Tag: Hobbyking

Turnigy 9XR now properly uses the source, Luke

Turnigy 9XR now properly uses the source, Luke

December 27, 2012 14:23 | By | Add a Comment

Developers of the er9x open source firmware were up in arms about the situation regarding the release of the Turnigy 9XR Transmitter, which shipped with their firmware but without following the terms and conditions of the GPL license, under which the firmware was released.

HK have responded and promised to post the sourcecode, and they linked to the creators of the firmware as well as fixed the manual to include the proper credits. While this should’ve been done on day one, it’s very positive that they stepped up and fixed the issue without any beating around the bush. In the end both sides will get what they want: The RC community gets a radio that is cheap, solid and gives them the freedom to choose their favorite RF system, while HobbyKing gets a community that is more than happy to contribute work and development effort to their product.

It’s quite likely that the whole aspect of GPL licensing was simply overlooked when the marketing campaign for the 9XR launched. Luckily the aims of the GPL match what HK is doing with the 9XR, so it makes perfect sense to leverage the power of the community for the common good AND profit.

With the er9x Firmware now coming pre-installed on a transmitter that even features a GPIO port for easy flashing of firmware updates, chances are that even more people will be interested in participating in the development of cool new features.

Turnigy 9XR’s software violating the GPL? (UPDATE: HK responds, fixes the issue!)

Turnigy 9XR’s software violating the GPL? (UPDATE: HK responds, fixes the issue!)

December 25, 2012 14:54 | By | 4 Comments

HobbyKing has just released a new transmitter, the Turnigy 9XR, with updated looks and some neat features like integrated LCD backlight.

IMG_1689_2

Price point is an unbeatable $49.99 for the transmitter sans module, and for $30 bucks more you can have a 9-channel DSMX transmitter. They even did the right thing and got rid of the protruding antenna, instead building it into the carry handle (a much better orientation in terms of RF effectiveness anyway!)

Overall this is the same 9X we know and love/hate, but with better firmware, a nicer design, and backlight preinstalled.  Could’ve been a lot better, but for the price it’s a good offer.

We’d be happy to end the news here, but there is a problem: The software feels eerily familiar. It is in fact the Open Source er9x Firmware. Using that firmware is of course not an issue, however a look over at HobbyKing.com or even the transmitter’s own site, www.turnigy9xr.com, neither acknowledges the authors of the firmware, nor do they offer a firmware sourcecode download. The site only vaguely mentions “the users” and “members of the RC community” and makes every impression that the major developer of this software was HobbyKing, and that they gratiously let other people upload their own firmware if desired – when in fact this firmware came from the RC community and HK is using it without conforming to the GPL or even simply acknowledging its source.

This  is confirmed by a look at the 9XR User Guide and comparing it to the official e9x community manual. It is obvious that the changes were only cosmetic, transmitter images were changed out and worst of all, the credits section by the original firmware authors was simply deleted.

For HK the next steps are clear: They are required to state the origin of their firmware, they are required to release the full sourcecode and all tools required to build it under the GPL v2.0 (It has to be GPL since the original code is already released under the GPL), and they need to step up and offer an apology. If they don’t, they will alienate a big part of the creative community that writes the software they use in their products, like the KK line of multicopter controllers.

 

UPDATE: HK have responded and promised to post the sourcecode, and they linked to the creators of the firmware as well as fixed the manual to include the proper credits. While this should’ve been done on day one, it’s very positive that they stepped up and fixed the issue without any beating around the bush. In the end both sides will get what they want: The RC community gets a radio that is cheap, solid and gives them the freedom to choose their favorite RF system, while HobbyKing gets a community that is more than happy to contribute work and development effort to their product.

Kudos to HobbyKing for doing the right thing.

 

KK 2.0 (KK2) Multicopter Controller Review

KK 2.0 (KK2) Multicopter Controller Review

July 4, 2012 11:17 | By | 35 Comments

LCD Screen! Accelerometers! It even glows in the dark! The new KK2 flight controller from Rolf Bakke sure has a lot going for it, but is it worth the noise that HK is making around this controller? Read on for an in-depth review!

