The Rumour Thread

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There's a number of rumours kicking about that could effect Solo owners, this thread is for posting what's known to be fact from them.

I'm not 3DR staff as many of you know but I've always tried to pass on issues from fellow Solo owners to 3DR and to clarify facts when rumours have emerged.

I'm only told so much myself and if I'm told anything in confidence, naturally I can't repeat it, however, there's a few events taking place that concern me as a Solo owner so I figured it was only fair to share those as they're already in the public domain on the likes of RCG.

1) 3DR used to sponsor a number of Arducopter developers, at this time Solo runs on Arducopter Solo, which is a specific version of Arducopter tweaked for the Solo. The expectation has been that this version of code would be merged into Arducopter Master meaning that in future Solo could be firmware updated with new features as they arrive on Arducopter. To my knowledge this task isn't yet complete. To get future features like launching from a boat requires Solo Arducopter to be merged.

What appears to be happening.
3DR appears to be moving its future focus onto the PX4 flight stack which has its own flight software, this appears to be a move away from open source to closed source like DJI.

This needn't necessarily be an issue as long as 3DR's customer service and support remains to be the level it has to date.

Is there any reason to be concerned?
At this stage no, but the question that Solo owners will need to know is how does the future direction of 3DR effect Solo now, are 3DR going to see that Arducopter developers merge Solo onto Master? How will 3DR check complex issues on the flight logs without at least one developer with Arducopter knowledge?

2) The closure of Austin offices.

What appears to be happening.
There are credible rumours that the Austin office is closing, presumably with marketing staff moving to Berkeley instead.

Is there any reason to be concerned?

This is an operational issue for 3DR, it needn't have any impact on Solo owners. Admittedly though, the staff at Austin were part of the Solo community so if there are job losses there as a result that will be sad.

3) Support moving to Live Chat.

What appears to be happening.
3DR are using Live Chat as they're preferred communication.

Is there any reason to be concerned?
No.

Vu, 3DR's director of support has already answered this, Live Chat is preferred as they have a transcript from calls, it's better for international users and the cost of 24/7 phone support couldn't really be justified given the low volume of calls they had at some hours.

> I'll aim to keep this post updated as rumours emerge if you hear any yourselves that are credible, post them here and let's discuss them.
 
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Hope all goes well with the things Ian mentions for 3dr, my concern is they may have an uphill battle against dji if they no longer use open source. That's a selling point in itself and I'm assuming most of our features in the future will be replicated back and forth between these companies like they are now. So unless they keep consistently doing truly innovative and exiting things it's going to be a long road closing the gap with similar platforms. Right?

I'm sure they have some tricks up their sleave, they seem to be a bright bunch so I'm excited to see where things go from here. Just hope solo continues to get the support and attention it deserves even if they plan on moving past this type open source of setup.
 
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Thank you, Ian. I am sure your insight is much appreciated by the Solo community. Let's just hope the open platform remains in the future. After all, it is one of the biggest reasons Solo can stay ahead of the other manufacturers.
 
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I do see time and again people citing the fact Solo is open source as a significant reason they purchased. PX4 uses Mavlink also, so I suspect there will be means to write apps and the like if nothing else. Time will tell. Either way I doubt this will be an issue for Solo users as it'll be future products that will be influenced by decisions being taken now.

It's clear from the Solo Mod Club that work is still going on with smart shots, so it's really the Arducopter situation that is the big question mark.
 
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Thank you, Ian. I am sure your insight is much appreciated by the Solo community. Let's just hope the open platform remains in the future. After all, it is one of the biggest reasons Solo can stay ahead of the other manufacturers.
This is both a good thing, and a bad thing. The problem with your code being open-source, is that your competitors can also see it. It's sitting there on a website that anybody in the world can see and download. So it's pretty darn hard to stay ahead of competitors if you are showing them exactly how you are doing the things to "stay ahead" of them. Anybody notice how all of these smart shots and stuff are all of the sudden showing up in DJI's stuff? Just not long after the Solo was released? Where do you think they got that? It sure makes it a lot easier for them when you actually show them exactly how to do it lol. There is no secret sauce in open-source.

Now, the benefit of open source is you have hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands of people looking at, and improving, your code. They can make changes, bugfixes and additions and ask for the changes to be implemented back into the main codebase. This vastly improves the quality of code because you have way more eyes looking at it, and fixing things.

Open source is a 2 edged sword - if you are trying to make money.
 
