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Smart Controller from Autelpilot

bikemonster

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Hi. Has anyone received a new Smart Controller from the store Autelpilot? Preordered in April from them, and been emailing them back and forth and all they say is they’re waiting for their shipments. Seems like most suppliers are shipping out at least some Smart Controller V1s, just don’t know if the supplier Autelpilot is. Purchased my Evo 2 Pro from them by placing, and paying for the preorder, shortly after the announcement of the drone production, and received it during the period most other early adopters were receiving theirs. Everything for that purchase worked out well.
Impatient trending towards slightly worried.
Thanks for any response.
 

GeekOnTheWing

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I had occasion to make a brief 3-hour phone call to Autel Robotics Support today to try to get mine working, and in the course of the discussion I was told that they had none in stock at the moment. That was for possible warranty return and replacement on the one I received today. They may (or may not) have stock to fulfill orders.

On the bright side (for me, at least), the most persistent support tech in the entire technology universe wouldn't give up trying to help me; and coming nigh unto three hours on the phone, he diagnosed the problem and told me how to fix it. I was ready to adopt him.

Having done tech support at various times in my life, I can say without hesitation that Evan is a much better tech than I ever was. I would have given up and issued an RMA a third of the way through the call. The young fellow is persistent, though. I emailed Randall about him. He should get a raise.
 

Tom skerke

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I had occasion to make a brief 3-hour phone call to Autel Robotics Support today to try to get mine working, and in the course of the discussion I was told that they had none in stock at the moment. That was for possible warranty return and replacement on the one I received today. They may (or may not) have stock to fulfill orders.

On the bright side (for me, at least), the most persistent support tech in the entire technology universe wouldn't give up trying to help me; and coming nigh unto three hours on the phone, he diagnosed the problem and told me how to fix it. I was ready to adopt him.

Having done tech support at various times in my life, I can say without hesitation that Evan is a much better tech than I ever was. I would have given up and issued an RMA a third of the way through the call. The young fellow is persistent, though. I emailed Randall about him. He should get a raise.
What did you do wrong.
 

GeekOnTheWing

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What did you do wrong.
Actually, nothing. The only thing the SC did correctly out of the box was join my WiFi network. The zoom didn't work, the gimbal was absurdly slow, and it couldn't see the SD card on the drone to install the update that was needed to correct the other problems.

Apparently there are two different firmware updates with the same version number. One is the downloadable version, and the other one (which is the one that the SC needed) is the OTA version pulled by the SC. The OTA firmware for the aircraft contains a module that corrects the problems with the SC.

The problem was that it was a catch-22 sort of thing: Even doing the update OTA, you need an SD card in the drone; but the SC couldn't see the SD card to do the update.

Evan had me reinstall the downloadable version on the drone using the SD card, He also had me reset the SC, and then download the update for the SC Explorer app (which is different from the standard Android app). The combination apparently solved one problem by enabling the SC to see the SD card. But the problem still existed with the scroll wheels.

He tried a few more things that didn't work, then had me clear the app cache and reinstall the aircraft firmware update yet again, this time using the OTA update. The OTA update for the aircraft firmware contained the updated module that corrected the problems with the scroll wheels on the SC.

I can understand why it took him so long. It's somewhat counterintuitive, and the two files are different but have the same version number. I give him loads of credit for persistence.

For my part, I was ready to return the thing when I called. I mean ready as in looking up the nearest UPS dropoff location. But I had some coffee and vaped like a fiend, then called support.

I have mixed feelings about the SC. It feels nice and does a good job at what it does, overall. The screen is also nice and bright. But the motion is choppy and the sound is inaudible. I can live without the sound, and I'm hoping the screen smooths out once the SC rebuilds its caches and whatever else it needs to do after all that work.
 

rgold1963

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Actually, nothing. The only thing the SC did correctly out of the box was join my WiFi network. The zoom didn't work, the gimbal was absurdly slow, and it couldn't see the SD card on the drone to install the update that was needed to correct the other problems.

Apparently there are two different firmware updates with the same version number. One is the downloadable version, and the other one (which is the one that the SC needed) is the OTA version pulled by the SC. The OTA firmware for the aircraft contains a module that corrects the problems with the SC.

The problem was that it was a catch-22 sort of thing: Even doing the update OTA, you need an SD card in the drone; but the SC couldn't see the SD card to do the update.

Evan had me reinstall the downloadable version on the drone using the SD card, He also had me reset the SC, and then download the update for the SC Explorer app (which is different from the standard Android app). The combination apparently solved one problem by enabling the SC to see the SD card. But the problem still existed with the scroll wheels.

