Topic: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Today I was able to test my newly arrived GPS using both the Parrot App and QgroundControl discussed elsewhere here.

Firstly the GPS Flight Recorder was controlled by the latest Ipad, wireless only, the drone was flown without cover as I was using a 1500 battery which is higher than the standard and coupled with the GPS is a tight fit!

Location of the drone on Google Maps was nearly spot on, not military grade but close enough! set a single way point was no problem and the vehicle flew well in a slight breeze, it feels strange not piloting but following the track on the map as no visual from the camera that I could find from this method.

Hitting the home button resulted in an immediate course change to return, creating a new way point whilst flying is simple and you can manoeuvre the machine virtually anywhere you want within limits, I was on a soccer field and manoeuvred the drone from boundary to boundary and goal to goal without loosing control so can't tell what happens if the signal goes off.

The drone did seem to struggle getting hight with the extra weight of battery and GPS, at about 25% power remaining height was impossible, probably not the best of batteries.

I used version 1.0.4 of QGroundControl with a Lenovo T410 laptop windows OS, I had set up way-points the night before for the soccer field this laptop also has a built in 3/4G modem so it has mobile broadband as well as wireless.

The first thing I noticed was the drone GPS communicates with QGC but unlike the Parrot app position reported in QGC is no where near accurate as in Flight Recorder! this means accuracy with the way-points is suspect, the laptop also has it's own built in GPS and when I activated that found it to report correctly so the drone GPS is reporting a correct location, Flight Recorder is showing that but QGC is way off at least 5 meters!

I did get the drone in the air with QGC however it seemed to have it's own agenda as to where it was going, before flight I had confirmed that the way points in the GPS were as plotted in QGC, what happened next left me a little worried about QGC, the drone moved off about 10 meters no where near the first way-point and climbed to about 30 meters where it just hovered!

I had lost control! I request via QGC, a termination of mission, landing, emergency turn off all failed to produce any control over the drone, my last resort was to terminate the wifi which brought the drone into land in a controlled manner.

Clearly the drone could travel far and high without any control so need to get a better grip of QGC before I try that again, there are a few other PC controll programs I have found so will give them ago, QGC is attractive due to the ability to set way-points but not at the lost of aircraft, Flight Recorder does the job, seems to me Parrot could add the ability to add way-points to their program without much trouble big_smile

The flight testing was good, always a good day when no crashes are involved  yikes

David

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

great report. keep up the good work. i'm getting the GPS module here shortly so I find this very interesting.

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

I too have experienced many serious problems with autonomous flight and other issues in general with firmware 2.4.1.

Here is a short list:
- program.elf (the main component of drone's software) spontaneously crashes, causing the drone to shut down motors and fall to the ground.
- Videos recorded on USB stick or Flight Recorder sometimes are missing several minutes of footage, it just cuts from one shot to another. I had almost 2 minutes lost in one case.
- The drone does not respond to commands to go straight to landing location or emergency landing in QGC. Also after sending the emergency landing command QGC reports that the drone is in standby while it's still in the air.
- I also had a flyaway when executing a flight plan autonomously. The drone went nuts and flew in a completely opposite direction of its designated waypoint at high speed. Here's my full post: http://forum.parrot.com/ardrone/en/view … 374#p32374

4 (edited by Arnd_Gehrmann 07-22-2013 08:57:49)

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Hello, to all,
i got a problem with the following hard- and software as displayed on the Statuspage

AR.Freeflight Version 2.4.3
AR.Drone 2.0, Hardware 2.1, Software 2.4.1
Inertial Hardware 2.3, Software 5.34
GPS Hardware 1.0, Software (first some x.x.x, later nothing)
Satellites 00


