Winter Holiday discount

Starting now a coupon for 10% off all products is active (it does not discount shipping). The coupon will expire on January 6th, 09:00 CET, and there is no limit to the number of orders you can use it for during this time. To get the discount enter WinterHolidays2016 in the coupon field in your cart and click “apply coupon”.

When the Winter Holiday sale ends (Jan 6th, 09:00am, CET), we’ll do a bit of maintenance on the site, so it may be down for a day or so.

Thank you for all your support, and Happy holidays to you all.

Cheers,
David and Johanna

Discontinuing some products (sale prices)

We’ll be discontinuing a few older products soon, as we’ve got the newer versions to take their place, and interest in the old versions is diminishing. They are now on sale, prices have been halved (but with the Winter Holidays sale coupon, you can get them for even less right now!) Products that will be discontinued are:

*G10 Camera tray

*Landing gear: Small version

*The old Power Distribution Tricopter Board (with and without BEC)

*Spare BEC components

 

Christmas is approaching fast

Yesterday when I was out shopping with the wife, Chistmas songs were playing in the stores (it’s not December yet, store managers!)

But that, and a question from a customer, made me realize that some of you might be thinking of getting some of your Christmas gifts from the RCExplorer store. The big question then is, of course: Will it arrive in time?

The general shipping times that can be found via instructions in the FAQ does NOT apply to the holiday season, as all the shipping agents, and customs services, have so much larger volumes to handle during this time of the year. According to PostNord, parcels we send before December 5th (worldwide) are expected to be delivered before Christmas, parcels within Sweden a bit later than that. This is of course not a guarantee, but their general guideline. Unexpected and unusual things may, as always, delay delivery beyond reasonable expectations, but almost all orders shipped before December 5th should be there before Chistmas.

For us to be able to ship your order before the 5th, you need to place it no later than December 2nd, 9:00 AM, CETand, as always, all items need to be in stock (orders containing backordered items will not be shipped until everything is in stock).

And, on the subject of backorders: The F3FC’s are expected to be back in stock sometime next week (I had expected them this week, but they were unfortunately mislabeled/missent at fist, now they’re on their way here)

christmas-drone

Feedback servos and 325mm arms back in stock!

Yay! The BMS-210DMH feedback servos are back in stock along with the 10x10mm 325mm Carbon fiber arms. Finally we’re back to our regular scheduled programming.

BlueBird BMS 210 Feedback

In other news a new FPV video from the Ukraine trip is in the works. Hope to have that up soon.

Looks like I’ve lost most of the Ukraine footage. Tried recreating files from drives and such but it’s gone. First time loosing valuable footage. Really tough lesson in data management.

Servos delayed. Temporary solution.

Update! We’re now out of replacement servos!

BlueBird just informed me that the delivery of feedback servos have been pushed back to the end of October / early November, as they have a problem with one of their suppliers. *insert curse word here*.

We’ve come up with a temporary solution. We’ll order a batch of Turnigy branded 210 servos and modifying them to 4 wire feedback servos. The Turnigy 210 servo is a rebranded BMS-210DMH and thus have identical performance, size etc to the BMS-210DMH servos that we sell. The difference is that the Turnigy servo does not have a feedback wire. We would modify these servos (before shipping) to add a 4 wire servo cable, so that you get the same feedback functionality as with our regular servo.

tgy-servo

This is how a modified servo would look, except it would have “Turnigy” printed on the side. Performance would be the same, but it wouldn’t look as good as the RCExplorer branded version, plus the servo wire would be slightly thicker.

We could start shipping these servos in less than 2 weeks. This means that we can ship all current backorders at that time (if you have a current backorder you will get an email about this, please respond as soon as possible).

If you place an order containing a servo after today, you may get this modified version, without special notice. As we may run out of the modified version before the regular servos are back in stock, any orders placed after today might still have to wait for the regular servos to come back in stock (estimate; early November). If you’d rather wait for the regular servos, you can leave a note with your order requesting this and we’ll ship your order as soon as the RCExplorer servos are back in stock.

The Chernobyl experience

At the end of last month I was fortunately enough to travel with the Rotor Riot crew to Ukraine. It was a crazy cool experience. We got to fly at Chernobyl, Pripyat, around Kiev and craziest of all; The Antonov 225 (The largest airplane in the world). I join up with the FT Afterhour crew to talk about this amazing experience.

Antanov-Selfie

My first selfie

antonov 225

Click to listen. The Chernobyl experience starts at the 58 minute mark.

