Version 2.6 of the ArduCopter code is now available in the AP Mission Planner and in the downloads area!
Updates to MavLink 1.0 means you will need to use "ArdupilotMegaPlanner10.exe" to connect. If you've updated your mission planner recently you should find this executable in the directory where the mission planner is installed.
The above video is done using a prototype 3dr ublox GPS which seems to have better accuracy than the standard mediatek.
Improvements over 2.5.5 include:
- MavLink 1.0 support (use with ArdupilotMegaPlanner10.exe) [Tridge, Craig]
- Stability improvements especially during level hover [Jason]
- throttle range improvement (higher min and max) [Jason]
- improved standard Loiter PIDs [Alan, Heino, Jason, Angel]
- dataflash erase speed up ('+' messages removed but it only takes 6 seconds now) [Tridge]
- Copter LEDs [Robert Lefebvre]
- RTL loiter stage target set to home to improve final landing position [Jason]
- flip & acro improvements [Jason]
- circle mode target improvement for ground station [Jason]
- Auto Approach [Adam Rivera / Marco]
Bug fixes include:
- UBLOX driver fixes (lock should now be more reliable) [Tridge]
- enable mavlink messages during dataflash erase which resolves issue in which new APMs fresh from the factory appeared unresponsive [Tridge]
- proper printing of lat/lon values in dataflash logs [Randy]
- removed duplicate GPS reads [Jason]
- resolve flooding of telemetry link with low-battery warnings [Tridge]
- RTL bug would land if rtl_approach_alt was more than 1 [Jason]
- WP Radius could not be set larger than 1.3m [Jason/Randy]
PIDs are optimised for the 3DR/Jdrones quad with 850 motors and 10" props. If you're using more powerful motors/props and are seeing bad flight behaviour in stabilize, start by turning down Rate Roll P in 25% steps.
This time we spent some time optimising the loiter PIDs. Tuning loiter can be tricky so please refer to the discussions which will appear below for more community feedback on what parameters work best.
All feedback welcome below. Enhancement requests and bug reports can be put into 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 2.6 but tell us anyway!).
I'm having big problems with my compass now. It will spin, and move eratically, which makes my copter unflyable, however when I do a CLI compass test, it shows that it is fine every time. Does anyone have any ideas?
No ideas, but I had this problem in 5.5. In my case, it happened during flight though, not in the mission planner. I almost lost my copter --- it landed in the woods 1/4 mile from my take off point.
Yeah this is really making me want to just ditch the whole APM system. I have had nothing but trouble with it, and wasted hundreds of hours to get essentially nowhere. I still don't have a platform that even flies, let alone is reliable enough to use. If I had known there would be this many issues at every step of the way I would have just ponied up for the Wookong M 6 months ago when I started with the APM thinking it would be a better platform.
I'm supposed to be travelling for 6 months with this tricopter in 3 weeks, but it's looking more and more likely that I'm just going to end up having to run a Multiwii board instead and forget about the APM, not that I've even had much time to get the multiwii tuned nicely after spending all of my time (and money) on this flakey piece of crap.
Here's a log from a quick (hand test) flight just now showing the compass running away. CLI compass test still works fine though. How is this even possible?
Sorry to see you have big problems.
APM1 or 2 ?
Did you assemble yourself, or buy ready made?
What airframe are you using?
Post some pictures of your 'copter, maybe it is something obvious to some of the more experienced folks here can pinpoint.
It's an APM1 2560 on a homemade tricopter frame. I've pretty much followed best practices for connecting everything together and building. It has been somewhat working (eg the compass was working pretty much fine) for the last few months, but it's just now that the compass has started to spin.
What is really doing my head in, is that the CLI compass test shows that the heading holds exactly, and moves correctly corresponding to movements I make by hand, but in MP, and in flight (and flight logs) it is all over the place. I don't understand where this discrepancy comes from, or how to isolate and troubleshoot the problem.
Just speculation, but it might help:
The magnetic compass is affected *very strongly* by the electrical current flowing to the motors. The magnetic field created by a running motor (and the wires running to it) is many thousands of times stronger than Earth's magnetic field. So the magnetometer will behave very differently at 0% throttle, than it does at say 75% throttle.
So if it works under CLI (presumably on the bench, motors off), but not in flight (with motors running), then the problem sounds like it is magnetic interference from the motors influencing the compass. You either have to move the APM further away from the motor wires, ESCs etc, shield it somehow, or calibrate the motor noise "out" of the compass sensor. I believe the last option is the one you can use.
From what I understand, if you are experiencing problems with the calibration, it is best to calibrate with a flight log (not Live Calibration) that records the magnetic field of the motors as you fly under high throttle and various attitudes. This allows the calibration to filter out the motor noise. Another alternative I have seen is to *remove the props*, then power up to 50% say and calibrate with motors running, as you do a live calibration, moving around all axes.
Hope this helps
Perhaps someone with more experience with the magnetometer can chime in, because I could be completely wrong...
I understand that, but my compass is spinning and behaving eratically even when I am connected only via USB with no lipo and no motors running. Even after a fresh CLI erase and firmware load and connecting straight into MP after that.
I believe you can only do a log calibration using a .tlog, and I don't have telemetry so don't have any tlogs I can use. I have just been doing the live calibration in MP, but have also tried to enter my declination manually (are these different things?)
Hi Glenn, I calibrated my quad using the live method in MP, and it worked just fine.
I had two flights in stab mode, and the compass stayed true.
All that I can think is that you have a faulty Mag.
Or a bad solder joint.
As I said, a few pictures could also help.
To me it seems like somehow the problem is in the layer between the raw heading values that the compass is physically putting out, and where the APM interprets those values into yaw. I say this because the raw compass heading (CLI test) never wavers and moves correctly)
I'm guessing the declination and compass offsets sit in this layer, so perhaps something is corrupt or wacky in there, but how to find out what exactly and fix it...
Edit: just to test, I've taken my props off, connected the lipo while connected to MP vis USB, run the motors up to 50% and rotated the copter around all axes, and then used the .tlog generated to generate my mag offsets, but it hasn't helped the problem.
Ok, I understand now what you mean by the CLI stable, but the APM saying it changes.
This is quite weird, considering that it WAS a bug in the software, everybody would have the same problem.
Or maybe this is only present in Y configuration, any other Y users have this ?
Yeah I am stumped at the moment really. Earlier this afternoon I had a successful flight (testing my battery duration) in the same configuration, but then this started happening.
I have taken some pictures but I doubt they will be particularly telling of anything.
I don't think the mag itself is bad, but something in the pathway of using it is.
Have you tried to fly it with the compass disabled? How does the yaw behave then?