Copter-3.3 beta testing

Warning #1: an issue has been found with Tower's Pause button which can cause the vehicle to fly to an old position if the vehicle has not sent a position update to Tower in some time.

Warning #2: Copter-3.3.2 fixes a bug found in Copter-3.3.1's desired climb rate initialisation which could lead to a sudden momentary drop when switching from Stabilize or Acro to AltHold, Loiter or PosHold.

Warning #3: Copter-3.3.2 fixes an issue found in Copter-3.3.1 which could lead to hard landings in RTL or AUTO if the WPNAV_SPEED_DN was set too high (i.e. >400 or 4m/s) and/or the WPNAV_ACCEL_Z was set too low (i.e. <100 or 1m/s/s).

Warning #4: a bug was found in Copter-3.3 which could cause a sudden crash if you abort a Take-off initiated from a ground station.  Video description is here.  The bug is fixed in Copter-3.3.1 so we recommend upgrading.

Note #1: AC3.3-rc8 corrected a long standing bug in the HDOP reporting.  HDOP values will appear about 40% lower than previously but this does not actually mean the GPS position is better than before.
Note #2: if upgrading from AC3.2.1 the vehicle's accelerometer calibration needs to be done again.
Note #3: set SERIAL2_PROTOCOL to "3" and reboot the board to enable FrSky telemetry like in previous versions.
Note #4: the wiki will be updated over the next few weeks to explain how to use the new features

Copter-3.3.1 is available through the mission planner.  The full list of changes vs AC3.2.1 can be see in the ReleaseNotes and below are the most recent changes since AC3.3.

Sadly this version (and all future versions) will not run on the APM2.x boards due to CPU speed, flash and RAM restrictions.

Changes from 3.3:

1) Bug fix to prevent potential crash if Follow-Me is used after an aborted takeoff

2) compiler upgraded to 4.9.3 (runs slightly faster than 4.7.2 which was used previously)

Changes from 3.3-rc11:

1) EKF recovers from pre-arm "Compass variance" failure if compasses are consistent

Changes from 3.3-rc10:

1) PreArm "Need 3D Fix" message replaced with detailed reason from EKF

Changes from 3.3-rc9
1) EKF improvements:
    a) simpler optical flow takeoff check
2) Bug Fixes/Minor enhancements:
    a) fix INS3_USE parameter eeprom location
    b) fix SToRM32 serial protocol driver to work with recent versions
    c) increase motor pwm->thrust conversion (aka MOT_THST_EXPO) to 0.65 (was 0.50)
    d) Firmware version sent to GCS in AUTOPILOT_VERSION message
3) Safety:
    a) pre-arm check of compass variance if arming in Loiter, PosHold, Guided
    b) always check GPS before arming in Loiter (previously could be disabled if ARMING_CHECK=0)
    c) sanity check locations received from GCS for follow-me, do-set-home, do-set-ROI
    d) fix optical flow failsafe (was not always triggering LAND when optical flow failed)
    e) failsafe RTL vs LAND decision based on hardcoded 5m from home check (previously used WPNAV_RADIUS parameter)

Thanks for your testing!

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      • Developer

        The throttle seems to stay at zero for this whole flight so perhaps this is the wrong log file?

        • was the only log file on it :( I'll try again a little later today.

  • Can somebody shed some light on what might be going on with my hex? 

    This thing has flown for almost 2 years and has been an absolute joy to fly. But not any more.

    1st symptom: Throttle is like super sluggish. When I give it throttle it like takes its time to actually spool up and takes as much time to spool down. I've calibrated the ESCS a ton of time. 

    2nd symptom: I can get it in the air but then all of a sudden it acts like it's in auto tune (2) it pitches forward for no reason, then pitches back for no reason and I have to fight like hell to keep it from crashing.

    I think the attached log is from the few seconds I had it in the air tonight so maybe someone can help me deduce just what is going on.

    I took the FC off my beater quad after having quite a few successful flights, then set all the pids back to default and nothing I change makes it act any different.

  • Here's my dilemma. 

    I have a Pixhawk that continuously throws up BAD GYRO HEALTH.

    And even though my Tarot 650 is perfectly still, the HUD is jumping all over the place.

    Some times even goes upside down, etc.

    I've seen uTube vids of this problem since 2013.

    I'm sure this could be due to a faulty board.

    But never-the-less, the problem seems to be very common.

    Now here's the interesting thing.

    I installed firmware 3.1.5.

    And just like that everything is working perfectly.

    Then I tried v3.2.1 and the latest 3.3RC10.  With the exact same problem.

    Reading through the release notes, I see that the secondary gyros have been activated as of v3.2.

    Looking at my lives stats I can see that gx,gy,gz are relatively still, but gx2,gy2,gz2 are jumping all over the place.

    This is why I came to to the conclusion the board is faulty with the secondary gyros.

    My questions is...I can use the Pixhawk with v3.1.5, but I was to use the latest firmware.

    So how can I de-activate the secondary gyros, so that it behaves like v3.1.5.

    I'm sure a lot of people will find this to be a solution to boards that are out of warranty.

    • Maybe try INS_USE2 set to 0?

      I see now it can be set to a 3rd Gyro as well, maybe we can now use an off board gyro?

      • oh man...that easy......can't believe I missed it! are right, it did the trick.

        Funny I was looking for a setting like this, but in flipping through firmwares I missed it.

        v3.2.1 doesn't have it.

        But v3.3 does.


        thanks for the quick response.




  • As promised I finished a full round of auto tunes on a hawk lite starting with 3.1.5, then running 3.2.1, and finally 3.3-rc10 with full logs and video

    They can be downloaded Here with video (large @ 2.5Gigs) or Here with no vids @ 6 Megs They contain logs and pids from before and after the auto tunes. 

    A quick summary is 3.1.5 was good, 3.2.1 sucked, 3.3-rc10 was good but to be honest 3.3-rc10 stock pids felt much better.

    Starting in the morning [the only time down here with little to no wind right now] I'll run the exact same runs on a second hawk lite on the exact same frame [my beater quad] and post them as a reply.
    • Totally agree 3.1.5 had the best autotune right away.  Did you do 3.2.1 autotune with EKF enabled or disabled? 

      • Whatever is default :(

  • Parachute testing on RC10.  Haven't tested the chutes since RC4 or5.  But Can't seem to get them to work consistently.  After arming and powering up, I'll lift the copter and tilt it which should release the parachute.  Sometimes it does.  Other times I get crash detected and no parachute release.  Consistently it's a 50% of chute release of crash detection, but never both.  I've attached a log with the Chute error and one with a crash error.  Also, when setting the min_chute alt at 0 they won't release manually.  MP just says chute landed.

    2015-08-30 15-16-54.bin

    2015-08-30 15-17-48.bin
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