would show me who to talk to? That in itself is a VERY important bit of information.
I don't really even know what to say anymore, because I just keep saying the same thing over and over again.

There is a donate button on MP. MP is what uploads to hardware, and is what this whole kerfuffle is about. MP is not Arducopter.

There is no easy way to donate to Arducopter. This is because it's run by many people, and they haven't figured out any way to distribute money to the group in an equitable way. There's a lot of fundamental problems with the whole idea right from the start. For example, how do you determine the value of different work? And nobody can push to Master other than Randy and Tridge. Everybody else has to go through them. If somebody does work, but can't get it accepted into master for some reason... is that work worthless? What if there's no good reason it's not going into master? What if trivial changes are made before they push it into master? Do two people still get all of the money?

I have absolutely no idea how this would work. I'm a noob at participating in these things.

The Drone Code Foundation, hasn't come very far in the year it's been talked about. The only time I hear about it, is occasionally when Chris Anderson talks about it during a presentation. The last time I've personally heard about it, was last year during Chris's presentation at the AVC. Maybe I'll hear more about at AVC 2014 which is in 2 weeks. At this point each Arducopter developer works on either:

A) Whatever they feel like.

or

B) Whatever somebody pays them directly to do.

This is much easier to manage. People pay me to do something, I do it. Otherwise, I do what I feel like doing, as anybody does with their hobbies. If we're buddies, maybe I'll do it for you for free. Or we could horse-trade, etc.

So yeah, it sucks, it's not clear or easy. I don't know what the solution is. But that is where it's at right now.

Quote:
How could this be any MORE on-topic? It is a frank and open discussion of the root principles of the APM project!
Oh, you know he thinks that the only valid opinion is his own, and his is the only voice that matters.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 03:16 PM
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mnemennth's Avatar
United States, TX, Victoria
Joined Jul 2012
831 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth
If I were one of these "horrible cloners" who suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to "pay my fair share", I don't see anything even resembling "Donate" button where I could start off by putting up a chunk of money that say, represents a portion of my profits from my theoretical APM-derived sales as a demonstration of "good faith". Is there actually a person, or group of people, one could address with that offer?
Or is that what you're saying; that the Drones-Discuss Google Group IS that group of people, and spending some time there, even if just lurking, would show me who to talk to? That in itself is a VERY important bit of information.
I don't really even know what to say anymore, because I just keep saying the same thing over and over again.

There is a donate button on MP. MP is what uploads to hardware, and is what this whole kerfuffle is about. MP is not Arducopter.
Yes, I know this... after reading the thread you linked to on the drones-discuss Group, I FINALLY understand this. It is WHY I'm asking how to donate to the APM project; I know how to donate to the MP Project, but that does NOT help the APM project. Or wherever it is that the hardware that is "Cloned" is created. THAT is what I'd like to be able to donate to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre
There is no easy way to donate to Arducopter. This is because it's run by many people, and they haven't figured out any way to distribute money to the group in an equitable way. There's a lot of fundamental problems with the whole idea right from the start. For example, how do you determine the value of different work? And nobody can push to Master other than Randy and Tridge. Everybody else has to go through them. If somebody does work, but can't get it accepted into master for some reason... is that work worthless? What if there's no good reason it's not going into master? What if trivial changes are made before they push it into master? Do two people still get all of the money?

I have absolutely no idea how this would work. I'm a noob at participating in these things.

The Drone Code Foundation, hasn't come very far in the year it's been talked about. The only time I hear about it, is occasionally when Chris Anderson talks about it during a presentation. The last time I've personally heard about it, was last year during Chris's presentation at the AVC. Maybe I'll hear more about at AVC 2014 which is in 2 weeks. At this point each Arducopter developer works on either:

A) Whatever they feel like.

or

B) Whatever somebody pays them directly to do.

This is much easier to manage. People pay me to do something, I do it. Otherwise, I do what I feel like doing, as anybody does with their hobbies. If we're buddies, maybe I'll do it for you for free. Or we could horse-trade, etc.

So yeah, it sucks, it's not clear or easy. I don't know what the solution is. But that is where it's at right now.
Thank you. THAT bolded part is what I've been getting at for two days now.

