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Horizon Tilt after Update 2.0.12

AirmetTango

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#1
Prior to updating my firmware on 10/25/2017, by horizon was always perfectly level. After updating to 2.0.12 on Wednesday, I've had an issue in which the horizon tilts to varying degrees with yaw as captured in this video:


As the video begins, I'm part way through the flight, and in the process of panning vertically to 19º to align the horizon with one of the segment lines. The horizon is already tilted noticeably, which is carried over from a previous yaw. Notice as I rotate the aircraft in yaw, the horizon tilts to an unacceptable degree. At various points in the video, the horizon does return briefly to level, but the degree and direction of the horizon tilt varies depending on the speed and direction of yaw. It is also evident on the video that some "dip" is occurring as well - the horizon is rising as the aircraft is yawed, despite the vertical pan remaining consistent at 19º. Also note that the various other parameters are being kept consistent as well - altitude, hover position, camera vertical tilt, etc.
Although I don’t show it in the video, the aircraft is always set on “Stability mode” as opposed to “FPV”. I’m using Starlink version 2.0.3.20, which I believe is the most current version for my Android device (Samsung Tab A).

I've contacted Autel customer support today with the details and video. I'll update the thread as I work with Autel toward a resolution. They were very responsive as always - I called at exactly 3pm eastern, needed to leave a message, but had a call back by 4:10pm eastern. Can't beat that with a stick!
 
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ovrszd

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#3
Bummer..... That's clearly not right. Please post the results of your contact with Autel. The adjustment in the system will NOT fix that problem. :(
 

bjtap

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#4
I too had this same exact problem. Richard is spot on, contact Autel. The only thing that fixed it was when Autel exchanged my camera/gimbal unit.
 

AirmetTango

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#5
As an update, I've been in contact with Autel Support over the last week in an attempt to address the horizon tilt issue. Unfortunately the end result is that this issue is, indeed, a known issue with the new firmware official release, and Autel is working on a solution for a future release. I guess it's good news from the standpoint that I won't need to shell out a few hundred dollars for a new camera/gimbal since I'm out of warranty, but very bad news from a useage standpoint. Professional use for video is no longer an option with the varying degree of tilt present - it's actually a worse problem to have than the poor yaw control. I could work around the yaw control on the old firmware by planning simpler shot progressions for videos, and still images weren't really affected. Now video is out of the question - with the changing tilt angle, it'll be almost impossible and too time consuming to edit out. And still images require a higher workload to fix the varying horizon tilt for each image, not to mention the image loss generated by the need to crop the image.

Anyway, here is a run down of my email exchange with Autel support (I had a battery issue as well) for those who are interested (all email addresses have been altered from original and all names redacted to protect privacy). One of my emails contains a link to another YouTube video that shows the suggested fix giving very limited, if any, improvement. The final email in the list is the one that confirms the issue is firmware related:

From: Autel Support [mailto:support@autel robotics.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2017 5:51 PM
To: xxxxx@yyyyy.com

Subject: Re: 57822 - XSP Issues Post-Firmware Upgrade


Hello ------,

I believe we talked earlier about your issues. It appears the battery from the third screenshot is still in good form, unfortunately the other three appear to be out of our suggested settings. We will most likely be able to provide replacements for these, a tip for upkeep of the batteries is to charge them every couple weeks if they are not being used. From our conversation you said you hadn't used the batteries in about a month, we can most likely attribute the battery drop to this factor because non use for that period of time can lead to drop. As for the slight gimbal movement, I'm not super familiar with this issue. My suggestion is to make sure you are in GPS mode, if you are I would then try changing from stabilized to FPV then back to stabilized again. If you are still experiencing issues with the movement let me know and we'll look into that issue further.

Regards,

------------------
Customer Service

AUTEL ROBOTICS

On Sat, 28 Oct at 4:43 PM , AirmetTango <xxxxx@yyyyy.com> wrote:


Thanks for the quick response, -----. Let me know what else you might need from me for the battery replacements.

