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

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Old 07-16-2017, 08:35 PM
  #176
LukeZ
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Hobby King seems to have pulled the product, anyway the link returns a 404 error now.

User jhamm has discovered what appears to be some incorrect components placed on the board. It would be helpful if anyone else with a board can confirm whether they can get the functionality of the Aux Output, Light 1, Light 2, MG or Brake lights to work as expected. On jhamm's board the lights merely remain on all the time. Here is a thread further discussing the issue and whether your lights work or don't work it would still be helpful if you could post your results there.

It is only just now Monday morning in Hong Kong so they are still trying to define the issue on their end. They have however re-affirmed to me they will replace any customer's board found to be faulty.

I will post more when I know more.


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Old 07-16-2017, 08:39 PM
  #177
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Hmmm, I just ordered two boards last Friday...

Jerry
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:44 PM
  #178
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No good deed goes unpunished!

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Old 07-17-2017, 02:35 AM
  #179
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Sounds like HK made a component change to save money, not knowing the problems it would cause with the lights?
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:43 AM
  #180
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OK, this latest update is somewhat troublesome.........
And, it will definitely put a "KINK" in the project and its acceptance.....
Well.. Luke, please keep us informed and when the final correction is determined, an update here would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Springman
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:54 AM
  #181
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I have one on the way from last week ordered it Tuesday it should of already shipped Darn .
Jimmy
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:54 AM
  #182
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What we know so far:
  1. At least some but perhaps all boards manufactured by Hobby King were built with an incorrect component. Specifically MOSFETs Q1 - Q8 were replaced with non-functional versions. These control all the light outputs as well as the airsoft motor.
  2. User jhamm has confirmed that when these components are replaced with the correct MOSFETs, the board works as expected. Thank you jhamm for your help!
  3. Hobby King made several prototypes before production, two of which I tested personally: one in October 2016 and the second in January 2017. Both worked flawlessly. That is not to count the many boards I built myself, several of which have been sent to other users including Erik at Taigen, none of which have shown any hardware issues to date.
  4. In short, there is nothing wrong with the Open Panzer TCB design.
  5. I provided Hobby King a bill of materials identical to the one posted publicly on the Open Panzer website. The version I gave them also had an extra bit of information - which components they were free to substitute with equivalent parts in order to save money, and which component must not be substituted. MOSFETs Q1 - Q8 were on the do not substitute list.
  6. Nevertheless, for reasons unknown, Hobby King did substitute those parts, and the board is therefore lacking several functions.
  7. I specifically requested a board from the production line before they went on sale and was told repeatedly it was being sent, but to this day I have never received it and as of yesterday they admitted it still hadn't even been shipped.
  8. HobbyKing was notified of this issue last Saturday when jhamm notified me. Monday in HK has now come and gone and all they've managed to accomplish is pull the product listing and tell me they are looking into it and will let me know the results when they have completed their tests. I told them we already know the results, and what we need is a statement from HobbyKing indicating what they plan to do about it.
So that's where we're at. We know what happened, but not how or why. Maybe it was a cost-saving measure, although these MOSFETs cost roughly 10 cents a piece in the quantities they would have needed. No doubt there are substitutes that would have worked equally as well, so if they were going to deviate from the specification at least you'd think they'd choose a functional replacement. For that reason I wonder if maybe it was a simple mistake, maybe a tech loaded the wrong thing into the pick-and-place machine. Hopefully they will let us know. If they deliberately used a non-functional part then we can assume 100% of the boards are defective. If they just made an accident at one point in the production run, potentially some boards may have turned out ok. Without a clear answer from them I can only speculate at this point.

Obviously this is incredibly frustrating to those who ordered boards as well as everyone who has waited so long to see this project gain some legs. It is definitely a disappointment and a setback.

I will keep you updated as I get more information from Hobby King.


