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Detailed Firmware 2.5.0 Testing Results on Autel Evo II Pro

TheMann58

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Positive Testing Results:
  1. Compass calibration and RC calibration were completed with no issues before first flight today.
  2. Gimbal horizon was very level throughout all 17 test flights today. Excellent!
  3. Stable hover of aircraft 4 feet over take-off point after auto take-off was consistently observed - VPS was working well.
  4. Live video displayed in Autel Explorer app version 1.1.6.6 on android mobile device (CrystalSky Ultra Bright) was smooth and high-quality throughout all 17 test flights.
Six Firmware (or Combination Firmware/Explorer App) Issues Noted:

Issue #1) Autel Evo II firmware version 2.5.0 did not fix the “GPS signal weak” issue on my Evo II Pro. I still get the “GPS signal weak” error message on EVERY takeoff - even when 13 GPS satellites are reported with the aircraft on the ground and up to 18 GPS satellites in the air in a wide open area on a mostly sunny day. I know this issue is only impacting a portion of Autel Evo II owners, but those of us experiencing this very annoying issue were hopeful this firmware update would fix it. It did not.

Issue #2) The Smart Orbit feature under Intelligent Photo modes is completely broken for me. Every time I attempt to use the Smart Orbit feature on my android device running Autel Explorer version 1.1.6.6 after drawing a box around the orbit target on my screen and tapping “Start” I get the following error message: “Failed. GPS signal is weak.” Very disappointing! Even though I have gotten “GPS signal weak” error messages at the beginning of every flight both before and after updating to firmware version 2.5.0, the Smart Orbit feature worked for me most of the time on the previous firmware.

Issue #3) On 11 of 17 test flights this afternoon, the Autel Evo returned to within 4-8 inches of takeoff home point and the aircraft adjusted its postion two or three times as it landed with precision. Great!!

Unfortunately, during the other 6 flights, the Evo II precision landing feature not only failed to work, the aircraft attempted to land 32 to 56 feet away from original takeoff home point! I had to cancel the automatic RTH and take over manual control of the landing (as all pilots should be prepared to do). Nominal GPS position accuracy with 10+ satellites locked should be +/- 6 feet. So, this is really bad performance.

I noted that during these bad landing attempts, the distance from home point that was displayed on the screen in the Autel Explorer app as the drone was in its final RTH descent was 0 feet! In other words, the drone thought it was landing in the correct home location. However, when I play back the flight records on these same 6 flights, the distance from home as the drone is attempting its RTH landing is shown to be 32 to 56 feet from the actual home point, which is what I observed. So, I wonder if this is a matter of the distance away from an inaccurately calculated “visual” precision landing home point being displayed in the Autel Explorer app vs. the actual distance in feet from the true GPS home point being logged in the flight records for these 6 flights? If so, then these poor RTH landings are the result of buggy precision landing programming instead of poor GPS performance. Precision landing never worked when the aircraft was descending from a height above 200 feet. Issue #4, below, thus exacerbated this problem.

Issue #4) The new firmware has introduced a serious bug in the RTH function.

Today with imperial units selected and return to home height set at 100 feet, I made 15 consecutive return to home test flights. Whenever the drone was at a height of less than 100 feet before activating RTH, the drone would turn toward home point, rise to 100 feet elevation as expected at its current location and then return to home at 100 feet altitude. Perfect!

HOWEVER, on six separate tests when the Evo II was at 130+ feet elevation, after activating RTH on the remote the drone would turn towards home rise to 328 feet (!!) and then return to home at that very high elevation. It appears that for starting elevations above 130 feet, the software/firmware was erroneously interpreting the 100 feet elevation RTH setting as 100 meters and converting it to 328 feet. Not good!

