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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  • Just loaded 3.2. Did the comp calibration and the results are -72 -2 -123 and 69 -230 -450 Is this normal? the numbers seem to be all over the place. Turned off auto on the calibrate and had around 2100 points.


    • I'm struggling with this issue also. My numbers are -61 44 199 and 138 58 -570. Arg!!. Took my Pixhawk off my bird and mounted it on a board with just the external GPS to get a barebones baseline. Almost exact same numbers. Does this mean the magnetometer in the Pixhawk is hooped????

      • Peter,

        Try removing the screws in the case and taping it and if that does nothing, try demagnetizing the magnetometer. I didn't do this to my internal compass but I had to do it to my external compass and it worked like a charm (as it did for the person who let me know). I had an old tape head demagnetizer which works well. When I held it stationary over the chip it actually made it worse but after I waved it the offsets dropped dramatically. Please let me know how you make out, I'd love to know if this is an issue with the internal compass.

        • Finally dug uup a demagnetizer. How did you demagnetize your compass? Did you just slowly wave it over the external case? Also, it is my internal compass that is way off  ( z > 500). Any idea which chip is the magnitometer? I'm also wondering if there could be any bad side-effects by using the demagnitizer over the Pixhawk board?

          • I didn't demag my Pixhawk, just the neo 8 gps but I waived it over the magnetometer reasonably quickly. I can't help you with the mag location (I don't want to pull mine off and apart) but you may find it by Googling it. The demagnetizer should have no effect on any of the other parts, other than remove the SD card, although I don't think it would hurt that either.

            • Ok, took a go at the demagnetization trick and got a noticeable improvement in compass calibration:

              Before: -61 44 199 and 138 58 -570

              After:    -84 5 9      and 51 35 -70

              The z values are reasonable now. Hopefully I didn't cook anything on the Pixhawk board. I did the demagnitization twice, for about 5-10 seconds each time. For the Pixhawk I ran the demagnitizer on the bottom of the case in very slow circles.

              On another note I used a free android magnetic field detector app to go over my hexacopter build (Tarot t810) and found a few really nasty metal screw inserts that caused my phone to hop out of my hand! Demagnitized those with the wand and now they are "dead".

              It seems to me that these demagnitizing wands *might* be a good addition to a standard drone tool kit. Just wished I knew if they could potentially have a bad impact on some small component on the Pixhawk board. Guess I'll find out when I spin up my bird!

              • Glad to hear you had good results. There really is nothing electronic that should be harmed by the demagnetizer. The only remote possibility would be a small induced voltage on some wires but nothing to harm the guts. 

                There are now several people who have seen results from doing this so it would be great if Randy or whomever in the dev. team would look into this a little more and try to understand why this corrects the magnetometer problems. This is important because, if the offsets can drift with time as the magnetometer becomes "magnetized" (or whatever happens) then flyaways can easily result.   

              • In my case the large values came from some older versions of the MP compass calibration with "auto finish" With the later beta versions (manual finish) my compass looks now reasonable. I also noticed that the heading position of the copter is much more stable now. I think there was a undocumented bug in some MP Betas with the compass calibration which lasts to huge offsets espacially on the z axis. 

                • I've been having my trouble for weeks and tried numerous beta versions of Mission Planner. I did one last test last night, using the lastest Mission Planner Beta, and still got the same crazy numbers. After demagnitizing - viola - reasonable numbers. Of course - I admit - I don't know if I should be doing this! I have sent some emails to 3dr and they are looking into this issue. So who knows... I guess I find out once I go flying (-15C outside right now. eek.). Also, of note, is the fact that my Pixhawk was purchased 6-9 months ago and has just been sitting around. Maybe I got an early version that was not so finely tuned????

                  • Didn't see this reply before I posted. I'm glad you contacted 3DR and I'll be interested to hear what they say.

This reply was deleted.


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