I don't think it's appropriate to post this here but when I tried under "Contact Us" I have gotten no response in 4 days.
I tried to contact you again through Contact Us under Technical but got this
" Warning: Technical Support?
As stated above, sadly the EZ-Robot staff will not be able to assist with technical questions over email due to limted resources. Instead, visit the Video Tutorials. For questions not answered in the tutorials, share your question publically in our Community Forum. Thanks for understanding "
Before I post this I want to state that I believe you have an excellent product. Your videos inspired me to get back to building. Unfortunately I am also a businessman, so as a first time customer I am getting frustrated with looking at some non-working components in this kit and not knowing what to do with them. Someone in QC in Hong Kong needs a kick in the butt.
So here is what I tried to get to you through Contact Us,
I contacted you guys by email on 9.11.2012 when I received my kit. Have not heard back from you.
I originally told you I had two servos (1 continuous and 1 regular) both were DOA. After a couple of days of not hearing from you I just decided to see if I could do something with them. Turns out the motors in the servos were not seated correctly. They both work now.
Next problem. I just read on your forums that others had camera problems back in June or July this year. I have the same issue. Two different PCs see the wireless USB receiver but no video. Camera is useless. I also noticed it is not screwed to the case. It just slides out when disconnecting the USB charge cable to it.
Next issue. I also purchased the pan and tilt kit. One of those servo's is DOA.
It's been 4 days since first contact. Get to me about this please.
I'm very sorry. I've forwarded this to Alan, who will be taking care of your situation. Keep in mind, sometimes our emails end up in your Junk folder. Please check your Junk folder to ensure we haven't already replied - I have never experienced a scenario where Alan hasn't replied
When you Contact Us, there will be an automated email sent to you. Check your Junk folder to ensure you have received the email. There is a Contact Us disclaimer informing you to check the Junk Mail Folder. Your Junk Mail folder may also be titled Spam, so check both please.
To clarify, "Technical Questions" is not supported via Contact Us. An example of a "Technical Question" would be "How do i build a robot?". As stated in the response, we do not answer Technical Questions over email. We only answer Technical Questions in the Community Forum. By only answering Technical Questions in the Community Forum, it makes the knowledge publically visible to help others in the future.
Your question would fall under "General Questions (Shipping, Product Information, Etc)"
I did get the automated reply from your ticketing system the day I sent it. I also know mysterious stuff happens, seen it before.
To clarify I did put the first contact under "General" and did get a auto reply. It was the second attempt today I put the subject under "Technical" heading.
I like your style and I like your products, no doubt you'll make your company in to a huge success. Things happen.
I look forward to doing a lot of business with you guys in the future. Your an inspirational kind of guy. Really learning a lot from your videos.
Thank you for the kind words
You're an ideal member! If there are more of you, tell your friends
Just a side note for anyone reading this thread. As soon as I saw DJ's first reply about getting Alan on my issue I found two emails from Alan almost immediately in my inbox. They don't screw around. My little issues are being addressed as I write this.
These guys are good and they care.
Hand holding is over. quit reading this and go build robots.
Glad I have found this post.
Finally got my kit today (10/26/2012) and noticed the very same issues with my camera.
It actually came apart when I removed it from the foam. The back plastic bulkhead is somehow drilled upside-down (or the entire camera assembly is assembled that way, it's really difficult to tell).
And my system recognizes the dongle, but turning the camera on doesn't yield any image.
I haven't tried the servos yet.
It's kinda frustrating, after waiting for about a month (and paying extra 60 bucks duty tax in Brazil) I get this feeling someone in shenzhen is just throwing stuff in the box and no attention is given to proper assembly & testing.
I guess it's what you get from cheap labor.
I figured out the camera housing issue, indeed both plastic bulkheads (front and back) were installed upside-down. I suppose the chinese guy whilst assembling the camera had no problems inserting the lens into the front bulkhead but then his brain must have frozen when he saw he wouldn't succeed in closing the back because the external connectors were not aligned with the holes in the bulkhead. Too complicated, so he just threw it into the box.
But still, no video.
@wmoecke could you please take a couple good pics so we can see what your talking about for the camera? Also for the no video part have you fully charged the battery a couple hours before doing the installation of the v am drivers when it first sees the cam? Thanks - Josh S.
Don't know what you are talking about. The camera didn't ask for any "v am drivers" when it loaded. I just opened up Skype and went to video settings to test the camera and it was already listed as "Wireless PC-CAM". Nothing special happened prior to that.
I didn't know anything about fully charging the camera before your post. I figured out by pure accident that I could turn the camera on by pressing the tiny pushbutton on the back (and the blue led turned on). So I assumed the battery must have been pre-charged at the factory.
Could you please indicate where I can find a comprehensive manual (or at least a quick set-up guide) and the drivers? I searched your website and wasn't able to find any references.