When I set the return to home height to 150 feet, things got more confusing. For this series of RTH tests, when the Evo II was at heights less than 150 feet as I activated RTH, it turned towards home, rose to 150 feet and returned to home at that elevation as expected. Perfect. However, when the Evo II elevation was 230 feet or higher when I activated RTH, the drone turned towards home, rose to 328 feet (!) and returned home at that higher-than-specified elevation. I don’t know WTH was happening in this case because it was not a simple meters to feet conversion error in this case.

To add more confusion and RTH performance inconsistency, I noted that when the starting elevation of the Evo II was only “slightly” above the target RTH height setting when I activated RTH - say 109 feet when the RTH setting is 100 feet - the drone did remain at that 109 feet altitude during its return to home flight as it should. This may explain why this bug went unnoticed during beta testing.

Autel Evo firmware engineers/programmers are going to have to dig deep to find this weird RTH bug.

Issue #5) I saw a “Gimbal not ready” error message displayed briefly shortly after power-up of the aircraft on about half my test flights today. I have never seen this error message prior to updating to firmware version 2.5.0. The gimbal issue, whatever it is, apparently goes away quickly as I had no problems controlling the gimbal pitch and the gimbal was level and stable during all 17 test flights today.

Issue #6) Weird flight performance during some flights in standard mode. Even when flying 40+ feet above open fields and no obstacles detected, the Evo II would sometimes accelerate to only 4-8 mph with full forward stick for 10 seconds or so and then finally accelerate up to the maximum 22 mph. Similarly, during some RTH flights, the Evo II horizontal speed was only 4-8 mph for 10-20 seconds before increasing to 22 mph. I found that when increasing altitude simultaneously with full forward stick, the forward speed of the Evo II was limited to less than 13 mph.
 
Last edited:
Positive Testing Results:
  1. Compass calibration and RC calibration were completed with no issues before first flight today.
  2. Gimbal horizon was very level throughout all 17 test flights today. Excellent!
  3. Stable hover of aircraft 4 feet over take-off point after auto take-off was consistently observed - VPS was working well.
  4. Live video displayed in Autel Explorer app version 1.1.6.6 on android mobile device (CrystalSky Ultra Bright) was smooth and high-quality throughout all 17 test flights.
Six Firmware (or Combination Firmware/Explorer App) Issues Noted:

Issue #1) Autel Evo II firmware version 2.5.0 did not fix the “GPS signal weak” issue on my Evo II Pro. I still get the “GPS signal weak” error message on EVERY takeoff - even when 13 GPS satellites are reported with the aircraft on the ground and up to 18 GPS satellites in the air in a wide open area on a mostly sunny day. I know this issue is only impacting a portion of Autel Evo II owners, but those of us experiencing this very annoying issue were hopeful this firmware update would fix it. It did not.

Issue #2) The Smart Orbit feature under Intelligent Photo modes is completely broken for me. Every time I attempt to use the Smart Orbit feature on my android device running Autel Explorer version 1.1.6.6 after drawing a box around the orbit target on my screen and tapping “Start” I get the following error message: “Failed. GPS signal is weak.” Very disappointing! Even though I have gotten “GPS signal weak” error messages at the beginning of every flight both before and after updating to firmware version 2.5.0, the Smart Orbit feature worked for me most of the time on the previous firmware.

Issue #3) On 11 of 17 test flights this afternoon, the Autel Evo returned to within 4-8 inches of takeoff home point and the aircraft adjusted its postion two or three times as it landed with precision. Great!!

Unfortunately, during the other 6 flights, the Evo II precision landing feature not only failed to work, the aircraft attempted to land 32 to 56 feet away from original takeoff home point! I had to cancel the automatic RTH and take over manual control of the landing (as all pilots should be prepared to do). Nominal GPS position accuracy with 10+ satellites locked should be +/- 6 feet. So, this is really bad performance.

