After months of beta testing, Copter-3.5.0 has been released! This covers multicopters including quad, hexa, octa, tri, traditional helicopters, single and coax copters.
Note #1: The FRAME_CLASS parameter must be set once after the upgrade (except for tradheli which will default automatically). 1=quadcopter, 2=hexacopter, 3=Octa, 4=OctaQuad, 5=Y6, 6=TradHeli, 7=Tri, 8=SingleCopter, 9=CoaxCopter, 10=DualRotorTradHeli (wiki)
Note #2: in a few cases, Pixhawk1 users have found the I/O board’s firmware is not updated and they hear this sad tune. The solution is to force the I/O firmware upgrade by attaching and safety switch and then keep it pressed during the first several seconds after powering on the board.
Note #3: RCx_FUNCTION parameters have been renamed to SERVOx_FUNCTION. Some wiki pages do not yet reflect this renaming but will be updated shortly.
Warning: during beta testing there was one case of RC input corruption for a DSMx receiver attached to a Pixracer (report). The issue appears within 30 seconds of startup so if you are using a DSMx receiver with Pixracer please keep an eye out for this and post in the forums if you see a problem
A compass calibration will be required after the upgrade (a message should appear on the HUD as part of the pre-arm checks) but beyond that, all parameters should be automatically copied and translated from previous versions meaning no additional calibration or re-tuning should be required.
The full list of changes can be found in the ReleaseNotes but some of the highlights are:
- Performance improvements including 8kHz IMU sampling for improved vibration resistance, greatly reduced latency between IMU updates and motor outputs
- AutoTune with position hold if entered from Loiter/PosHold flight modes (wiki)
- Delivery improvements including Servo Gripper and Package Place
- Driver additions and improvements:
- Improved Smart Battery support (individual cells voltages, battery serial number, Maxell battery driver) (wiki)
- OLED Display
- Lightware LW20 lidar, all lightware products can now use I2C interface.
- TeraRanger Tower lidar for Object Avoidance
- Maxbotix sonar serial interface now supported
- Garmin Lidar-Lite v3
- Landing gear retracts/deploys on startup only after pilot moves transmitter switch
- Flight controllers supported now includes:
- The Cube (aka Pixhawk2)
- Beagle Bone Blue
- improved Intel Aero RTF support (ArduPilot is included in Intel’s next software release)
- PixhawkMini support
- GPS improvements:
- Here+ RTK GPS
- Piksi Multi RTK GPS
- Dual GPS Blending (wiki)
- Mission fix for Turn-towards-next-waypoint-too-soon issue (only applies to AUTO flight mode)
- Non-GPS loiter and navigation:
- support StereoLabs ZED camera (visual odometry) (wiki)
- support Pozyx beacons (wiki)
- Object avoidance:
- normal (i.e. non 360deg) range finders supported (video)
- simple object avoidance in AltHold mode (wiki)
- Precision Loiter using IR-Lock (wiki)
- Pixracer improvements:
- ESC calibration fixes
- board LEDs now work
- Solo supported (we recommend upgrading flight controller to a Green Cube from a HEX reseller)
Support issues should be raised in the Copter-3.5 forum.
To backout to Copter-3.4.5 using Mission Planner:
- open the Initial Setup >> Install Firmware screen
- click “Pick previous firmware” and select “AC 3.4.6”
- the version displayed under the icons should change to “APM:Cotper V 3.4.6”
- click on the appropriate icon to download and install the older version
- Note: if the “install previous firmware” link is not available, click Config/Tuning >> Planner and set “Layout” to “Advanced”
To backout using other GCSs with exact firmware version
- with a web browser open http://firmware.ap.ardupilot.org/Copter/stable-3.4.6/
- click on the appropriate link for your board and frame type. For example, if you are using a Pixhawk, Cube/Pixhawk2 or Pixracer on a quadcopter select the “PX4-quad” directory.
- right-mouse-button click on the appropriate ArduCopter-XX.px4 firmware file and select “Save Link As”. For example, ArduCopter-v2.px4 is for Pixhawks, ArduCopter-v4 is for pixracers. Pixhawk2 users should in general stick with Copter-3.5.
- From the ground stations install firmware screen select “Load custom firmware” and select the file downloaded from above
- Note: if using MP and the “install previous firmware” link is not available, click Config/Tuning >> Planner and set “Layout” to “Advanced”