He tried a few more things that didn't work, then had me clear the app cache and reinstall the aircraft firmware update yet again, this time using the OTA update. The OTA update for the aircraft firmware contained the updated module that corrected the problems with the scroll wheels on the SC.

I can understand why it took him so long. It's somewhat counterintuitive, and the two files are different but have the same version number. I give him loads of credit for persistence.

For my part, I was ready to return the thing when I called. I mean ready as in looking up the nearest UPS dropoff location. But I had some coffee and vaped like a fiend, then called support.

I have mixed feelings about the SC. It feels nice and does a good job at what it does, overall. The screen is also nice and bright. But the motion is choppy and the sound is inaudible. I can live without the sound, and I'm hoping the screen smooths out once the SC rebuilds its caches and whatever else it needs to do after all that work.
The only thing mine didn't do correctly was connect to the internet through my wireless network. Full strength signal tried boht frequencies, nothing. Had to turn my phone into a hot spot and then it connected to the internet and after several failed attempts at OTA firmware, I used the SD card which worked fine only to get an instant notice to update the firmware again. Finally got the OTA to work this afternoon and at last check everything seemed to finally work correctly. I will get out and fly this week just to be sure but i think I am finally set. Frustrating few days but I know the SC is going to be way better than the RC/phone combo.
 

GeekOnTheWing

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The only thing mine didn't do correctly was connect to the internet through my wireless network. Full strength signal tried boht frequencies, nothing. Had to turn my phone into a hot spot and then it connected to the internet and after several failed attempts at OTA firmware, I used the SD card which worked fine only to get an instant notice to update the firmware again. Finally got the OTA to work this afternoon and at last check everything seemed to finally work correctly. I will get out and fly this week just to be sure but i think I am finally set. Frustrating few days but I know the SC is going to be way better than the RC/phone combo.
Mine joined the WiFi immediately and painlessly, and I thought for a moment it would be an easy thing. Unfortunately, not so much. But I've been through worse things.

I did fly it a bit earlier today and I like the feel of the controls. Right now I have it sitting turned on, but idle in case it has some post-reinstall work it needs to do. I remember with Android phones the screens would be shaky and laggy for a while after flashing the ROM, and then clear up.
 

kenautelevo2pro

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before I pressed my sc into service, I didn't everything I could to my v1 drone using the original rc that I knew and trusted. I didn't see a need to try to get the sc to do any heavy lifting that may or may not have been fully tested. maybe I mis-read your issue but I still have my original rc on standby.....
 
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kenautelevo2pro

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Actually, nothing. The only thing the SC did correctly out of the box was join my WiFi network. The zoom didn't work, the gimbal was absurdly slow, and it couldn't see the SD card on the drone to install the update that was needed to correct the other problems.

Apparently there are two different firmware updates with the same version number. One is the downloadable version, and the other one (which is the one that the SC needed) is the OTA version pulled by the SC. The OTA firmware for the aircraft contains a module that corrects the problems with the SC.

The problem was that it was a catch-22 sort of thing: Even doing the update OTA, you need an SD card in the drone; but the SC couldn't see the SD card to do the update.

Evan had me reinstall the downloadable version on the drone using the SD card, He also had me reset the SC, and then download the update for the SC Explorer app (which is different from the standard Android app). The combination apparently solved one problem by enabling the SC to see the SD card. But the problem still existed with the scroll wheels.

He tried a few more things that didn't work, then had me clear the app cache and reinstall the aircraft firmware update yet again, this time using the OTA update. The OTA update for the aircraft firmware contained the updated module that corrected the problems with the scroll wheels on the SC.

I can understand why it took him so long. It's somewhat counterintuitive, and the two files are different but have the same version number. I give him loads of credit for persistence.

For my part, I was ready to return the thing when I called. I mean ready as in looking up the nearest UPS dropoff location. But I had some coffee and vaped like a fiend, then called support.

I have mixed feelings about the SC. It feels nice and does a good job at what it does, overall. The screen is also nice and bright. But the motion is choppy and the sound is inaudible. I can live without the sound, and I'm hoping the screen smooths out once the SC rebuilds its caches and whatever else it needs to do after all that work.
good you got it resolved. didn't we just have a discussion about ota vs. card update? I think I remember saying the card update is ok and I know people love it but when there are two choices, it's been my experience the manufacturer "prefers" the ota update and doesn't love the card update as much as the customer. I don't work at autel so I can't be sure but I'm almost positive they don't timely fully test (and implement) that method. why would they?
 
