3D Robotics and OpenTX

openTx has introduced a range of new features, ideas and bling. It is fast becoming the firmware of choice for many users. openTx will run on ALL current hardware platforms, including the gruvin9x and sky9x boards. Work has already started to support the new FrSky X9D radio!
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deccles
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3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by deccles » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:12 pm

I have a 3D Robotics Iris+, which came with a FlySky Th9X transmitter. I've added a SmartieParts programmer so I can update firmware. However, I'm a bit confused as to what version of OpenTx firmware is actually on the transmitter. I've asked 3D Robotics for info, but they do not do a good job of giving technical details (their support is great if you have a broken part, but poor if you want to information on anything remotely technical).

According to 3DR, it's a "customized OpenTx" firmware, but they can't provide me a link to a repository, and they can't confirm what changes have been made to it (they told me some stuff that doesn't sound right to me). I would like to update to a newer version of OpenTx, but without knowing what mods they made I'm scared (maybe something important won't work without the changes, or worse I'll have a fly-away). I can save and reload the firmware with Companion9x, but I'm unable to modify anything in the gui and save the changes to the tx, it results in an invalid EEPROM and reformat on the transmitter (so I think whatever they did makes it not entirely compatible with Companion9x).

Does anyone have any info on what the heck 3DR put on this transmitter, preferably location of the source code? If not and 3DR is modifying the opensource OpenTx, shouldn't they provide source code? I'm pretty new to the RC world, so it's possible I'm just missing something, but this seems odd to me.

Thanks,
Dave

FYI, 3D Robotics response to my inqueries about firmware, and what is custom about the firmware (does anyone else think this couldn't be the right answer?):
Hi Dave,

We don't have that information [on what firmware it's using] we're truly sorry. The changes that were made were so that the sticks are in mode 2 and the controller knows it will operate a copter, not a plane. Also, the parameters are specified to handle a certain weight.


bertrand35
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:05 pm

3D Robotics took OpenTX, modified it, kept the name (which is forbidden by the GPL) and didn't provide the source code anywhere (again forbidden). No donation of course, even if they raised 40M$ in funding.
I was said it's not the first time 3DR steals ideas and code from open source projects. I should write to the FSF, but until now I had no time and energy to start fighting ...
Bertrand

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Kilrah
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by Kilrah » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:23 am

I feel like having some fun... Can you forward me his answer at kilrah[at]kilrah.dynalias.net ?

Does the radio splash screen and version screen actually mention the OpenTX name?

EDIT: From the setup document it looks like the FrSky version with no change apart from the splash screen, but no sure way to know. What does the version screen show?

deccles
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by deccles » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:06 am

Well I hope it's just that they set some settings and the splash, not that they have changed the source code without giving back to the community. The splash is a 3D Robotics logo. Version screen on the radio says "opentx-r, 2014-09-25, 11:22:28. EEPR: 213-2".

Does this help identify it?

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Kilrah
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by Kilrah » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:41 am

Looks like pre-2.0, and 213-2 means no FrSky and no GVARs. You could try companion9x 1.52 making sure the frsky option is ticked and the gvars one isn't in the firmware settings, and writes should normally succeed.

Pretty sure there's no other change. Do you know what RF module and receiver are used?


bertrand35
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:13 am

I was alerted by a french dealer some months ago, I saw the radio, I opened it and reviewed all menus to be sure it was OpenTX inside.
I will say that the telemetry code is changed, I didn't download the EEPROM to reverse the changes.
I don't know how many of those radios are sold, but they are completely out of GPL license

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:53 am

Thanks for the information.
It would seem a company that prides itself on open source would make an attempt to comply with the GPL.
It could cost them some sales.

maybe this link will be helpful
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:02 am

Maybe everyone should email them to provide some urgency to this issue on their end
Screenshot.png
best get with the gpl

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:42 pm

I got a response from support. These things take a little time to bubble up. I'm confident they will do the right thing regarding the GPL.

Their initial reply to my request for the source code.
sc_shot.png
reply from 3D robotics support
my reply
sc_shot_2.png
my reply - it takes time to do the right thing in a corporate environment.

