But I do have to wonder if something like this is too late, especially with its expected higher cost.
I don't think so, when you see what brand name R/C manufacturers come up with...
Graupner for example have their MC32 that only just hits the shelves now at 1500€ for the TX only, has a B/W LCD out of the 90s with those awful touch-sensitive foils for programming (used them on other models, they're a huge pain to use), accepts only their own modules (well you could hack anything on the PPM out, but then you have to attach the module in a dirty way),...
Futaba also just came out with the T18MZ that has a nice color touchscreen, but again no module support, and for 2500€. Oh and the former T14MZ with the same large color touchscreen and a module slot (however proprietary) won't see a telemetry upgrade, so if you want telemetry, while you have a nice 640x240 color screen at hand you'll have to clip a small B/W display somewhere instead - while it would have just been a new RF module and firmware update away to have it on the main screen.
Futaba have done firmware updates on the T14MZ, but at the rate of about one per year. They have added a couple of features I hoped they would (reordering of trainer input channels for example), but did so 3 years after I bought my TX. So as usual with every closed device you're at the mercy of the manufacturer.
So having a high end open source TX that sells for 1500€ with all options and one of each RX type and sensor, and is capable of much more thanks to the ton of hardware supported possibilities (video, powerful computing, GSM...) would be a blessing IMO.
It may be a challenge to sell it when we can just take something like the $60 Turnigy 9X system and supercharge it with open source software.
It would be a cleaner and more complete solution. For good results the 9x needs to be flashed ($45 Smartiepants board for the non-hackers), needs its RF part replaced by something like FrSky that offers nice telemetry but not a flexible full duplex communication either ($50 and hacking), MCU flash space is tight so there are already more powerful replacement boards being sold (gruvin 4.1) or designed (ERSKY9X), again ~$100, better replacement LCDs... In the end with the ton of mods all you have left from the original 9X is the case and gimbals that are... those of a $60 TX you've upgraded with 2-3 times its original cost in mods... so a ready-to-use, quality device would certainly have some appeal.
Some time ago I wrote a reply in a topic about the 9X firmwares actually outgrowing the hardware - it's kind of the case, so now we get to the better part
While the 9X pretty much does all I need, OSRC would do all I want
Some answers to a couple of questions I asked:
We are working on the documentation of the system and as soon as it is finished it will be published in the Wiki.
The Video on both, FPVC Basic and Advanced is outputted through a 3.5mm Jack for external devices such as Goggles or other devices with Video IN.
The FPVC Advanced also converts the Video signal to a digital one and processes it to Linux for recording, display preview and other functions.
Both FPVC Advanced and Basic come with an MCX connector base for an external antenna when removed.
We are working on an introduction video which should be available shortly (within a week or so)
We just released the unit and all this time have been concentrating on actually finishing the software and debug the system. We are working as hard as we can to post everything online in due time.
The open Source part is quite large as there are Gigabytes of data which needs to be organized in order to be presented to the public so when we post it, everyone will know about it.
Edited by Kilrah, 25 March 2012 - 09:23 AM.