First flights with FlightRecorder went well. 4,5 and at least 6 Sats are detected and FreeFlights "Home" works very well. Next day, the GPS-device never will be detected. But saving flightclips on the FlightRecorder went well, but the devices software never appears on the status-page. GPS Hardware is announced as 1.0 but the Software version is empty. Im shure, the day before there was displaed some x.x.x ???
What i have done, after the first succ. flights, i have formated the devices RAM to delete the flightclips and the flightdata.
Before this, i did a copy of the flightRecorder-Ram to recover the directory "drivers".
If this is a mistake, is there a possibilty to recover the FlightRecorders initila state 8some image)?
Greetings
Arnd Gehrmann

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Arnd_Gehrmann wrote:

Hello, to all,
i got a problem with the following hard- and software as displayed on the Statuspage

AR.Freeflight Version 2.4.3
AR.Drone 2.0, Hardware 2.1, Software 2.4.1
Inertial Hardware 2.3, Software 5.34
GPS Hardware 1.0, Software (first some x.x.x, later nothing)
Satellites 00


First flights with FlightRecorder went well. 4,5 and at least 6 Sats are detected and FreeFlights "Home" works very well. Next day, the GPS-device never will be detected. But saving flightclips on the FlightRecorder went well, but the devices software never appears on the status-page. GPS Hardware is announced as 1.0 but the Software version is empty. Im shure, the day before there was displaed some x.x.x ???
What i have done, after the first succ. flights, i have formated the devices RAM to delete the flightclips and the flightdata.
Before this, i did a copy of the flightRecorder-Ram to recover the directory "drivers".
If this is a mistake, is there a possibilty to recover the FlightRecorders initila state 8some image)?
Greetings
Arnd Gehrmann

Seems like your GPS is not picking up any of the satellites! are you out doors with clear sky above you?
Formatting the the storage part of the device will not effect the GPS, have you got a good USB connection and can the software see the USB device?
If none of that works I'd say you need to activate the warranty.  sad

David

6 (edited by Arnd_Gehrmann 07-22-2013 10:47:16)

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Hi, djmorgan,

i tried to start the FlightRecorder the same place, as it works the day before. There are some trees around my position but meanwhile the GPS-chips are able to detect enough sats also under some trees.  Also the USB-connection should be working, because the flightclips are stored in FlightRecordesr RAM without problems.

Some question:
* is it possible to save flightclips on FlightRecoders RAM with an not 100% working USB-connection?
* when totaly new, on the FlightRecorders RAM exist a directory "drivers". Inside a Windows- and also a installable MacOS-Driver. For testing, i installed the MacOS-diver and my MacBook announced, that a new gps-device was detected and Garmins BaseCamp (my favorite for working with Garmins handheld-GPS-devices announced the detection, too). Is it possible, that this was an mistake?
* When did the GPS-Software-version appears in Freeflights statuspage; as fast, as the GPS-device is connected or at least, when enough sats are detected?
* When the FlightRecorders led blinks, is it connected with enough Sats or is there a different blinkrating, depending on the GPS-status?
* is it possible, that FreeFlight is not working the right way, because the FlightRecorder saves clips and blinks, like it works propperly and what to do than?
Sorry, questions and questions but im very unhappy with the "second Day" in the FlightRecorders history.
Greetings
Arnd Gehrmann

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Arnd_Gehrmann wrote:

For testing, i installed the MacOS-diver and my MacBook announced, that a new gps-device was detected and Garmins BaseCamp (my favorite for working with Garmins handheld-GPS-devices announced the detection, too). Is it possible, that this was an mistake?

There's your problem. Your Garmin software probably reconfigured the GPS chip and that's why the drone doesn't recognise it.

Try the following to reset the GPS to factory settings:
1) boot into Windows
2) install GPS driver
3) install and run SiRF Demo: http://www.falcom.de/support/software-tools/sirf/
4) select source: serial port (usually COM3), baud rate 4800
5) Action > Open Data Source
6) if you don't see any data coming from the device, try Action > Synchronize Protocol & Baud Rate
7) once you verify that it's properly detected, go to Action > Initialize Data Source and perform factory reset.

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Arnd_Gehrmann wrote:

Hi, djmorgan,

i tried to start the FlightRecorder the same place, as it works the day before. There are some trees around my position but meanwhile the GPS-chips are able to detect enough sats also under some trees.  Also the USB-connection should be working, because the flightclips are stored in FlightRecordesr RAM without problems.

