Is this forum dying?

I haven’t seen a new post in over a week, wow!! This place used to be really busy!!

If so, where are ppl going to?

Otherwise, why is this forum dwindling?

The iris Facebook group is pretty active with quick responses to questions.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

An “open” forum cant thrive in a police state.

It’s not really that policed, esp. if it stays on topic.

I don’t use FB but maybe I will now. :unamused:

I think it has more to do with this being an official support forum, there’s no room here for mod discussion and diy drones format is just horrible imo

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

This forum is much more tightly controlled than you would expect.
I know of several very active users here who have left the forum, sold or grounded their craft, because of this. I also no longer post here because of this. Go to the Facebook page instead.

One of them was Kangajump, who is a very fair, professionally mannered engineer and was very active and successful in helping to diagnose issues. As far as I know he discovered the GPS/Pixhawk vibration issues that lead to the patchkit being sent out, but originally 3DR told him that he was wrong and that it couldn’t happen.

Kanga caught a surprising amount of negativity and flack from 3DR for posting threads such as these; viewtopic.php?f=95&t=7626&hilit=kangajump

OK, Delete this! :slight_smile:

I tend to agree with you ! I first started to look here for answers but found very few. The way this forum is managed makes it difficult for new IRIS owners to adhere to : things like our posts being moved to another sub forum section because “it does not speak about the IRIS hardware”, and your question once moved doesn’t get any attention, is certainly a good example. Deleting posts, like the issue with the GPS position being deleted was not smart…

When 3DR launched the IRIS, they forgot they were targeting a new market segment. People tired of DJI or other such companies. People who may not be spending hours and days building their machine piece by piece but expecting something that flies “out of the box” and getting the service with it. Not to say this exists - DJI for instance is VERY poor at acknowledging HW or SW issues with their products.

I don’t want to bash the people administrating this forum. I think they continue to manage it the way they did before. As said, this is their main error, to my eyes.

Indeed the 3DR IRIS Owner group on Facebook is much more active. But this really can only be a temporary solution. Facebook is mostly unstructured information and topics. It’s very hard to make searches, topics are not sorted, etc. Also plenty of inexperienced people sometimes just daydreaming about cause of crashes etc. If I were 3DR, I would make myself MUCH MORE visible in that Facebook group (I only saw Vu Tran in it so far…), and slowly take people by the hand and drive them back to this forum. And maybe reconsider the way the IRIS subforum is organized.

It’s not about the look. Consider for instance : same kind of structure, look, forums and sub forums but oh men this site is so active !

As said in other posts several times, this is no “open forum”. It’s a dedicated technical support forum. There is a distinctive difference and to maintain usability, the forum is indeed strictly policed.

As for Kangajump, he did behave far from professionally and was asked several times politely to change his behavior and then warned officially. After the warning didn’t help, he was set to “moderated” status and hasn’t tried to post since.
Specifically, he was asked to refrain from general community-style discussion and from posting DIY-modifications in this forum because this is outside this forum’s scope, DIY-modifcations belong to DIY-Drones.

This will happen to you in pretty much every forum on the net - if you continuously post offtopic and ignore moderator communications, you get moderated or banned.

Again, is no general community forum, nor is it to replace the DIY-Drones forums as a whole. It is a dedicated technical support forum for 3DR products and the corresponding Open Source Software.

The most active place for discussing topics related to Iris is the group on DIYDrones

I really encourage all of you to share your discussion topics there.

I think it would be helpful for all of you to understand why we created this support forum for ardupilot in the first place.

We used to do all the user support on DIYDrones but if you have ever looked at the copter or plane release threads they are unwieldy. There are great for discussing ideas but no so good for providing user support.
Look at this … 1-released
It is difficult to track issues. The search function is poor. It is difficult to follow topics.

We (and that we is the developers of ardupilot) created this support forum to help our users and provide answers to specific questions and specific problems that users were having. There is too much traffic on DIYDrones for all of us to follow and too many support questions for us to deal with and still do development work.

We have the forum separated into software - Plane, Copter, Rover and the Ground Control Stations and then hardware - Autopilots, radios etc. You will find 3D Robotics have tech support people working the hardware sub forums and you will find the developers checking the software forums.

You guys need to help us out. The last thing in the world that the developers should be spending their time doing is asking for version numbers and log files. We have asked the moderators to act as screeners and make sure there is enough information so that the developers and the supports can spend their time answering the questions.

What is happening right now is that questions that do not have enough information are being ignored by the developers and when the moderators do their job and send a topic back for more information or make a post asking for more information users are complaining. This isn’t really working as well as it could for either users or supporters.

It is really simple: If you want to talk about something please use the discussion forums on DIYDrones. If you want answers to specific questions then please provide enough information to answer your questions and fire away here.

Thank you.

Craig and Stefan,
I do understand and appreciate what you are trying to do here, but I disagree with some of the ways in which it has evolved and which it has been applied.

Specifically, the cases like Kangajump’s where he was showing how to fix the problem with the stock IRIS GPS issues. I am quite convinced that this has caused many crashes due to a manufacturing or design error in the stock product. This was not a DIY MOD! It is a fix for an issue that 3DR had not yet addressed.