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i86 Lite costs $1 less, removes features

i86 Lite costs $1 less, removes features

June 28, 2012 10:55 | By | Add a Comment

Hobbyking is now selling the i86 Lite – in essence a rebranded Eagle N6 V2. The improvements are a slightly lower price and the fact that the microcontroller is now getting its clock signal from a crystal oscillator, which provides for a more stable clock frequency.

And how does this improve the flight performance? Quite frankly, not at all. It’s a more clean design from an electronic engineering point of view, but out on the airfield it doesn’t matter. The regular i86 has more than adequate flight stability and whether the clock frequency is exact down to the second comma is irrelevant for that.

On the negative side, the i86 Lite loses support for fixed wing aircraft, so you cannot use it as a cheap and powerful 3-axis airplane gyro anymore.

Our verdict: Skip the i86 Lite, it’s not easier to use, doesn’t offer more stability, but actually has less functionality at the marginal benefit of a more stable CPU clock. Get the regular i86, it’s the simplest and cheapest way to get flying with a multirotor craft today. You set the DIP switches for your craft, dial the pots so it doesn’t wiggle, and you’re good to go. Check our i86 Flight Controller Review for all the details on this board.

Q450 Fiberglass/Nylon Quad Frame Review

Q450 Fiberglass/Nylon Quad Frame Review

June 10, 2012 14:54 | By | 1 Comment

The Q450 frame sold by HobbyKing is a sturdy, cheap frame with a simple construction that can take quite a beating. It’s being marketed as the RM450 V1 by RcTimer for a few bucks more, and both are completely identical. But how does it fare in the air? Find out whether saving money with this DJI-clone is worth it in our review

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Hobbyking i86 / Eagle N6 Multi-Rotor Control Board Review

Hobbyking i86 / Eagle N6 Multi-Rotor Control Board Review

June 7, 2012 22:34 | By | 10 Comments

At a mere $20, the Hobbyking i86 is a cheap clone of the Eagle N6 V1 board. Unlike KK, MultiWii and most other boards it does not require the user to flash a firmware in order to fly, instead the airframe type can be set via DIP switches. It’s simple, it’s cheap and it’s small, but is it worth saving money on the controller board?

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$19 Hobbyking i86 Multirotor Controller, an Eagle N6V1 clone?

$19 Hobbyking i86 Multirotor Controller, an Eagle N6V1 clone?

May 29, 2012 6:31 | By | Add a Comment

Hobbyking released the i86 multirotor controller yesterday, and their stock of over 100 pieces sold out in less than 12 hours. The i86 appears to be a clone of the Eagle N6 V1 controller, though with a price of $19.99 – For comparison, Goodluckbuy sells this for $49

UPDATE 2 JUNE 2012: The i86 is in stock at Hobbyking again!

This controller uses a 3-axix MEMS gyro, and is thus in the same league as the KK controller due to the lack of a separate high-resolution accelerometer. How does it compare to the KK controller, and especially the current-generation controller boards with accelerometers? Read the review here on FPVCentral to find out more!

 

The big benefit of this product, aside from the price, is simplicity. There is only three gain potentiometers and a dip switch to select your type of aircraft (airplane, 2/3/4/5/6-Rotors)

 

HobyKing 3S 4 Balance Charger Review

HobyKing 3S 4 Balance Charger Review

July 14, 2011 9:41 | By | Add a Comment

A balance charger strictly for 3S battery packs? What might sound like an insane design choice at first blush does make a lot of sense when you think about the fact that most FPV platforms run on 3 cells, it’s the most popular pack configuration and thus always the first to go out of stock at retailers. But is this charger a hidden gem or a battery killer?

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Smart 6 Balance Charger Review

Smart 6 Balance Charger Review

July 13, 2011 22:34 | By | Add a Comment

(Note: This review was written by me a couple months ago and was posted on HobbyKing.com and rcmodelreviews.com before)

The Smart6 charger is a 6-cell charger with up to 80W charging and 5W discharge rating, at a max of 7A for charging and 1.5A for discharging respectively. The biggest eyecatcher is of course the graphical display, showing the charge curve just like the much more expensive models by graupner, robbe or schulze. Is that charger a winner? Does chinese quality control get things right with this one? Will it blend?

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