I was able to accomplish one more flight this evening, and tried your suggestion to switch from Stabilized to FPV, then back to Stabilized to address the issue with horizon tilt during yaw. I tried that procedure initially while on the ground just before launch, and saw no improvement in flight. Toward the end of the flight, I tried the procedure again while airborne, and I think there may have been improvement, but I needed to land within a few minutes. I’d like to fly a few more times to see if the problem still manifests itself. I’m also interested to see if I have to make that switch between the two modes every time I start – that would be frustrating, and certainly indicative that something isn’t right compared to my experience on the previous firmware.
From: Autel Support [mailto:support@autel robotics.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 1:44 PM
To: xxxxx@yyyyy.com
Subject: Re: 57822 - XSP Issues Post-Firmware Upgrade

Hello -----,

Glad to hear there was some improvement. Let me know how the next flight goes with that good battery and we'll see if we need to send the drone in to be looked at. To get us started on the replacement for those batteries I'm going to need some information. In order to get your replacement battery sent to you, I need the following information.

[Edited out battery replacement info]

Regards,
-------------------
Customer Service

AUTEL ROBOTICS

On Sun, 29 Oct at 3:08 PM , ------ <xxxxxx@yyyyy.com> wrote:

Hi ----- –

[Battery replacement info edited out]

Also, I’m afraid that I was wrong – I’m still seeing pretty much the same horizon tilt and dip during yaw despite trying the suggestion to shift into and back out of “FPV” mode. Here’s a video of today’s flight using a screen recorder, showing me making the changes, and still observing the tilt (I apologize for the game playing in the background – I’m a big Eagles fan :blush:):


In the video, you can see that I initially shift from Stabilized to FPV and back to Stabilized prior to launch. In the air, the horizon tilt and dip is still evident as I yaw left and right. I then switch modes back and forth while in the air (at about the 2:30 mark), and for a minute or two, there appeared to be some improvement – which is probably why I thought I was seeing improvement when I tried it at the tail end of last night’s flight. However, by the 4 minute mark, you can see that the tilt and dip returns. In the video you can see that I switch modes several times, and the gimbal seems to immediately reset close to level, but as soon as yaw is introduced, the tilt immediately reoccurs in the rest of the video. It's also interesting to note that it seems like I can coax the horizon back to level by "bumping" the yaw in the opposite direction from what initiated the tilt. If I leave the ship sit on it’s own, the horizon tilt corrects itself extremely slowly, or sometimes not at all.

All that said, something definitely isn’t right. Let me know if it looks like I need to send the ship in for service at this point, and what that might mean expense-wise, since I’ve owned the XSP longer than 1 year. My concern would be that the cost for shipping, labor, and parts (assuming the camera/gimbal might need replacement) would start to approach the cost of a new aircraft if this is not a warranty repair or not somehow related to firmware.

From: Autel Support [mailto:support@autel robotics.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 6:25 PM
To: xxxxx@yyyyy.com
Subject: Re: 57822 - XSP Issues Post-Firmware Upgrade

Hello -----,

Original proof of purchase should work just fine. As for the gimbal issue, it's something I'll need to ask one of our techs about this week when they are back to work. Once I talk to them I'll let you know of the verdict on the gimbal issue. Thank you for your patience!

Regards,
-----------
Customer Service

AUTEL ROBOTICS
From: Autel Support [mailto:support@autel robotics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 5:15 PM
To: xxxxx@yyyyyy.com
Subject: Re: 57822 - XSP Issues Post-Firmware Upgrade

Hello -----,

I'll be working today to get the order for the new batteries complete. As for the gimbal I've talked to the techs here and they said that the occurrence is somewhat common with the new firmware and they're working to fix that in future updates. The quick fix solution they've provided is to switch the gimbal mode between FPV and Stabilized, this switch will need to occur in flight and may require a couple of attempts to completely resolve the issue.

Regards,

------------
Customer Service

AUTEL ROBOTICS
 
Last edited:

WildDoktor

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#6
Ugh...that's terrible. :-( They should be rushing you a refurb unit so you can get back to work.

On the plus side, nice logo...we must have the same designer. :)
 

brian bwin

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#7
Thanks for sharing your experience, that really sucks...

