Yesterday I received the PixHawk I ordered on January 2nd. Four week delivery time is pretty good for a new FC from 3DR!
But I've had all kinds of problems trying to use it. First I tried using the USB connection to a Mac (running OSX 10.9.1) and although the Mac System Information sees a "PX4 FMU v2.x" in the System Information screen APM Planner 2.0 RC3 does not see it and I can't connect to it. Something is obviously wrong here with my machine's configuration or the installation.
So I dug out my old Windows laptop and after Win8 had finished an hour of updating itself, I tried to connect. Again, no love. There was definitely something wrong with the drivers, MP wasn't installing them correctly and although the device showed up in the Device Manager, it had an error. So following this link I manually installed the drivers.
That got me connected but updating the firmware was another exercise in pain. After the update would start, it would get through the erase and about 25% of the writing portion, then time-out. This happened multiple times after unplugging, restarting, and reseting everything I possibly could. I then tried doing the update without following the instructions for unplugging the device and it seemed to work.
But my problems continued. I tried hooking up a FrSky X8R receiver and no signal showed up in the Radio Callibration page. After again searching the forums here, I found that the Quick Start Guide is wrong. This link pointed out the problem - despite what the Quck Start Guide says, you need to plug S.BUS receivers into the RC port, not the SB port.
So by now I'm hoping I have everything sorted out and I do the Accelerometer calibration. But as soon as I move the FC, I hear the Windows chimes that a device was removed, then the chimes that a device was added. WTF??? I opened the Device Manager and repeated the motion. Sure enough, the connection is dropped, the COM port goes away, then it comes back.
So I drop everything and move from my cold (55° workshop) to my nice warm office and start writing this. But I can't reproduce the problem. I turn everything off, go back to the cold area, and after 10 minutes it happens again.
So I've got a thermal problem with my USB connection. If it was any other company, I'd send the item back for a replacement. But I know 3DR is really crappy about that kind of thing. I own 5 APMs of various vintages and I've never had good luck with 3DR Customer Service. I had an APM 2.6 that had all kinds of I2C errors all the time which I sent back for "repair" but what came back (5 weeks later) was exactly the same. I very stupidly tried flying a rather nice plane with it and totally lost control from about 50' and destroyed the plane flying into the side of a building. Needless to say I'm not happy with 3DR Customer Service.
Has anyone else had a problem with their USB connection? Do you think I should contact Customer Service? As long as I don't move it when it's cold, everything seems to work fine. Everything is OK after it warms up. But it makes doing the calibrations a bit dicey.
When I first opened my package from 3DR containing the PixHawk, I thought, wow, they're really stepping up their packaging, industrial design and out-of-box experience. Then I turned it on and all my positive thoughts were replaced with frustration.