ArduCopter-3.2 beta testing

Warning #1: PX4/Pixhawk users upgrading from AC3.1.5 (or earlier) may need to re-do their compass and accelerometer calibration because AC3.2 also uses the backup compass and accels.  Pre-arm checks have been added to ensure this has been done.

Warning #2: on the APM2.x the logs must be downloaded using MAVlink instead of the terminal.

AC3.2-rc14 is now available for BetaTesters through the mission planner’s Beta Firmwares link.  The full release notes can be found in ReleaseNotes.txt and changes from -rc13 can be seen below.

     Feel free to raise issues found during testing on this discussion or in the new support section in the APM Forum.

     It’s a big release with “the onion” restructure and a bunch of new features (including these 57 closed items) so we need to re-test almost everything including all flight modes, all mission commands and all the new features.  Marco and I will be maintaining (and adding to) this testing list.  Issues reported will first be checked by Jonathan, Marco and I and then confirmed bugs/issues will be put on the github issues list (and then hopefully fixed).

     Thanks especially to the beta testers who put their copters at risk testing each release.  Enjoy!

Changes from 3.2-rc13
1) Safety Features:
     a) fail to arm if second gyro calibration fails (can be disabled with ARMING_CHECK)
2) Bug fixes:
    a) DCM-check to require one continuous second of bad heading before triggering LAND
    b) I2C bug that could lead to Pixhawk freezing up if I2C bus is noisy
    c) reset DCM and EKF gyro bias estimates after gyro calibration (DCM heading could drift after takeoff due to sudden change in gyro values)
    d) use primary GPS for LED status (instead of always using first GPS)

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    • Developer


           Yes, the time has come to update the manuals.  We will be starting on that shortly.  The first order of business is the modified sonar & range finder pages because the set-up is very different now.

           Which links do you mean by the way?

  • Tried 3.2-rc3 yesterday - Everything seemed to work Ok but drift mode still turns very slowly.

    • Developer


          Ok, thanks for the report.  We will have a look.

  • i did about 50 auto missions with AC3.2-rc2 and did not have a issue in Auto, stabilize, RTL, battery Failsafe, Loiter. Only in Hybrid mode the craft keeps drifting upto 5meters before holding position. my frame is a 3DR frame (old type) with 2830-920KV motors. 5200 walkera battery.

    • I have the exact problem. Was really excited to try out hybrid mode but completely perplexed that all other auto modes work great.

  • Developer

        At long last ArduCopter-3.2-rc3 (release candidate #3) is now available through the mission planner’s beta firmwares link.  The list of changes can be found in the ReleaseNotes but I’ve also copied them below.

         There’s one change in behaviour which you should be careful of which is 3a, “disable pilot repositioning while landing in RTL, Auto”.  If you’ve gotten use to changing the vehicle’s horizontal position as it lands in RTL or Auto and you’d like to keep that behaviour you’ll need to set the LAND_REPOSITIONING parameter to 1.

         As for when the official release will happen.  There’s still a good number of items on the to-do list but we are also already way overdue on the release schedule so some of the items will need to be shifted to AC3.3.

         Anyway, please be careful when testing and report any issues found  here.  Thanks for your help!


    ArduCopter 3.2-rc3 16-Jul-2014, Changes from 3.2-rc2

    1) Hybrid renamed to PosHold

    2) Sonar (analog, i2c) and PulsedLight Range Finders enabled on Pixhawk (Allyson, Tridge)

    3) Landing changes:

        a) disable pilot repositioning while landing in RTL, Auto (set LAND_REPOSITION to 1 to re-enable) (JonathanC)

        b) delay 4 seconds before landing due to failsafe (JonathanC)

    4) Secondary compass calibration enabled, pre-arm check that offsets match current devices (Randy, Tridge, MichaelO)

    5) Control improvements:

        a) use bias adjusted gyro rates - helps in cases of severe gyro drift (Jonathan)

        b) bug-fixes when feed-forward turned off (Leonard)

    6) TradHeli improvements (RobL):

        a) bug fix to use full collective range in stabilize and acro flight modes

        b) filter added to main rotor input (ch8) to ensure momentary blip doesn't affect main rotor speed

    7) Safety items:

        a) increased default circular Fence radius to 300m to reduce chance of breach when GPS lock first acquired

        b) radio failsafe timeout for late frames reduced to 0.5sec for normal receivers or 2.0sec when flying with joystick (Craig)

        c) accelerometer pre-arm check for all active accelerometers (previously only checked the primary accelerometer)

    8) Other features:

        a) ch7/ch8 option to retract mount (svefro)

        b) Do-Set-ROI supported in Guided, RTL mode

        c) Condition-Yaw accepted in Guided, RTL modes (MoussSS)

        d) CAMERA dataflash message includes relative and absolute altitude (Craig)

    9) Red Balloon Popper support (Randy, Leonard):

        a) Velocity controller added to Guided mode

        b) NAV_GUIDED mission command added

    10) Bug fixes:

        a) bug fix to flip on take-off in stabilize mode when landing flag cleared slowly (JonathanC)

        b) allow disarming in AutoTune (JonathanC)

        c) bug fix to unpredictable behaviour when two spline points placed directly ontop of each other

    • Randy,

      I know you're always busy, first thanks for RC3, but regarding this:

           There’s one change in behaviour which you should be careful of which is 3a, “disable pilot repositioning while landing in RTL, Auto”.  If you’ve gotten use to changing the vehicle’s horizontal position as it lands in RTL or Auto and you’d like to keep that behaviour you’ll need to set the LAND_REPOSITIONING parameter to 1.

      To me it seems smarter to allow the pilot to be able to reposition the aircraft if needed on landing, before I enable this setting, can you tell me the reason why it was disabled in the default settings for RC3?

      • Developer

        Rich, Raph,

            We had a at least two long debates in the dev team about whether we should allow horizontally repositioning the vehicle as it Lands in an Auto mode or not.

        Arguments for repositioning: We should allow it because it makes it easier to reposition the vehicle at the end of the mission to ensure it lands on flat ground.  It's also the default behaviour in AC3.1.5 and earlier versions.

        Arguments against: (a) if the pilot wishes to take control during autonomous landing, he/she should should switch to loiter or PosHold mode where he/she has full control of all axis instead of trying to beat the clock and get the vehicle into position as it comes down.

        (b) We've seen a few crashes caused by people incorrectly setting up their failsafe so that their roll or pitch channels went to zero meaning the vehicle flew home fine in RTL but then sped off during the landing portion.

             We couldn't agree, so we added a parameter to allow selecting the behaviour.  There's an open question about whether the default should be allowing or disallowing repositioning.  For now at least, I've set it to disallow because of the crashes.

        • I will definitely change the default to allow nudging as I don't like to be locked out of pitch and roll. I live in a woodsy environment and may need to avoid a tree or something if I'm landing in a tight space.

      • I am curious as well..

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