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 APM 2.6: Initial setup problems 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 30
As part of an Aeromapper X5 I bought a preconfigured APM 2.6. After some initial, pretty successful tests, I had to make some inquiries about RC setup. Two days later, I tried to reconnect the APM in order to do a proper radio calibration.

However, since then the APM performs very strange. I did an EEPROM reset, which didn't help. I reinstalled the newest firmware, 2.74b but the problems seem to persist. The APM is now running standalone (no other devices attached), connected and powered to the PC through USB.

What I'm trying to do:
1. Connecting the Mission Planner (1.2.84) to the APM through MAVLINK.
Works. Upon connection, the parameters are successfully uploaded ("Got param ..." dialog).
2. In Mission Planner I'm now switching to "Flight Modes" tab and
change Flight Model 1 from "RTL" to "Manual"
3. Now I press "Save Modes", after a timeout of about 5 seconds I get a popup
message "Failed to set Flight modes".
4. Same happens if I try to modify any other parameter and then try to write the param to the APM.

What is wrong, do I miss something very basic?
What can I do to further investigate the problem?


PS: Switching to terminal mode and connecting to the APM works, I get the following prompt:
Code:
Opened com port


Init ArduPlane V2.74b


Free RAM: 2335
load?Compass initialisation failed!

Press ENTER 3 times to start interactive setup

ArduPlane V2.74b]
ArduPlane V2.74b]
ArduPlane V2.74b]
ArduPlane V2.74b] ?
Commands:
  logs
  setup
  test
  reboot
  help
ArduPlane V2.74b]


Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:24 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:37 am
Posts: 4
For what it is worth, this sounds exactly like the same issue I am having.

I recently purchased an APM 2.5 + as well as a 3DR radio from the 3DRobotics store. With my initial start-up, the USB communicated flawlessly, and the 3DR radio also worked perfectly. I then updated my Mission Planner, and am now not able to calibrate.

So, at this time, I have reinstalled ArduPlane V2/74b with a USB cable. Using COM 4, 115200 baud rate.
After installing the firmware, the USB MavLink appears to be working fine. (See the Flight Data screenshot below)

This is where the story parallels. I then go to enable the compass under the "mandatory hardware" menu, and get this error "Set MAG_ENABLE Failed"
Attachment:
Set MAG_ENABLE Failed.png
Set MAG_ENABLE Failed.png [ 47.05 KiB | Viewed 12980 times ]
(Image Set MAG_ENABLE Failed)

Which is then shortly followed by this after I click "OK"
Attachment:
Set MAG_ENABLE Failed 2.png
Set MAG_ENABLE Failed 2.png [ 46.87 KiB | Viewed 12980 times ]


Next, I go to the "Accel/Calib" menu. When I click on the top "Calibrate Accel" button, no dialog box comes up, which is different and not what it did the first few times. Again, the first several times this all worked perfectly prior to updating the MP software. When I try to "Calibrate Level" I get the following error "Failed to Level ac2 2.0.37+ is required."
Attachment:
Failed to Level ac2 2.0.37+ is required.png
Failed to Level ac2 2.0.37+ is required.png [ 11.3 KiB | Viewed 12980 times ]


So now I'm wondering if all is really right with the world. I have read the wiki, read posts on troubleshooting the APM setup, and I am puzzled. I have looked at the link status to make sure that's really working, and I don't think it is as I'm not downloading any packets (apparently). Seems like there should be a two way conversation happening, and it's not...see the "Link stats" image below. This and subsequent images will be in the following post (there must be a size limit per post).

Also, the Flight Data screen does not respond to either movement of the APM and the GPS (which does have the steady blue status light "on") does not give a location even when I'm outside and have waited for 20 minutes or so (the length it has taken me to write this). A screen shot of the Flight Data screen is shown below (Flight Data Screen). The good news is that the "Bad GPS Health" status disappears after about 20 seconds. Still shows a red "No GPS" status, though.

In the next post there is an image showing my current parameters for the SR0 and SR3 settings from the Full Parameter List.

