This is a discussion related to the Copter development priority debate that popped on the Copter-3.3 beta testing thread.  A quick categorization of the things we work on in each release include:

  • bug fixes (i.e. fixes to existing features that have a defect)
  • safety features (i.e. new features that improve reliability)
  • other new features (i.e. non safety features like landing gear)

The basic question might be, "are we spending too much time on new features, time that should instead be spent on bug fixes or safety features?".  Let the debate continue!

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I'm on vacation in San Diego. I planned on taking some cool video of mission bay while here. But as I sit here I'm remembering my flyaway that resulted in a total loss and about $1300. Iceberg keeping up with the Google group "bad gyro." What this all means is, I don't trust my pixhawk anymore. It sucks that I am scared to use this expensive tool for fear of it flying away or not responding to commands. I don't want another flyaway but more importantly I am afraid of hurting someone.

So my answer to the question is....please make these reliable. Make them safe. I could careless about lidar or optical flow. I don't really even know what they are. I care about safety and solid reliability. I wonder how many solo's 3dr will replace before they decide it's better to turnout a reliable product then to replace them.

RE: "I'm also waiting for somebody to point out a "bug" in 3.2 that needs fixing" 

yes, yes and yes, IMHO it is not the AC code that needs to changed much, but rather the way how AC information (Wiki) is presented. I think of the things which would help people is to integrate wiki into MP -> hover mouse on-top of a parameter name and you get the necessary message along with a link to an example or a wiki article. 

You gotta admit, that a lot of the newer AC crowd comes from photo and video crowd who by definition are ARTISTS and not engineers, their though process is totally different from engineers. Many people I tried to sway into using a pixhawk were scared to death of all the available options in MP and the lack of readily available explanation of the functions/settings/parameters inside the program. Many of the full parameters list explanations are not clear to the newcomers who come from dumb Naza.

And another point: get away from using word Wiki.... unfortunately most of the crowd coming from AP is totally convinced that open source = amateur (mostly thanks to own ignorance). I think it is better to be "tolerant" to them and call the wiki something like "AC manual". And of course, try to think why in the wide-stream mentality about Apple = "It just works", while being essentially the same hardware as other manufacturers. 

p.s. please fix the Alt Hold drop.... you know even NAZA is able to do it just fine (on any frame)

> I know it could be a full time job just doing that!  So thank you to whomever does that!

You're welcome. That would mostly be me, with a lot of support from Randy, Grant, Tridge, Craig and many others.

With respect to EKF/DCM warnings, these are documented in EKF / DCM Check & Failsafe. They may not be obvious if you browse, but they are obvious in search (http://copter.ardupilot.com/?s=EKF+variance or http://copter.ardupilot.com/?s=DCM+bad+heading)

I wonder if the problem is that we need a "MIssion Planner" HUD warnings/messages doc as part of the first flight documentation? Or is there a better place for this information?

Regards

Hamish

PS Troubleshooting (http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/common-appendix/troubleshooting/) is extremely out of date and require significant effort from experts to update. All I could do is slap a big fat warning on the top. If you read it and discover anything is definitely wrong, please let me know so that I can delete the section :-)

Thank you Hamish!!

re- I wonder if the problem is that we need a "MIssion Planner" HUD warnings/messages doc as part of the first flight documentation? Or is there a better place for this information?

Yea I thought of that too.  I was wondering if the warnings such as EKF could be spoken on peoples GCS as "Attention please see 3DR trouble shooting for EKF variance" Then... one could go to 3dr.com / trouble shooting [ or somethng common that makes sense ] and following the links to the needed info. It seems that would be a worthy effort to guide people to the right answer on your wiki as apposed to so much overlap in discussions here on the forum. I remember when I first started I didn't even know what the heck the 'wiki' was. I mean most people call them directions or the manual. lol 

re-If you read it and discover anything is definitely wrong, please let me know so that I can delete the section :-) Will do!!

Thanks again Hamish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just today I learned something else in the directions [  errr I mean the wiki ha ] and got my copter to fly better than it EVER has! It's a wealth of information. 

THanks!

I have created an issue and I will create the list when it hits the top of my priorities.

I do agree that the ideal is that the Ground Control Station provides in-context information about warnings and messages. However I don't control their implementation, and there are many GCS out there now. I think having a list like this in the wiki would provide a good place for people to get a list of possible error conditions for any GCS, irrespective of what it does.


Cheers

H

ofcourse not..just pointing it that competitors don't sleep and developing hardware too...about reliability;we will see,they have new N1 controller...also,when you only compare flight controllers there is no doubt Pixhawk is better....but could you say the same if you take average customer who is building his first multi and the one who bought finished product?

Hi Paul,

That's value 31, I have it set on Channel 12 so CH12_OPT = 31

Maybe not everyone would consider it a bug but the problem of ppm channel mapping is still on the table and for some of us that is a real issue when it comes to Pixhawk. I've been playing the APM/Pixhawk game for a couple of years now and my APM 2.5 is as rock solid as it gets. Auto landings are beyond words, so smooth it boggles the mind. Loiter is absolutely beautiful as is auto mode. Pixhawk on the other hand has been a real challenge, so much so, it is no longer on my quad. That is mainly due to the ppm channel issue but there are other issues as well. Fortunately mine doesn't have the calibration issue some people are experiencing. I am planning on trying again when the ppm issue gets resolved (I read a post by Randy that assures it will be addressed before 3.3 is final). I had an interesting observation this past week and it was the Yuneec Q500+. That is an impressive machine for the money. Look at some of the videos on the tube and you will see a very impressive piece of equipment/camera platform. IMHO it is a very rock solid platform.

Copter reliability vs functionality?

Functionality = Reliability.

No reliability = crashes = incapacitated = functionality like a brick.

Hi! Bug fixes should be a priority. There are a lot of APM 2.5 and above users that are now left with the buggy software having no choice but to buy the expensive pixhawk. I know I won't. A lot of us use APM just for the sake of failsafe capability. I like the autotune but there is no way to tune yaw in 3.2.1 which, in my opinion, may be the most important part for having a good video platform. Please continue supporting older platforms or, at least, fix them properly.

That's an excellent comment. The work you and the other developers have done is amazing and unbelievable. I solve things using passive safety such as low weight and parachute. One thing that would be great is if some one with knowledge added support for smarter esc such as the ones from Andreas Baier. I think that if any of the developers contacted him there would be very exciting solutions in place in very little time.

+1 reliability 

it will be great to have acro mode and stable mode good than  cc3d or naze 32

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