Luke

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Last edited by LukeZ; 07-17-2017 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:17 AM
  #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeZ View Post
What we know so far:
  1. At least some but perhaps all boards manufactured by Hobby King were built with an incorrect component. Specifically MOSFETs Q1 - Q8 were replaced with non-functional versions. These control all the light outputs as well as the airsoft motor.
  2. User jhamm has confirmed that when these components are replaced with the correct MOSFETs, the board works as expected. Thank you jhamm for your help!
  3. Hobby King made several prototypes before production, two of which I tested personally: one in October 2016 and the second in January 2017. Both worked flawlessly. That is not to count the many boards I built myself, several of which have been sent to other users including Erik at Taigen, none of which have shown any hardware issues to date.
  4. In short, there is nothing wrong with the Open Panzer TCB design.
  5. I provided Hobby King a bill of materials identical to the one posted publicly on the Open Panzer website. The version I gave them also had an extra bit of information - which components they were free to substitute with equivalent parts in order to save money, and which component must not be substituted. MOSFETs Q1 - Q8 were on the do not substitute list.
  6. Nevertheless, for reasons unknown, Hobby King did substitute those parts, and the board is therefore lacking several functions.
  7. I specifically requested a board from the production line before they went on sale and was told repeatedly it was being sent, but to this day I have never received it and as of yesterday they admitted it still hadn't even been shipped.
  8. HobbyKing was notified of this issue last Saturday when jhamm notified me. Monday in HK has now come and gone and all they've managed to accomplish is pull the product listing and tell me they are looking into it and will let me know the results when they have completed their tests. I told them we already know the results, and what we need is a statement from HobbyKing indicating what they plan to do about it.
So that's where we're at. We know what happened, but not how or why. Maybe it was a cost-saving measure, although these MOSFETs cost roughly 10 cents a piece in the quantities they would have needed. No doubt there are substitutes that would have worked equally as well, so if they were going to deviate from the specification at least you'd think they'd choose a functional replacement. For that reason I wonder if maybe it was a simple mistake, maybe a tech loaded the wrong thing into the pick-and-place machine. Hopefully they will let us know. If they deliberately used a non-functional part then we can assume 100% of the boards are defective. If they just made an accident at one point in the production run, potentially some boards may have turned out ok. Without a clear answer from them I can only speculate at this point.

Obviously this is incredibly frustrating to those who ordered boards as well as everyone who has waited so long to see this project gain some legs. It is definitely a disappointment and a setback.

I will keep you updated as I get more information from Hobby King.


Luke

.
Luke,

Thanks for the quick update!

I guess I have to wonder if I can fix/replace the needed components myself, or send it back. But, I think its a bit too early to make that decision as I really don't even have it - got a shipping notice just last Saturday - so, I guess mine is still in transit.

I think at this stage, it is best for us who have ordered and not received to just wait and see what you hear back from Hobby King, as they may decide a plan for us and trying to jump-the-gun may just make thing more difficult.

Best Wishes,

Springman
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:21 AM
  #184
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deleted wrong message

Last edited by bowlman; 07-17-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:09 AM
  #185
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I will be trying one out once they get everything straightened out. I'm not in any big hurry.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:19 PM
  #186
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I will wait for them to contact me they have my email address .
Jimmy
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:00 AM
  #187
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Hobby King has contacted me with an update:
  1. They confirm what jhamm originally discovered, the factory placed incorrect MOSFETs on all production boards. The reasons for this are as yet unknown.
  2. All customers who purchased a board can contact Hobby King customer service for a full refund. Here is a help page at Hobby King that seems to describe the process you need to take.
  3. Finally, Hobby King has directed their factory to manufacture a new set of boards with the correct components. No timeline was given for when these will be available.
My apologies again to those who have waited so many months for this product to become available, and to all the customers who made a purchase for the inconvenience they now face.


.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:34 PM
  #188
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Ok once mine gets here ill see how feasible it mite be to replace them on my own the eyes and fingers are not what they use to be for small objects of course can use one of them lighted mini magnify glasses to see with .
Jimmy
Like these .
https://www.amazon.com/LEMONBEST-Mag...gnifying+glass

Last edited by bowlman; 07-18-2017 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:57 AM
  #189
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Luke,

I have not received my TCB board, just a shipping notice.
I have not reviewed the HobbyKing page yet. But do you think It would be possible just to get a replacement? A refund is OK, but i had much rather just get on the list to just get a corrected replacement when available. And, i think others may as well. Do you think there will be such a plausible possibility for that with HobbyKing?

Springman
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:55 AM
  #190
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I received my 2 boards yesterday. Like all modern boards they sure are purrty.. shame they weren't built to spec.

Luke in your opinion is it worth it to try to replace the affected components? I don't want to bugger these but.....I just hate returning stuff.
I have a built in resistance to doing that. But I'll do it if the only real, practical option.

Jerry
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:05 AM
  #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springman65 View Post
I have not reviewed the HobbyKing page yet. But do you think It would be possible just to get a replacement? A refund is OK, but i had much rather just get on the list to just get a corrected replacement when available. And, i think others may as well. Do you think there will be such a plausible possibility for that with HobbyKing?
You would have to ask HobbyKing, but if it were me I'd request the refund. We have no idea when HobbyKing will have new boards manufactured and if the process is anything like we experienced this spring, it could take a long time. In the meantime you might as well have your money back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanque View Post
Luke in your opinion is it worth it to try to replace the affected components? I don't want to bugger these but.....I just hate returning stuff.
I have a built in resistance to doing that. But I'll do it if the only real, practical option.
Jerry, I don't think you will need to return the boards. I can't see why Hobby King would want to incur the cost of return shipping just so they can throw them away. You should be able to get a refund with no questions asked, and keep the defective boards.

