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


           Thanks very much for the report.  The EKF errors in particular are interesting (see below).

           I can't help too much with the AutoTune parameters, probably best to discuss that with Leonard on the AC3.1 AutoTune discussion.

           For the battery failsafe, it seems that there's no way to turn off low battery reporting even if FS_BATT_ENABLE = 0.  So it still reports the low battery to the pilot using the LEDs, Buzzer, message to the GCS and message in the log but it won't switch to LAND or RTL.  This behaviour is inconsistent with the other failsafe so we should add a "Report only" to the list of values for FS_BATT_ENABLE (issue raised here).  The situation is not dangerous though so we won't fix this for AC3.2.

           The warnings are coming up because the FS_BATT_MAH is set to 3000 but the total battery capacity is set to 3300.  This means the failsafe will trigger after only 300mAh have been consumed.  I'll update the wiki to make this more clear, until then the FS_BATT_MAH parameter comments explain this somewhat.


      I think the EKF warnings are highlighting a real problem with DCM's heading.  If we compare DCM vs EKF (EKF is normally more reliable) we see they disagree by 30deg.  This plus your reporting of some toilet-bowling in PosHold makes me think the heading really was bad and this is exactly what this check is there to find and warn the pilot about.  The fact that you could fix it with a compass-mot is also a good sign.


      By the way, the vehicle's internal compass has a lot of interference from the motors.  It's not used as long as the external compass is attached though so it's not a real problem and isn't related to any toilet bowling you've seen.

  • I believe I have found a bug in 3.2r12. When switching from Drift mode to other "assisted modes" for example loiter, position the yaw control is disabled. The only way to regain yaw control after using drift mode is to switch to stabilize mode and then to loiter or position. I will download a log file and upload it tomorrow.

    • Developer


      Thanks for the report.  I couldn't immediately recreate the problem in the simulator so looking forward to the logs.

      • Randy,

        I found out that for some reason the APM is not accepting the Position mode switch. I will have to double check my mode selection options and transmitter calibration. Sorry for the dodgy error report.

  • @manu, the solar activity was very high on oct 20 and oct 21. The K-index was 5. so it is quite possible that my GPS loss was becasue of solar activity. what i am doing is that i will try using the new ublox M8N GPS which is supposed to lock to 19 satellites typical.  i am sure the Pixhawk has nothing to do with it.

    • Where did you get that GPS? How does it connect to Pixhawk?

  • rc-13 works very well.
    I tested modes: stabilize, alt_hold, loiter, pos_hold, auto.

    Good job!!!

  • Today I had 2 flights with 3.2 rc12. Stabilize, Alt Hold, Position Hold, Loiter works great. I have done a complete flight in Position Hold mode. The only problem was when I had switched "Land" mode, the copter descended nicely but after landing it flipped to one side. The motors didn't disarm. I have switched into Stabilize mode and disarmed. So Landing is the only issue, it worked like a charm in 3.1.5.

    2014-10-24 13-30-05.log

    • Developer

      There're excessive throttle fluctuations in your log, check the vibrations in your quad, the land detectors don't like them much.

      • Hi Marco, now that you have mentioned about throttle fluctuations could mixed ESC (simonK & normal) be the cause? Actually one of the ESC went faulty so temporarily I have used non simonk for one motor till the new one arrives. By the way vibrations are under recommended levels.

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