After many months of beta testing, Copter-3.6.0 has been released as the default version for Multicopters and traditional helicopters.
Warning: the battery failsafe voltage parameter is not being properly upgraded from 3.5.7 (or earlier) so it is returning to the default 10.5. Please check the “BATT_LOW_VOLT” parameter is correct for your battery. This issue is resolved in Copter-3.6.1.
Warning2: we have one report of poor main loop performance from a user using the Zubax GNSS V2. We recommend users of this GPS use the ChibiOS version or remain on Copter-3.5.7 until the issue is fully investigated.
Warning3: we have discovered an issue with AUTO mode’s spline waypoints in which the first spline waypoint may be skipped. Fix planned for 3.6.1 which will start beta testing in about 1 week
The full list of change can be found in the Release Notes but here are some of the highlights:
- ChibiOS support including support for new “ChibiOS-only” boards (Mateksys F405-Wing, Holybro KakuteF4, Omnibus F4 Pro/NanoV6/F7, Taulabs Sparky2, OpenPilot Revolution and RevoMini, F4BY). Instructions for loading the firmware to these boards can be found here.
- Support for new boards including Hex’s Cube Black, Cube Orange, CUAV’s Pixhackv5, HolyBro’s Pixhawkv4
- Loiter (aka “new Loiter”) is more responsive to pilot input and stops faster
- FlowHold, Follow and SmartRTL flight modes
- DShot ESC support including feedback
- Onboard OSD for ChibiOS only boards
- More rangefinders supported:
- Non-GPS navigation improvements including MarvelMind support and accepting positions from external systems including Vicon (see Chobitsfan’s blog)
- Automatic compass orientation discovery (see COMPASS_AUTO_ROT parameter)
- Pilot controlled climb rates configurable in both up and down directions (PILOT_VELZ_MAX renamed to PILOT_SPEED_UP and PILOT_SPEED_DN)
- Landing gear and LED colours can be controlled directly from ground station (no GCSs support this yet though)
- Battery failsafe supports 2 actions (see BATT_LOW_VOLT, BATT_CRT_VOLT and corresponding BATT_FS_LOW_ACT and BATT_FS_CRT_ACT). Note that if you are unable to modify or update the battery failsafe parameters please try updating the Mission Planner.
- TradHeli improvements including (tradheli forums are here)
- H3-135/140 swashplate support
- five point spline-smoothed throttle curve
- swash plate servo output properly accounting for servo trim
- New frames including Dodecahexa copters (hexacopter with 2 motors per arm) and variable pitch quadcopters (aka HeliQuad)
- Transmitter switch improvements:
- flight mode channel can be changed with FLTMODE_CH parameter
- auxiliary switches “de-bounced” to avoid transmitter glitches causing false positives
- Notch filter allows rate controllers to ignore specified frequencies (see INS_NOTCH_* parameters)
Some notes for those planning to upgrade to 3.6.0:
- For Pixhawk family boards, the default firmware uses the NuttX OS but if loading using Mission Planner you may choose to load ChibiOS (a question pops up during the upload). ChibiOS works well but there are a few missing features.
- any required parameter conversions should be done automatically meaning there should be no need to manually backup and restore parameters.
- no re-calibration should be required except the “Compass calibration required” pre-arm message may appear and force you to re-calibrate the compasses. This is required on a relatively small number of boards which have a compass that we didn’t support in Copter-3.5.7.
- NMEA GPS users may need to set the GPS_TYPE = 5. We are forcing NMEA GPS users to set this parameter specifically because we found that a number of UBlox GPSs were being detected as “NMEA” GPSs when it is far better if they use the UBlox custom protocol (UBlox GPSs can output both the UBlox and NMEA protocols but the UBlox protocol has extra data)
- Tradheli heli users should be aware of these issues (feel free to ask for help in the forums here):
- Dual users (i.e. chinook style) scaling parameters should be made 5x larger
- throttle curve curve has changed and need to be re-tuned before their first use
- the following parameters and log messages have been renamed:
- ACCEL_Z_ renamed to PSC_ACCZ_
- ACC_ parameters renamed to PSC_ACC
- POS_ parameters renamed to PSC_POS
- VEL_ parameters renamed to PSC_VEL
- FS_BATT_ renamed to BATT_FS_
- BATT_AMP_PERVOLT renamed to BATT_AMP_PERVLT
- PILOT_VELZ_MAX to PILOT_SPEED_UP (and PILOT_SPEED_DN)
- RC_FEEL_RP replaced with ATC_INPUT_TC (functionality is same, scaling is different)
- WPNAV_LOIT_ params renamed to LOIT_
- NTUN dataflash message renamed to PSC
Thank you very much to all the developers who contributed to this release and also to the beta testers who put their vehicles at risk over the past few months and provided detailed feedback! We hope that this testing process, while time consuming, will lead to a much smoother and safer upgrade for all our users.
Thanks and if you find issues, please report them in the support forums here!