Some question:
* is it possible to save flightclips on FlightRecoders RAM with an not 100% working USB-connection?
* when totaly new, on the FlightRecorders RAM exist a directory "drivers". Inside a Windows- and also a installable MacOS-Driver. For testing, i installed the MacOS-diver and my MacBook announced, that a new gps-device was detected and Garmins BaseCamp (my favorite for working with Garmins handheld-GPS-devices announced the detection, too). Is it possible, that this was an mistake?
* When did the GPS-Software-version appears in Freeflights statuspage; as fast, as the GPS-device is connected or at least, when enough sats are detected?
* When the FlightRecorders led blinks, is it connected with enough Sats or is there a different blinkrating, depending on the GPS-status?
* is it possible, that FreeFlight is not working the right way, because the FlightRecorder saves clips and blinks, like it works propperly and what to do than?
Sorry, questions and questions but im very unhappy with the "second Day" in the FlightRecorders history.
Greetings
Arnd Gehrmann

So many questions!
If the USB connection between GPS/Drive and circuit board on aircraft is faulty, then you will not be able to record or have the GPS work! seems obvious! if the connection is intermittent then same thing, the drone is supplying power and data if the connection is broken that stops.

As Darklo said the files on the GPS are for installing on your PC should you need them, in most cases, windows anyway, you will be able to download videos direct without any drivers installed.

If you went playing around and poking the GPS with other programs then don't know what to say except I'm not a MAC man anyway.

The GPS will not appear as 'ready' until it has located sufficient satellites and has a position fix, I think the minimum is 4 but that is only from other GPS work I have done.

From my limited experience, the GPS blinks rapidly when in contact with satellites and it knows its position, I don't think it blinks any differently if it is recording video! If no satellites, and on warm up, no blinking, longest I have experienced in establishing signal is 2 minutes approx.

That's about my best maybe others can help if I have missed something

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Darklo wrote:
Arnd_Gehrmann wrote:

For testing, i installed the MacOS-diver and my MacBook announced, that a new gps-device was detected and Garmins BaseCamp (my favorite for working with Garmins handheld-GPS-devices announced the detection, too). Is it possible, that this was an mistake?

There's your problem. Your Garmin software probably reconfigured the GPS chip and that's why the drone doesn't recognise it.

Try the following to reset the GPS to factory settings:
1) boot into Windows
2) install GPS driver
3) install and run SiRF Demo: http://www.falcom.de/support/software-tools/sirf/
4) select source: serial port (usually COM3), baud rate 4800
5) Action > Open Data Source
6) if you don't see any data coming from the device, try Action > Synchronize Protocol & Baud Rate
7) once you verify that it's properly detected, go to Action > Initialize Data Source and perform factory reset.

GREAT!!!!! SUCCESS !!! MANY THANKS TO YOU !!!!
Because i dont have a real windows system, i used on my MacBookPro the virtual solution Parallels. There i have installed Windows 7 and Windows XP. First i tried Windows 7. The installation of the Windows Driver works, but after that Windows announced to me "Driver is not certificated and so not aktivated  sad
Than i tried the virtual Windows XP and there installation of SiRF Demo and the Flight Recorder Driver works without problems  smile
I only have to change the serial port to com7. 4800 baud than works and data was displayed. THan i open the "Action", and there the "Inialize Dat Soure". There exsist, like you told, an "reset to factory setting" and thats it!!!!!

GPS-Device now has been detected again with this results

GPS Hardware 1.0 Software 4.1.0-P1
       Satellites  04

big_smile
Again - Great !!!!
greetings from Aachen/Aix la Chapelle
Arnd Gehrmann

p.s. sorry about my bad English , but im so exsited. I have just to tell in the german forum. THere are a few peaople with the same problem.

Re: My first flight GPS Flight Recorder and QGC

Glad it worked for you! big_smile