New openTX features

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tilmanb
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Re: New openTX features

Post by tilmanb » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:36 pm

I propose to add a issue to OpenTX or companion9x called
Secure financing of firmware builds and hosting for 2014
Let's see if we find sponsors. Which issue tracker should have that?

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jhsa
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Re: New openTX features

Post by jhsa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:08 pm

does that mean that if we would like a new feature, we would have to pay for it? I'm asking cos I don't really understand your post..

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tilmanb
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Re: New openTX features

Post by tilmanb » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:17 pm

No, you don't need to pay. But it certainly helps to motivate people to work on things if they get backed on it.
Ideally people would still work for free on what they like. And I dearly hope Bertrand will eventually again feel comfortable doing that again.

Also it levels the field between software from developers for developers and software from developers for users.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by Dam » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:52 pm

Paypal ready!

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Rob Thomson
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Re: New openTX features

Post by Rob Thomson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:01 pm

I think a bounty option is certainly a good idea!
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
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Re: New openTX features

Post by Dam » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:21 pm

If that means pay per view, I'm in!

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LTMNO
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Re: New openTX features

Post by LTMNO » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:30 pm

Just a thought, Amazon Cloud is very affordable and robust for any Enterprise,
What about KickStarter Campaign to Save OpenTx… You can raise a plethora of $$ to sustain the Development / Hardware / Resource Costs… You can time box the Campaign in which will provide the pressure needed for whomever and receive (donations/buy in) from true believers of the product your all generously providing.

Just Brainstorming here…
9x-m128 / TeZ / SP Rev 2.4 / Rotary Encoder / Haptic / MegaSound9x(Serial) / er9x
9x-m128 / Telemetry Mod / FrSky Lite Converter / MegaSound9x(Serial) / er9x
9x-m128 / 9XTreme / ersky9x(Mavlink)

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tilmanb
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Re: New openTX features

Post by tilmanb » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:51 pm

Kickstarter could work. But it's more for one-off campaigns.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by bertrand35 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:26 pm

Thanks all for the donations, kind messages, nice ideas, constructive proposals etc. for the next openTX funding model. We are really sensible to that!

Bertrand (on behalf of the openTX team)

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ShowMaster
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Re: New openTX features

Post by ShowMaster » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:19 pm

A subscription service with password isn't a bad idea.
Here's the dilemma,
Not everyone needs the latest FW update except for housekeeping ones.
Everyone pretty much needs the forum servers however if we want to keep current. Maybe a subscription for the topics dedicated to retail product FW support like the Taranis and HK radios. This because Frsky and HK should be but are very lax on their own free sites.
Their systems are shipped with a functioning stable version FW for the most part that will give the new owner the ability to fly a plane. This is what Spektrum, Futsba, Hitec, JR, supplies now.
If one wants to upgrade to newer features or non stock options it falls into the same category as a new computer or Ipad. If you want to add features or apps you buy them.
That would include er9x and openTX.
It's not a popular topic to those that want a free ride but I think if we depend on donations and contributions from the radio manufactures or users alone it'll fail, but wait, it is now!
I've read threats that people won't buy these radios if the forum had a fee attached. So be it, the radios as delivered for $200 or less out of the box will still out perform radios costing much more with less features. They'll still have the manufactures support such as it is, just not daily. For that one would "choose" to subscribe to a dedicated service.

So how about cutting to the chase forum, server, and FW authors and see if you can come up with a subscription fee that will support you?
We persons out of the designers loop need a simple way to make everyone happy.
That or individual fees.
1 everyone needs this forum and server.
Yes, other free forums are an option but if the FW writers and HW designers don't contribute there what good will come of it?
2 every Taranis owner will probably want current openTX updates? Will Frsky be doing that?
3 every 9x conversion will want er9x or openTX.
4 maybe starting with a certain FW # a subscription is required. That way new persons can still mod and upgrade to a certain FW free and enjoy those features and keep with the original open concept. Er9x and openTX have matured so much that most current FW versions offer so much as it is.
The server fee is another issue$

So assuming this is the way it's having to go, and the posts seem to indicate that, what fees would be fair and they need to be 6Mo or a year to be profitable.
Forget begging Frsky and HK for FW support and let them focus on building radios so we can buy them.
Maybe a Paypal icon that spreads out the subscription fees in a percentage defined by all those involved that require continued funding?
That way we don't have to decide who gets what $. On click, one price, on minute!
Done!
I'm ready.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by Rob Thomson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:25 pm

Just to clarify.

