Is AQ6 discontinued?

Info and discussion about the original AQ v6 flight controller

Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby whizz101 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:30 pm

Hello all,

After seeing that there are no AQ6's available to buy, and Jussi saying he was only going to have a few more available, I guess that there are not going to be any more made!

This makes me sad, my AQ6's always worked very well but since moving to the M4 i have problems. I don't think the M4 is a good replacement for the AQ6. It might be good for small rigs , but for bigger rigs the format of the AQ6 is more useful.

Is there going to be a AQ7. I did see a AQ7 prototype in a thread somewhere and was wondering what had happened to it.

It would be great to have a AQ7 with the latest GPS units and new sensors on one board, with the 14 pwm outputs and run on 6 cells.

What does everyone else think?
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby JussiH » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:41 pm

The reality is that we produced the last AQ6 in 2013 and its taken this long to get down to the last 20-30 boards that remains now. So yes, effectively its been discontinued for a while, and demand for it has been "underwhelming".

The other reality is that AQ6 is obsolete with its Analog sensors and all the extra parts that it took to make the Analog sensors perform reliably. Todays digital sensors in most cases perform better and is much easier and cheaper to work with.

AQ7 was designed to carry a Gumstix for use in RTK, but that solution turned out to be impractical, so it never was put into real production.

Bill has since designed a AQ Z1 board, which is made to carry a Zync FPGA module, but again its a very customized piece of HW for use in Visual navigation, and there is not any real software support for it at the moment. I doubt it will ever make it into production.

As for the future: I am working on a new AQX board and a OSD board, but we are probably into late 2016 before it comes out. I dont want to rush the project, and I have an option to put existing HW into a GTS lab as part of a research project I am working on, and I would like to see what comes from those tests before finalizing a new board.
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby Max » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:17 pm

I've been wondering if it's time to port AQ code to some other existing hardware out there. But I have no idea which, or if any would be an improvement over M4 (some more free I/O ports would be nice). Ideally something STM32F4-based and already uses SPI for IMU. :)

There is/was the "OpenFC" board from Oliver but not sure what happened to that.

-Max
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby JussiH » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:41 pm

For the universities and research projects coming up we are gonna need a board that has 2 CAN buses - AFAIK, none of the other STM32f4 based boards offer more than 1 CAN bus.

Peter and Steve did some work with the Pixhawk, but as I rememeber it, they found some problems on the SPI that made it hard/impractical to port AQ over to that.

I am sure there will be a new official AQ board, just not sure when....;-)
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby whizz101 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:31 pm

Thanks, it is interesting to have a update. When will those last 20-30 boards be available?

Also, is there any plans to put out a " stable" version of the firmware for digital IMU's. I remember that there was a stable version put out for the analogue FW.

And, who is responsible for the FW and direction of autoquad. I know people like Max and a few other's are working on there own branches, but is there any official work being done by anyone?

It would be very nice to get a final, complete FW for the digital imu's with all the extra's from the various branches with a ground control that works with all these features.

Concerning quatos, is there any development being done to make it easier to implement. It would be nice to have a widget in ground control that did the 3d drawings of the craft to check the dimensions. I know that there are ways of doing this, but it's complicated and i never got it to work. Is anyone using quatos for commercial work on big rigs? I need to fly a 9kg kopter at speed with agility as i want to film extreme sports and have always been interested in quatos for it's potential performance. But with no esc 32's available and not many people flying big rigs it has put me off! That and the cost of the licence with not much after sale help from drone controls. There web site has not been updated since it's creation and there is still only one testimonial.

Overall it feels like The AQ project has lost steam. I do not know how many people are flying AQ equipment on a daily basis but it seem s like a very small group that are contributing on these forums. Add into that flyduino has stopped selling all AQ equipment.

I don't want to "bash" AQ, but i need to to have a reliable and up-to-date flight control for everyday work, and for the first time in 3ish years i am starting to question whether AQ is the right FC. The last thing i want to do is leave the party, and it is not that easy to choose a replacement.

Tristan
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby sandmen » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:18 pm

There is a prototype on the way... More or less a Pixracer with a Stm32F407
It's only a Proto, and normal assembled with the Stm32F427.

