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Problems Communicating with Witespy aka Paul Baxter aka RTF Quads

#1
Hey FT.

*I am reposting this thread to this section under recommendation under one of the moderators.*

I have a problem and I am hoping you can help me out. (I am not sure this is the right forum topic for this issue, but it is slightly related to customer support).

I have been in the hobby for a few months now. Back in late May, I had to replace my KK 2.1 board and decided to go with the Flip 1.5 board from RTF Quads under the recommendation of the Flite Test team and many others on the interwebs. I got the board in June and was really excited to install it on my Rotorbones tricopter. Everything worked except the tail servo.

After roaming the forums, I found that the general consensus was that not enough power was delivered to the servo from the FC. I tried to get in contact with Witespy and he eventually replied. After a few emails back and forth, he said that he would send me some schematics for the power distribution involving a UBEC. After a few months, I still not have received that schematic. I have sent him multiple emails and have not heard back from him.

I am very disappointed in the product so far. I have tried everything to get the tail servo working and tried connecting the UBEC in multiple ways, burning out several servos in the process. I had a friend come and look at it and he said that there might be something wrong with the code. I would not understand why that would be the case since I ordered mine flashed for a tricopter.

Since you, the FT team, are personal friends with Paul Baxter and are working with him on a few projects, I am hoping you can help me with a solution to this problem. I mainly bought the Flip 1.5 because of your suggestion. I do not want to fully discredit RTF Quads' products. I seem to be one of only a few people to have this problem. If you can help me get in contact with Paul or recommend another one of his products that will for sure work with my tricopter and is still under that $40 price range, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Mastrmindz

P.S. Your show is the BOMB! Love it!
 

cranialrectosis

Well-Known Member
Mentor
#2
You are not the only person to experience issues with RTFQ customer service.

The problems with RTFQ are well known and well documented here on FT in various threads and on RCGroups in several threads as well.

I have never ordered from RTFQ because of his customer service reputation. By all accounts, his products when they work are fantastic. By all accounts his service when his products don't work is deplorable.


If you want to power your servo directly from a lipo, I think you could simply add a 12V rail to your wiring harness, connect it to a 5V voltage regulator or ubec, connect that to the servo and party on. That way you would bypass the flip for power and again not have to wait on Paul.

If you want to just go with another board:
http://www.shop.multirotorminis.com/Acro-Naze32-Black-AAcroNaze32Black.htm

The Naze is a better board, the price is right, you won't wait a month for shipping and if the board doesn't work, email the owner and you will get a reply in short order.

The Naze has more options is better documented and better supported, IMO, here on this forum.
 

jamieFL

New member
#3
Or here:

http://www.dronematters.com/index.php/naze-32-mini-flight-controller-black.html

I can't say enough about these guys. I had a problem with my first board (I posted about it on these forums) and after a few email's, they agreed to replace it.

Also, I can't say anything about RTF Quad's post sale service, but have recently placed 2 orders which were shipped out next day. I think that the nature of his products is that they are easily damaged by inexperienced users, and sometimes even normal use that these sellers have to deal customers complaining about problems they or other components of their equipment may have caused...I'm in no way saying that is what you are doing.
 
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Tieman

Junior Member
#4
I agree with jamieFL. That stuff is so cheap that you can easyly buy a second one and test it. come one :)
I'v got 3 OSD boards from them and only one is working, and I'm not complaining :)
 

x0054

Senior Member
#5
Hi,

I personally do not have a RTF Flip. I would highly recommend AfroMini or Naze32 Acro for a tri. Both are around $20. My China made APM2.6 runs my tri pretty well as well. That said, I think there are 3 things you can look at:

1. Make sure you are indeed setup with a tri mixer, rather than a quad. It sounds simple, but you never know. I am assuming that Flip1.5 is just a MultiWii clone, so lookup how to do that for MultiWii. Don't have one, so do not know.

2. Make sure that you have the right refresh rate set in the firmware for your servo. For instance, if you have analog servos, but the firmware is setup for a digital servo, with 400Mhz refresh rates, you will burn out the analog servos. If possible, switch to a digital servo, and see if that helps. Digital servos are nicer any way, and price difference of $2-5 does not justify going with analog any more.

3. Power the servo directly from the ESC. Since you have a Tri, you should have 3 ESCs, and those probably have BECs built in, unless you are running KISS or something like that. If your ESC has a standard 3 plug servo connector, you should have a black, red, and white wires (or brown, red, and yellow). The white or yellow wire is signal, and that goes to the Flip. The black or brown wire is ground, and the red wire is 5V power. You only need one set of Red and brown wires, from only one of your ESCs going to the Flip. So, connect one ESC directly to the Flip with all 3 wires. Connect the second ESC with just the signal wire. Finally, connect the signal wire of the Tail ESC to the Flip and the power and ground wires of the ESC to the Servo (hint: you don't have to cut the wires if you don't want to, they can just slide out from the connecter if you pull up a little tab). Connect only the signal wire from the servo to the Flip. This will isolate the Flip power from Servo power. You should not have to do this, but it's worth a try if suggestions 1 and 2 above fail.

Finally, what do you expect from a company that advertises on it's header that their products take 1-2 weeks to ship.... I never ordered from them specifically for that reason. I run a small side business, and know other people who do. For a small business shipping times of 1-3 days for in stock products is good, 5 days is acceptable (if it's a one man op). 1-2 weeks, or more like 1-5 weeks based on other people's reviews, is just very shady. My guess, RTF does not want to stock their products and cary inventory. So they order out from China, and ship to you as soon as they get it in from their supplier. If their shipment gets held up in customs, so does yours.
 

Balu

Moderator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#6
Finally, what do you expect from a company that advertises on it's header that their products take 1-2 weeks to ship.... I never ordered from them specifically for that reason. I run a small side business, and know other people who do. For a small business shipping times of 1-3 days for in stock products is good, 5 days is acceptable (if it's a one man op). 1-2 weeks, or more like 1-5 weeks based on other people's reviews, is just very shady. My guess, RTF does not want to stock their products and cary inventory. So they order out from China, and ship to you as soon as they get it in from their supplier. If their shipment gets held up in customs, so does yours.
I don't think that's the problem with RTF. What I've heard so far is that Paul is a one-man-show. He manually checks and flashes every controller he sells with the correct and up-to-date firmware for example. Not sure if he visits events regularly too, but that might result in him not being in the shop for a few days.

Also he get's swamped with orders every time he is mentioned on FT. He might not have the ressources to buy big stocks before and store them locally.

At least he is honestly saying it might take a few days, sometimes he seems to send stuff a lot faster.
 
#7
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll have to check out those naze fc's jamieFl. My main concern is with FT for backing his product. I am a huge fan of the show and I only got the Flip because they and several others recommended it. My experience with the product and service, however, has been a little disappointing and it is harder being disappointed by FT than Witespy. Still love the show though.