Ok guys, with all the people waiting on APM2 and all the exciting new alpha and beta releases of APM firmware coming, I think many people are starting to chomp at their bits, a little.  

To that end, I've opened up this discussion for all those with complaints.  As I've joined the Dev Team, and not at a productive stage yet, I'll monitor this discussion, and relay things to the others on the Dev Team.

These could be both hardware or software, or just general rants and raves!

Hope everyone takes advantage of this!  Maybe we'll all learn some things in the process.

Just wanted to add this response from Chris Anderson:

Please just contact sales@3drobotics.com and inquire about the status of your order. They are not necessarily shipped in order. For example, the unsoldered ones are shipped first, because they're faster to put together. Then soldered with GPS, then soldered without GPS (or maybe those two in reverse order, I can't remember). There are approximately 50 going out each day and the team tells me that the backlog should be over by Mon/Tues of next week. 

I agree, please use this discussion for Rants and Raves.  Order issues should be directed to 3DR directly.  I think you will get better response there.

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In addition to the enquiry from Greg Owen I am also wondering about the daughterboards and their placements.

To be honest, I have been scared to ask about it anywhere fearing that I might post it in the wrong place. The other discussions surely did not make you feel free to post anything without making sure it hasnt been asked/posted in the last 50 pages.

Regardless, here are a few questions about the product (which I cant figure out where to ask)

Reading up I got the impression the sensor board is an interchangable module or removable shield. It is after all called a "daughter board" or a "shield" and by implication detachable. This seems not to be the case at all. Correct me if I am wrong, but the boards are completely inseperable(soldered) and one is advised against seperating them. The nice picture/diagram on https://store.diydrones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=BR-ArduP... might give you the impression that it is removable, but it is not.

1. What happens if I damage a sensor or want to upgrade my sensor board? 

2. What happens if the main board gets damaged, do I have to replace both?

3. Can they be ordered separately and is there pricing available for the shields?

Of course this has a big impact on your model layout and I think this information should be available and clear before you place your order.

Thanks for making this discussion available....

Ockert

1) They can be separated, although it's best to send it back to the factory for repairs and let them do it. If you take them apart yourself it will void the warrenty (and you may very well melt something important)

2) At the moment we are not selling daughterboards separately. Again, much experience has shown that if people do their own soldering, we're going to end up with tech support problems that will overwhelm us. 

3) See above. 

In short, in the next batch we will give quite a lot of flexibility at order time as to what configuration you want, with both daughterboards and connectors. But once it's made for you, we won't encourage user soldering. Of course you're free to try what you want, but it will void the warranty (like most other electronics). 

I checked the Twitter feed and they did not update the last order shipped yesterday. Could we please get an update?

Thanks

Much clearer thanks Chris

I'm sure they're busy making/testing/packing/shipping them.

I just got my ship notification and I'm above #17000.

Ordered my APM2 5 Dec 2011, just over 10 weeks ago, but I have now had confirmation of shipping however shipping always seems to take a long time from DiyDrones, so I might get mine around 13-14 weeks after ordering.

Patience apparently is a virtue...

At least you'll be eligible for the good will credit they're offering! I missed it by one day... :(

I am order 185xx. I hope to get mine shipped this week. Not realistic ?

Earl

Hi all,

 

   Please let me begin by saying that I immensely value the individual contributions of the developers and the following criticism should not take away from the time and effort they have elected to give.

   With that said, I believe the latest happenings in firmware development and release have entered the realms of the absurd.

   How is it, that 2.3 was touted as a "final release"? After following the running commentary on various issues with 2.3 I chose not to use it and to wait instead for 2.3.1 only to find out that the developers have decided to upgrade 2.3.1 to 2.4 BETA and to release it to the wider public for testing - say again? This leads me to believe that there have been significant  changes to the code yet again, and not just fixes to the extant bugs.

   This approach may work for the people who have far more time, money and knowledge than the "average" user. I believe the average user accepts that they will have to do a fair amount of improvements on their hardware and spend time tuning their values to get good results. The approach that I have outlined in the first couple of paragraphs simply makes this impossible. For me the ideal is that once we get to a final release, I can then concentrate on making my side of things work the best it can, and after a thorough flight testing progress, actually start using the 'copter (photography, etc). This is currently made impossible by the progression I have outlined in the first paragraphs. Things simply move to fast and too chaotically for someone with maybe 10 hours a week to spare.

   Only once a fully (I know that's a relative word) debugged final version is available, should development move to include new features and improve on the finer points of the previous well performing version. 

 

   To conclude: I have been getting encouraging results with 2.2bX but I dare not start my whole tuning and testing program all over again, until I have some sort of confidence in a "final" release. I simply do not posses the means to put blind confidence into yet another release that is being touted as the "best one yet". I am approaching a point where I will seriously consider just biting the bullet, abandoning Arducopter and looking for another platform.

Thanks,

 

Hans 

 

Hans, sorry for the confusion. Perhaps I can help explain a bit better. There is no "final release" and I hope there never will be -- that would mean that we've stopped innovating. Instead, these are the release schedules.

  • ArduCopter 2.x. This is now "feature complete", which is to say no major features will be added to this generation. Instead, all releases will only be bug fixes and performance upgrades. 2.4 is just that -- it fixes a bunch of bugs in 2.3 and improves the performance. There may be other releases in the 2.x generation, but they won't change the feature set significantly. We expect to release 2.4 to the Mission Planner in the next 24 hours or so. After that, I expect the release schedule will slow down dramatically. Maybe 2.4 will in fact be the last release in the 2.x generation, but it really depends on what shows up after thousands of people fly it on every possible kind of frame and equipment. 
  • ArduCopter 3.x. This is the version that the developers are now focused on, and will include new features and functions. It's scheduled for mid-year. 

Hi Chris,

 

Thanks for clearing things up a bit. I understand a lot of the terminology issues come about because there are quite a few people working on this project and posting up using their own words. It's nice to hear an explanation from yourself.

 

Thanks again,

 

Hans 

Hi Hans, I understand your frustration.  I also agree that the software updates are coming in fast.    

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Whomever is  finding all the rapid software updates overwhelming, stick with the firmware that you've tuned your drone with.
  2. Keep following the discussions regarding the different releases, but there's no need to upgrade to every revision that we put out
  3. Don't feel the need to update, if your drone is already flying well.
  4. Upgrade only to the newer declared  major releases, unless you're interested in testing the interim releases on your drone.

The fact is that the release discussion are started to keep everyone informed on the features and progress being made at each major release.  It's up to each individual to decide on upgrading to it or not based on their own comfort level.  Don't bow to peer pressure, just because some people have declared that it is 'good'.  The quality is very subjective.  What my be good for one frame may not be good for your frame.

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