If you are comfortable with a soldering iron and small components, it's definitely worth a shot. There is a discussion here of what to replace and where to buy the replacement MOSFETs. Sources have been listed for the US, UK, and Germany, but people should be able to get them anywhere. They will only cost you a few dollars.

I would be very interested to know how people fare with the refund process. Hobby King should not give you any problems, if they do please let me know.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:19 PM
  #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeZ View Post
You would have to ask HobbyKing, but if it were me I'd request the refund. We have no idea when HobbyKing will have new boards manufactured and if the process is anything like we experienced this spring, it could take a long time. In the meantime you might as well have your money back.


Jerry, I don't think you will need to return the boards. I can't see why Hobby King would want to incur the cost of return shipping just so they can throw them away. You should be able to get a refund with no questions asked, and keep the defective boards.

If you are comfortable with a soldering iron and small components, it's definitely worth a shot. There is a discussion here of what to replace and where to buy the replacement MOSFETs. Sources have been listed for the US, UK, and Germany, but people should be able to get them anywhere. They will only cost you a few dollars.

I would be very interested to know how people fare with the refund process. Hobby King should not give you any problems, if they do please let me know.
Well I submitted a claim request just after I posted my note to this thread earlier. Within an hour H-K accepted it and issued not a refund but a store credit. So I'm not sure how others would view this but it seems reasonable although this ties me to HK until revised boards become available. I did not see a request to return the defective boards.

Jerry
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:31 PM
  #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanque View Post
Well I submitted a claim request just after I posted my note to this thread earlier. Within an hour H-K accepted it and issued not a refund but a store credit. So I'm not sure how others would view this but it seems reasonable although this ties me to HK until revised boards become available. I did not see a request to return the defective boards.
Jerry I was told specifically by two different representatives at HK that any customer who purchased a board can received a refund. No one said anything to me about store credit.

If store credit is satisfactory to you then ok, but you are entitled to a full refund of your money and you should request that if you want.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:00 PM
  #194
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Well we'll see....
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:04 PM
  #195
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If they give you any hassle whatsoever let me know and I will raise another stink on top of the one I already raised.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:55 PM
  #196
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Quote:
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If they give you any hassle whatsoever let me know and I will raise another stink on top of the one I already raised.
Well did request a refund and not store credit by the only apparent methd available to me as a customer - left them a message via their web form.
No t a very satisfactory process to be honest; the procedure for requesting an actual refund isn't overly clear IMHO. So far no movement on the actual refund.

Jerry
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:34 PM
  #197
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I've messaged my contact at Hobby King once again, but I know from prior experience they don't respond over the weekend so I wouldn't expect to hear anything until next week. I know he has looked at this thread in the past and hopefully he is still following it.

In fact I've requested Hobby King initiate refunds to all customers without waiting for them to go through the RMA process. They already know every customer was sold a defective product and every one of them is getting a refund, so forcing everybody to go through a convoluted return process doesn't make a lot of sense when they could just resolve it quickly on their end.

On the other hand Hobby King is a large company and large companies mean large bureaucracies. So I don't know how enthused they will be at that suggestion.

I would appreciate any other reports of people who have completed the RMA process and whether it worked for you or not.

Rest assured I will keep on this until everybody has been satisfied.

.
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:49 PM
  #198
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Luke I appreciate the help, H-K does seem a little monolithic from the customer support perspective but I rather expect that( albeit frustrating a bit) so
thanks for your help. I'm waiting for the ESC boards when they arrive I'll order components and the mask. When I'm in the soldering mode I may as well give the TCBs a whirl
as well. I want to try one of these out in the 1/10 ZwergenTiger ( Pz Kw 2 variant); either that or a IBU3 or which I have a few left floating around.

Jerry
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:05 PM
  #199
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Hobby King reiterated to me again today that every customer will receive a refund. I don't know when they plan to do this miraculous deed instead of just repeating the same words, but please let us know if and when a refund comes through for you.

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Old 07-24-2017, 10:57 PM
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They responded to my last message. I'm hesitant to be too much of a pain as I don't want to discourage this foray into the uncharted waters of
this sort of open source project.... knowing a bit about frustration as I do I'm reluctant to release the ogre.

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