After months of testing by the beta-testing team, Copter-3.3 is ready for wider use. Similar to the Copter-3.2 release this is a "soft launch" meaning that for the next couple of weeks, we are asking users to load the new version using the Mission Planner's "Beta firmwares" link on the Install page. The MP will pop-up a "use at your own risk" message but rest assured, this firmware has been very thoroughly tested.
We also recommend that you use the Beta Mission planner until Copter-3.3 becomes the default (in about 2 weeks). Open the Mission Planner and select Config/Tuning >> Planner and click the Beta Firmware checkbox. Then Help >> "Check for Beta Updates". The download and install will take a few minutes.
Unfortunately this version and all future versions of Copter only work with fast CPU boards like the 3DR Pixhawk (and compatible) boards, VRBrain, NAVIO+, etc. Slower CPU boards will continue to be able to load the Copter-3.2.1 release.
Issues should be reported in the APM Forum.
The wiki has been mostly updated but if you spot missing items please report them to the wiki issues list.
The full set of changes can be seen in the Release Notes but the highlights are below.
Changes vs Copter-3.2.1
1) EKF replaces DCM/InertialNav for attitude and position estimation which provides more feedback and robustness in case of sensors failures
2) Control improvements:
a) battery voltage compensation should maintain control as voltage drops
b) current limiting can be used to reduce the maximum current requested to reduce strain on battery and ESCs
c) air pressure compensation should reduce need for re-tuning when flying at different altitudes
d) improved throttle curve should reduce wobbles during descents
3) AutoTune for yaw
4) Cameras & Gimbal improvements:
a) SToRM32 gimbal support
b) do-mount-control mission command allows controlling absolute camera mount angle during missions
5) Vibration resistance:
a) real-time reporting of vibration levels by clicking on Vibe field on HUD (also recorded to logs)
b) noise weighted average of accelerometers used to weight IMU towards the one exposed to less vibration
c) accelerometer range increased from 8G to 16G to allow use in higher vibration environments (i.e. reduced "clipping")
a) improved landing on slopes
b) retractable landing gear support
c) channels 9 ~ 12 can be used as auxiliary switches (like ch7, 8)
d) PX4flow (optical flow) support in Loiter
e) Brake flight mode (stops vehicle quickly but requires GPS)
f) allow GPS, Telemetry, SToRM32 gimbal to be connected to any telemetry/serial port
g) Lidar-Lite V2 support
h) bug fix to RCMAP - remapped channel's MIN, MAX were taken from incorrect parameters meaning all channel ranges had to be the same
7) Tricopter tail servo parameters (MOT_YAW_SV_MIN, MAX, TRIM, REV)
8) Safety items:
a) crash check triggers with 30deg lean angle error (for 2 sec) even if pilot's throttle is non-zero
b) modified pre-arm checks to ensure good quality GPS and compas data
c) lost copter alarm (hold both sticks down and right)
d) motor interlock & emergency motor stop features on auxiliary switches (ch7 ~ ch12)
e) RTL_CLIMB_MIN parameter allows forcing vehicle to always climb a few meters at beginning of RTL
f) LED flashes green quickly if disarmed with 3D lock and SBAS
Special thanks to Marco and all the beta testers who put their vehicles at risk so we could iron out the problems during the testing phase and ensure a more reliable firmware for the wider community. Here are some of their videos: