Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Donauwörth Bound – A visit to PowerBox Systems GmbH

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Donauwörth Bound – A visit to PowerBox Systems GmbH

    Donauwörth Bound – A visit to PowerBox Systems GmbH

    While working in Nuremberg, Germany I was able to take a quick side trip to visit with Emmerich and Richard Deutsch at their company headquarters. A swift ICE train ride delivered me to Donauwörth where I hopped a taxi. Upon arriving at the offices/factory, I learned that Emmerich was on the way to the station to pick me up?! That was the only SNAFU of the trip. Sorry, my friend!

    Below: The bright blue sign signals there is something wonderful in the building ahead.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	288.5 KB ID:	34286


    Below: A tidy little business park around the corner from the Airbus Logistics Center holds the home of PowerBox Systems!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	298.4 KB ID:	34285

    Since dad was off seeking a misplaced foreign visitor, Richard offered a tour of their facility. We started, of course with the big news these past several months, the new CORE 2.4 GHz RC transmitter. First is was off to “stick programming” where the team works on refinements to the code and other details. A bank of computers and screens attached to the “core” of a CORE mounted on a base where things can be checked and rechecked.

    Below: Contemplating the next move




    The CORE transmitter employs a high-performance Linux PC, controlled entirely using am integral touch-screen that is clear, bright and displays large common-sense icons for programming. This is a 26-channel platform, each with 4096-bit resolution while control data transmits at a 10 ms frame rate with no limitations and with zero delay. All channels have full resolution.


    An important note that Richard designed the sticks of the CORE from scratch. They are things of beauty...

    Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	1
Size:	53.0 KB
ID:	34400Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	1
Size:	72.9 KB
ID:	34401


    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

  • #2
    Next, we moved on to CORE assembly where two delightful, friendly women were diligently assembling each radio with great care and attention to detail. They were baffled why I thought it was so interesting and wonderful.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	234.2 KB ID:	34293

    Below: CORE transmitter assemblies ready to be tested and finalized.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	148.8 KB ID:	34292

    Below Not a great photo, but this shows the Hall Sensor (at right) portion of one of the radio’s knobs. Custom designed by Richard to fit in the CORE.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	187.0 KB ID:	34294


    When speaking with Richard and the team about all the thought, care and custom pieces created for CORE (this is NOT an assembly of off the shelf parts), I came away with the feeling that this more a “bespoke” crafted transmitter for a discerning quality-conscious segment of the hobby flying expensive air frames. Yes, that includes the giant scale sailplane community!

    Importantly, the feel of a CORE transmitter in one’s hands is excellent. The weight is perfect, leather side grips are comfortable while hands won’t sweat on a hard surface in summer or freeze on a cold surface in winter. The grips are removable and can be washed. We looked at a pair that Emmerich had trashed while at an event in the UAE. A quick wash removed all the sand and dirt, making them look great.

    BUT PROGRAMMING IS THE BIG DEAL. As the CORE moves forward, more and more presets and standard pre-programmed mix features will be added. In its initial form, it is a breeze to create quick programs. Richard and I did a flying wing in about 3 minutes – first setting up commands for the two servos, then the direction each servo should travel when the elevator stick is moved, then how they should move when the rudder or aileron stick is moved. Quick, intuitive, and no “delta wing" preset required. Certainly, modes will be a needed feature, but is was easy to see how complex mixes between airbrakes, flaps and elevator can be completed with ease.

    BELOW: Finished COREs. Richard then personally adjusts the sticks on each unit to make certain the “feel” is perfect right out of the box.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	240.1 KB ID:	34295
    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

    Comment


    • #3
      RECEIVERS

      Richard took me through the assembly and testing area for receivers.

      He asked that I not photograph the test fixture where each finished receiver is inserted and tested as it is a proprietary design. Every receiver is not only tested, its results and data are stored in a database.

      5,7,8,9 and 26-channel receivers will be available for CORE. The 8,9 and 26-channel versions have redundant receiver circuits. The 26 is a satellite receiver to be used with PowerBox power units only. There are no end plugs in the 26.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	181.4 KB ID:	34297
      Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

      Comment


      • #4
        CABLES

        Next is was on to wire assembly in a separate section of the building. Two team members were diligently crafting a range of the famous PowerBox cables.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	175.8 KB ID:	34302

        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	194.5 KB ID:	34301

        After soldering and testing, cables move to the area where the grips are added under high pressure and temperature. This assures that a solder joint will never break.

        While we have all seen recently those small two-part fixtures sold online that allow hot glue to be jammed into the fixture forming a pseudo-plastic connector, that is just amateur hour by comparison. The PowerBox assembly line is hard core yielding a great, durable product.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	2 Size:	117.2 KB ID:	34304

        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	117.0 KB ID:	34303
        Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

        Comment


        • #5
          WAREHOUSE

          Okay, a warehouse is a warehouse. I did get a laugh at the story about the CORE transmitter cases being held at customs.

          While the cases are indeed made in China, the graphics/writing on the front of each case include “Made in Germany” as, of course, the actual CORE transmitter is a product of the workers here. Customs could not wrap its collective brain around a box saying Made in China containing another box saying, Made in Germany?! Fortunately, things were eventually resolved.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	78.6 KB ID:	34307

          That's a whole lotta sparking...

          Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	72.2 KB ID:	34308
          Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

          Comment


          • #6
            SERVICE DEPARTMENT & SHIPPING

            Near the front door is where the broken, bashed and abused products coming in from customers arrive.

            Richard pulled a few items out of the bins and described which ones made sense to repair and which ones did not. Something severely impacted could have other issues like a minute solder crack that human eyes and testing equipment don't find and could be exposed in future use, abuse and vibration.

