Version 2.5 of the ArduCopter code is now available in the AP Mission Planner and in the downloads area!
The default PIDs are optimized for a 3DR/Jdrones quad with 850 motors and 10" props. If you're using more powerful motors/props, start by turning down Rate Roll P in 25% steps.
While some testers have reported very good flights with the default PIDs, some have reported that this release is a little "sharper" due to the DCM improvements and have found they needed to:
reduce stabilize P by 10% (i.e. 4.5 -> 4.2)
reduce stabilize D by 30% (i.e. 0.15 -> 0.10)
increase rate D from 0 to 0.001
Tuning loiter can be tricky. Refer to the discussions which will appear below for more community feedback on what parameters work best.
Please post your feedback in this discussion. For enhancement requests and bug report, please add them to the arducopter issues list. When possible please include logs (tlog and/or dataflash) and tell us whether you're using APM1 or APM2 and what version of the software you're using (presumably 2.5 but tell us anyway!).
Thanks for this release go to the developers (both in the core team but also those who have provided bug fixes through the issues list) and also the community members who participated in the previous release thread and provided some great detailed information in the form of issue reports and logs which allowed us to nail some bugs!
I too am a huge fan of the SimonK firmware and posted trying to get everyone to flash. It seems there are so many problems it solves with the startup sequnce of APM 2.0.
I flashed now 8 each of 3D Robotics 20A and 4 each of the RC Timer 30A (which is the exact same board). Flying a Hexa, Quad, and now even a coaxial.
I've flashed all of my ESCs with tgy.hex too; some rctimer 18As and also the 20A ones I got with my 3dr quad kit, but since then the quad seems to only have about 50% of the power it should have... Eg it will hover, but climbing at all is a real struggle. It did get a kk board transplant at the same time as the flashed ESCs too, and the esc's have all been calibrated individually, so I'm not sure which one is the culprit.
Funny, that I kinda have a similiar problem on my quad, but that's with 880kv motors and the 30 Amp speed control. I've never flown that combo with the stock firmware, so I didn't suspect the flashed firmware as a cause. In other words, I had previously flown the quad with the stock 850kv motors, 12x4.5 black props, 20amp 3DR ESCs on stock firmware, and the reason for the 12 inch props (10s are recommended for that combo of motor) was on the stock firmware, 10s would not let it hove but it flew decent with 12s. I was flying with a heavy old LiPo 6600mah 3s 3p pack thus the reason why it was so heavy. I thought well let's try 880kv motors and the hexa frame came out the same day, I I built a hexa from the 850kv motor (just bought 2 more) and 30A RC Timer speed controls at the same time. Thus, I had flown the hexa with the 850kv motors, 11x4.7 grey APC props, stock fimware, and the heavy battery and knew exactly how that flew which was very good. I then flashed all of my ESCs (both the 3DR 20As and the RC Timer 30As. I then finally finished the quad and tried to fly it with the SimonK firmware and noted the performance was lacking. I attributed it to the 880kv motors rather than the firmware, but you may be on to something.
So here is the good news. Despite what others said, I used avrdude and AVR-Burn-O-Mat gui to save the original ESC firmwares and as a test, flashed them back to the ESC to validate I had a working backup copy of the original firmware (both the 20A and the 30A). Others said this didn't or wouldn't work, but I ensured when I did the save, I used the "raw" option in the AVR-Burn-O-Mat (really just a command switch in avrdude). So, I have a copy of the original firmware and can attach it to my post here tonight. Again, I validated these copies of the firmware do work and thus if you think the SimonK is the problem, you can go back to the original.
Again, tonight I can post back to that thread copies of the original firmware that I verified worked before I "upgraded".
Thanks, yeah I would appreciate it if you could post copies of the original firmware for those ESCs. It's just whether the problem is with the firmware, or the KK board (or how the kk board is set up).
I just posted the original firmware back into that thread. Sorry, I did not get a change to reflash the RC TIMER 30A ESCs and see if that improved performance, but will ASAP.
I'm puzzled when I see stuff like this - why the hype? In the RCGroups Simonk forum there are quite a lot of people who see no difference and some people who found it doesn't work at all. As well, more than a few people have ruined an ESC or two.
I've done a lot of experimenting with the Simonk firmware with a number of motors and ESC and frankly, there is way too much hype about it. It's good work by him (based on another persons original work) but the fact is it makes your ESC a "dumb" ESC removing all over-current protection, battery protection, programming for internal BEC levels (if your ESC has it), etc. etc.. It's not a panacea and there are risks.
I'm not dumping on it. It is useful in some cases. Simonk does does improve performance with some combinations of motors and ESC's but there are many where only wishful thinking will make you think it's better. As well, in some cases it doesn't work at. For instance, MT3506 motors won't work at all with Simonk but work with stock ESC (although not very well). However, another option, the multiwii-esc firmware, fixes the MT3506 and other motors that have sync problems.
Also, you are taking a risk because all the safety features are removed. You could burn up a motor, ESC, etc and because there no longer is battery monitoring you could ruin your batteries. These are managable if you are aware of them.
Like so many things, this is a good thing for some specific setups that's been over-hyped by some. It doesn't offer benefit for every situation therefore it's a bit misguided to "get everyone to flash".
Best thing for people considering doing this is not to just blindly do it and assume you'll see benefit but rather, go to the RCGroups forum or where ever else it's discussed and try to find verification that it works well with your particular motor (that seems to be the biggest variable). That way one won't be wasting time, money (buying the programming gear) and run the risk of ruining an ESC (you can easily ruin and ESC during the programming process if you are not careful) for what may be no benefit.
Of course, this hobby is also about experimentation and if one just wants to experiment with it that's fine but look past the hype and know what you are getting into.
That's interesting. I fly 30A plush ESCs and I was under the impression they are incompatible. That Google Docs spreadsheet lists them that way. I'll have to take the heatshrink off one of mine and see. What firmware file did you use?
Mine flashed fine and I tested it with a KDA 20-22L and started up ok.
Even signal beeps were as dicribed.
Haven't flown it yet though.
In the list it is mentioned it should work. Only with Atmega and not with Silabs chip.
EDIT, Stafford, sorry, I see you basically said this, but at least the link may help somebody else. Caught red handed in not reading the other response. Sorry.
The thing about the plush ESCs is that you must more or less open one up to see exactly which version you have. If you have the Sil controller, then no, but if you have the atmega, then maybe yes you can flash. It's worth a shot as the problems this firmware solves is tremendous. No more stupid beeps and carrying on, no more stuck in programming mode when the APM boots weird. Just good clean flying. That google doc has the links to the pictures to help you verify.
Ya, I just checked one of mine that I bought in a large batch from HK and it has the Sil controller. If the improvement is this drastic it may be worth the $$ just to buy some HK branded ones and flash them.
Am amazed that the compass can roll without any rounding error while the copter circles. Quite a feat. Have been away from the recent updates. Have been placing robot mechanical tools recently. The robot actually exists in the controller to coordinate the mechanical handler. A end effector is another issue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_end_effector
I want to try tighten up on the controls of my quad with APM2. When in hover, out of ground effect and in zero wind I still get random sideways drifting more than I want, it's almost like there's a little slop or play in a servo linkage. Is there a parameter or a way that can "tighten" things up, if you know what I mean? Or is this the best we can get out of the hardware?
My Stabilize_P is 4.50 with I = 0.130, Rate_P is 0.155 and I = 0.090, D = 0.005.
Also what parameter controls the RTL ground speed?