I noted that during these bad landing attempts, the distance from home point that was displayed on the screen in the Autel Explorer app as the drone was in its final RTH descent was 0 feet! In other words, the drone thought it was landing in the correct home location. However, when I play back the flight records on these same 6 flights, the distance from home as the drone is attempting its RTH landing is shown to be 32 to 56 feet from the actual home point, which is what I observed. So, I wonder if this is a matter of the distance away from an inaccurately calculated “visual” precision landing home point being displayed in the Autel Explorer app vs. the actual distance in feet from the true GPS home point being logged in the flight records for these 6 flights? If so, then these poor RTH landings are the result of buggy precision landing programming instead of poor GPS performance. Precision landing never worked when the aircraft was descending from a height above 200 feet. Issue #4, below, thus exacerbated this problem.

Issue #4) The new firmware has introduced a serious bug in the RTH function.

Today with imperial units selected and return to home height set at 100 feet, I made 15 consecutive return to home test flights. Whenever the drone was at a height of less than 100 feet before activating RTH, the drone would turn toward home point, rise to 100 feet elevation as expected at its current location and then return to home at 100 feet altitude. Perfect!

HOWEVER, on six separate tests when the Evo II was at 130+ feet elevation, after activating RTH on the remote the drone would turn towards home rise to 328 feet (!!) and then return to home at that very high elevation. It appears that for starting elevations above 130 feet, the software/firmware was erroneously interpreting the 100 feet elevation RTH setting as 100 meters and converting it to 328 feet. Not good!

When I set the return to home height to 150 feet, things got more confusing. For this series of RTH tests, when the Evo II was at heights less than 150 feet as I activated RTH, it turned towards home, rose to 150 feet and returned to home at that elevation as expected. Perfect. However, when the Evo II elevation was 230 feet or higher when I activated RTH, the drone turned towards home, rose to 328 feet (!) and returned home at that higher-than-specified elevation. I don’t know WTH was happening in this case because it was not a simple meters to feet conversion error in this case.

To add more confusion and RTH performance inconsistency, I noted that when the starting elevation of the Evo II was only “slightly” above the target RTH height setting when I activated RTH - say 109 feet when the RTH setting is 100 feet - the drone did remain at that 109 feet altitude during its return to home flight as it should. This may explain why this bug went unnoticed during beta testing.

Autel Evo firmware engineers/programmers are going to have to dig deep to find this weird RTH bug.

Issue #5) I saw a “Gimbal not ready” error message displayed briefly shortly after power-up of the aircraft on about half my test flights today. I have never seen this error message prior to updating to firmware version 2.5.0. The gimbal issue, whatever it is, apparently goes away quickly as I had no problems controlling the gimbal pitch and the gimbal was level and stable during all 17 test flights today.

Issue #6) Weird flight performance during some flights in standard mode. Even when flying 40+ feet above open fields and no obstacles detected, the Evo II would sometimes accelerate to only 4-8 mph with full forward stick for 10 seconds or so and then finally accelerate up to the maximum 22 mph. Similarly, during some RTH flights, the Evo II horizontal speed was only 4-8 mph for 10-20 seconds before increasing to 22 mph. I found that when increasing altitude simultaneously with full forward stick, the forward speed of the Evo II was limited to less than 13 mph.

Thanks for the detailed firmware update, your experiences are similar to mine.

Your Issue (6), same here experienced weird flight performance only it would weave left to right on flight back with a reduced speed similar to yours. I noted and left this on another thread yesterday, Felt obstacle avoidance was to sensitive with this update.

However, When turning off obstacle avoidance, this seemed to have eliminated these problems. I’ll try again today or this week, run more test.

Your Issue (1) GPS weak signal, every since adding a booster amplifier to Evo 2 controller. I can’t remember seeing these weak GPS issues others are having. So I can’t comment if this update helped fix the GPS issue.

Your Issue (3). Yes, same here but instead didn’t cancel let it land and once landed many feet away from pad. Other RTH flights, although I wanted to cancel because it was so close to landing it would quickly adjust and fly back and land at pad. Try not to cancel on next RTH flight if possible, if it’s safe let it make the adjustment even it it looks like it’s going to land elsewhere.