The forum, and the firmware.are very different cost centers - I won't be charging form forum use - ever :)

Any charging would have to be done via companion - assuming that's the route that the team choose.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by tilmanb » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:33 pm

ShowMaster wrote: Forget begging Frsky and HK for FW support and let them focus on building radios so we can buy them.
Totally agree. They owe us support and recognition. And it would suit them well to sponsor the project adequately.
But you can't depend on that and we can't demand it. In fact I would want more hardware vendors to go FrSky's way, even if they just supply cool hardware.
I recently came across a thread on another forum discussing how disappointed they where with the new Multiplex Profi firmware and that OpenTX is more like what they expected. There was actual talk about doing a port.
I don't think it's going to happen. But this is what I'm hopeful for.

Towards your main point.
If we charge for updates then some people would never update. Not so sure that is a good outcome.

I guess there could be some kind of 'premium subscription' for c9x. Perhaps with automatic downloads and email notifications and perhaps more.
And the cheapos have to do it the pedestrian way. Download the firmware manually and load it into c9x.
And as you said. Perhaps make dev builds or other bleeding edge stuff part of that subscription and not the regular releases.

Another not for free option could be some kind of cloud backup for c9x. Perhaps with a sharing community for model setups and templates.
Running cost for that would be cheap. But it still needs to be developed first.

I would hope it would work out in a way that does gives users the biggest freedom.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by jhsa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:03 pm

Don't charge for opentx.. charge for companion ;)
A very small subscription fee every year..
If you don't want it, you just program your models using the tx itself. You don't need companion for that..
The problem is, how do the people then update the radio and save eeproms?
Easy peasy.. those features are unlocked.. you can download the fw, flash the tx and eeprom (burn and save), but you can't change any settings (edit the models) unless the feature is unlocked.. just edit the models in the tx.. :)
I'm sure everybody will spend a couple of $$ a year to have a full working companion :)
This will assure that the devs continue to get some money and not only once.

Just my 2c

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Re: New openTX features

Post by rotozuk » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:05 pm

That is interesting idea. Charge for companion. It is an excellent tool, and when I show it to people, it is a huge selling point. I would not think you would have issues selling companion at all. People are used to buying software like this. Hmm, very interesting!

I like this concept a lot!

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jhsa
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Re: New openTX features

Post by jhsa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:12 pm

I request one year free subscription for the idea.. ;) Naaa, joking. :mrgreen:
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Re: New openTX features

Post by aadamson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:08 pm

Glad to see this taking some shape and headed in a direction.

I had a very good back and forth with Bertand in PM this morning... I totally get where he is coming from. I totally don't like the idea of holding a release hostage to a user community, just to try to put pressure on a corporate entity to provide funding.

As I told him.... He should get above all of this. Focus on the *customer* and make the guys wanting to provide the features *want* that because the software is so good.

I likewize agree that the sources should be free as they are today and are covered under the GPL. Make the *services* of a build server *and* companion a *paid for service*.

The simulator alone is worth it's weight in gold. You don't need to go get your TX and you don't need to have it charged... and you can test most everything without the vehicle being attached through the view of what things are happening when and how.

Let's face it, not everyone is going to be happy with the change, but NO WHERE did anyone say that Open Source is Free. And there is lots of room under the license to *fund* the effort.

To that end, I like both the subscription concept with C9X and I like the bounty program for features.... I do think you need to think through potential *free releases* for significant issue fixes.... Maybe the idea there is a simple command line updater. On my other stm projects, we have a usb bootloader that also uses the winusb library and it would be a trival task to create a simple zip file with script and dfu-util and some *default or production* release .bin/.hex file that could be uploaded. To get anything feature/function/advancement related requires a subscription to C9X.

Alan

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Re: New openTX features

Post by jhsa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:18 pm

I forgot to mention that on the lock version of c9x, the people could try the editor, play with it, but wouldn't be able to save it or burn it to the tx..
Like this it would be possible to show opentx capabilities to new people..