FT Afterhours article with pictures

FliteFest 2016 – a couple of stories

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Image credit; Wayne Griffith. Wayne Griffith photography.

This was the 3rd annual FliteFest and it was my first chance to attend.  Rolling in the first day I was hit by how absolutely massive it really is. The flight line was at least 1km long, there were hundreds of RV’s and tents, and there were a ton of vendor tents. One thing that is very different from any other RC event I’ve been to is the 3 huge build tents. When I say huge I mean huuuuuuge. There were so many tables for people to set up on and build, repair and hangout you wouldn’t believe. This was by far the best thing I’ve seen at an event. It enabled people to help each other out and connect and make new friends. Foam was free so you could build as much as you wanted. 2 guys in the corner had 2 CNC’s set up that were running constantly spitting out free kits for people, and they did this for free! Amazing to say the least. The tents also let people get out of the sun (or rain).Continue Reading

Official release of Triflight 0.5

The Triflight 0.5 has moved out of the Beta stage. Now rebased on Cleanflight v1.13 which makes flashing easier. It also supports BLheli 4w interface for BLHeli passthrough among with many flight performance updates.

Here are some new features compared to Triflight 0.4

  • Rebased on Cleanflight v1.13.
  • Support for servo reversing (alpha)
  • Dynamic yaw output based on tail motor speed, replaces TPA for yaw (beta 3)
  • Tail motor acceleration/deceleration produced error estimation and correction (beta 3)
  • Support for wired servo feedback signal for accurate position measurement (beta 1beta 2)
  • Unarmed tail tune mode for setting up servo end-points, center position and speed calibration (beta 1)
  • More precise in-flight tail tune (beta 1)
  • Many small improvements.

Notes

  • Defaults are tuned for RCExplorer Baby tricopter (170mm sized). Should work okay for larger copters as well. Specific tunes for the Tricopter V4 and Mini Tricopter coming soon.
  • Display feature has been disabled for NAZE and CC3D targets due to memory constraints.
  • Best thing to do is a full chip erase doing flashing.
  • Please redo the servo setup / tail tune after flashing otherwise things might not work as they should.

We would love to get your feedback on how the official 0.5 release works for you. We’ve had great success with it so far. People have reported that the feel of this release has improved greatly and the tail handles even better.

Use the link below to jump over to the forum and give your feedback!

Triflight 0.5

We want happy pilots! – We urge you to use the support tickets for contact

We love hearing from you, but being stuck in a build or waiting for stuff or answers is never fun. For that reason we introduced the Support ticket system recently. The system makes sure that questions are filtered so they can be answered the fastest way possible – sometimes the answers can even be found within the FAQ it self to provide an instant answer that lets you continue your build or not having to wait for an answer, or your questions can be added to the FAQ for others to benefit from.

We have implemented this system as David’s inbox was overflowing and e-mails were being overlooked. Having Davids inbox as a single point of contract has turned out to be somewhat of a bottleneck resulting in unnecessary delays, you not getting any response, and claims regarding faulty/broken products, missing items etc to be made void. The support ticket system makes it easier for me to share the load of answering certain questions with David (so that he can focus on his areas of expertise), and to get a better overview of what has been done/said in each issue. This is especially important now that David is away. Please use the support ticket system, we want happy pilots 🙂

Regards,
Johanna

Pre-Release of the BabyTricopter is… NOW!

With David all the way across the big pond meeting some of you at FliteTest, this announcement has fallen on my shoulders, and will therefore be shorter and less descriptive than usual. Here goes:Baby Tricopter

 

Baby TricopterA new beast has hatched. Measuring 170mm motor to motor and weighing only 280 grams with electronics and FPV gear, the BabyTricopter is in size and weight really just a baby compared to its older brothers. But don’t be fooled, this baby packs a punch! Be sure that you know what you’re doing before flying this beast…

You can choose between the Baby with it’s custom F3FC racing and power distribution board included for just $99, or  just the Baby Tricopter (without flightcontroller and PDB), for as little as $69.

The F3FC Racing and new PDB can of course
also be bought separately (although you get a nice discount if you buy them with the kit), and you’ll find more info on those product pages.

Shipping will start on Monday/Tuesday so order now!

 

The Baby of course will need some power, and we’re also releasing an electronics kit, with the same EMAX motors as used by the MiniTricopter, but with Aikon 30A ESC’s and three-bladed orange propellers from HQ. This kit is however currently on Pre-Order, ar we are awaiting the arrival of our chosen Aikon 30A ESC’s. You can still order the kit, but it won’t be shipped until the ESC’s have arrived.