Are these the default parameters? I have tried the "reset" sequence twice, and reloading the ArduPlane V2.74b firmware.

Just for completeness sake, I tried to connect with the 3DR radio using the PM and a fully charged SkyLipo 2200 mAh 3 cell battery. Disconnected the USB connection, since they use the same port. It times out, and then gives me an error stating "No Heartbeat Packets Received" the details of which I will attempt to post below.
The details of which are

So I've tried to check things out using the terminal. When it first fires up after connecting, I get a compass error message "load_Compass initialization failed!" Terminal does confirm ArduPlane V2.74b, free RAM 2355.

When I check the status of the compass using test mode on terminal, it returns a "disabled" despite it showing Enabled on the initial setup dialogs - but admittedly after also getting the "Set MAG_ENABLE" errors.

I've Googled, wiki'd, read, and I am well and truly stumped. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated


Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:37 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:37 am
Posts: 4
Images to accompany above post


Attachments:
Flight Data Screen.png
Flight Data Screen.png [ 149.89 KiB | Viewed 12980 times ]
Full Param SR settings.png
Full Param SR settings.png [ 21.02 KiB | Viewed 12980 times ]
Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:42 pm
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Developer

Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:35 pm
Posts: 1490
@hover,
Since the APM2.6 requires an external compass and you have the APM running by itself, the APM hardware initialization routine will fail because it is not detecting a compass. Once that happens the APM cannot recover. You need to have at least the external compass attached to the APM for the hardware initialization routine to complete successfully.
Regards,
TCIII ArduRover2 Developer


Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:14 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:37 am
Posts: 4
I have the internal compass- APM 2.5. I understand APM 2.6 does not have the internal compass- does this mean my compass is not working?

Also, I realized I forgot to upload the link stats image referred to in my 1st post above.
Attachment:
Links Stats.png
Links Stats.png [ 7.13 KiB | Viewed 12972 times ]


Thanks-

HS


Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:03 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:37 am
Posts: 4
I also referred above to the details of the "No Heartbeat Packets" error. Here it is.
Attachment:
No Heartbeat Packets Received_Details.png
No Heartbeat Packets Received_Details.png [ 86.35 KiB | Viewed 12972 times ]


Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:15 pm
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Developer

Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:35 pm
Posts: 1490
@HeartSailor,
I have found that some PC and laptop USB ports cannot source enough current for an AMP with all of its accessories and therefore the voltage supplied to the APM falls down to around 4.5 vdc which can cause communication problems.
You might try a powered USB HUB. That is what I use and I have had no communication issues with either of my two APM2.6s or my APM2.5s.
Regards,
TCIII Developer


Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:10 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 30
Thanks for all the hints.

I re-attached the compass/GPS and powered the APM through an output port (5V from a power supply), but the strange symptoms don't go away.

However, I have a new terminal output, which looks even stranger. maybe someone can comment on that:
Code:
Init ArduPlane V2.74b

Free RAM: 2335
load_Compass initialisation failed!

Press ENTER 3 times to start interactive setup

3Demo Servos!n++3Warming up ADC...X?3Demo Servos!fyoN++?3Demo Servos!C_,++o?3
Beginning INS calibration; do not move planeNMa++>?3
Initialising APM...*E2"++8Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
++Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
?++GFailed to boot MPU6000 5 times
Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
R++?Failed to boot MPU6000 5 times
PANIC: failed to boot MPU6000 5 times


Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 30
Does anybody know about specific test/diagnostic routines I could run in order to find out whether my hardware is faulty or what I can do to recover the APM?


Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 30
I did some addn. tests but it seems to be hopeless.

Although I attached the GPS/Compass, the compass remains disabled and I can do nothing to enable it. Every change is refused by the APM. Resetting doesn't seem to work properly either, I often get the "Failed to boot MPU6000" messages and that's it.

No idea what else I could try?

Is there anything to clearly determine whether the compass/GPS module or the APM controller itself is defect? I cannot understand why there should be no way to perform some very basic diagnostics on a standalone APM, without any compass or other device attached.

There seem to be many similarities between this issue and what HeartSailor reports.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:51 pm
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