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May 24, 2016, 10:23 PM
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Rant

Open Letter to Hubsan


Dear Hubsan:

I had not bought a new quadcopter in about a year before I bought this H501s.  Got tired of chasing the latest and greatest quads from China that just ended up not living up to expectations, not performing like the initial reviews, user manuals that were virtually indecipherable and incomplete, or not arriving at all after ordering it.

I've got a small fleet of Hubsan X4 107L/C's with enough spare parts to probably build 2 more and a couple of H111's.  They all were home runs in my opinion.  They perform consistently and predictably, and the user manuals are well written, accurate, and complete.

I really really like this H501s.  It's got capabilities none of my previous quadcopters have and it's at a good price point.  I bought it in large part because it is a Hubsan.  But I get the impression it's not the same company, not run the same way as it was.  With the firmware SNAFU's, build quality regarding poor soldering and gluing, a users manual that is unclear, documenting features that don't exist, not documenting other functions that do exist, and in general not keeping documentation up-to-date with corrections and updates to reflect the current implementstion rolled out to customers.  You now seem to be following in line now much like those I had considered the lower end brand quadcopter manufacturers.

To really understand how to configure, use, and operate this quadcopter safely, it's not enough to study the user's manual.  You have to read the experiences of other users here and test it yourself to know how it's going to act in certain modes, configurations, and battery states.  Now for a small toy grade quadcopter this may not be the big concern. But this is a quadcopter that can be flown BVR, and it's heavy and powerful enough in the case of a loss of control to cause some damage.  To itself, to property, or to somebody.  And the fact that it hasn't already given reports and videos of uncontrolled flyaways and fall drops is, to a degree, due to luck.

With all the focus on drone operator responsibilities and regulations targeted at us, at some point one of these (not necesssrily a 501s) is going to go haywire and hurt somebody seriously and the root cause will not be operator error or irresponsibility, it will be because of production or design flaws coupled with lack of testing by the quadcopter manufacturer.  And then there will be regulations around that.  And the days of high performance highly functional affordable quadcopters we enjoy now will be gone.

So Hubsan, please step up your game.  Back to the level that it used to be. Because the status quo typical of other quadcopter companies I don't think it sustainable, and you have to be better than that to be a preeminent and trusted brand.
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Sep 18, 2016, 07:43 PM
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Thread OP
I just want to follow up to write that I am seeing encouraging developments within Hubsan which seem to be on the right track towards improving the situation.  Notably, more transparency and proactive notification to customers.  For example the recent post 9/15/2016 by Hubsan customer support of a possible MOSFET / motor issue in the H502s they are investigating, and recommending customers not purchase online spares until it's been investigated and resolved.  In the H501s thread, we are seeing the questions posed by individuals answered by Hubsan within the group forum, not as private email exchanges.  Hubsan providing detailed information to a broad customer audience will help to cut down on the noise of speculation and varying opinions within the forums and provide authoritative reference information direct-from-the-manufacturer.  And the result will be that users will understand the product's features and performance capabilities better and can operate them more confidently and safely.

Ensuring consistency and quality of design, build, and component parts is challenge to maintain throughout production.  And I've gotten stuck with far too many products from other vendors sold with known defects without fair recourse for refund, repair, or exchange. Hubsan can distinguish themselves from other manufacturers by standing by their products and supporting their customers.  A happy customer today is very likely to be a repeat customer tomorrow.
Last edited by bpoo; Sep 18, 2016 at 08:32 PM.


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