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Announcing... ParkeFlyer online store

#1
Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that we recently opened an online store called ParkeFlyer. We are a small company located in Austin, Texas, USA, focused on RC products that get you out of the garage and your plane in the air.

Our flagship product is the Flyer9x RC transmitter. We've taken the very popular Turnigy 9x, aka FS-TH9x, and performed extensive modifications to make it one of the best radios on the market... definitely the best in this price range. We start by bench testing all components to confirm quality. Next, we add a white LED backlight to the display, then upgrade the gimbal sticks, load er9x firmware with added ParkeFlyer example models, color code the switches (that are referenced in a new er9x manual), and include an all important neck strap. The Flyer9x is one fantastic 2.4GHz RC radio. We're working on instructional videos for the Flyer9x that will be beneficial to anyone flying with er9x. (If you have never heard of er9x, you are in for a treat. er9x is an open-source firmware written by RC pilots just like us, except they have mad programming skills. It's specific to the 9x transmitter and it transforms it into a fully featured radio that can meet or beat functionality of radios that cost $500+. Visit our site and visit 9xForums in addition to this forum to learn more about it.)

We also sell a great battery kit for the Flyer9x or any 9x radio on the market. We've bundled a 1800mAh LiFePO4 battery with a custom adapter cable to plug directly into the 9x, and a custom banana-plug style charging cable for use with common LiFe/LiPo battery chargers. You won't find a better or safer battery kit for your 9x, anywhere.

Come visit our site to learn more about these products and also our Flyer Gadgets kit... a true bargain on some must-have gadgets to have in your plane and at the field.

FliteTest has been a great resource for me since the beginning, and I aways feel like I can relate to their approach to the hobby. (And the videos are so damn entertaining and nice to look at!) I hope you will find ParkeFlyer's ethos to be very compatible with the FliteTest way.

Thanks, and I'll see you on the forums. Fly Now.


-Parke
 
#3
I hear you. I know it can be frustrating to wait for items to get off the backorder list. I've been waiting for a 600mw video transmitter for months! However, our inventory of 9x transmitters is a drop in the bucket to what HK goes through, and it was purchased a few months ago. If anything... we're adding back to the supply :).

We feel strongly about the value we add to these radios with the modifications and upgrades we perform, as well as the exceptional customer support we provide. If you, or anyone you know, already fly with an er9x upgraded 9x, I encourage you to download our manual. It's good now, and we will be continuing to improve it as well as release tutorial videos in the near future. Thanks for checking out our site.

-Parke
 

PaulT

New member
Mentor
#4
Seems like a fair deal.
By my calculation, bought separately (with separate shipping costs to Canada included),
you are charging about $102.00 more for the complete unit with the free shareware programming installed (shipping costs to Canada included)
I pay about $100.00 per hour just for my car mechanic to tell me "it's supposed to smoke like that"
Then again, there is always that satisfaction at the end of one's own conversion that your didn't see smoke on start up!
I also see where the last 60 units of smartiparts boards went to!!!!
I'm sure you'll sell lots.
Are you planning on selling units with the frsky telemetry in the future? This would actually end up being better than a DX6i system IMHO, than just being "as-good-as-for-the-same-price" as the Spektrum.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#6
Yeah, that'd be cool. Wish someone in Aus would do this. I'm not confident enough with my abilities to make the upgrade myself, so I just put up with the standard firmware...
 
#7
Seems like a fair deal... you are charging about $102.00 more for the complete unit...
Thanks for your support! I wish we were making $102 per radio! After customs taxes, wholesale prices that are sometimes higher than HK retail, high shipping costs, and other costs... our margins are much lower.


So do you have an "upgrade service" for those who have a 9X?
We don't currently offer this as a service, but send me a PM and I'll see if we can help you out.

-Parke
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#8
I wish you the best of luck with this venture, Parke. I fly soley on a Turnigy 9x and am a big fan. And, like both Tritium and Lobstermash, I'd love to upgrade but am nervous that I'd destroy it due to ineptitude! Its almost impossible to buy a replacement now. If you could offer the parts and support to walk me through the upgrades, I'd bite!

Then you may risk losing the marketability of your product by selling your secrets. But, it does seem that there are a great number of those upgrades freely available on the internet for those with the motivation to do it themselves.

Anyway, good luck! I think you have a very marketable product!
 
#9
Thanks everyone for your support. We've got big plans for ParkeFlyer, so hopefully this is just the beginning.

It's interesting that you guys are asking about upgrading existing 9x's, because just last week, we were talking about offering a complete kit so that customers could perform the modifications themselves. Again, with the goal of making it easy so that you don't spend all your time in the garage. (gotta save some time to actually fly!) We could pair this with some nice how-to videos/manuals and you'd be good to go. The original thought was that the kit would be bundled with the radio, but I don't see why we couldn't also sell it separate. Stay tuned... a couple hurdles need to be cleared, but if we do start offering kits, I'll announce it here.

As far as selling our secrets... no such problem exists. Everything we've learned about upgrading 9x radios, we've learned on forums and YouTube/Vimeo. Sure, we've perfected some techniques for our needs, but we're happy to help anyone who needs it.