It seems to me that if you're going to hate all those "awful cloners" for not paying back, it's a bit self-serving, hypocritical even, if you haven't you know... given them any avenue to do so.

With money, I mean; because that is how vendors pay for things. It is also how most folks who don't have any geekoid talent they can apply to the project, the ordinary everyday users like most of us on this thread, would best be able to support you guys.

It seems to me that having the problem of deciding whom to give the money to is much better than the problem of having projects going undeveloped because there is no money to fund them. You have a potentially huge revenue stream here which remains untapped for simple want of someone willing to take responsibility for it. If the problem is manpower, money is the fix for that, too.

I'm pretty sure Q would love to be able to toss a few bucks in the pot to help forward the development, even if he can't afford 3DR product. I sure would too, and so would a LOT of other folks. Plus, you get money you can use for things like development boards to crash and stuff. Instead of paying for it out of pocket.

Most of us wouldn't CARE who specifically gets the money, as long as it goes to support APM. If we want to support ArduPlane, we can put a note in there. If we want to support PixHawk, same thing.

Right now, I'm feeling like this:



And I'm sure a lot of other folks out there reading this are feeling that way too. We just don't know who to say it to. There is a LOT of potential cash flow available here; money that SHOULD go to forwarding development of all platforms. The first step is to GET the money. THEN decide what to do about it.

Set up a PayPal account. If the numbers get to be so huge it cannot be managed by those with the authority, hire an accounting firm to keep track of it and set up disbursements as specified by those who donate.

Jeez, I'd LOVE to have this problem... people wanting to give me money for what I'm already doing.

Can I set up a PayPal account for y'all? Who would I turn over the keys to once there's enough money to amount to something? This hypothetical DroneCode Foundation?

I can do it... it'll take me half an hour; I'll start with my own donation first.

Maybe a better answer would be a KickStarter Campaign to fund creation of the DroneCode Foundation... I don't know if we can start a KickStarter with an open-ended goal like that though. But I'd gladly donate the time to research it .

Please, pass this on to whomever has the authority to say yes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth
How could this be any MORE on-topic? It is a frank and open discussion of the root principles of the APM project!
Oh, you know he thinks that the only valid opinion is his own, and his is the only voice that matters.
I think maybe he's peeved at me because I keep quoting your responses and he has to see them even though he has you iggy-ed.


mnem
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 04:19 PM
jab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth View Post
Okay... yes, I see this. But this is where things are different. In each of those cases, the "outside interested party" was ALSO able to contribute technical expertise, and their projects were clearly an advancement of the project; expansion in a different direction.

If the only thing I could offer was a cut of the proceeds, for which I'd need probably a lot of technical help and/or direction, I just don't see any way I could make it happen.
This is at the core of the problem with "evil" cloners. If you do not have the technical expertise to even understand the problem like in the case with Paul, much less contribute or make your own builds if needed. Then you have no business being an APM hardware distributor in the first place.

Simply because you are not in any position to offer meaningful support to either the project or your users. All you are doing is grabbing the cash, and leaving the support for someone else to deal with.

Donating to the project does not help with this in any way. Money does not help preventing devs from wasting their time on basic user support, instead of developing new features, fixing bugs and writing documentation. For that you would need serious cash, to hire full time staff to deal with support. And who would be entitled to this support. Everyone, or just users of APM boards who distributors have donated?

So in the end it's the community who is left taking the hit for better or worse.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 04:30 PM
Wait...what?
gbmarsh's Avatar
Canada, BC, Abbotsford
Joined Sep 2010
908 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jab View Post
This is at the core of the problem with "evil" cloners. If you do not have the technical expertise to even understand the problem like in the case with Paul, much less contribute or make your own builds if needed. Then you have no business being an APM hardware distributor in the first place.

Simply because you are not in any position to offer meaningful support to either the project or your users. All you are doing is grabbing the cash, and leaving the support for someone else to deal with.

Donating to the project does not help with this in any way. Money does not help preventing devs from wasting their time on basic user support, instead of developing new features, fixing bugs and writing documentation. For that you would need serious cash, to hire full time staff to deal with support. And who would be entitled to this support. Everyone, or just users of APM boards who distributors have donated?