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Re: New openTX features

Post by ckleanth » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:52 pm

What about 9x and er9x and eepe ?
If it has wings it will fly...

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New openTX features

Post by ShowMaster » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:04 pm

ckleanth wrote:What about 9x and er9x and eepe ?
I agree. MikeB has been there for us. Will C9X be able to share the accumulated fees if this comes about or should Mike setup eepe and eepesky for future subscriptions?
Certainly the HK 9XR and sky owners should subscribe.
If one uses the donation link at the bottom of the eepe page does that donate to MikeB for all his er9x and sky9x work?

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Re: New openTX features

Post by Daedalus66 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:26 pm

I can envisage a system where you buy a Taranis, 9XR, 9XR Pro, etc. and it comes with full working firmware installed. The manufacturer would pay a fixed amount per transmitter and would provide maintenance updates on its website (no additional features). The cost would be passed on to the purchaser.

Users who wanted to keep up with the evolution of the firmware, would pay an OpenTX access fee. Likewise Companion would be a moderately priced app, available for various platforms.

I'd be happy to pay under some such system.

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Re: Sv: New openTX features

Post by dvogonen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:32 pm

jhsa wrote:I forgot to mention that on the lock version of c9x, the people could try the editor, play with it, but wouldn't be able to save it or burn it to the tx..
Like this it would be possible to show opentx capabilities to new people..

João
Blocking existing functionality in open source software and trying to charge for it usually ends very badly. Everyone is free to make a version without the block and distribute it for free. FrSky and HobbyKing might both be interested in doing exactly this. They would however have no interest in supporting any radios beside their own.

Charging for a service like access to the OpenTX build server is a much better idea.

Charging for new additions to the software is also a good idea. But in practice it is often problematic to charge end users for new versions of open source software. Someone else might build and distribute the same software for free (yet again FrSky and HobbyKing come to mind).

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Re: New openTX features

Post by mhotar » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:51 pm

What about to pay for eeprom converter plugin for companion. This way we can keep goods of companion for free and get some money from firmware upgrades.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:08 pm

At present, er9x/ersky9x/eepe/eepskye are all on googlecode and there are no costs invloved for the storage or downloading. The builds are also stored in the trunk, so googlecode's pending change to the download functionality shouldn't have any effect either.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by tilmanb » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 pm

I would not think too much about how you can take features away.
Rather than create exciting new ones with give incentives.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by aadamson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:27 pm

All you that think that a manufacture is going to raise their price to give developers a cut are smoking some really good stuff.... That price raise is going one place... straight to the bottom line... Don't fool yourself, it never happens that way!

Alan

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Re: New openTX features

Post by aadamson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:32 pm

If this works like other open source (paid for projects), the source will continue to be open and free for use, modification, etc. It will take a certain amount of knowledge/skill to build the code and use it and know how to flash it... but if you are inclined, you can do that.

If you want easy builds, with nice user interfaces and options up the wazzo.... you get to pay for that... it's called give the software away, and pay for the *services*.

It's a very universal model in the software industry especially where open source is utilized.

I suspect we all should get ready for just that.... it's a good way to help this project thrive.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by bobferguson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:40 pm

bobferguson wrote:I tried to download the different configuration for my 9xr m128 and got a can't check for updates and the download of the firmware failed. After donating $50 I am not a happy camper. I hope this a temp problem. I hope this is not a tactic to add pressure to Frsky who I do believe should donate something.
I just downloaded companion 1.50 fixed my problem thank you boys.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by Romolo » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:08 am

bobferguson wrote: I just downloaded companion 1.50 fixed my problem thank you boys.
We have only one word, and we keep it. ;) ;) ;)

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Re: New openTX features

Post by Kilrah » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:16 am

aadamson wrote:All you that think that a manufacture is going to raise their price to give developers a cut are smoking some really good stuff..
HK do it for the products they requested development for (KK2 board, Afro ESCs etc...)
The guys developed the hardware and did the port of their software to run on it. HK manufactures and sells, and pays back some amount to the devs.

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Re: New openTX features

Post by ckleanth » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:03 am

...
Last edited by ckleanth on Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
If it has wings it will fly...

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