Temporary solution: Buy one of those refurb units and sell when they fix the firmware? Could be a long time your $$ is tied up but might be worth saving hours of editing time and frustration on paid work.
 

ovrszd

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#8
That is horrible customer service. No excuse. Upsets me just to read it.

Autel better turn this around in the very near future. Eventually every one of us will be contacting them with some variation of this issue. If their current business model is displayed in this instance they have serious problems. Total bummer.......
 
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AirmetTango

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#9
On the plus side, nice logo...we must have the same designer. :)
Great minds think alike, eh? ;) I actually used a "crowd source" type of design service last year to create the logo, after having pitiful luck putting one together myself. I take good pictures, but ask me create anything from scratch and results can be...underwhelming! Anyways, I ended up with about 60 designs - many of them weren't any better than my own results, but about half a dozen I really liked. My favorite was actually a different design, but when I asked the opinions of friends, family, and even several clients, this one was the almost unanimous choice - so what do I know!
 

AirmetTango

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#10
Thanks for sharing your experience, that really sucks...

Temporary solution: Buy one of those refurb units and sell when they fix the firmware? Could be a long time your $$ is tied up but might be worth saving hours of editing time and frustration on paid work.
No problem brian bwin. I figured it was important to share the experience and the fact that it is firmware related - though it appears it's only impacting a percentage of users since Autel said "the occurrence is somewhat common with the new firmware". Not sure if that means most or a few or what. Either way, I don't think I want to play roulette with buying a refurb on the hope that it'll be a machine that isn't affected. I could end up with a lot of machines to sell very fast if I wasn't lucky (and I'm often not! ;)). If they'd send me one to use in the meantime that was confirmed not to be affected as WildDoktor suggested, that'd be a different animal.

If I could somehow confirm that only older units are affected, I suppose I could play a game where I keep buying new units and returning them before the 30-day mark until a fix is released, but I'm not keen on playing the system that way - just not right in my opinion.

I'll be asking more questions to see if I can figure out why it's only affecting some and not others. Guesses would be: older units only, units that upgraded directly from firmware 1.2.8 or earlier to 2.0.12 without doing one of the others in between, Android users, Samsung Tab A users, just dumb luck....the list is potentially endless.
 

AirmetTango

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#11
That is horrible customer service. No excuse. Upsets me just to read it.

Autel better turn this around in the very near future. Eventually every one of us will be contacting them with some variation of this issue. If their current business model is displayed in this instance they have serious problems. Total bummer.......
Yeah, I'm not exactly pleased - but I'm going to remain optimistic for now that they'll at least have a beta out in reasonable time that addresses the problem. I suspect the speed of it's release may depend on how many users are experiencing the problem - although the yaw issue affected everybody, and that took a year. We'll see.
 

Wrsdas

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#12
I have the same horizon tile, on both and the old unit and the refurbished. In reviewing my early shots there was always a slight tilt, but not that noticeable. With 2.0.12 it seams that I can wind it up and down depending on the yaw I use. I’m going to be doing a lot of flying this next week, I’ll see if I can describ in mode defined terms. I haven’t seen if adjusting EXP will affect the tilt.
 

ACJunior

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#13
Thank you for posting this - and also making me not look crazy! (Had a few on Facebook...which is not a big help, simply reply "No problem on my end" [Gee, thanks for that reply] Few tips were given but nothing seems to work ) My own advice, Im staying away from FB!!

Anyway, YES I'm still having the same issue with mine after this "Final (Beta) Firmware" Now I had to manually adjust my gimbal roll to -0.6 before every flight since I bought this few firmware, after the new firmware install last Wed. night it's been simply frustrating.
I take it off from level ground, let it sit there for 30-40 seconds for the gimbal to adjust itself. Even a few Compass calibrations to see if this may fix it. I have to set the gimbal roll now to -1.4, -1.6 and it's maybe a TAD better. When I Yaw that tile kicks in and it seems it wasnt to slooooowly correct itself. So it looks like I'm flying a plane making slight turns.