I agree, definitely needs work from the engineers and programmers.

Thanks again for sharing,
Paul
 
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Thank you for the info. New to Autel, but quickly learning I may have moved into the wild west of Drones.

Issues 1, 3, 5 and 6 are affecting me. Just rolled back to firmware 2.3.3 to see if that helps me and also my weird drift issue.

Compass calibration in the manual from the Autel website has an odd note attached to it.

Watching an Autel video, for the earlier model, it suggests nose down for rotation.
In the PDF manual, for the Evo II series, the picture clearly shows nose up, yet the words clearly say nose down.
Weirdly, still, the word 'downwards' is crossed out in blue and it has a note attached, written by Brian Sonnleitner saying, "Is it up or down? The test states down but the image shows the nose up."

Which is it? Nose up or down?Screenshot 2020-09-28 at 04.28.17.jpg
 
Issue #3) On 11 of 17 test flights this afternoon, the Autel Evo returned to within 4-8 inches of takeoff home point and the aircraft adjusted its postion two or three times as it landed with precision. Great!!

Unfortunately, during the other 6 flights, the Evo II precision landing feature not only failed to work, the aircraft attempted to land 32 to 56 feet away from original takeoff home point!

You are aware of the fact that an immediate landing below 30 feet distance (maybe a bit more due to GPS inacccuracies) is working as intended?
 
You are aware of the fact that an immediate landing below 30 feet distance (maybe a bit more due to GPS inacccuracies) is working as intended?
My Autel Evo II Pro was 500-1300 feet distance from home point on EVERY test flight before RTH was initiated.
 
Thank you for the info. New to Autel, but quickly learning I may have moved into the wild west of Drones.

Issues 1, 3, 5 and 6 are affecting me. Just rolled back to firmware 2.3.3 to see if that helps me and also my weird drift issue.

Compass calibration in the manual from the Autel website has an odd note attached to it.

Watching an Autel video, for the earlier model, it suggests nose down for rotation.
In the PDF manual, for the Evo II series, the picture clearly shows nose up, yet the words clearly say nose down.
Weirdly, still, the word 'downwards' is crossed out in blue and it has a note attached, written by Brian Sonnleitner saying, "Is it up or down? The test states down but the image shows the nose up."

Which is it? Nose up or down?View attachment 8622
Second step of compass calibration is performed with front end (camera end) of aircraft pointing downward directly at ground.
 
Positive Testing Results:
  1. Compass calibration and RC calibration were completed with no issues before first flight today.
  2. Gimbal horizon was very level throughout all 17 test flights today. Excellent!
  3. Stable hover of aircraft 4 feet over take-off point after auto take-off was consistently observed - VPS was working well.
  4. Live video displayed in Autel Explorer app version 1.1.6.6 on android mobile device (CrystalSky Ultra Bright) was smooth and high-quality throughout all 17 test flights.
Six Firmware (or Combination Firmware/Explorer App) Issues Noted:

Issue #1) Autel Evo II firmware version 2.5.0 did not fix the “GPS signal weak” issue on my Evo II Pro. I still get the “GPS signal weak” error message on EVERY takeoff - even when 13 GPS satellites are reported with the aircraft on the ground and up to 18 GPS satellites in the air in a wide open area on a mostly sunny day. I know this issue is only impacting a portion of Autel Evo II owners, but those of us experiencing this very annoying issue were hopeful this firmware update would fix it. It did not.

Issue #2) The Smart Orbit feature under Intelligent Photo modes is completely broken for me. Every time I attempt to use the Smart Orbit feature on my android device running Autel Explorer version 1.1.6.6 after drawing a box around the orbit target on my screen and tapping “Start” I get the following error message: “Failed. GPS signal is weak.” Very disappointing! Even though I have gotten “GPS signal weak” error messages at the beginning of every flight both before and after updating to firmware version 2.5.0, the Smart Orbit feature worked for me most of the time on the previous firmware.