            In the case of PowerBox declining to repair a crash item, they do offer a replacement part at a significant discount. Just another sign of their superior customer service.

            Broken crash parts on the way into the facility, each in it's own bin...

            Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	136.2 KB ID:	34310


            Richard posing in front of a wall of product on the way out of the facility...

            Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	134.4 KB ID:	34311

            The stock in batteries is getting low... (note some of the test fixtures in storage below)

            Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	104.6 KB ID:	34312
            Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

            Comment


            • #7
              CHILL AND TALK

              Finally, after touring, Richard and I sat with Emmerich over coffee at the staffs’ communal lunch table to talk about the past, the acquisition of Weatronic, and the future for PowerBox.

              Make no mistake, the foundation of the business is in serving the broad range of radio systems and transmittermanufacturers just as the company has always done with great success. The addition of their own radio is meant only to provide an offering at the premium side of the industry which is really quite a niche. You won’t be seeing any $299 or $799 radios from PowerBox.

              We really need to get a scale soaring photo on this wall!

              Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	200.5 KB ID:	34317

              The CORE is intended to serve the upper echelon of high-performance pilots and high investment jets, warbirds and other airframes of significant size and expense. This is further witnessed by the fact that the PowerBox factory team and their cadre of sponsored pilots all fly a range of radios systems. Sure, some will move to CORE or simply add CORE along with what they have always been flying. As with their other products, continual improvement and peerless quality are the long-term aims of CORE.

              We did spend some time with a Weatronic radio. While they were commenting on how right the transmission side was and is a clear benefit of the acquisition, it was clear to me how wrong the transmitter was in its feel, difficult stick and switch reach, weight, massive sticks, and how long menus lagged when programming. It was probably a difficult financial decision but certainly the right one not to come out with a new improved version of the Weatronic transmitter and then be saddled with trying to turn around a reputation. Rather Emmerich and Richard swallowed hard, scraped everything, kept what was so excellent about Weatronic transmission and created a fresh new platform using state of the art components, tech and coding. Sure, it’s expensive. But worth it! CORE will impress the buyer.

              Final photos... The founder in his lair. On the phone doing deals in the UAE. PowerBox sells around the globe...


              Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	134.5 KB ID:	34314


              You can tell where Richard's passion is by the artwork he chose to hang outside his office...

              Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	192.4 KB ID:	34316


              Richard in his element! Where the code is written, bugs smashed and many good things happen. Had to turn off the screens so no secrets were leaked!

              Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	160.1 KB ID:	34315

              Our conversation ranged to flying events around the world, to the growing giant scale sailplane community in the U.S. to helping people grow in the hobby and expand their knowledge base. While my time was growing short, I really didn’t want to leave but I had a train to catch and didn’t want to take the guys from work any longer.

              On a delightful drive to the train station, Emmerich told me about his other hobby which is hunting wild boar. He wove a deeply personal story about his fondness the many long hours over the years sitting alone on the hunt, absolutely still with the time and solace to think about PowerBox. Many of the greatest PowerBox products were dreamed up in a hunting stand or in the woods. Emmerich, Richard and the team were able to take those dreams and turn them into renowned products respected around the world.

              Let’s hope Emmerich goes hunting again soon!

              My most sincere thanks to Richard, Emmerich and their people for welcoming me to their home. It was a morning that I will count amount the highlights of my decades in the RC hobby.

              Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

              Comment


              • #8
                MISSED MY TRAIN!

                Okay, decision time. Sit in the nondescript little train station for 45 minutes or explore another beautiful town in Germany for two hours?

                Duh! There is no choice. Explore! And, grab a little lunch with a side of frosty wheat soda! I took dozens of photos of churches and cathedrals, here are just five...

                Entry to the old city...
                Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	86.6 KB ID:	34320

                Main thoroughfare...

                Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	112.7 KB ID:	34322


                One of many beautiful places of worship..



                Lunch at Goldener Hirsch.
                Pork in mushroom gravy with delicious käsespätzle! Forget PowerBox, this is my new favorite spot!

                Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	129.7 KB ID:	34321

                Hydration is so important when travelling...

                Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	79.2 KB ID:	34323

                My visit to Donauwörth was one of wonderful people, pretty places and delicious food.

                I'll be back!
                Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

                Comment


                • #9
                  While I Iost my scarf somewhere along the way, I did hang on to my parting gifts...

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	1
Size:	105.5 KB
ID:	34328

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	1
Size:	54.8 KB
ID:	34329
                  Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The box story is pretty funny! Thanks for posting. Looks like you had a great time!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice coverage Steve! So what is the cost of a Core Radio?
                      I wonder if Horizon will offer it, as they have a large stock of Power Box product currently!

                      Jeremy
                      SCCAAA TT TN

                      Comment


                      • Steve P
                        Steve P commented
                        Editing a comment
                        CORE will be $2490. It is already selling in other markets, but FCC approval is not done here in the U.S. Anticipate this spring. Yes, now that there is a full U.S. operation (based in Jacksonville, FL), Horizon/Tower also became a full-line dealer in addition to the great existing group.

                        CORE placeholder page: https://powerbox-americas.com/collec...12869231149120

                    • #12
                      Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	1
Size:	142.1 KB
ID:	34399
                      Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Das ich wunderbar
                        Gunny
                        Aviation Concepts rc

                        Comment


                        • Swiss1
                          Swiss1 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sorry Gunny, just a little error!
                          Das ist wunderbar

                        • gunny11
                          gunny11 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I'm a little rusty since I've not spoken my first language in 40+ years. English is my third language.
                      Working...
                      X