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Dealer / Distributor / Mfg Support and Responsibility

Old 07-13-2015, 11:54 PM
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wbpo5l
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Default Dealer / Distributor / Mfg Support and Responsibility

First a little background...

I've been in the hobby (planes mostly) for over 20 years. I consider myself fairly experienced in RC and the gear used. I have owned many different radios through the years from Futaba to JR, mostly higher end models. I spend thousands of dollars a year on the hobby, mostly from local shops as I want to support them and I prefer to buy product I can see and touch and get local support on.

My current radio was a pretty new Spektrum DX9, which I ran on a lipo battery since I typically fly all day and the stock Spektrum battery didn't hold up. To run a DX9 on a lipo you simply go in and change a setting in the radio and your good to go, it charges and automatically shuts off when charged.

2 weeks ago, I purchased a new FrSky Taranis Plus radio ($260 plus tax) from my local dealer that I buy from all the time. From my Spektrum DX9 experience, I inquired if there was a battery upgrade (lipo). The dealer said yes and that they would get me a lipo for the radio.

A few days later and the lipo battery came in. Both the radio and the battery are supplied by the dealers distributor, 2DogRC, a local Carolinas RC distributor. I inquired if the new Taranis Plus required any setting changes to support the lipo battery. The dealer owner said "he was not aware of any changes".

Not wanting to rely on the this I went to the FrSky website and downloaded the manual. There was NO mention of not being able to charge a lipo battery in the radio or what setting would be required to use a lipo. Only this I copied and pasted here directly from the manual...

Specifications
Model Name: Taranis X9D Plus
Number of Channels: Up to 16 channels
Operating Voltage Range:6~15V (2S, 3S Lipos are acceptable)
Operating Current: 260mA maximum (both RF module and backlit are on)
Operating Temperature: -10~60℃
Backlight LCD Screen: 212*64, 2 color combinations for select
Model Memories: 60 (extendable by SD card)
Compatibility: FrSky X series, D series and V8-II series receivers (plus other receivers if an external module is used)
Taranis X9D Plus-EU version is only compatible with X series receiver EU version.

So I charged the battery with my Hitec X1 multicharger the first time just to be safe and then put the battery in the radio and went to fly. Upon returning, I did what I habitually always did with my Spektrum plugged the Taranis Plus into the wall charger the Taranis came with to top off the battery. There was NO mention in the manual of NOT charging the lipos they supported with the charger and the dealer acted like I just put the lipo in and go.

A few minutes later and my smoke alarm went off. My new Taranis Plus had caught on fire and was totally destroyed, almost causing a house fire. I returned the radio to the dealer and purchased another Taranis Plus and asked them to speak with the distributor and between them figure out what we would do.

The dealer had the owner of 2DogRC call me. They proceeded to tell me they would do nothing, not even cover half the cost as I too admit I was somewhat at fault for not finding out absolutely for sure if this was safe. But no, 2DogRC would do nothing.

I have made the decision to no longer purchase any products distributed by 2DogRC from my local dealers. I'm contemplating not doing business with my dealer either and simply start buying online.

Should I expect the dealer and 2DogRC to support the product and be responsible in this situation or am I wrong? I get I'm responsible as well. But I feel they should have at least met me half way.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:00 AM
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birdDog
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Was it a Taranis branded LiPo?

Sorry for your close call. LiPo charging is serious business.

I'm can't quite grasp "The dealer acted like you just put it in and go". Did the dealer state it was safe to charge with the wall charger?
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by birdDog View Post
Was it a Taranis branded LiPo?

Sorry for your close call. LiPo charging is serious business.

I'm can't quite grasp "The dealer acted like you just put it in and go". Did the dealer state it was safe to charge with the wall charger?
When the dealer handed me the battery he said his distributor got them just for the radio. They were DualSky and when I saw the brand the lettering was small and I thought it said FrySky so I assumed they were from the same company.

Yes, I got from the dealer it was safe to use the charger but he was not sure if there was a setting like in the Spektrum radios you had to set. That is why I downloaded the manual from the FrSky website. Again, NO mention of NOT charging in the radio. Just that the radio worked with 2S and 3S lipos...very misleading in my opinion.

Coupled with the dealer/distributors reaction to using a lipo and the manual's lack of any statement it could lead one to believe you can charge it.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:29 AM
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I respectfully disagree. Operating voltage (the highlighted text above) is exactly that, for the radio. If that thing charged LiPoly they would have used that as a marketing angle. The liability of installing aftermarket components rests on the consumer. Using and charging are two very different subjects when referring to Lithium batteries.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:40 AM
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Only two uses of "lipo" in the manual. The one you highlighted above referring to operating voltage and this...