Unfortunately the end result is that this issue is, indeed, a known issue with the new firmware official release, and Autel is working on a solution for a future release.

I am VERY glad Autel realizes this is an issue, so now just hope a quick update, maybe a 2.0.13 patch comes out SOON rather than later to fix this and we won't have to wait until 1st Qtr 2018! The last thing I want to do it send this in to Autel again, especially now with the Holidays coming up..By the time I send this in, by the time they finish looking at it, it's Thanksgiving week and I'm looking at another 5-7 days of getting it back. My warranty ends March 4..so I have time.
______

First Test flight - also ** BATTERY Drop at the very end. I haven't had a problem with the battery since this flight.

Last Friday 10-27 - Brief flight.

Yesterday - 11-4. Take off and now trying to figure out correct gimbal roll again

Yesterday 11-4

Again 11-4 Tilt again at 1:48
 
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ACJunior

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#14
This may be kind of a "duh" noob post, idea. I saw this on Facebook a few minutes ago, then checked my rubber balls on the gimbal (I admit I really need to do this more often!). I do have a SLIGHT tear on one. A reply also stated how this corrected his tilt problem.
Maybe....just maybe by replacing that torn rubber could fix...or at the very least improve the gimbal / horizon tilt. Odd though. I had a great flight on Tuesday with very little tilt, but then took it up last night and again it was really bad (adjusting the roll from -1.4 to -2.8 as I turned my XSP from a hovering position) . Very random. But I'll replace the rubber connections later...heck it can't hurt!

 
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ACJunior

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#16
Since it has been a brutal winter - either tool cold, and/or way too windy, I've been rarely taking the XSP up and it's been packed away. I finally did this morning and yeah...I actually forgot about this horizon tilt problem until I took it up.
Obviously since that update in October we haven't has a solution, update to fix this. Not even sure if we'll even get one at this point since all focus seems to be on this EVO.

Anyone get a decent updated answer about this? I replaced the rubber connectors, pins like it my previous post. No fix.
I did contact them in Dec about crazy battery drops in % in my batteries AND mentioned the gimbal. They did replace my batteries, as for the gimbal, they just told me to calibrate the compass - which doesn't solve the tilt.

It has been a very frustrating issue!
 

Agustine

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#17
Mine is getting worse
Last two times mine is very noticable.
Todays is just terrible after I turned left. Thought it straightened out for a few seconds and then back to the tilted horizon :(
 

ACJunior

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#18
I'll contact them maybe later tonight sometime tomorrow - get a ticket issued and sent it to WA, been meaning to do this but simply forgot during the hectic winter.
Hopefully they can manually adjust it - or whatever. I can get it back when before the weather gets warmer.
 

Agustine

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#20
Extreme cases are probably mechanical but there have been a lot more reports of the tilt after the last firmware update. One of the beta testers posted this just today about it.

" During the closed beta testing the drone they sent me had horrible horizon issues, but the other 4 testers didn't see it as bad so we figured it was just my gimbal. A few closed beta versions later and the others started to see horizon problems. It all started when they adjusted how the drone flew in forward yaw turns. They never addressed it. Beta went public, people started seeing horizon issues more than normal, never addressed it. Firmware finalized with the same issue. Once the firmware was final I put it on my xstar and ended up with more horizon issues than it had before the update.

Mind you, all drones have a horizon issue to a certain degree. My Yuneec Q5004K had issues, that wasn't fixable because it has no gimbal tilt adjustment. My xstar had horizon issues from time to time before the update, not as severe though. My Phantom 4 Advanced also has horizon issues from time to time. With that drone you can calibrate the gimbal, so usually when the issues show up you can just land, calibrate, and it will be good for a while.

In all honesty I don't think Autel will fix it, or even release any more firmware updates. The firmware work on the xstar was mostly so they could get practice for future drone firmware. It doesn't really bother me though, it's an EOL drone. Even my Q5004K, which is still produced by Yuneec and has parts made readily available by Yuneec hasn't had a firmware update since around beginning of 2016 even though it desperately needed some tweaking. It's just what companies do when they come out with a new line."
 

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