Ok guys, with all the people waiting on APM2 and all the exciting new alpha and beta releases of APM firmware coming, I think many people are starting to chomp at their bits, a little.
To that end, I've opened up this discussion for all those with complaints. As I've joined the Dev Team, and not at a productive stage yet, I'll monitor this discussion, and relay things to the others on the Dev Team.
These could be both hardware or software, or just general rants and raves!
Hope everyone takes advantage of this! Maybe we'll all learn some things in the process.
Just wanted to add this response from Chris Anderson:
Please just contact email@example.com and inquire about the status of your order. They are not necessarily shipped in order. For example, the unsoldered ones are shipped first, because they're faster to put together. Then soldered with GPS, then soldered without GPS (or maybe those two in reverse order, I can't remember). There are approximately 50 going out each day and the team tells me that the backlog should be over by Mon/Tues of next week.
I agree, please use this discussion for Rants and Raves. Order issues should be directed to 3DR directly. I think you will get better response there.
Jason: Good questions, and thanks for the opportunity to clarify:
1) Our policy is to release the Eagle files of major revs of the hardware (2.0, 2.5, etc), but not incremental revs, simply because there are so many of them and it risks being a documentation and support nightmare. For some products the design files change several times a week as we source different components or improve our manufacturing methods. Like most other open source hardware companies we don't rev our public files with each incremental change (there can be literally hundreds), but only publish the reference designs when major changes are made.
2) What may be confusing is that I wear two hats: founder of this non-profit community, and co-founder of 3D Robotics, which is a company. When I say "we" won't support boards we don't make, I mean 3D Robotics customer support, not DIYD. As for the word "clone", I use that to describe companies that have simply copied our designs verbatim (including our logo and name, which is not open source), rather than creating variations or derivatives, which is what Open Source aims to encourage. We would like these companies to use phrases like "APM-compatible", rather than calling them APMs. Other open source hardware companies, such as Arduino, take the same approach.
3) We get bug reports every day. Until they go into the Issue Tracker, and can be verified by the dev team, we have no way of knowing whether they are in fact bugs or unique hardware or setup issues with that particular airframe. As a member of the dev team, Marco was able to fast-track that process with his issue, so we were able to identify the problem, create a patch and ship it within a matter of a week or two. It was a relatively rare effect that only showed up if a certain sequence of events took place (and had never come up in any of the testing before that), so we didn't issue a don't fly statement, but it was very thoroughly discussed in the regular forums here. I personally know of no other user who was affected by this bug.
In general, we test code as well as we can before shipping, but no code is bug-free and we can't promise that it is, only that no bugs had shown up in our own testing (both sim and autotesting, as well as at the field). If they do show up when flown by 100x-1,000x more people (the public), we have a process to confirm, understand and fix them as quickly as possible.
4) As we've said many times, we seek to constantly innovate and bring the best technologies to this community as quickly as we can. That means new products and upgrades on a much more rapid pace than most closed-source products. With autopilots, that typically means a unitary release about once a year (2.0 , 3.0) with a bridge release (2.5) in between. So too for GPS modules, where we're always evaluating the latest technologies to find those appropriate for this community. We are working on a new UBlox GPS, which is performing very well, and will bring that out as soon as possible. For planes, it may not make much difference, but it does seem to improve Loiter performance in copters, where fine-grained resolution is more important. This is why we sell APM with a port for an external GPS, so you can upgrade your module is you think a newer version will suit your needs better.
5) We're continuing to lead the discussions with Invensense to authorize public release of the code, not just for us but for all the other open source boards that use this chip. I'm optimistic that we'll find a resolution, but this is not something I can control. Be assured that when that day comes, this community will be the first to have access to the code. You are free to use the code yourself (it's out there), but we can't help you with that ourselves, for obvious reasons.
Not too much of a rant but it might help if there were more responses to new users questions in the forum sections
Otherwise people like myself are left to wander the internet looking for solutions to challenges we have and sometimes not being able to find answers
Thanks Monroe but I'm getting by for now, just that it's been difficult to get answers and I know that will put newbies off
Only trouble I have right now is a slight wobble on my quad that I can't seem to tune out, the wobble isn't constant just periodic
I was hoping that the pending 2.6 firmware might fix it
I have an Xaircraft X650 frame with original motors, Turnigy plush 25a esc's and the APM2
You can see the wobble in this video at 1:04 and at 2:09, it doesn't seem like much but with a camera on board it's quite significant, I'd just like to smooth it out a little
Hey Terry, have you joined the Arducopter User Group yet? You should get better responses posting there, since members get notifications whenever a new discussion is started.
For the wobble, this could be a loose bullet connector on your ESCs, if you're using them.
How do I join the user group ?
See the "groups" box on the right side of the page? Just find the group you want to join, go to its page, and locate the join button near the top
Looks like I am already in that group, don't even remember joining it :)
Insert Rant here: I've already conversed with Chris about my specific order...but just noticed Sparkfun have 1251 ATMEGA328P's in stock...and DIY have 51 Ardustations insteock but cannot ship without ATMEGA...but why is there no ATMEGA's available when Spark have over 1000...?
Leigh: I'll ping the team and find out what the stock status on that is.
EDIT: I'm not sure what problem you're seeing. I had no trouble adding an ArduStation to my cart and it didn't say there was a component out of stock. Have you tried recently?
Order #24049 shipped and @home !!!
Thank a lot for the apm box ^^
Waiting for someone to respond to posts sucks.
Googling through pages and pages of old forum posts to end up with a vague idea of an answer to the question sucks.
Reading Wiki pages for multi-rotor craft looking for answers to trad-heli questions sucks.
Reading "C++ for dummies" to still have no clue sucks.
Buying the on-board GPS only to find out that it sucks, sucks.
Finding the answer to what IMAX is sucked.
Not knowing why my GPS reads well in MP, has a solid blue 3Dfix LED with 10 sats, and not getting a blue "C" LED light (unless it's plugged into my PC) so I can try loiter sucks.
11:45 PM and going to sleep bummed about what I though was going to be an ultra cool learning experience with a UAV module
What ever, I'm going to bed.
I miss the old school RC crowd where there was always some guru who was willing to throw up a 10 second post for the guy that couldn't see the forest through the trees and asked some basic question that we all take for granted since we've been doing it for years... Now it's a world full of programmers who expect you to understand a layered PID algorithm and the difference between STB and RATE P values.