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Intro to the Open Panzer Project - and a new Tank Control Board

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Intro to the Open Panzer Project - and a new Tank Control Board

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Old 01-28-2019, 02:31 PM
  #376  
LukeZ
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You will still need to replace your broken ESC, but yes, the TCB will certainly run your Snowcat no problem. It is very flexible, besides tanks and any other tracked vehicles it would be great for boats especially multi-engined ones, robotics, etc... Sounds, lights and all the rest are no problem either, you have many options for all of them. Browse through the Wiki to read more about the various capabilities.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:11 AM
  #377  
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Default Batte System HL/Tamiya & Audio card

So the Tamiya battle signal codes are available to download to male a OP Battle System card lire IBA ?
(std HL tanks can battle Vs Tamiya)

OP Audio card is same as Taigen pcb with same signal/command table and Panzer 4 Audio files set is also available for download and working on both cards as well?
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:47 AM
  #378  
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Hi Zimmerit, I can tell you have not read the Wiki. Please do so first and that will give you a better understanding of what this product is and how it works. You might also want to download the free software and play with it to see the various options.

Then come back and you will be better able to ask your questions.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:00 AM
  #379  
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The TCB has been out-of-stock at Hobby King now for several months. After emails too numerous to count, I finally reached a real human being yesterday who informed me that this is not a temporary state of affairs, but rather that Hobby King has decided to discontinue production due to insufficient sales.

In the roughly one year that the TCB was available HK sold approximately 500 units. That's not much by HK standards but for a one-man open source project, selling into one of the smallest market segments of the entire RC industry, it seems to me like a respectable success and really it's a lot farther than I thought this would make it in the beginning.

I am not certain where the project will go from here. The sound card development was finally brought to a mature stage late last year, but although it can operate as a standalone device with common RC equipment, I'm not sure it makes sense to pursue it further without the TCB to accompany it. Manufacturing has always been the weak point of this endeavor. It's unclear to me if that can be overcome again, but if something transpires I will certainly announce it here as well as in the Project Status thread over on the Open Panzer forums.

In the meantime I will of course continue to support those who already purchased TCBs, and as always all schematics, source files and firmware remain completely open source for what it's worth.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:06 AM
  #380  
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this is kind of sad news...

Shad
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:12 PM
  #381  
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I'm bummed to hear this Luke. I'm glad I purchased another OP board on black friday. Hopefully another vendor will pick up the production again. I know I've enjoyed working with the OP board, its done everything I've asked of it and then some.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:31 PM
  #382  
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In my opinion it should be an Audio card as cheap as Taigen but with option of different sound sets (not only panzer 4)
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:37 AM
  #383  
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Hi. Lukez

it is a sad news indeed.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:50 PM
  #384  
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I have received a reply from hobbyking too. I guess those who want it back for sale, do put the item on your wish list. We need to give them the signal.
I agree the sound card should be produced to compliment the TCB.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Although our stock is replenished daily we do not have an ETA for the item you specified.

I would recommend checking back in 2-4 weeks to see if it is back in stock.

You may put the item on your wish list and will be notified as soon as the item has arrived.

Thank you for choosing HobbyKing.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:16 PM
  #385  
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Originally Posted by LukeZ View Post
The TCB has been out-of-stock at Hobby King now for several months. After emails too numerous to count, I finally reached a real human being yesterday who informed me that this is not a temporary state of affairs, but rather that Hobby King has decided to discontinue production due to insufficient sales.

In the roughly one year that the TCB was available HK sold approximately 500 units. That's not much by HK standards but for a one-man open source project, selling into one of the smallest market segments of the entire RC industry, it seems to me like a respectable success and really it's a lot farther than I thought this would make it in the beginning.

I am not certain where the project will go from here. The sound card development was finally brought to a mature stage late last year, but although it can operate as a standalone device with common RC equipment, I'm not sure it makes sense to pursue it further without the TCB to accompany it. Manufacturing has always been the weak point of this endeavor. It's unclear to me if that can be overcome again, but if something transpires I will certainly announce it here as well as in the Project Status thread over on the Open Panzer forums.

In the meantime I will of course continue to support those who already purchased TCBs, and as always all schematics, source files and firmware remain completely open source for what it's worth.
Luke, have we tried crowdfunding? How about bundling the TCB + Sound card for a start? We need a team of volunteers to make it happen.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:03 PM
  #386  
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I'm curious Lukez. how did HK arrive at their price for the TCB? Do you or anyone know what their criteria would have been to consider
sales of it worth continuing? I asked about pricing cause I do recall at least one instance when they sold them at $35 per board and it
was difficult to imagine how they made a profit at that price.

