PixRacer with Ardupilot

This is a discussion to focus the feedback and support of ardupilot on the PixRacer board from

We believe that all teething problems encountered are now resolved and so we recommend people load Copter-3.3.4 which is available for all multicopters through the Mission Planner's (and other GCS's) Install Firmware screens.  Note that because regular Pixhawks are still on Copter-3.3.3 the install icon may show Copter-3.3.3 but rest assured, Copter-3.3.4 will be installed (you can check the version by looking at the very top of the Mission Planner).


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  • I have a 1 in 10 success rate connecting the PixRacer to Mission Planner via USB.

    The two times it has connected the "Downloading parameters" window hangs, but if I close it, after waiting for a bit, then I can download them again with no problem.

    The same computer connects to two other quads with pixracers no problem first time.

    Specs: AC3.3.3. USB. Windows 10 PC.

    At one stage I thought I had found the problem with a bent micro USB connector. But replacing the cable did not help.

    The only thing I can think of trying is loading the plane firmware on the pixracer then AC3.3.3 again. Thoughts?

  • I would just like to report a solution to a problem that I had.

    I had real difficulty arming the pixracer. AHRS, Compass and GPS checks would not pass on startup.

    Using an external GPS/compass I thought would fix it. However it did not fix the compass mis-match error. The trick was I had to do the compass calibration with the whole system powered. The compass numbers where completely different with the system powered and unpowered, probably given the VTx was nearby.

    To get past the GPS pre-arm check I tried to take off in Stabilize mode, which had worked for me on other quads in the past. However it did not work. Some research showed that even though the pixracer is in Stabilise mode, it will not take off without GPS lock IF the geofence is enabled.

    Once these two things where fixed, the AHRS problem was also gone.

  • I have built 3 pixhawk quads, and this is my first attempt at a (genuine :)) pixracer racing quad.

    The instructions for calibration are very clear. When turning back on in calibration mode, I only get one long tune at the start and then nothing else.

    I have done this 5 times. After rebooting, two of the times I had throttle control on all four motors. The other times, the throttle did nothing. When the throttle worked, the motors did not spin up to 50% mark of the stick, the other time they span up straight away. When they span up straight away, I thought maybe the calibration had worked even though I had not heard any tones. I put on the probs and promptly flipped it on the ground and broke some cheap props.

    I am running AC3.3.3. I have the safety switch connected, but I am aware it does not do anything. It is an EMAX nighthawk with the ASCP4 PDB.

    There is only so many times I can try the same thing. Any tips on how to trouble shoot this?

    • I've just pushed a bugfix to master that fixes ESC calibration on the PixRacer. Previously the "boot with throttle high and then reboot" method did not work as the FMU outputs did not get properly armed. Peter Barker noticed the problem on his new 250 quad today and it should now be fixed. It will take a few hours as usual to get through the build server.

      So it was a bug that has been fixed and pushed to master.

      Thought I was going crazy not being able to calibrate the ESCs....

    • Calibration and a few other things do not work with 3.3.3.  This firmware does not fully support the Pixracer.

  • Hi Cala, I understand your frustration with trying to buy a genuine PixRacer - I've experienced the same.

    With respect, when you buy products from companies that don't contribute to the development costs you reduce support for the ArduCopter Project. We are witnessing a critical transition in the Arducopter Project.
    (reference - How to support Pixhawk and ArduCopter developers? Ensuring a future for APM at

    As a hobby-flyer, I've benefited enormously from this project as I'm sure we all have. I encourage anyone considering the purchase of a non-genuine PixRacer to think about the longer term consequences of your action and weigh that up against the few weeks or dollars saved.

    • Exactly.. Where you spend your money is about the biggest influence, the most power, the loudest voice an individual in the modern world can have.  You are choosing who stays in business and who fails. 

      And the other thing is these clones are not in the spirit of open source.. It's not open so someone can just take it.. It's open so others can IMPROVE on it and share the improvements w/ the community..   But the cloners are not improving anything.

      • There is the importance to have a list who are doing it  sometime when Pixhawks appears was prohibited to sell outside USA, now 3DR not support anymore developers and original Pikhawk is out of production; I agree with your idea Scott but things are not so easy outside USA, It's a big deal to have genuine choices outside USA too.

        • I understand.. Especially when stock from the original providers is so poor... They should make it clear that these are basically built to order.. or it at least seems that way..   My guess is they are collecting enough orders to pay for printing a batch of boards, then they print and test and deliver that batch.. I could be wrong, but that's what it seems like.. and if that is the case, they should be clear about it.. 
          Anyway.. I made my point and am done w/ this topic.. Sorry if I offended anyone and I do understand your position.. But still think supporting the developers of the products should take priority over all else. 

  • do you know when a stable release will be available for this great board

This reply was deleted.


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