RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

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RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:15 am

Hi all,

I'd like to announce a new firmware available for testing which adds a powerful feature of being able to adjust many flight parameters using your RC Tx. If you are familiar with the current ability to tune a few Quatos parameters while in flight, this is just like that but for a lot more parameters and with some extra flexibility thrown in.

Here is a list of the currently adjustable parameters:
  • All attitude PID values (tilt/yaw rate/angle)
  • All navigation PID values (speed/distance rates)
  • All 8 tunable Quatos control parameters.
  • Navigation limits/defaults: max. speed, max. descent, landing velocity, yaw rate
  • Manual control adjustments: factor throttle, manual yaw rate
  • All gimbal and auto-triggering settings

Currently up to 6 params at a time can be adjusted, using separate channels for each or even combining multiple param adjustments on one channel. Besides using a proportional channel (knob/slider) to gradually adjust/tune a value in flight, this could also be used on a switch to toggle between several fixed values.

I've been flying with this feature for some time now, and it sure makes a lot of things easier -- starting with initial tuning of a new MR which is about 1000% faster with RC-adjustable PIDs/Quatos settings. You can tune the throttle factor on the first flight perfectly, no need to look at logs. Other fun (stupid?) tricks include changing the set speeds between recorded waypoint legs, or RTH rates. It opens up many possibilities, some I'm sure I haven't though of yet.

Optionally, the adjusted values can be saved back to flash storage w/out needing to manually change them via a GCS. This could even be done using the existing stick commands for saving calibration params, no GCS required at all.

There are a few safeguards in place to prevent adjusted values to go outside "acceptable" ranges (like below zero), BUT care should be taken when setting all this up to make sure your adjustments are going to be reasonable.

This feature is meant to be used with the new QGC v1.7 which has a full setup GUI, more detailed setup info (use the "?" button), and will also allow you to preview the adjustable parameter values using live telemetry view. Using the provided Scale setting and the end-point settings on your Tx, a very wide range of adjustment is possible, from super-precise minute adjustments to very large value changes of 2500% or more.

Please test carefully before flying!

Builds are available on the AQ FTP site, in the "config_rebase" branch: ftp://ftp.autoquad.org/3/334693_22529/a ... ig_rebase/

Code is in my GitHub repo, under the same branch: https://github.com/mpaperno/aq_flight_c ... fig_rebase

If you have not been keeping up with my other releases, please carefully read the latest change notes: https://github.com/mpaperno/aq_flight_c ... CHANGES.md

If you try this out, please let me/us know.

Cheers,
-Max
Attachments
adjustable-params.png
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Simson » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:15 am

Thanks a lot for your efforts to get new functions implemented.
Actually I would like to test a new firmware, but for my quad equipped with M4V2 Board, external KISS ESC's and PID Control it is not possible to download with the Autoquad Firmware Selection wizard and this special firmware is also not accessible on your FTP site.
Are you planning to create and copy those firmware versions to your FTP Site?
Since last year February I'm using this firmware on my quad:

aqv7.1.1852-hwv8.6-ext_esc PID

Kind regards, Harry
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:47 am

Hi Harry, thanks for your interest.

You can use "board-8.6-quatos" firmware for your M4v2: ftp://ftp.autoquad.org/3/334693_22529/a ... .6-quatos/

Quatos is disabled by default if you do not have a license key, or you may disable it manually in settings (in other words, you can use either Quatos or PID controller with the same firmware). You can also use external ESCs with this version, a separate version is no longer required. Please check the release notes for other updates since build 1852. QGC 1.7 includes setup UI for all the new features.

The firmware wizard doesn't list these new releases for now, which is why I added a note at the top that page. With only one firmware per AQ board version, the need for the "wizard" might have passed altogether, but we'll see.

Cheers,
-Max
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby funth1ngs » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:43 pm

Hi Max,

thank you for the new PID tuning feature!

Unfortunately there is a problem with my M4:
I flashed the aqfc-mp-v7.1.1891-hwv8.6-quatos.bin, but i doesn't boot up. The Red LED is solid and the M4 is not recognized as a serial device anymore. The same happens with self compiled config_rebase branch.

If I go back to an older version, everything works fine.

Cheers,
Heiko
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Simson » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:34 pm

Hi Max,

thanks a lot for the very helpful information regarding the different firmware versions.
I've read the release notes and now everything what you wrote make sense to me.
Thanks one's again!
Regards, Harry
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:30 pm

funth1ngs wrote:I flashed the aqfc-mp-v7.1.1891-hwv8.6-quatos.bin, but i doesn't boot up. The Red LED is solid and the M4 is not recognized as a serial device anymore. The same happens with self compiled config_rebase branch.

If I go back to an older version, everything works fine.

Hi Heiko,

Which is the older version you are coming from/going back to? Also could you please send me the onboard parameters from the version which boots? Save them to a file with QGC, PM me or post here.

Are you flashing the firmware via USB? Also, please pardon the "stupid" question, but you are flashing the correct firmware for the hardware, right? Hw. v8.6 would be the M4 V2. Just had to ask... you know what will happen if I don't. ;)

Cheers,
-Max
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:37 pm

PS. Heiko, another helpful troubleshooting method would be to try new firmware versions incrementally, starting with the one that works and then applying each build from the "next" branch incrementally: ftp://ftp.autoquad.org/3/334693_22529/a ... .6-quatos/ This could help narrow down the version which is causing the issue.

-Max
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby funth1ngs » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:47 pm

Hi Max,

Yes, it's a M4V2 =) I updated from "M4 - 7.1.1871-MP-EXPR", please see the attached PARAMS file.

Then I went back to aqfc-mp-v7.1.1887-hwv8.6-quatos from the FTP which worked. After that i flashed aqfc-mp-v7.1.1891-hwv8.6-quatos.bin again with no luck. I flashed all files via USB.

I also hooked up a USB connector to the second serial port the see if there is some output, but nothing showed up.

In short, the newest next is OK, the config_rebase branch not.

Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
Heiko
Attachments
M4 - 7.1.1871-MP-EXPR.txt
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:16 pm

Thanks Heiko, that's good info, should help chase down the issue. Meanwhile one thing you could try is resetting your params to defaults on a version that works (and save that to flash), then updating to 1891. If that works then try restoring your old params from the saved file.

I did notice that in your params you have COMM2 assigned with a protocol and baud rate... which will conflict with the motor output ports you're using (7 & 8). However, the COMM2 feature was introduced in b1884, so if that was causing the crash then theoretically 1887 shouldn't work either. But either way, you'll want to change that setting to "none" (0) protocol.

-Max
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Re: RC-adjustable parameters firmware update

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:52 pm

Heiko, I could not recreate the problem here by using your params and following the same fw. update steps (version to version) on my M4v2. It is possible the difference lies in what hardware is connected to your M4 (if any). Though I can't think of anything offhand which should prevent it from at least booting. I also tried it on a working M4 r5 setup with external KISS ESCs on ports 5-8, and didn't have any problems. Not sure what to make of all that.

I did find a bug which may affect some Quatos users (will patch shortly), but it doesn't relate to this at all.

Let's see what the next day brings. :)

Thanks,
-Max
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