All parameters reverted to default -- twice now!

My TRex 500 with Matek H743WING board has been flying reliably for some time now. Last weekend, after a few weeks away, it would not arm. Back in the workshop I connected it to MP and was prompted to update to v.4.5.3 (from V.4.5.2), which I did before investigating the not-arming problem.

Now the messages tell me that I need to set H_COL_ANG_MIN to the measured minimum, so I went to the parameter list and found that it was -90 and H_COL_ANG_MAX was +90. I then noted also that all the other H_COL_ parameters are at default – in fact I then noted that all parameters are now at default values. No wonder it wouldn’t arm!

The big question now is, was this reset caused by the update, or could it possibly have occurred while the heli was sitting doing nothing for 3 or 4 weeks? In the meantime I’m using the compare parameters utility to revert to the parameters from last time the heli was flying.

A week on, and I took the TRex 500 flying today. Four 7-minute flights in Stab, AltHld, PosHld, and RTL modes without any problems.

Having loaded all parameters from the previous successful flight I then recalibrated transmitter inputs, accelerometer, and compass. Still no clue though why all the parameters had reverted to default.

It’s happened again!

Today I connected to MP to review the flight logs from yesterday and, as so often, I was prompted to update my firmware, which I did. When I reconnected after the successful update I successfully downloaded yesterday’s log files, then had a quick look at my parameters and found that every value was at default again.

Any idea what’s going on please? A bug in the MP/Mav program, a bug in my Matek board, a bug in my laptop’s Windows 10, or what?

@abenn1 sorry to hear about this. I will perform an update at home and see if I have the same issue. Have you checked the 4.5 forum to see if there are any other posts about this problem. I would think that other users would have complained about this if it was a mainstream bug.
I think the Matek board is pretty widely used.

Is it possible you accidentally uploaded a version of multirotor Copter and then went back to TradHeli?

That would probably result in the behavior you’re experiencing. Otherwise, I’m unaware of any reason (or bug reports).

Both updates – 4.5.2 to 4.5.3 to 4.5.4 – were straightforward, heli to heli. IIRC the first update failed at some point, I think it couldn’t find the heartbeat, but it appeared to go okay when I disconnected the heli from the USB port then reconnected it and did the update again. Today’s update had no such problem.

I’ve been following the forum reasonably closely and haven’t seen anything else like this. So I’ll be replacing the heli’s config file with the old one again, and then I think I’ll uninstall and reinstall MP in case that’s causing the problem.

I’ve been doing a lot of installing and reinstalling firmware in the 4.5 series on Cube hardware, testing various features. I’ve yet to see an update fail as spectacularly as you describe. I always flash Cubes with latest (beta) Mission Planner.

Thanks Yuri_Rage. I’m beginning to suspect it’s more to do with my laptop than anything else – it’s a bit ‘long in the tooth’ and runs slower and slower every time there’s a Windows 10 update… Anyway, I’ll reinstall MP, and I’ll not update my other two helis until I’ve resolved the problem.

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It’s very concerning behavior, and if it’s repeatable after your efforts to improve the computer situation, please report back!

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The bad news is I was able to repeat the behaviour: Without making any modifications to my laptop, Win10, or apps I first set all my parameters back to the previous working version using MP’s Compare function. Then I tried to install an old version of the heli firmware, but it only offered me 3.0.7 or earlier, and then reported that ‘no firmware is available for this board’ when I tried to load it. I then loaded 4.5.4 again and it went through and completed the process even though 4.5.4 was already installed. The only anomaly was Mavlink failed to connect when I hit the MP ‘Connect’ button, but it did work after I unplugged the heli from the USB and then reconnected it. At that point I checked the params and found that they were back to default values, the most obvious markers being H_COL_ANG_MAX and _MIN reverting to +90 and -90, so I then reset all params back again to a previous good version using MP’s Compare function.

Then I used CC app to clean my laptop of all cookies, temporary files, caches, etc. and repeated the process. This time the legacy firmware option offered me v4.0.3 but when I tried to install it it reported 'no firmware available . . . ’ so I re-installed 4.5.4 as before. And, as before, parameter values were back to default.

Next step was to uninstall and re-install MP 1.3.81 using Windows installer. Using the newly-installed MP 1.3.81 I went through the same process and got the same result. I reset the params back to the previous good version, recalibrated accel and mag, and made a short test hover to check that all was well.

The next logical step was to test my other TRex 500 which also uses the Matek H743WING board. It was on v4.4.4 and updated to 4.5.4 without any issues. At the end of the update I was able to connect to MP without having to unplug from the USB port, and on checking I saw that all parameters were unaltered. That seems to prove to me that my problem is on the first heli’s Matek H743WING board itself, but what can it be?

Are you powering through usb only or main battery too?

@yuri, I think I have had something like this happen to my rover running a h743 a couple of times, I just switched it on one day and It wouldnt start up. I had to use stm32cube to flash it before it would come back on, it was like the memory was corrupted. Im sure I asked if you at the time if you had seen anything like it before.

I put it down to a low voltage glitch as i was turning it off and on a lot and the 5v had a large capacitor so the voltage would climb and drop rather than off and on.

Just out of curiosity, what FC exactly?

h743 slim, I actually thought it was dead and bought a new one. then it happened again while i was working on it switching it off and on while connecting stuff, stlink brought it back to life so before I binned the old one I flashed it again with STlink and it came back to life, its been fine since.

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Power inconsistencies make some sense, but a Mission Planner flashed update alone shouldn’t produce this behavior.

A full chip erase with the STM software may well wipe all the old parameter data, though.

It might be worth checking the 5v rails, especially when connected to just usb, if its really low it could cause issues. RC in or GPS 5v pin.

Ferrosan, during updates it’s USB only. The only time I connect a flight battery while connected to USB is if I need to check servo movements.

geofrancis, no on/offs in my case – one day it was flying normally and I probably connected it to my laptop to download the logs (my regular routine) when I got home. Next time I took it out to fly about 4 weeks later it wouldn’t arm. I can check the 5v rails when connected to USB only, but I doubt if that’s the issue because the Rx and GPS are both working normally when connected to USB.

I had expected that MP would report that ‘This version is already installed’ or something similar. Does the fact that I was able to install the same version as was on it indicate anything? Also, what’s the significance of the message about updating the bootloader that I always get (and ignore) after an update?

I would suggest to try and repeat the procedure with battery connected. Or, alternatively, if it is easy to reach and unplug, perform the usb operations with only the flight controller (I.e. unplug GPS, receiver and telemetry module if installed).

Also, enable disarmed logging and provide logs for both battery on and battery off test.

OK, I’ll do that tomorrow and report back.