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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                • It was a Whitespy compass that I had trouble getting the orientation right with also. It is the only compass that I have used so far that required extra work to get it right.
                  • i suspect all whitespy units are unsafe. 45mm gps unit ate battery i soldered in in fall over winter, and its gps is producing highly erratic data that causes vehicle to wander around. it is not charging battery and i am not going to solder in a replacement anymore. reading of sats also dropped from 18-20 down to 8-11, it correlates to responses from some other people. smaller 35mm unit seems to be getting more stable readings - vehicle is not hunting around that much with it as gps source but it is also reading 12-14 sats top, a m8n unit. 

  • Another flight with 3.4 flew great. Just wish I could increase the PIDs but with my Mac and APM P2 I can't :[ 

    BTW    LASTLOG.TXT = great idea!!! probably been around a year but I only just noticed... excellent idea!!

    • You should have the full parameter list and in there you can adjust PIDs. I would have to look the names, but I'm pretty sure they start with ATC_

      • ahhh yes good point. Thanks

        • Does anyone know of a Website that has the parameter list and what the meanings are ?

          • That's one thing I REALLY like about Tower is if you select a param it actually tells you things about it. My GCS on my computer running APM P2 often just tells you you can select 0-10 or something like that for flight modes. So unless you have that memorized you don't know what to select. 

          • Is this the list you are looking for?

            Complete Parameter List — Copter documentation
            • Yes, Thank You Derek

    • why not use bootcamp, or a virtual machine, or maybe wine and use mission planner?

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