Jerry
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:38 PM
  #387  
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Jerry, HK never told me anything, and probably only responded to about one in six emails I sent them over the years on even mundane topics. I must admit, I was very surprised when they first released it at a price somewhere around $50-$60 USD. I was just hoping and praying it would come in under $100, because it is not a cheap board to make. It cost me a lot more than $50 to make my prototypes, so I thought their full price was quite the bargain. Then they put it on sale multiple times for $40 or less, which was truly incredible. I don't mind admitting, I bought some of my own product at that point, it was too good a deal to pass up. There is no way they were making any money at the sale price, and probably they weren't making much at the full price either.

I don't know what criteria they used to set the price, or to gauge success, but they are a very big company and if I had to guess their strategy was to make money through add-on sales, which they certainly have the means to track. They charged $13 for the Tamiya adapter set which is just a couple wires that would cost pennies to assemble. Possibly they were hoping people would also buy a tank from them, but they have a very small selection and their tank prices are not competitive when you account for their shipping fees. No doubt I did help them sell some radios though, and XCar 45 ESCs, but maybe not enough to make it worthwhile to continue. The dissatisfaction and hassle the arose from their flawed production in the beginning also clearly hurt any profitability, as they spent money fixing bad boards and time dealing with customer complaints.

Even if they made nothing at all, they do routinely adopt open source projects like this in order to stay in the center of what is currently popular and to remain a player in whatever the hip new thing is. Similar open source projects to this one, but for the quad/drone community, have really taken off in recent years and created a legion of participants and enthusiasts (ie, customers), not to mention massive demand for associated bits and bobs. But nothing to do with tanks is probably ever going to be hip or popular, it is such a niche market. Of course I personally think tanks are a million times more interesting than quads, which I have flown, and which get old in about five minutes. But that's just me, and you know, it's 2019. I'm a dinosaur, as are most of the people on this forum.

Salmon, I have not tried crowdfunding but I did consider it in the early stages. There is plenty of discussion about the economics of this project and why it evolved in the manner that it did, in this thread and others. Anyway, I am definitely considering all options and will keep the community updated if anything transpires.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:04 PM
  #388  
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Luke this is the sad truth of RC armor. We see it as a fun, interesting, dynamic intersection of history, hardware and modeling enjoyment but most see tanks as toys, even among other
RC modeling groups. Even as relatively popular as RC armor appears to be today, despite the vocal proponents for the hobby it remains a backwater. It's reflected in Hollywood
at the 1:1 scale. How many aviation, boat and car themed movies have there been versus tank themed?

Where we see success others see so-so mediocre. When some complain the some tank offering is missing a rivet I rejoice that a maker saw fit to take a chance.

I've tried several times in the past to sell tanks or tank related items; even though my livelihood, food on the table wasn't dependent on the success of those efforts none of them
succeeded even when I sold items at or below cost. It is a rare, determined bird who sticks with it and I applaud them, heck I applaud you Luke..

Jerry
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:55 AM
  #389  
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Originally Posted by LukeZ View Post
Salmon, I have not tried crowdfunding but I did consider it in the early stages. There is plenty of discussion about the economics of this project and why it evolved in the manner that it did, in this thread and others. Anyway, I am definitely considering all options and will keep the community updated if anything transpires.
LukeZ,

Talking about drones. We have FPV as the next ticket. My club in Singapore has already taken RC tank battling to the FPV level.

I can envision this project can go further if TCB has the capability to work with MAVlink-OSD to provide ammunition numbers, shells fired, hit registered, damage status, knocked out and battery life information through the FPV setup. Coupled with 3 way video switcher board, we can have driver, gunner and commander video feed to the Eachine R051 OTG receiver that turns any smartphones or tablets into a fighting console with digital zoom capability.

That means to fight as a tankee, not a toy. This will be interesting to the RC Tank clubs globally.

Please run a quotation from www.allpcb.com for PCB fabrication with assembly into a finished product of both the TCB and the sound card. Let's estimate a production run of a modest 200 units. With that price, we will try to get as many club members to opt in. If we can get more orders, that will lower the total cost for every tank owners.

I can commit 20 units for my club RCABS.

Cheers,
Salmon
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:57 PM
  #390  
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Did some odd glitch just occur with this thread?? I just received 22 update notifications for a new reply to it but they were all the same and none
of them were actually here...
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:03 PM
  #391  
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Same thing happened here. Someone tried posting their personal email address and possibly the forum software blocked it, but I don't know why it had to do it 22 times in a row...
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:39 PM
  #392  
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Happened to me on two threads. This one and “Tamiya Traverse Helper”.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:24 AM
  #393  
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Open Panzer is my first tank board and just now I realised that it have great capability to change any controls assigment . With Elmod or Clark I have to remember strange left stick combination. Even if my radio have dozen od switches and knobs I can't change it. With OP it's very simple.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:39 PM
  #394  
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Thanks Michal, I'm not sure everyone recognized the versatility of the TCB when it was released, or what specialized purposes it would make possible. Your comment is very gratifying.
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