Monday, June 21, 2010

How much do free software upgrades cost

I finally gave up on the notion that I'll ever be able to do a software upgrade of the Vertical Power VP-50 unit today, packed it in a box and sent it back to Albuquerque where people smarter than me can figure it out.

I thought that getting new features free would be a neat thing and, indeed, it is, except for the "it's not really free" part in real life.

Here's what I've spent so far:

Serial to USB converter cable - Radio Shack - $49
New laptop because the desktop PC erased software but didn't install - $436
New serial to USB converter cable under theory that that's the problem - $15
Postage to mail the unit back - $10.05
$1,500 of postal insurance - $16.70
Delivery confirmation - $.80

Total cost so far: $527.55

But, really, it's more. With the software upgrade, Vertical Power made a wig-wag feature available, which convinced me to buy and install another Duckworks landing light. Cost: $85

I notice the other night -- I had a really bad week of airplane building -- the lens is cracked. That'll need to be replaced. That's $15. Maybe I'll order two.

I'm hoping that Vertical Power can find something wrong with the unit itself, or the cable I built because if it's just a matter of temperamental computers and cables, that's a honkin' waste of money without getting it to work.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob,
    I went thru several serial to USB adapters until one finally worked. Now everything works great upgrading with my Netbook. I almost sold it and bought another laptop before I went to Frys Electronics and bought several more serial to USB adapters and tried them until I got one to work. Although I am a big fan of VP, I wish they had a USB port on them instead of an almost archaic serial port.
    Tom Velvick
    VP-50 in RV-4
    VP-100 in RV-6a