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Screenshot_2015-04-28-13-47-40.png
latest reply. Still working on it

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Fri May 01, 2015 1:46 am

yet another update :-)
soon.png
Coming soon

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Tue May 05, 2015 8:21 pm

They have published the source code. I thanked them for their prompt reply to my request. I have not attempted to build this or generate a diff from a related pure opentx build.

https://github.com/orlando3d/OpenTX_3DR
published.png
they published the source code

bertrand35
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Tue May 05, 2015 8:55 pm

I want they change the name, as stated by the GPL. This is NOT OpenTX, sorry.

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Tue May 05, 2015 9:01 pm

I'm not familiar about that part of the gpl. can you show me where the gpl protects the name of your possibly trademarked name? I briefly looked here but I'm sure I missed it
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

thanks

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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Tue May 05, 2015 9:40 pm

GPLv2:
"If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original authors' reputations."
They reuse the name, they don't change the headers, the logo, etc.

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rperkins
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by rperkins » Wed May 06, 2015 12:25 am

Thanks.

I now see what you are speaking of now in the preamble of the V2 license, which is just before the terms and conditions of the actual license begin. You've pointed out an interesting distinction between v2 and v3 of the GPL. In v2, the preamble uses the words 'reflect on the original authors' reputations'. in V2, the preamble has been changed to state 'so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions'. I see that opentx main license is v2.

I didnt follow this piece of hardware before this. I wasnt aware that it had problems and/or had reflected on your reputation. I thought that the wider adoption of the firmware was a good thing. Too bad it doesnt appear to be working out that way.

Did notice an effort to distinguish this fork of opentx.
  • name of repository is OpenTX_3DR
  • The OP of this thread mentions a custom logo
  • The name of the binary that they graciously supplied is IRIS+_firmware_9X.hex
If you still believe they have not complied with the GPL you could always email support like I have done. They may be willing to do more. As I mentioned earlier, I have not even attempted to build their source code. There very well could be problems with the source as it is supplied. That is a common issue in situations like this. However, I am impressed by the speed in which they got something up for compliance. I realize how difficult it can be sometimes in a business environment to get all the necessary people to 'check off' before something like this can happen. They have given the impression that they desire to comply with the GPL, if in fact they have not already done so.

Bertrand,
This isnt working out how I imagined. I have no connection to 3DR or own any of the equipment. I was just trying to help. I was thinking when the source was provided that answers could be determined for the OP and others like him that wished to upgrade their firmware to the latest opentx and/or that there could be some benefits of this forked code that could be incorporated into opentx. I wasnt looking for a 'thank you' but I was hoping it would make someone happy. I'm sorry it isnt working out that way.

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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Wed May 06, 2015 4:59 am

They just did the same than HobbyKing to er9x and I could write something similar to this er9x notice:
IMPORTANT NOTICE - TURNIGY 9XR
Hobbyking/Turnigy ave just released a radio called 9XR which has a port for a programmer and an installed backlight. This is a very welcome addition since it makes programming the radio very easy for the novice. That being said, they have not given credit to the originators and contributors and they have not released the code as required by the GNU 2.0 software license.
So while we are very happy to see them make the 9XR radio we do want them to acknowledge the hard work and the effort made by all the contributors. Please let them know how you feel about this.
Also there is a Fork button on github. This is the best way to create a friendly fork: it help the users to know what are the differences with the original software and the parent project to incorporate those benefits.

PS: anyhow thanks for your help making things better, the fact they opened their code is already a good step.

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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by jhsa » Wed May 06, 2015 7:04 am

As far as I remember HK changed the code but the fw is still called er9x? I do apologise in case I'm wrong

João
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deccles
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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by deccles » Wed May 06, 2015 2:23 pm

Randy, thanks for following up and getting as far as you did with it. At least we have something from them. I'm a little disappointed in how 3DR delivered the code (as a dump of the latest codebase) rather than a develop friendly git branch as Bertrand pointed out.

I'm still on a quest to figure out what they did. It would be helpful to know at what point they branched and started their modifications, then I could do diffs (and possibly it could be tracked as a branch). Although I think at this point I'm abandoning what they delivered and upgrading to the most recent version of the firmware.

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Re: 3D Robotics and OpenTX

Post by bertrand35 » Wed May 06, 2015 6:27 pm

Here are the diffs:
https://github.com/opentx/opentx/commit ... e7126a5938
The logo seems also unchanged, am I wrong?


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