Why require a product key?

Is the product key here to stay? Part of the reason my company migrated away from Lightbridge to Herelink is because of DJI’s user data collection policies and annoying required registration

To see that Hex is going down this path too is seriously disappointing.

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I’d really like to know the logic behind this too, seems like such an odd decision for something that is built on / integrates with so many open platforms.

The Key was added to stop others ripping off Cubepilot work. There has been unofficial and clone hardware released that has no relation to Cubepilot or Herelink yet it was trying to benefit from the work Philip, Michael, Sid, Kelly and the team have done.

The Key is in place to ensure only genuine Cubepilot hardware gets access to the firmware development the team are doing.

The simple realty is the key is there to ensure Herelink continues to get developed as if people rip off the hardware and software then who is paying for that development work the team a doing.

Sure, I mean obviously that is “why” they did that, but this is literally the first piece of hardware I’ve ever interacted with that needed such an extreme solution just to install a firmware update.

Maybe the question should have been more specific as to why did they do it that particular way. It is clunky to say the least, and god help you if you only have access to a corporate wifi network when you need to install an update. And the fact we have older units that didn’t come with a key and now have to go through a bunch of hoops to get that if we ever want to update them.

QGroundControl is the centerfold of the HereLink and is GPL licensed, so they are legally required to allow potential competitors to rip off of their changes. It’s written into the license. (And they do allow it. The source of their QGroundControl fork is here for all to see.)

As for the clones, I haven’t yet seen any other products occupying the same niche. i.e. Android based controllers running ground control software with integrated telemetry.

This key is abnormal for open source software.

This updated contained major changes and it was free to all official cubepilot Herelink users. The only requirement was the need to activate. after a massive amount of work someone tried to steel and copy that work for their own devices. In the end Cubepilot had to protect there and your interest. If the work they did was stolen then it’s possible it would not see any future development.

It’s pretty simple overall. Request a key from your dealer or if they are not available from cubepilot before updating then activate. It’s hardly dissimilar to many things that use licensing.

That’s it.

Any connection issues after that are really more released to the IP range than the need for a key specifically.

It’s ironic to me that you call this “stealing”. Much of Herelink is built on GPL’ed software created for free by volunteers. Herelink uses this software and profits from it (which is fine), but the GPL license is designed specifically so their changes must be shared back with the community and the world. It is a feature of GPL, and so stealing GPL software is not really possible.

And since the source code of Herelink’s QGroundControl fork is freely available, it’s not clear what they’re trying to protect with these product keys. It is a PITA for users though.

Yes QGC is OS. Solex TX is not, the whole Herelink backend is not.

Solex was added completely FOC yet it needed development to work with Herelink. It was not a free app. Kelly would have had his fantastic work just ripped off with Solex had it not been secured. The changes to the entire settings app and back end were all done by cubepilot and it’s team. The future update that will add dual remote support again all done by cubepilot. So you believe it’s just ok to let that all get stollen by people ripping off the hardware ?

I’m sorry but I do not see how a simple activation process that is close to being a one off is such a problem you would rather it was gone and risk the entire future development of the product instead.

There are a number of digital Fpv systems on the market and a number them are either direct copies or close copies of Herelink. Most of these are much more expensive and offer zero manufacture support or updates and instead leach of the work @philip and his team have done.

It’s this simple. It’s there to secure the development that the Kelly and the cubepilot team put in place that all Herelink users benefit from. That security helps ensure the product would continue to get developed as well a helping to keep a support structure in place for you to use. That includes this forum. QGC is only one small element of the system.

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Fact check before having a rant…

QGC is not GPL!

If you want to get grumpy as to why we had to add a registration process, get grumpy at the cheats at MMC, Holybro, CUAV

If they wold actually do some original work, this would not happen.


My previous Herelink controllers had the product key on the back of the controller on a sticker.
I am just getting a new system up and running for a client and realized, there is no product key sticker on this controller or the box and now I am completely locked out and can’t continue my setup. Not happy.

please PM me the android serial number.
Settings > about phone > Status > serial number