Developer

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

                Chandruth,

                Yes, if the pilot increases the throttle above the top of the althold dead zone (i.e. 60% or higher) it'll recover.  Txs for the feedback.

                • Hi Randy,

                  Who knows maybe the 0%-5% thing could help when landing on boats in rough seas or rivers. Thanks again for developing such and amazing code for Copter.

                  Regards

                  Chandruth

          • Developer

            Chandruth,

            Yes, we could do that.  There are a few reasons we haven't done that:

            1. we need to reliably determine if it's landed in all modes and we can't rely on the pilot's throttle during Auto, Guided or throttle failsafe situations.

            2. sprung throttles are becoming more common and I wonder if it's reasonable to expect people to pull the throttle all the way down once the vehicle has landed or should they be able to hold the throttle 1/2 way down and have it slow the motors?

            3. we're not getting false positives with the current check and we didn't have this requirement in AC3.1.5 which people seem ok with.

            So, definitely not saying 'no'... just saying 'haven't done it yet' and it's unclear if it's necessary.

      • My X8 hovers at 25-30% so a 5% throttle off would be good for me too.

  • APM2.6 using 3.2rc7 many good flights Stab,Alth,PosHld,Loit,mission and followme but tonight I could not get into followme mode using Nexus 7 and droid planner. Using log Analz I see this line

    Test: PM = FAIL - 14 slow loop lines found, max 10.80% on line 4955

    First time I have seen this  any help ?

    2014-09-23 17-36-38.log

  • I finally got a satisfactory flight on 3.2 with my trad heli (TREX 550).  It's really promising. Fully auto flight from takeoff to land.  The flight control now is rock solid. 

    Landing is sweet.  Is this an updated feature?  It speeds down to about 10 meters (quite scary) but then slows to a gentle final descent with the 1 foot hesitation before a touchdown softer than I could do.  I really like it.

    On this trad heli,  there were SIGNIFICANT PID changes from 3.1.4.  (with a lot more Parameters to figure out).

    Now I have to work on Splines.  The turns are not coordinated (slipping about 15 degrees) and each waypoint jumps.

    I'm also having troubles with a freezing minim OSD.  I think it's the OSD itself, though.

    I'll take some videos next time I'm out.

    • Hi Ray,

      Yes, there's significant difference on Tradheli dynamics.  The AHRS_ACCEL parameters allow you to soften the control inputs.  I would suggest you try 72000 for both RP and Yaw on your larger machine.  I'm running 144000 on my 500.  These params actually really help the copter respond smoothly to inputs.  The other thing that changed is there is a low-pass-filter on the Rate FF term now.  It defaults to 20Hz and I think this should be about right.  I use the same value on all my machines, from the 500 to the 800 gasser.  What this does, is it should allow you to run much higher FF terms to help achieve the target rates without getting control oscillations.

      I and D might also need changes, because they both were affected by a ... bug of sorts on Pixhawk, where the controllers were running at 400hz although they assumed they were running at the same 100Hz as on the APM.  So there was some timing that was off a bit.

      • Based on this information, 3.2 is safe to install on a traditional helicopter. Is this correct? It sounds like it has a lot of new features and parameters to make it fly better.
        • I was running 3.1.4 on a traditional heli.  I had to change a lot of my PIDs significantly when I upgraded to 3.2.  

          Also there were some changes like land re-position was turned off and Feed forward was turned off.  Not sure if that is fixed now but carefully go through parameters and be ready to retune.

          It's still beta but I'm now flying as good as I was on 3.1.4.  

          • Developer

            By the way, if there are better defaults for some of the parameters we can definitely change them just for tradheli.  I've always thought that the current params for the tradheli should work out-of-the-box for a flybarless trex450 but I could be wrong.  Rob is the expert and if he agrees the defaults should be changed them I'm a-ok changing them ahead of the AC3.2.

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