In general, the value we add is in two parts, the first is offering a complete solution, allowing our customers to avoid scouring the internet and LHS's for the parts/knowledge needed. You see this in a basic form with our Flyer Gadgets, and completely with our offer of a turn-key 9x radio... everything you need from neck strap to rechargeable battery. If we offered a kit, it would be in the same vain... everything you need to turn your 9x into a Flyer9x. The second part is customer service. Ordering from the large online hobby shops can sometimes be frustrating because of poor customer service. We want to be the exact opposite. We want you to shop with us because of our customer service. And we want to help even those that aren't direct customers. The first example is the er9x/Flyer9x manual that we offer to everyone. Next will be er9x/Flyer9x how-to videos. er9x is open-source and we are not programmers, so we want to support the community in ways we can. Tutorials, manuals, and an easy way to acquire er9x are things we can do. Providing secondary products, like our 9x Battery solution, also indirectly benefits the community by making the 9x a more viable radio on the market.

Anyways... Sorry, you just had to endure a brain-dump on the ParkeFlyer brand. :) We really appreciate your interest. This brief thread has gotten me excited about offering a Flyer9x Kit. Keep the ideas and questions coming.

-Parke

I wish you the best of luck with this venture, Parke. I fly soley on a Turnigy 9x and am a big fan. And, like both Tritium and Lobstermash, I'd love to upgrade but am nervous that I'd destroy it due to ineptitude! Its almost impossible to buy a replacement now. If you could offer the parts and support to walk me through the upgrades, I'd bite!

Then you may risk losing the marketability of your product by selling your secrets. But, it does seem that there are a great number of those upgrades freely available on the internet for those with the motivation to do it themselves.

Anyway, good luck! I think you have a very marketable product!
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#10
Quote Originally Posted by Tritium View Post
So do you have an "upgrade service" for those who have a 9X?

We don't currently offer this as a service, but send me a PM and I'll see if we can help you out.

-Parke

A do it yourself upgrade kit sounds good. I already have done the backlight. Mainly interested in a re-flashing interface.

Thurmond
 
#11
A customer recently discovered a bug in our on-line store that was preventing someone from adding items to their cart under certain conditions. OUCH! Not a good situation, but the problem is fixed. If you have experienced this problem, please try the store again. Let me know if you run into any problems or have any questions.

http://ParkeFlyer.com

Thanks!
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#14
I would just like to say a few kind words about Parke here and brag a bit about what he is doing for me. I just sent my Turnigy 9X to him to be flashed with new software. He is kindly doing this for NO CHARGE :applause:. All I am out is shipping which is very reasonable since his location and mine are just a little over 300 miles apart. A FINE gesture :D from a great person. Many thanks to you Parke and wishes for your business to "Fly High". Customer service is #1.
I am purchasing one of his battery LiFe battery kits for it. I hate AA Alkaline that it required. The lifetime of an alkaline cell is just too short (and I hate putting them into the waste stream). I have a LiPo in my Futaba and re-chargeable transmitter batteries is the way to go.

Thurmond
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#15
Yeah, I only ever put one set of alkalines through my 9x. They lasted long enough for my order of a tx battery to arrive from the Aus Hobbyking warehouse (3 days). I've charged it up twice (2650mAh 3s 1C) over 9 months, and I fly quite a bit, including thermal and slope soaring...
 

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#16
Thanks for your support! I wish we were making $102 per radio! After customs taxes, wholesale prices that are sometimes higher than HK retail, high shipping costs, and other costs... our margins are much lower.
Why would one pay more for wholesale if the retail price is lower? I'm the owner of a computer shop and if my wholesale supplier is more expensive than newegg.com....guess where I'm buying that part.


By my calculation, bought separately (with separate shipping costs to Canada included),
you are charging about $102.00 more for the complete unit with the free shareware programming installed (shipping costs to Canada included)
I love this idea for upgraded 9x out of the box, it's like what we do when we build a custom computer for someone. The DIY crowd aren't our customers b/c they have the know how to source the parts and perform the install. We cater to customers who have the want but not the capabilities.
 

PaulT

New member
Mentor
#17
Upgraded out of the box is a great concept. Takes all the risk of turning your $150.00 investment into a brick.
I just completed the whole conversion and was more than a bit nervous.
It all turned out perfectly but for those that are either faint of heart or non risk takers then this product is the way to go. IMHO
Awesome to hear about your service too.
Either way, the new flashware is simply elegant. It also means I have 8 channels to play with.
Here comes pan and tilt on the FPV!!!
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#18
My Turnigy 9X is no more! But my Flyer9X partial conversion is on its way home with a LiFe battery and programming interface along with er9x firmware and with several pre-programmed models. I will report here when it arrives.

Thanks again Parke

Thurmond
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#19
I received my ER9x today. Man! What a difference. I think I am in love. Very easy to navigate menu's and everything very easy to understand. I haven't flown with it since it got here near dark but I can't wait. There are quite a few preprogrammed models profiles to choose from. I chose the 6 channel profile and it works great so far (on the ground at least) with my OpenAero Hawk Sky . I did not even have to bind to the receiver. It just worked which surprised me since I thought the re-flashing the radio would wipe out my receiver bindings. Anyway if you have a stock Turnigy I highly recommend new firmware. It makes a much higher end radio out of it.

Thurmond