Obviously, it was relevant, because I now have a patch kit sitting on my desk which is obviously derived from Kanga’s post. Where in that post was Kanga being anything but professional and helpful from a support stand point? He even goes so far as to politely ask you to chime in!

@3DR: It would be great if you could chime in here and give some guidance on this topic. Am I moving down the right path with these workarounds?”


I’ve observed at least two or three of these situations and several others that were not as clean cut. Possibly the moderator who moved them didn’t understand the point of the post?

These were issues that 3DR were not addressing and the posters were trying to fill in the void.

Thank you for your time,

Points noted Steve. Ask me about control theory and electronics and how to make a vehicle autonomous and I will give you a plethora of answers. Ask me how to set up a support forum and I’ll shuffle my feet and tell you we are all still learning how to do that. Learning to fly involves making some mistakes. So does learning to set up a forum. It has to work for the users, the developers, and the supporters at 3DR. We’re getting there.

Thank you very much for the acknowledgement.
It’s a learning curve for all of us, as long as we get there and I believe that we are.

I think that many of us on both sides are involved in highly technical careers, I know that Kanga and I are, and we’re used to working the support side of the table during the day and we are just trying to help work through the IRIS issues in our spare time, like you.

I for one would like to see Kanga acknowledged for his contributions, especially to the patch kit.
I remember back in the beginning where you, Craig, were very happy to have Kanga’s help in working through users issues late one night and posted a thank you to him. If I find that post I’ll let you know.

It comes down to this, endusers believe in Ardupilot and the power of open source just like you or we would’t have invested in the IRIS in the first place, we’re all here to learn and help.

Although, it’s been frustrating at times, it’s been a great learning experience for all of us and learning is really the main point of the exercise in my mind.
Thank you,

Have you considered a bug tracker or a web base ticketing system, instead of a forum for enduser support?
Possibly one of the issues is with the flexibility and non-structure of this forum.

I’d be happy to help set one up if you want one.

We have issue trackers for the code at github and help@3DRobotics uses a ticketing system. Vu is looking into extending the ticketing system. We really need to get more people involved with supporting other users as the developers could spend all day in here providing support and never write another line of code again. For example <1% of log analysis really needs one of the devs to look at it.

Thanks Stefan and Craig. I did not realize there was a (new?) sub-forum for IRIS on the DIY Drones site. I’ll begin perusing that site in the future, thanks.

Regarding this site - I am VERY familiar with Kanga’s post and have ready every single comment he and others made around the topics. I know he got quite emotional and some of it was definitely expected, given what he went through, but I also did see 3DR continue to support him and encourage him to behave, and I thought all was well, but maybe he left anyways. In any event, I see a clear different in how many discussions there are here now versus a few weeks ago. Hopefully I can get my “fix” on the DIY site from here on out. Even though this is a “tech support” forum, it is INVALUABLE to read what others are going through and to see the conversations and troubleshooting steps folks take. I will try to keep visiting this forum, and hope others continue to post here semi-regularly.


We can take this off line if you like, I am happy to suggest some ideas for handling the support issues and/or volunteering time helping out. I’ve got 25 years in as a high end systems integrator and have dealt with a lot of support systems and issues.

Let me know if you are interested.


Vu is the new Director of support and he comes from the management level at IBM. As for ticket systems, the one on one support via email uses a ticket system but then other users can’t really contribute to and also not benefit from solutions.
The main problem IMHO are people which don’t respect the rules. The purpose of a support forum is to provide solutions - ideally, the person with a problem wouldn’t even need to ask but find the solution with the forum search. Prerequisite for this to be possible is that the forum is somewhat transparent, e.g. clear topic titles, only one issue per thread and also keep the posts to the necessary minimum.
This is why we e.g. don’t allow “community-style” discussions because within no time, the forum would be full of them and nobody would find the actual technical support threads any more.


Sent from my Ainol Novo 7 Fire using Tapatalk

Look, I know this is nothing to do with Iris, but I thought I would make a comment.

I have been participating in forums for a large part of my life and have been running an open source 3D Printing forum for over a year now.

If there is one thing I have learned it is this: The key to the health of the forum is a positive friendly attitude from anyone in authority.

That rule is seriously compounded when it is a support forum with customers who have paid hard earned money for the product in question. The old adage that “the customer is ALWAYS right” holds truer than ever.

Words like ‘thank you’, ‘please’, ‘I apologize’ (even if you are right) should be a regular feature of moderators posts, even if the writing is in green.

That is why you have PR specialists to portray a companies image, and I think this is difficult when the support needed is very technical as is the case here, but it is a social skill that can, and should, be developed.


You can see from this comment: viewtopic.php?f=80&t=7587
the “over policing.” It was assumed my issue was a software issue. 3dr took great care of me and replaced my IRIS (this was well before the relocation fix came out), but it was insisted I had a software issue. Perhaps if my post had been left where it belonged in the IRIS subforum, 3dr could have identified the problem even sooner. Oh well.