Gesendet von meinem A0001 mit Tapatalk
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby JussiH » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:27 pm

Tristan,

Max is the "lead" developer at the moment. It is correct that for some parts of the team, interest has dwindled, but things are still going on, and developers are still working - for instance, I know that Peter is working on the Nvidia jetson board to integrate with AQ, and Menno will probably soon post an updated Hott version, based on the next branch.

In terms of releases, the "next" branch from Max is the the "official" release at the moment. He is pretty fast to fix reported and understood problems, but he is a one man army...;-)

We are always looking for help; both people that can code, but also just in terms of writing documentation and helping out on the forum.

A number of universities are working with AQ - most noteably SDU Drone Center (University of southern Denmark) is full on into AQ. I am involved in a major research programme with them to build longrange BVLOS capabilities, and they are also working on indoor swarming and navigation, RTK and other interesting things. As they are a public university, all HW and SW that can, will become open source. I expect that we will see interesting new things coming from these projects.

So put put it plainly, AQ is very much still alive and I expect us to stay that way for a long time still...

I regard the latest releases to be very stable, and I think we gradually see more and more features integrated into the "next" branch, but really that is Max´s perogative to give statements on.

As for Quatos, all questions should be directed at Drone-Controls and Srinath. Quatos is a commercial 3rd party addon for AQ, and is not directly supported by the AQ team. I cant speak on their behalf!

The last AQ6 boards will be made available next week. A number of them is already reserved for existing customers, but there is gonna be some available for general retail also.

ESC32v3 will also be available from next week. In fact, I received the first sample shipment from iRC electronics just yesterday, and will make them available soon as possible....(need to coordinate with iRC and Flyduino). I do expect to see availability become more steady, now that iRC has taken over the production.
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby Max » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:25 pm

The only way to get a "stable" release is lots of testing & flying. Show me a flight controller that never has any reported problems, and I'll be the first to recommend it. The key is always getting the problem reproducible by someone who can properly diagnose it. This can take a lot of patience and a methodical approach. Sometimes you literally have to get the problem system into someone's hands. Maybe that's DJI support you paid for or maybe it's some friendly AQ user on a different continent.

Also you can't have "stable" and new features or improvements at the same time. That's the catch with new stuff, it needs to tested. ;)

Building MRs is a hobby/profession in itself and IMHO it takes years of experience to get it right (as evidenced by zillions of support requests on forums all over the world). And then there is maintenance and proper care, carefully testing changes before using them "in production" and so on. I've had a number of pro photographers ask for advice about buying a MR, and "build your own" is certainly not my first suggestion. Most buy a DJI-something, use it until it breaks or a better one comes out, and chalk it up as relatively cheap photography equipment which mostly works but is still a bit "experimental." The ones that use them regularly have at least two ready to fly.

Cheers,
-Max
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby whizz101 » Sun May 01, 2016 10:49 pm

Well it's good to hear that the AQ project is still pushing ahead. I'm gonna hold out for one of those AQ6's but i hope it is soon. Im flying a zero uav FC at the moment and it flys like a tank.....

I hope you guys don't think i was being rude, i just wanted to know the state of things. The support i got with my M4 problem was great, but unfortunately it has not solved the problem.

Max's new branch has some excellent additions, i just hope i get to use them.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Is AQ6 discontinued?

Postby Mullet » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:56 pm

I know I'm a little late to the game. But I was curious about this lately as well. I did snag a used AQ6 about a year ago and have since caught the mini racing drone bug. So I've shelved my AQ6 and other AQ projects in general until I get the bug out of my system. That being said, I'm really hoping that this project continues. I'm offering to help on documentation, because that is definitely one area that could use work. I'm not a coder, but if I was I'd offer to help on that front as well. So Max or Kinderkram or whomever, hit me up for help.

It would be nice to see that larger expansion board released because the M4 is definitely sufficient in providing the basis for a great platform.

Also, it sounds great that there are potentially FC new boards coming out. Cost is huge for a lot of people, so hopefully something in the $50 range will be offered. The more the platform is opened up to more types of hardware the better for long term growth and health.

Speaking of porting over AQ to other boards... here are some other ideas, not sure about compatibility...

This is a board that runs Paparazzi (seems like a very nice AUV platform) - http://1bitsquared.com/products/elle0-autopilot

There are also two boards that are being used with RaceFlight that might do the trick:

The Fury F4
http://raceflightinfo.com/category/flight-controllers/

The OpenPilot Revo F4
http://www.banggood.com/OpenPilot-CC3D- ... 00068.html
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