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

      Hello everyone,

      @Shaun, this mistake is due to the inclusion of the variable "Timeus" to CAM messages and restructuring of the message CAM data. Note that the variable "Timeus" has been included in all messages, so the messages ATT and GPS are also affected. To fix this, simply adjust properly "offtsets" in the setup screen Geotag Mission Planner tool.

      Your configuration is incorrect, with new releases, for ArduCopter, Mission Planner must be set like this:


      I hope I've helped.

      Regards from Spain,


    • I just performed a mapping flight and I'm having this exact same issue trying to geo-ref my images with 3.3-rc7.

      Using AMSL Altitude True
      Reading log for GPS Messages in order to get AMSL Altitude
      Log file problem. Aborting....

      I'm guessing it's because of the size of the log file with all the fast IMU logging enabled (80mb). Does anyone have a workaround? It's quite important to get these images geotagged!

      Edit; I can see the CAM messages are in the log if I filter them out. Is there any way to export these into their own log or otherwise work with them?

      • Developer

        Good to have these reports.

        It's possible that it's because of the changes to the size of the time field.  I've created an item here for the Mission Planner to investigate/fix this.

        • Thanks Randy.  I've got Pix4d looking into making sure their software will works with 3.3 logs as well.

          • Pix4d says the kappa angle is 90 degrees off and that's causing the orientating problem with their software geotagging.  CAM, 595372339, 339994200, 1854, 49.8042384, -119.4715983, 578.83, 69.99, 2.10, -9.35, 266.46.  In my quality reports I get and RMS error on kappa at 89 degrees.  Sure it won't be too difficult to fix : )

        • Thanks, let me know if you need any logs, but I would assume this is an easy one to recreate.

          Is there a potential workaround in the mean time?

          • Trying to use photoscan, so hopefully there's a fix in MPs geo-ref tool soon!

            I tried to manually pull the CAM lines from the rc7 log into their own file and format them the same as a 3.2 log, so that the tool would accept them, but didn't have any luck. There ended up being 300 CAM lines for the 170 images that were taken, so I'm not even sure what's going on there...

            • Thanks for the info. I ended up just using the .tlog off the tablet to tag the images with a time offset. Took a bit of trial and error to get the offset close to where it should have been, but was still not as accurate as using the CAM messages.

            • Glenn, assuming 3 things: that the GPX file and the JPEGs are in the same folder, that you are located in that folder with the command line tool (whether Mac or PC), and that the time in the images and the time in the log are in sync, then the ExifTool command is "exiftool -geotag NameOfFile.gpx *.JPG" (match the case of the extension of your images). You'll get a bunch of error messages, but they have no consequences (anyway, they did not for me). Sample check the exif info by looking into one of the images: you should see the five newly added GPS tags. If you need to deal with a timezone or other time difference between images and GPX, you'll need to use the Geosync tag in the exiftool command: find out more about that here: I hope this helps. Let me know. Fred

            • Yes please Fred, do you mind posting the exiftool command you used? Also if there are any other steps to get the tags into the images that info would be appreciated!

              I have created the KMZ + GPX from the log, and have exiftool.exe and the gpx in the folder of the images to geotag.


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