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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              • Randy- can pitch operation be reversed with the advanced tuning param for "RC2_REV"? - or is this not the right setting.  I'm figuring not since no one mentioned it but thought I'd ask.

              • related??--- The last time [ 2 years ago ] I set up a plane [ gas ] on a pixhawk I literally had to install and electronic servo reverser to get the GCS throttle [ ch 3 ] display to read high pwm on high throttle and low on low throttle so that throttle FS would work. I think it was an issue that the ch 3 reverse button in APMP2 would reverse the servo but should not have also reversed the ch 3 pwm display… or something like that. Reversing it on the TX didn’t work right either. I spent 3 days messing with it I couldn't believe I actually was gonna need a physical servo reverser but it did. Bottom line I think sometimes when you actually have a servo there are times you need to reverse the throw but NOT the pwm direction shown / read in the GCS and pixhawk. 

              • Thanks for updating the wiki page Randy- Any chance to put an indicator inside MP on the radio calibration screen? or maybe just a small "fyi" type of notation about ch2 reversal? I know it seems minor (and it is) but it would save some frustration at the field on 1st flight for those (like me) new to the Ardupilot / MP platform. If it happens cool, if not, still cool. you guys are five stars.

            • Nope, not a bug.  I think the real reason for this is lost to the mists of history.  At some point somebody had to decide if 1000 pwm was "nose down" or 2000.  There is no right or wrong answer to that question.

  • 3.3 FOR WIDER USERSSS!!!!!!!   :D  :D :D

  • Just installed RC11 on my extended f550 (I ran earlier 3.3 RC's, but went back to 3.2.1 up until now). I re-calibrated everything, and am getting a PreArm: GPS Horiz Error as soon as I try to arm (I can see previous attempts reporting 6.1, 6.0 and the latest at 5.1). I have reported 10 sats and a DHOP of 1.4. I appreciate that EKF is not satisfied with the GPS fix, but wonder how I would be able to improve this given the DHOP value and sat count I have is about the best I can get. I'd really like to be able to use PosHold. Any advice plz?

    • The GPS Horiz Error was shortly followed with a GPS Speed Error. The sat count eventually went up to 17 and a DHOP of 1.0 and I was able then to arm without issue. I am using the dreaded M8N on a small pole/mount which is sitting well away from the other electronics and power, elevated about 4" above the arm to which the mount is attached. Something like this:

      f5501.jpg?width=400In 3.2.1 it flies great in PosHold - totally steady with hands off. Never had any unexpected GPS behaviour either in about 20 flights with this copter.

      • I have an M8N and experience similar behavior- today for example, i had to let the copter sit for about 5 minutes before being able to arm. i had 11 sats showing and 3D Fix but hdop was not low enough to arm in PosHold. I usually see the same types of speed errors, bad AHRS errors, bad gps horizon errors initally but they go away after a few minutes-   it's still a bit annoying but that's probably some of the price you pay for accuracy and precision in a gps mode.

        I still need to experiment with custom configs for the M8N. if you google "marco config M8N" you should find threads / links to a specific M8N config file which is supposed to help performance a bit. In order to load the config you need U-Center software, connect the FC to MP via USB, use 'serial passthrough to GPS' in Mission Planner, load the config file to the M8N through U-Center, save, then remove the receive wire from the GPS module so the config does not get overwritten next time the pixhawk reboots.

      • I had the same issue and it went away after I covered the bottom of the GPS mast with copper tape.

        • Thanks for the info - do you have a photo at all?

This reply was deleted.


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