As for the pictures you asked, I've already corrected the mistake they made at the factory, you want me to disassemble it again?
I've connected the camera via USB to my PC in order to fully charge the batteries as you suggested. The red led came on and stayed on for just over 15m or so, then it turned off. I disconnected the USB and reconnected it just to double-check. Same thing.
So that kind of validates my assumption made earlier, that these things either come pre-charged or my kit was put together with faulty components returned from previous users - I sincerely hope the latter is untrue, this would be a deal-breaker for me.
Oh yeah, almost forgot - still no video and Win7 didn't ask for any drivers whatsoever.
OK, I've decided to run a few more tests whilst awaiting for anyone to reply.
I have another system (this one being loaded with Vista Basic) so I went ahead and plugged the dongle in it. To my surprise Vista detected it and it popped up a message, after which it was finished loading some drivers.
Then I loaded Skype and the camera worked straight away, So I figured the only difference between that test and my own PC was (besides the O/S, which are not so far apart from each other) that in my system I've got an externally-powered USB hub, and the dongle was plugged into one of the available USB slots.
So I plugged the dongle directly into my system (no longer via the hub) and it worked too. I guess I've narrowed the issue down to the camera dongle not really fond of being indirectly connected to the host system (even though it was powered by an external supply).
I've noticed the hub's external power supply has an output spec of 5vdc/2.5A, and I've got many other devices plugged in, so maybe I'll get a stronger PSU (3A, maybe even 5A) and see if that helps.
I feel compelled to issue a few constructive suggestions:
The camera housing was really incorrectly assembled. The camera's circuitry was inverted with respect to both the front and rear plates - The front plate has aa center hole for the lens and a tiny one on one of the sides for an electret mic (not present), so there was no problem in sliding the camera into that plate. The rear was loose because the USB/antenna/pushbutton were inverted, and someone in the assembly line couldn't figure this out on their own. Chinese manufacturers are known worldwide for abusing the cheap labor X low quality binomial. So perhaps a stronger posture must be adopted with regards to QA to ensure a minimal standard.
There seems to be a number of wholesalers throughout china for these cameras, but no further info (manuals/drivers/quick set-up guides) was available. Nevertheless, I think it would be helpful if you posted it yourselves on the Getting Started section of your website, based on feedback from users such as myself and many others who had issues.
Finally, I want to let you know in advance that I plan on buying more from you, (after I am done using this kit to make my own Wall-E robot) - I've included in my shopping list another kit plus a couple 6DOF robot arms and an H-Bridge for my other robot (it's a rather commented toy robot in the forum).
But before I commit to those purchases, I would like to reiterate that in many countries throughout the world (Brazil for certain), customs policies are being enforced when dealing with items originating from asia (and more especially, those sent via EMS) - In Brazil for example, no EMS items get sorted past customs without being issued a 60% tax upon the declared value of the goods (I understand you have declared it with a value of $50, but nevertheless, I had to skip work for a couple hours to go pick it up at the post office and got charged $60). The kit comes in a rather small package, so perhaps there would be a possibility for you to consider shipping it regular air mail, so it would stand a much greater chance of arriving directly to my doorstep with no customs charges (and considerably sooner)?
@WMoecke Welcome. I am not an employee, just another client, but have some feedback for you that might help?
To the best on my knowledge, the wireless camera from the EZ-Robot kit is not of direct EZ-Robot manufacturer, nor is it's overall performance directly related to the EZ-Builder software. I find that it is a great camera for it's price, but did find it's assembly a bit... loose Not really an issue for me, as I like to mod and tweak things anyhow... and this camera is great for that. I think they did well in choosing it for the kit... but as with anything, QA is an ongoing issue and a few quirks or questionable experiences does not equate a trend or faulty company policy.
In my experience, finding instruction for many of these 3rd party products of Eastern manufacture are not always possible... assuming they where ever released in the first place I think EZ-Robot has done a remarkable job designing a product, matching it up with 3rd party components and fighting through this world of manufacturing and shipping options to bring us the final kit. Unfortunately nothing is perfect, nor under their control (international shipping issues, duty charges, etc. - Heck, I got dinged duty in Canada while purchasing from them, a Canadian company ) but of the few start-up companies that I have purchased from, bringing relativity ground breaking products and services, I think they have and are doing a really great job!
There are a few other dealerships that carry the EZ-Robot kit in the USA that might be a better shipping option for you in the future? And of course, the nice thing about this product is that it works with so many other brands or components that while purchasing directly from EZ-Robot helps support them, you are not limited to their store for components, arms, chassis, servos etc. Pick locations that work best for you shipping wise and have fun building
Please share with us as you progress... that's what this forum is all about, a community of like minded robot enthusiasts