IMPORTANT! The Nickel-metal Hydride battery (NiMH) batteries included in the TARANIS X9D Plus transmitter are
not to be confused with Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) batteries, or any other type of rechargeable battery (including NiCd
and LiFe). NiMH batteries require special charging criteria different than other rechargeable batteries.

Again, sorry for the close call.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:21 AM
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wbpo5l
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Yep, saw that too. But no where does it say do not charge lipos.

My point is to hopefully get the word out so maybe they will make the wording a little clearer. I could have easily burned my house down.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:24 AM
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Yep.. always charge a LiPo with a charger that says its for LiPo.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:30 AM
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wbpo5l
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Unless its a radio like a Spektrum DX9 that supports lipos, which Taranis is not.

I know now so I'm passing the word.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wbpo5l View Post
Unless its a radio like a Spektrum DX9 that supports lipos, which Taranis is not.

I know now so I'm passing the word.
Based on the information provided by the OP, it seems there will be no convincing him that the distributor (2dogRC) owes him nothing and wisely refused to share in the negligence exhibited by the buyer (wbpo5l).....

Noticed this was the OP's first post here and it seems more apparent that this is a "witch hunt" seeking redemption rather than "My point is to hopefully get the word out so maybe they will make the wording a little clearer." issue...........The OP appears to have spread the word other places, seeking positive reinforcement.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2458293

The OP also eludes to being experienced and the "I spend thousands of dollars a year on the hobby" comment would lend one to believe he also reads TX, charger and battery safety/operating manuals.......apparently not..!

Quite frankly, this type of "finger pointing" and looking for a "scapegoat" after committing a very critical and dangerous mistake....pisses me off to no end.

wbpo5l you screwed up and are very lucky your house is still standing......like the responses at RCG alluded to, there are hundreds of related support forums and threads related to the FrSky Taranis Plus TX..... and the distributor advised you to download the operating manual from the official web-site.........to even consider, expect or assume the distributor should have "met you half-way" in your loss is not only BS but unethical as well........!

Then try to give the distributor a bad name and make a statement like this:

"I have made the decision to no longer purchase any products distributed by 2DogRC from my local dealers. I'm contemplating not doing business with my dealer either and simply start buying online".................

speaks volumes to the true lack of commitment and concern you have for safety and or wording a particular instruction manual provides..........your true intentions have been exposed........good luck buying on line, where the vast majority of sales are never supported by "user error".........
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
Based on the information provided by the OP, it seems there will be no convincing him that the distributor (2dogRC) owes him nothing and wisely refused to share in the negligence exhibited by the buyer (wbpo5l).....

Noticed this was the OP's first post here and it seems more apparent that this is a "witch hunt" seeking redemption rather than "My point is to hopefully get the word out so maybe they will make the wording a little clearer." issue...........The OP appears to have spread the word other places, seeking positive reinforcement.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2458293

The OP also eludes to being experienced and the "I spend thousands of dollars a year on the hobby" comment would lend one to believe he also reads TX, charger and battery safety/operating manuals.......apparently not..!

Quite frankly, this type of "finger pointing" and looking for a "scapegoat" after committing a very critical and dangerous mistake....pisses me off to no end.

wbpo5l you screwed up and are very lucky your house is still standing......like the responses at RCG alluded to, there are hundreds of related support forums and threads related to the FrSky Taranis Plus TX..... and the distributor advised you to download the operating manual from the official web-site.........to even consider, expect or assume the distributor should have "met you half-way" in your loss is not only BS but unethical as well........!

Then try to give the distributor a bad name and make a statement like this:

"I have made the decision to no longer purchase any products distributed by 2DogRC from my local dealers. I'm contemplating not doing business with my dealer either and simply start buying online".................

speaks volumes to the true lack of commitment and concern you have for safety and or wording a particular instruction manual provides..........your true intentions have been exposed........good luck buying on line, where the vast majority of sales are never supported by "user error".........
Thanks for you opinion. This was not my first post. I changed email addresses a couple of years ago and could not remember my password. So I setup a new account.

I say I take responsibility. But you seem to want to give the dealer and distributor a free pass. Why wouldn't I expect the Taranis to support charging of a lipo? My Spektrum did and the T-Plus was a newer radio. The manual and dealer and distributor should have said "hey it's not in the manual but you can't charge the lipo" instead of the dealer who sells these to say "it should".

My opinion is you should buy a product like this from someone like A-Lot Hobbies that actually knows the product and not from someone that just sells it. Luckily the internet let's people like me who feel screwed to voice our opinions.

Too bad that pisses you off.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:37 AM
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I got your PM message.

