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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                • I understand that 1 is the ext compass

    • i cant attach the log file, is too big....will figure another way

      • here is screenshot...the forum is acting weird today

  • 3702100724?profile=originalHad a strange behavior during autotune in rc12, when it was autotuning the roll axis it made a pause in the tune and yawed slowly 360 degres counterclockwise and then continued with the tune of roll axis? It finished all the 3 axis.

    The autotune was OK when it was finished, tried it for about 5 minutes.

  • when will the official 3.3 be released i been waiting a long time.. i see 12 rcs 

    • Kirk: you can get a try with carefull and returned to stab release if you don't like, for my last build, I have to solve some issues yet but this release is the difference to fly and no fly so no return for me.

      Remember to save your params in case you don't like it it's easy to go back..

    • Dear James T Kirk,

      I had some OT replays in this thread which were simply ignored, and I learned the lesson.

      I am happily flying the 3.3 beta without any issues from RC9 up, with my setup, but some people did or do have problems, and I am pretty sure that if 3.3 was officially out and you had any issues with it, your anger would be all over the forums.

      I learned a lot about the 3.3 simply by following this lengthy thread

      So you can either be silent and wait for the official version like me, or you can contribute to the beta in any way.

      Or you can ask Scotty to beam you up to the new version, or just switch to DJI, Naza or anything else.

      The devs are doing a wonderful work so please let them decide when it's time.

      Just my 2c.

  • Randy,

    I have a unique testing situation where one of my PixHawks has a faulty Gyro2.
    It's really all over the place, completely FUBAR.
    It won't stabilize at all.

    So I was glad that in v3.3, there was an option to disable Gyros.
    Since I set "INS_USE2=0", I can now use this Pixhawk with only the single Gyro1 working.

    However, the settings doesn't always work, specially during initial boot.
    Most of the time when I plug in the battery, the second gyro is still having an impact, and I get all kinds of EKF, GYRO, errors.
    I usually need to unplug the battery a couple times in succession, before Pixhawk ignores Gyro2 values.

    My point is that the Gyro disabled function, should be before any Pre-Arm checks.
    I haven't looked at the code, so I am not sure how it is now.
    But Pre-arm, Nav checks, definitely still check gyro2 even though its disabled.

    I also have my settings to skip INS Pre-Arm checks for this Pixhawk.
    Allowing it to eventually arm and use GPS modes.

    if you plan on making any code changes to how the INS_USE variables are used, I can test for you if its working, with my crippled Pixhawk.

    Also I can confirm that EKF errors do recover better, as per the release notes.

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