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Here are a couple of rumors I have seen posted on a few sites:
From Amazon Customer reviews of Solo:
"Buyers beware - as of today a 3DR service rep said "We just got the notification from headquarters, that we are not longer going to provide support by phone" - the phone number says "we no longer take calls". It's probably death watch time for 3DR."

"Good Amazon Customer says:
Interestingly enough, 3DR did not have a booth or official presence at CES - the world's biggest consumer electronics trade show. Their CEO was there independently and gave some speeches saying that DJI was, by far, the best drone company. He basically admitted defeat - you have to listen for yourself! But, yes, he basically said that his company could not start to compete since he befriended a kid from Mexico instead of one from China (his partner is Mexican and was the original inventor who put together the beginnings of the company).
When the CEO waves the white flag - something is going on!"

It looks like the Phanboys are having a time on Amazon trashing 3DR......:confused:
 
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"Good Amazon Customer" is none other than pathological 3DR slanderer Craig Issod.

Looking down the list of reviews, one of a DJI Phantom states "I run a quadcopter site (and wrote a book) for beginners in the hobby. This is my first DJI product, purchased after owning mostly "toy grade" copter. I am impressed."

Craig runs droneflyers.com and has written a few lousy "books". "Good Amazon Customer"'s location is listed as New England, and Craig lives in MA.

How utterly pathetic that this guy is compelled to spend his time doing this.
 
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"Good Amazon Customer" is none other than pathological 3DR slanderer Craig Issod.

Looking down the list of reviews, one of a DJI Phantom states "I run a quadcopter site (and wrote a book) for beginners in the hobby. This is my first DJI product, purchased after owning mostly "toy grade" copter. I am impressed."

Craig runs droneflyers.com and has written a few lousy "books". "Good Amazon Customer"'s location is listed as New England, and Craig lives in MA.

How utterly pathetic that this guy is compelled to spend his time doing this.
Good to know. I think I knew a few just like him. They hang out at the DJI forum.
 
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"Good Amazon Customer says:
Interestingly enough, 3DR did not have a booth or official presence at CES - the world's biggest consumer electronics trade show. Their CEO was there independently and gave some speeches saying that DJI was, by far, the best drone company. He basically admitted defeat - you have to listen for yourself! But, yes, he basically said that his company could not start to compete since he befriended a kid from Mexico instead of one from China (his partner is Mexican and was the original inventor who put together the beginnings of the company).
When the CEO waves the white flag - something is going on!"

It looks like the Phanboys are having a time on Amazon trashing 3DR......:confused:
Seen the exact same quote and the guy who made it on RCG. Doesn't even own a Solo. Considers himself to be a journalist, yet will make a post like that.
 
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Just to put a face to the name, here is Mr. Issod.

51X0wwkbPvL._UX250_.jpg
 

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the people were one of the reasons I fled from DJI
I lurked all the forums for months before deciding on solo
the DJI forums reminded me of gamer forums mostly full of kids
 
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If this was a thread on a Phantom group, we'd all be flaming each other already! :p:D

It has transpired the guy Craig said was an engineering expert that had the Solo, not only had his view twisted and misrepresented, but hadn't even flown the Solo when he'd chatted to Craig, Craig posted the transcript and the guy had made observations on the Solo's behaviour inside whilst placed next to a speaker, even reporting he didn't have GPS inside his house!

It wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out that's not the basis for a multicopter review.
 
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What a joke.....................
Yes, Craig has since being saying you're a 3DR employee, but I don't give much credit to what Craig says. Either way I don't see how Craig can claim to review and have an opinion on gear he's never used.

I've no idea why he's bashing Solo and 3DR to this very day.

What a joke, if he put as much time as he does bashing 3DR into something useful.

Oh well, good to see he still as an ax to grind, by now it must be the size of a dental pick, but he has something to do beside yelling "get off my lawn"..............LOL
 
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Yes, Craig has since being saying you're a 3DR employee, but I don't give much credit to what Craig says. Either way I don't see how Craig can claim to review and have an opinion on gear he's never used.

I've no idea why he's bashing Solo and 3DR to this very day.
I think it can be attributed to what he smoked as a teen. Makes him very confused.. Anyway, here is a quote from him last summer describing his recreational smoking...

"Actually, truth be told...looking back...this theory was proven when, as teens, we purchased some "smoke" and later found out it was German Shepard Poop. That was a learning experience worthy of Cheech and Chong".
 
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