Not impressed with 3DR, fixed defective magnetometer myself

I recently purchased a brand new 3DR GPS and Compass. This module was delivered defective. I confirmed a healthy I2C bus on the pixhawk. It was definitely a defective magnetometer. I called 3DR two times and both times they said they would send me an email for an exchange after agreeing with me that the compass was bad. I never received the emails from 3DR even after commenting during the 2nd call that I never received my first email from the 1st call. They were apologetic and said they would send me a new email for a brand new unit (sounded like they didn’t even want the first one back although I can’t confirm that). The second email never arrived either even after vigorously confirming that my email was correctly spelt. We used the radio alphabet and believe me there was no doubt. There support is good in that they will answer and listen but follow up seems to be a huge issue.

I couldn’t wait any longer. I mean I just purchased all of this equipment to build my first multicopter and right from the starting gate I had a defective part. I was bummed. So I took matters into my own hand, downloaded the schematics and board layout. I confirmed it was a honeywell HMC5883L and ordered the part from digi-key. It cost $5. It arrived the next day.

This is an incredibly difficult part to solder as there are no real visible leads on the LCC package. But, rosin flux is your friend and I used copious amounts of it. Long story short … I installed the new magnetometer and I now have a perfectly working 3DR GPS and module which cost me $5 more and a couple of extra days worth of my time.

I wonder if 3DR’s email address looks like spam to your email server.


I’m using gmail as my server. I’ve checked junk mail and there are no 3DR messages there. I am receiving their newsletter in my regular mailbox.

I’ll try and call them again next week to at least tell them I’ve fixed it myself - perhaps send them the original magnetometer ic if they want to do any tests.

I like the company and their support of an open sourcecommunity; however, if they plan on being a major commercial UAV supplier then they should really do better to impress their customers. Two phone calls, with two requests for emails with too few successful responses is too aggravating and unacceptable.