Thought others should see it.....:

"Hey man,

I get it...some asshole is complaining cause he fried his new radio and wants to blame someone else. That wold piss me off to.

I read the manual. Go download it at FrSky and show me where it ways it doesn't charge lipos. Instead the only comment in the manual is it supports "2S and 3S Lipos".

Coming from a Spektrum DX9 that did fully support lipos combined with the manual and dealer's comment it was entirely reasonable to assume the radio charged lipos.

I have received 10 PMs from other users saying they assumed it did also and had planned to switch to a lipo until seeing my post.

Have a great day."


Ya, I get it too.........denial ..........hope all your dreams come true and you live happy ever after.........
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I got your PM message.

Thought others should see it.....:

"Hey man,

I get it...some asshole is complaining cause he fried his new radio and wants to blame someone else. That wold piss me off to.

I read the manual. Go download it at FrSky and show me where it ways it doesn't charge lipos. Instead the only comment in the manual is it supports "2S and 3S Lipos".

Coming from a Spektrum DX9 that did fully support lipos combined with the manual and dealer's comment it was entirely reasonable to assume the radio charged lipos.

I have received 10 PMs from other users saying they assumed it did also and had planned to switch to a lipo until seeing my post.

Have a great day."


Ya, I get it too.........denial ..........hope all your dreams come true and you live happy ever after.........
Obviously your boss rode you all day and you decided to take out your frustrations from behind a keyboard.

Thanks for your contribution to the thread. Oh, just so you know...I looked at your other threads...you really don't like people do you...You've been "ignored" so I won't see you following post.

Now YOU have a great day FW.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:59 AM
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I can understand your frustration. One of the things you have to accept when buying 'less mainstream' products like the Taranis is that they are not necessarily quite as 'foolproof' (please don't take that the wrong way) as the likes of Spektrum.

The Spektrum LiPo is 'intelligent' which makes it pretty much foolproof. It has a built in voltage control circuit that prevents it being overcharged, so the LiPo itself (not the radio or the charger adapter) protects from overcharging. So it's the battery that's the difference. If you put a normal LiPo in the DX9 then it too would overcharge. If you put an 'intelligent' LiPo in the Taranis then it would be 'safe' (if you can even get an intelligent LiPo to fit the Taranis?).

If you are buying a LiPo then it's up to the end user to know what type it is and charge it correctly with a suitable charger (paperwork that came with the battery probably had warnings to that effect if you read them). But on the other hand I feel your pain that it's a very easy mistake to make, and when using a good knowledgeable dealer you might have expected a warning.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wbpo5l View Post
Thanks for you opinion. This was not my first post. I changed email addresses a couple of years ago and could not remember my password. So I setup a new account.

I say I take responsibility. But you seem to want to give the dealer and distributor a free pass. Why wouldn't I expect the Taranis to support charging of a lipo? My Spektrum did and the T-Plus was a newer radio. The manual and dealer and distributor should have said "hey it's not in the manual but you can't charge the lipo" instead of the dealer who sells these to say "it should".

My opinion is you should buy a product like this from someone like A-Lot Hobbies that actually knows the product and not from someone that just sells it. Luckily the internet let's people like me who feel screwed to voice our opinions.

Too bad that pisses you off.
First off, your OP opening sentence reeks of "Do you know who I am?".
My Prius runs off electricity, why should I assume I have to put gasoline in my Hummer? My Hummer manual does not say it does not run on electricity.
The dealer should not and does not assume any responsibility, you should. The manual never stated it could charge a lipo. The manual does not warn you against storing dairy products inside it either. This does not mean it will keep your milk fresh. Man up and take your responsibility and stop your smear campaign against on of the few remaining brick and mortar hobby shops. All the info was at your disposal, YOU did not preform your due diligence. The manual DOES say TARANIS X9D Plus transmitter are not to be confused with Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) batteries

And now you can see why plastic bags have to have "do not eat" printed on them.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:12 PM
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Its very simple ............

LiPo's should not be charged with a Wall Adaptor designed for other chemistrys.

The fire resulted from a Wall Adaptor not knowing it was pushing a LiPo to limits.

As to whether a manual should say this or that ...

I would suggest that Spektrum being designed as a radio for the masses and Taranis a more specialised radio - the manuals are written for two different species of modeller.

Anothers comment about the Spektrum LiPo being set-up with protective circuitry ... makes a world of difference.

I have a 9xr pack in one of my 9xr's ... and a standard 3S in another ... even though the specialist pack is supposed to be suitable for charging in situ - I do not. I charge same as any other LiPo and that way I can be reasonably sure of being safe.

If I was Dealer ... I would likely refuse claim also based on User Error.

