I won't pretend to be intimately familiar with the hardware or firmware here, but I doubt this is related to any of the PID settings.
As I understand it, the artificial horizon only presents information that it receives from the gyros and accelerometers. This information forms an input to the control system, and the PID terms form the control response.
The fact that the artificial horizon is drifting and generally incorrect leads me to believe this is a hardware problem.
I am not an expert but when iloaded your tlog files i dont see your satelite fixed? do you have satelite fixed? and you see 3D fixed on your Mission planner? have you tried to test it when the sat is fixed?
mmm... switch your props, check if the problem switches too.
If so, get harder props, APC or CF.
I tried eliminating all vibrations, including mounting the board to a rather large kitchen sponge, to no avail. Any thoughts? This log is with the board mounted on the sponge, and not quite in the air, just on the ground on the edge of taking off.
Vibrations would be random, this clearly is not. Also since this system depends on immediate sensor input to work in the first place, the relatively low resolution GPS signal are not going to affect it. The next logical step is try a different sensor, since this really looks like a case of malfunctioning sensor.
That's also where the problems lies. The whole APM projects is only here because of the high availability of low cost sensors that has been caused by the explosion of the smartphone market. But with no easy way to replace or add the sensor in question, we kind of hit a wall. Although of all the APM'S, you have the one that is easiest (and cheapest) to change out the IMU board. Do you know of anyone else that would let you swap out the IMU for a bit? Because that's the next logical step.
Unfortunately, while we do have another IMU board, it is currently down, and most likely dead, due to a USB issue. The current hardware seems to be working, just with some incredibly odd behaviors. What would you recommend as a course of action from here? Just a full replacement/upgrade to 2.5, or any other tricks for me to try? I have swapped props, triple-checked them, replaced a motor already because of a bent shaft, etc. It flies well in acro, so it isn't a hardware with my power/radio system. Do you think it could be a problem with the sensors being dirty or having residue built up on them from soldering within the general vicinity? We have done a significant amount of soldering in the last month or so, from redoing the Jdrones V1.0 kit to upgrading frames. What is the professionally accepted way to clean a board like this so I can rule that out? At this point, I don't quite know exactly what's causing this problem, and it's quite baffling. I had a few engineers in the UAV field look at it yesterday, and they came to relatively the same conclusion that it was tentatively a hardware problem. I don't even have the GPS or the compass enabled, or mounted for that matter, at the moment, figured that taking out any possible source of extra complexity would make it easier to debug.
I'm just speculating here, but I believe that sensor is a sealed unit. Heat can cause issues for pretty much all electronics, but it's impossible to say whether or not that may have caused the problem. As far as cleaning, I would imagine using electronics parts cleaner would be the way to go, although I would check with someone from 3DR before actually going ahead with it........But again with a sealed sensor, unless you have something causing a short it's probably not going to help.
Of course the best way to go is with a new 2.5+, especially since you will get the new dedicated power supply, and at $159 (without GPS) it's a pretty good deal......not to mention the new case it comes with.
I was looking at exactly that same board earlier, and I think that's the path I'll end up taking. The GPS that came with the 1.0 kit build should still work with the new 2.5 board, yes?
Yes, but if your GPS is that old, then for only $20 (when bought with the APM) the new board has some nice features, including a battery backup on board for quicker GPS locks and a larger circuit board.
Thank you very much everyone for your help! It looks as if the school has put enough money into the project that they are willing to pay for the APM 2.5 instead of grounding the project. With any luck, after I come back from break, there will be a new board waiting for me to pick up, and I'll keep you posted! I will most likely be back on here soon, we have a plane that we're going to help coding for a competition using the paparazzi autopilot system. With any luck, we hope to have the quadcopter and plane to communicate with each other to direct each other towards targets they identify by post-processing video to accomplish missions. That should be about a year away, though. ;) Thanks again for the help!
I've the same problem with my hexa. and I try differents solution, but nothing 's good yet.At this time I think it's the cold temperature which create this phenomene.
I thought about that at first, however, most of my test-flights, in fact all the ones I uploaded logs for, were tested within the confines of my dorm room.