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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              • Hi what did you use as a demagnitizer 

                Cheers stu

                • I just borrowed a standard (circa 1960's!) tape head, wand-style demagnitizer, from a local music shop. I'm now going to order one from ebay. They range in price from $5 -$20. I still have mixed feelings about using this device on my PIxhawk, but after weeks of battling crazy z numbers I no longer cared! So now all seems good.

                  Not promoting a particular brand, but I'm probably going to order something like this:


        • Terry, it is not the screws. The demagnetizer trick seems logical. Gonna see if I can find one of these things around town. I would love it if someone from 3DR commented on this issue. I'll let you know what happens. Maybe it doesn't matter, but I wonder if it makes sense for Pixhawk's to be compass calibrated at the factory, at a barebones level, and those numbers delivered with the kit. Then at least we would have a starting point and knowledge that at the factory the compass setup was good. The compass setup and calibration has caused me to waste days of time mucking with my hexacopter setup, when it wasn't my hexacopter setup! Maybe my Pixhawk was sitting next to a sub-woofer at the post office!!

          • If you search ebay you'll find lots of them but to get it quickly, check your local Source/Radio Shack. If they don't still carry (mine came from there years ago) then check an audiophile store.

          • Funny you mentioned it possibly being next to s subwoofer at the post office... one of my spare external mag/compasses was accidentally placed in one of those shiny strongly magnetic screw/parts holders by my son while he was helping me clean my workbench. Needless to say when I later installed it, I got some pretty amazing compass readings when attempting to calibrate it. Luckily before giving up and tossing it, I remembered where it had been stored before I tried to use it. I brought it to work,  used a demagnetizer on it and it has been good-to-go ever since.

            On a side note: I also discovered the best place for me to calibrate a compass is outside with a long usb cord and my laptop. Wall mounted magnetic tool holders, magnetic parts/screw holders, PC with stack of hard drives, etc, etc... on/nearby my workbench proved to be not the best place to do it. :)  

            • I've always had troubles doing my calibrations using a USB cable.  I found that the cable pulls on my Pixhawk/APM when I'm doing my calibration dance. :)

              I guess on the IRIS it wouldn't matter as much as there's a hard mounted USB connection but on my DIY quad it always messed me up!  :)


              • Yea, nothing like the joy of the usb cable disconnecting half-way through calibration. That and the look from neighbors when they see you performing some strange backyard seance with your UAV. I found that zip-tying the usb cable to the frame works well. 

                • I am using $9 bluetooth module connected to one copter. Sure, range is limited but still, 5m without cables is much better for configuration than cable :-)

                  And for Pixhawk - you need only cheap module from china and cable with DF13 to connect it (and one serial converter to configure bluetooth modul itself to 115K and reasonable name)

                  • +1 for the bluetooth module. I am getting one of those. Much better than USB cable, much cheaper than full range telemetry Rx/Tx. It sure will get the job done...

  • Hi,

    I had RC9 previously, after going into mission planner and upload to latest beta from there (hopefully RC14). pre arm is now saying I need to re-calibrate compass. Is that normal procedure? Just checking because I thought once I had 3.2 I do not need to do that again.

    Also, two quick questions.

    How / where can I download RC13?

    Where do I check to confirm which firmware my pixhawk is currently on?

This reply was deleted.


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