Issue #3) On 11 of 17 test flights this afternoon, the Autel Evo returned to within 4-8 inches of takeoff home point and the aircraft adjusted its postion two or three times as it landed with precision. Great!!

Unfortunately, during the other 6 flights, the Evo II precision landing feature not only failed to work, the aircraft attempted to land 32 to 56 feet away from original takeoff home point! I had to cancel the automatic RTH and take over manual control of the landing (as all pilots should be prepared to do). Nominal GPS position accuracy with 10+ satellites locked should be +/- 6 feet. So, this is really bad performance.

I noted that during these bad landing attempts, the distance from home point that was displayed on the screen in the Autel Explorer app as the drone was in its final RTH descent was 0 feet! In other words, the drone thought it was landing in the correct home location. However, when I play back the flight records on these same 6 flights, the distance from home as the drone is attempting its RTH landing is shown to be 32 to 56 feet from the actual home point, which is what I observed. So, I wonder if this is a matter of the distance away from an inaccurately calculated “visual” precision landing home point being displayed in the Autel Explorer app vs. the actual distance in feet from the true GPS home point being logged in the flight records for these 6 flights? If so, then these poor RTH landings are the result of buggy precision landing programming instead of poor GPS performance. Precision landing never worked when the aircraft was descending from a height above 200 feet. Issue #4, below, thus exacerbated this problem.

Issue #4) The new firmware has introduced a serious bug in the RTH function.

Today with imperial units selected and return to home height set at 100 feet, I made 15 consecutive return to home test flights. Whenever the drone was at a height of less than 100 feet before activating RTH, the drone would turn toward home point, rise to 100 feet elevation as expected at its current location and then return to home at 100 feet altitude. Perfect!

HOWEVER, on six separate tests when the Evo II was at 130+ feet elevation, after activating RTH on the remote the drone would turn towards home rise to 328 feet (!!) and then return to home at that very high elevation. It appears that for starting elevations above 130 feet, the software/firmware was erroneously interpreting the 100 feet elevation RTH setting as 100 meters and converting it to 328 feet. Not good!

When I set the return to home height to 150 feet, things got more confusing. For this series of RTH tests, when the Evo II was at heights less than 150 feet as I activated RTH, it turned towards home, rose to 150 feet and returned to home at that elevation as expected. Perfect. However, when the Evo II elevation was 230 feet or higher when I activated RTH, the drone turned towards home, rose to 328 feet (!) and returned home at that higher-than-specified elevation. I don’t know WTH was happening in this case because it was not a simple meters to feet conversion error in this case.

To add more confusion and RTH performance inconsistency, I noted that when the starting elevation of the Evo II was only “slightly” above the target RTH height setting when I activated RTH - say 109 feet when the RTH setting is 100 feet - the drone did remain at that 109 feet altitude during its return to home flight as it should. This may explain why this bug went unnoticed during beta testing.

Autel Evo firmware engineers/programmers are going to have to dig deep to find this weird RTH bug.

Issue #5) I saw a “Gimbal not ready” error message displayed briefly shortly after power-up of the aircraft on about half my test flights today. I have never seen this error message prior to updating to firmware version 2.5.0. The gimbal issue, whatever it is, apparently goes away quickly as I had no problems controlling the gimbal pitch and the gimbal was level and stable during all 17 test flights today.

Issue #6) Weird flight performance during some flights in standard mode. Even when flying 40+ feet above open fields and no obstacles detected, the Evo II would sometimes accelerate to only 4-8 mph with full forward stick for 10 seconds or so and then finally accelerate up to the maximum 22 mph. Similarly, during some RTH flights, the Evo II horizontal speed was only 4-8 mph for 10-20 seconds before increasing to 22 mph. I found that when increasing altitude simultaneously with full forward stick, the forward speed of the Evo II was limited to less than 13 mph.

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