So in the end it's the community who is left taking the hit for better or worse.
Who does this basic user support for 3DR products? Not trying to enter the argument, it's an honest question from a user.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 04:38 PM
jab
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Joined Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbmarsh View Post
Who does this basic user support for 3DR products? Not trying to enter the argument, it's an honest question from a user.
3DR does or at least should do support for 3DR boards, hardware in particular.

And while far from optimal, compared to others they have spent A LOT of resources on producing quality documentation (with help from community) and making support forums available at ardupilot.com.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 04:54 PM
Wait...what?
gbmarsh's Avatar
Canada, BC, Abbotsford
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908 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jab View Post
3DR does or at least should do support for 3DR boards, hardware in particular.

And while far from optimal, compared to others they have spent A LOT of resources on producing quality documentation (with help from community) and making support forums available at ardupilot.com.
But the ardupilot.com example is devs doing user support is it not?
To be brutally honest, the only hardware support I've seen from 3DR is 'send it back' which is the same level of service I get from the 'clone' guys. So in the end where is the incentive for the end user to not by a 'clone' board?

All of this arguing between devs and manufacturers in public forums is very off-putting to the actual consumer.... you know the ones who actually buy the product.

My only skin in this game is the few hundred bucks I've spent on hardware....
Where is that donate button again?

Cheers,
Geoff
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jab View Post
This is at the core of the problem with "evil" cloners. If you do not have the technical expertise to even understand the problem like in the case with Paul, much less contribute or make your own builds if needed. Then you have no business being an APM hardware distributor in the first place.
You guys really need to stop with this, it is at least bordering on libel. Paul knew what was up and there was an alternative MP build up that worked around the 3DR check soon after the issue was discovered. The issue was/is that a lot of us did not/do not think it was/is a proper way to behave.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 05:07 PM
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Joined Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth View Post
... The main issue is that the readily available binary is in fact a custom-compiled version made by MO for 3DR, a fact of which Paul was grossly, painfully ignorant.

If Paul's Code-Fu were a little stronger, he might have understood this and been able to compile a version for his own board. Of course, he might have been able to make the hack you suggest as well.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemennth View Post
Up until now, I was unaware that the commonly available Binary was in fact custom-compiled for 3DR, and that's why it NOW vets a PX4/PixHawk board as 3DR product or not. That fact is not made clear in any prominent fashion that I, as a casual product user, could know. All I would know is that MP, which up to now has been pretty hardware-agnostic, suddenly warns me off the RTFHawk as an unfit clone. I'd be freaking out too, just as a customer!

On top of that, things like Paul's assumption that the battery was currently vibration-inducing dead-weight and the fact that he changed connectors on the board to make it easily compatible with existing off-the-shelf hardware actually make it a Non-Compliant board!

I can see that the PixHawk platform has different accessory hardware intended to be used with it, so his board is actually a hybrid of the PixHawk and APM platforms, not a "true" PX4/PixHawk board.
To add a bit more precision: the "readily available compiled binary" (for Pixhawk)was always a generic compile that worked for .... 3DR's Pixhawk, and therefore any clone. It just happened that shortly after Paul came on the scene announcing his clone, a certification check was added to Mission Planner source that could actually detect wether the board was 3DR or not (burnt crypto key), and deny if the board was non 3DR. In other words work was actually done to modify MP so that the binary would no work anymore except for genuine 3DR boards. This came out of the blue, unannounced, and if Paul had been happily loading MP on his soon to be released boards it must've been quite a surprising change. This was in place for less than a week, however, it was later changed as it now only warns.

As far as Paul's board is concerned, it is the exact same board as 3DR, except for the replacement of DF13's connectors with Molex (which I and many prefer), and battery is optional. Accessory hardware is all the same and 100% interchangeable by swapping connectors, it's just easier to find GPS, radios and the like with Molex since it's been used with APM. So unless there is an engineering case that DF13 connectors must be used because they are superior to Molex, no engineering claim against Paul's clone in favor of 3DR can be made, and "compliance" is a red herring.
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 05:45 PM
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take the Paul pixhawk discussion over to Paul's thread or the PX4 thread, it does NOT belong here. I can't be the only one who is bored to death with HB posting his every paranoid evil cloner thought.

Tridge did start up a discussion on the subject, why not discuss it there.

If any developer wants to discuss or find out how to contribute financially that is NOT the subject matter for this thread.
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