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]

 

Tuning:
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!).

 

Happy flying!

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Also regarding the circle after RTL, this is because your quad has entered LOITER and your loiter need tuning!

You can either choose to autoland or auto approach (loiter at home position) in the mission planner. AUTOland will land the quad rather than subjecting it to your 'circling' loiter params.

Also you can enable retro loiter, but i suggest you re-read the WIKI and some of the 2.5 thread first ;)

Hi Dave C,

thanks for your advice,

i never landing without STAB mode,

after loiter/RTL my finger switch STAB mode before doing manual landing.. :)

Cool, 

@Yovio, do you think that may have been your problem? an attempted landing in Alt_hold?

Otherwise we could do with looking more into this :)

Wow what a great release. I'm coming from previous MP released version which was already very nice but this is rock solid to fly. I've tried all the auto functions and it works perfect. I'm using 3DR stock frame, standard motors and 10" carbon reinforced props (makes big difference) and jani gopro mount, 3300, 5000 or 6000mAH 4S battery, APM2, xBee900MHz, Castle 10A BEC and soon to install sonar. Great work everyone. Thanks!

+1 on the props,

I use crap ones, for economies sake, to test indoors when its raining. I tune to a certain level (just pre oscillation...)

Then once I swap for better props I can usually tighten things up by 10% or so (i.e increase rate_P and D, and yaw_P before the 'wags' set in again.

I'm presuming this is due to some of the oscillation occurring as the cheap props flex about, so stiff props are better for performance. But they don't agree with table legs or door frames.

Is there any documentation for using CopterLEDs?  I do know about U4eake's showleds blot entry, just wondering if there's anything more current for the 2.6 release.  Like which pins to use and how to control it.

@ultrojo

"i realised that  i  landing smoothly because new firmware have throtle management  . is that true? when i throtled down, feel that the quad descending slowly and smooth"

 

Yes for alt_hold and loiter modes, but in stab or acro if you take throttle to zero it will cut the power. 

 

However, on a tangent - and after a glass or two - one of the best way to judge how well tuned your frame is is to do a fast vertical decent in stab. Since you are decending in your own downwash it cause aerodynamic haywire for the APM, esp as it has reduced power to play with for compensation.  

 

I'm thinking your 'throttle management' might just mean 'better standard params' though i may be wrong. 

 

If my tri will fall vertically and flat at about 10m/sec and 25% throttle, and then stay level when i blip throttle to avoid terra firma i usually decide its time to get the goggles out ;)

 

Hi Bruce..

It depends what you wish the LEDs to do? there are a few modes? I am not sure if Mr Lefebvre has put a wiki somewhere? If he reads this? I am sure he will point you in the right direction...

Oh, Dave, I had a question for you, something I wasn't clear about.... how do you feel about landing while in Alt_Hold? ;)

Yep, would love to know just what I can do with it.  I've got some LEDs now that are on all the time.  I'd love to make them a bit more intelligent or at least entertaining.

Guys, just be careful not to draw too much current through the boards. It's easy to do with some of the LED strips or some of the more powerful LEDs available today. Consider the APM, telemetry, servo, rx requirements and add one too many LEDs can lead to A loss of controlled flight and possibly a remedial course in the electrical fuse :) when that happens to a diode on your APM, you'll be wishing you'd done the math before adding the bling. ~_^

ive had trouble today with altitude hold in loiter - the first switch to loiter resulted in dropping out of the air (not quite like a stone, but close).  further attempts with no change in parameters in a few cases worked, but usually caused a climb or a descent.

i wonder if it might be related to TRIM_THROTTLE as i have seen some very different values between flights - now its at 430 which is pretty normal, but i saw it as low as ~380 earlier.  could it be taking the average over too short a period?

anybody else seen this? as yesterday i didnt have this problem and everything else is perfect.  attached log with "stone drop" and climbing loiters.

james

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