Sorry ...

Nigel
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by birdDog View Post
First off, your OP opening sentence reeks of "Do you know who I am?".
My Prius runs off electricity, why should I assume I have to put gasoline in my Hummer? My Hummer manual does not say it does not run on electricity.
The dealer should not and does not assume any responsibility, you should. The manual never stated it could charge a lipo. The manual does not warn you against storing dairy products inside it either. This does not mean it will keep your milk fresh. Man up and take your responsibility and stop your smear campaign against on of the few remaining brick and mortar hobby shops. All the info was at your disposal, YOU did not preform your due diligence. The manual DOES say TARANIS X9D Plus transmitter are not to be confused with Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) batteries

And now you can see why plastic bags have to have "do not eat" printed on them.
Didn't mean it to come off that way "Do you know who I am"...but rather just saying I'm not new to the hobby and I support my local hobby shops and I have used (successfully) lipos in a radio before.

If you re-read my post, I was asking for opinions if I was right or wrong to feel the way I did. I admit I had responsibility also. But I also feel I was being attacked for stating an opinion and asking the question.

But I still feel you guys are missing the point. If it was NOT clear that you cannot charge a lipo in your Taranis like you can other radios like the Spektrum.

I appreciate all the feedback.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:51 PM
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We get your point....enough already............it was not clear to YOU lipo batteries cannot be charged with NiMH wall chargers..........pure and simple..........and you refuse to man up and stop feeling entitled.

By the way.......what was your previous wattflyer user name.......?

Just curious how much experience with care and safety related to lipo's you really have......would hate to contribute to a members demise only after discovering that member was not as transparent as he would like us to believe............after all, you said it yourself, hiding behind the keyboard is the easy way to defend against clairity....
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:00 PM
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But I still feel you guys are missing the point. If it was NOT clear that you cannot charge a lipo in your Taranis like you can other radios like the Spektrum.
I don't think anyone missed the point ... OK some decided to be downright rude about it ... shame but still.

The point is no manual covers every aspect or question a person has. Look at the recent thread about stored trims on newer Spektrum DX6i radio ... the later manual doesn't mention it at all ......... but earlier one does.

My 9xr ... my 9x radios ... my RL Heli ... my JR ... none tell me about charging LiPo in them ... but I take safe option of not connecting via Tx socket to charge a LiPo in any of them ...
Simple reason really ...... via the simple charge socket ... you cannot balance the LiPo ... that in itself should be enough reason.

Nigel
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wbpo5l View Post
But I still feel you guys are missing the point. If it was NOT clear that you cannot charge a lipo in your Taranis like you can other radios like the Spektrum.

I appreciate all the feedback.
You maybe missed the point i made in my reply. The reason you can charge a lipo in the DX8 is because it uses a special 'inteligent' lipo that has a charge and balance circuit built into the lipo itself. In effect the lipo has a charger and balancer built in, so you don't need to use an external lipo charger

If you read the product page for the DX8 lipo you will see that Spektrum make a big deal about the lipos special charge protection and balance inbuilt circuit:
KEY FEATURES
  • Built-in cell balancer
  • Built-in safety current prevents overcharging

Obviously you don't get that same overcharging protection if you just stick in any old standard lipo, and that would apply equally to the Dx8 if you stuck in a standard lipo in that. With a standard lipo you have to use a normal lipo charger.

So this problem was not any fault of the Taranis. It's simply that you expected to be able to charge a standard lipo in the same way as you can charge the special Spektrum 'intelligent' lipo. It's hard to see how that is the fault of FrSky or the hobby shop, it's just down to awareness of the product you were using. Sure it would have been great if the shop warned you as it's an understandable mistake that many might make, but i don't think you can blame them for what happened.

Last edited by JetPlaneFlyer; 07-14-2015 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:08 PM
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OP, that sucks, sorry to hear about your experience.

The absence of directions in the manual saying you shouldn't do something doesn't put the onus on the manf nor the dealer in this case, I think that's on you, which you appear to acknowledge to some degree.

Fair enough for you to ask for consideration from them, but once told no I would have left it at that. I'm in no way saying your not entitled to chose not to do business with them again, but I think your first post might be interpreted as them having done something wrong, which in this case I don't think they did. The guy even called you to discuss it too, which is more than most companies would do. Seems punitive at this point to post complaints on two websites, allude to the distributor as less than reputable, and comment that you were successful in getting someone NOT to do business with them. Doesn't seem fair to hang any of this on 2DogRc (i've never done business with them for the record....)

I'd look at it as an unfortunate accident that could have resulted in far more damages. Then I would go and fly and have some fun. Just my two cents.
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