 

Have some patience with the product descriptions and info, this is, after all, a Pre-Release! More info will be added, and spare parts will become visible in the store as we’ve had time to somewhat fix their respective product pages.

Out of office – Limited support and email replies for a while

I’ll be jumping on a plane headed for Flite Fest tomorrow morning. During my stay I’m going to have limited internet access and time to answer emails and such. Johanna will be holding down the fort while I’m gone, answering support tickets and shipping out orders just as usual.cropped-FF16_logo_horizontal-01I know I’ll be seeing some of you at Flite Fest. It’s going to be an awesome time! Just hope the Ohio weather cooperates.

After Flite Fest I’ll be joining the RotorRiot crew in Pripyat, Ukraine to do some flying. This means that if you send me an email, you shouldn’t expect a reply until August.

Lowering aesthetic standard (and price) on the carbon fiber arms

Some of you might remember my everlasting battle with manufacturing of the carbon fiber arms. There is a reason why most companies I’ve approached have declined to even try making them. 10x10mm woven square tubes are really difficult to make. Extruded tubes this size is no problem, but they really suck. The arms we sell now are fantastic when it comes to strength, weigh, stiffness and have no warp.

The problem is that the surface finish is almost impossible to get perfect. So far we’ve discarded large parts of batches due to these imperfections and it’s really not sustainable. We at least need to break even on the arms. That would mean either almost doubling the price or lowering the standards, or stop selling them altogether.

Right now the most reasonable thing seems to be lowering the cosmetic standards in our quality checks. To be clear; only the surface finish is effected. The structural integrity and function is unaffected and the arms will be just as strong as before. The difference is that you might get arms that are scratched, have small dimples, have a visible edge of the carbon or other cosmetic impurities. Again, this will not effect the function or performance of the arms.

Since you will now receive a lower quality product we feel that to be fair we should lower our prices. The 325mm arms are lowered by 1USD and the 162.5mm by 0.5USD.

How do you feel about this?

New FAQ and support system

We’ve been testing out a new support system for a while and it’s now time to start using in for real. You will now be able to open a ticket by either going to your account page, or by clicking the FAQ/Support meny tab in the top navigation bar. This system will allow us to help you more efficiently and with less risk of your email getting lost in the river of messages that is my inbox.

The FAQ portion of the page is filled with the most common questions we get. Please at least skim it before opening a ticket.

If you want to contact me directly with stuff that isn’t related to orders or support stuff you can still use the contact from on the “about us” page. But please understand that I might not always answer as I get quite a few. You do not need to have an account registered in order to open a ticket.
Just make sure that you spell your email address correctly, or we won’t be able to answer you. If you have an account you can easily see all your tickets and open new ones from your account page.

We hope this system will let us help you in a more efficient way.

I’ll be on live tomorrow on the “Let’s drone out” podcast

logo-new-jack

I’ll be on live on my friend Jack Nash’s podcast “Let’s drone out” tomorrow at 8pm UK time (Sorry wrote the wrong time at first). We’ll be talking about the Triflight code, the new F3 board and RCExplorer in general. Jump on over to the Let’s drone out website tomorrow and post your questions and generally join the fun in the commenting section.

Here is a link to the episode

F3FC Tricopter frame and Tricopter V4 is now available!

F3F3 Tricopter

Designed based on all the feedback we’ve received since the release of the Naze32 frame. This frame has it all; A more powerful processor, 3A switching BEC with selectable 5/6/8V output, no need for a separate power distribution board, pressure sensor, current sensor, low noise gyro/accelerometer connected via SPI and so much more. Get yours here while they’re fresh out of the oven.

Tricopter V4

The Tricopter V4 has among other things a brand new camera/battery plate made from 2mm thick matte 3K carbon fiber. This increases stiffness, which reduces vibrations as well as saves weight (more than 25% lighter). You can now easily mount RunCam2 and GoPro sized cameras.

Camera Tray Kit

After many requests the landing gear has now been made taller and with a wider contact area at the bottom. The sharp edge has also been removed. The new landing gear is also mounted with 4 zip-ties which absorbs more energy in a crash. As you will need more zip-ties for the build, the kit now comes with 2 bags (~50 pieces).

Landing Gear comparison

The new now only weighs 201 grams including Flightcontroller, power distribution, arms, tilt mechanism, motor mounts, screws, landing gear and vibration dampened camera mount. This means more flight time and a more agile platform. Link to the product page.