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GeekOnTheWing

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good you got it resolved. didn't we just have a discussion about ota vs. card update? I think I remember saying the card update is ok and I know people love it but when there are two choices, it's been my experience the manufacturer "prefers" the ota update and doesn't love the card update as much as the customer. I don't work at autel so I can't be sure but I'm almost positive they don't timely fully test (and implement) that method. why would they?

Thanks.

I think it's more a matter of the files not being the same than the manner in which the update was done. All the OTA update does is transfer the downloaded file to the SD card, from whence it's installed to the aircraft. The manner in which the file got there shouldn't make a difference, ones and zeros being what they are.

The problem in this case was that the OTA file had different ones and zeros from the downloadable file. The module to correct the scroll-wheel issue was only on the OTA file.

That's why I can understand why it took so long for Evan to figure it out. I never would thought that two files with the same version number were different. Well, maybe not never; but it would be pretty close to the last possibility I'd think about in terms of diagnostics.

In any case, it's fixed; and Evan should get the first Nobel Prize for Persistence if they ever come up with one.
 

Wayne Maine

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Thanks.

I think it's more a matter of the files not being the same than the manner in which the update was done. All the OTA update does is transfer the downloaded file to the SD card, from whence it's installed to the aircraft. The manner in which the file got there shouldn't make a difference, ones and zeros being what they are.

The problem in this case was that the OTA file had different ones and zeros from the downloadable file. The module to correct the scroll-wheel issue was only on the OTA file.

That's why I can understand why it took so long for Evan to figure it out. I never would thought that two files with the same version number were different. Well, maybe not never; but it would be pretty close to the last possibility I'd think about in terms of diagnostics.

In any case, it's fixed; and Evan should get the first Nobel Prize for Persistence if they ever come up with one.
Mine is coming this morning. I hope it works ok. This old guy does not need those issues
 
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GeekOnTheWing

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Mine is coming this morning. I hope it works ok. This old guy does not need those issues
Being in tech myself, I was thinking about how I would notate this were I in Evan's place.

As is almost always the case when troubleshooting, most of the time was spent doing things that didn't work; and it wasn't always abundantly clear which action corrected which problem. But I'm pretty confident in the following:

  • The gimbal and zoom scroll wheel problems could not be solved without updating the aircraft firmware using the OTA update.
  • The OTA firmware update could not be accomplished because the SC could not access the aircraft SD card (which would have made the drone unusable in any case).
  • The problem of not being able to access the SD card (and therefore not being able to install the aircraft firmware update) could not be fixed without resetting the controller (Factory Data Reset) from within the Android settings.
  • Resetting the controller did NOT result in the Explorer app going away, but it resulted in it being an older version.
  • Once the controller was reset, updating the Explorer app solved the problem of not being able to access the SD card.
  • Once the SD card was accessible, updating the aircraft firmware using the OTA update solved the gimbal and zoom scroll wheel problem.

So as far as I can tell, the steps that actually solved the problems were, in order:

  1. Factory-resetting the controller in the Android settings.
  2. Re-connecting to WiFi.
  3. Updating the Explorer app.
  4. Clearing the Explorer app cache.
  5. Updating the aircraft firmware using the OTA update.

The above would take 10 to 15 minutes total. The rest of the time was diagnostic time.

There seem to have been two problems:

  1. A problem with the installed version of the Explorer app that caused the SD card in the aircraft to be inaccessible.
  2. A problem whose fix was contained in the OTA version of the aircraft firmware package that caused the gimbal scroll wheel to be absurdly slow, and the zoom scroll wheel not to work at all.

The above steps, I think, were the only sequence that could work to correct both problems.
 

PingSpike

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Apparently there are two different firmware updates with the same version number. One is the downloadable version, and the other one (which is the one that the SC needed) is the OTA version

This is just INSANE.

Quite why any software developer would do this, much less a company the size of Autel, just makes no sense at all.

It even confuses AUTEL's own staff!

I highlighted the different module version numbers that can be found in the two same-named firmware versions in this post: Smart Controller thumbwheels

Utter, utter, madness.
 

kenautelevo2pro

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This is just INSANE.

Quite why any software developer would do this, much less a company the size of Autel, just makes no sense at all.

It even confuses AUTEL's own staff!

I highlighted the different module version numbers that can be found in the two same-named firmware versions in this post: Smart Controller thumbwheels

Utter, utter, madness.
if you received an official 5-pack of windows 10 update dvds in the mail, would you install it? not trying to make a direct comparison here, but....

honestly, the update using the card process should be "retired." yes, I heard the claims the process is the "same" but I disagree, obviously.

if I knew 99% of users performed their sw update ota, no way would I rigorously test and continue to support an obsolete method...I wouldn't half-step it, just shut it down already. :)
 

edgardcafe

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I sent Randall an email yesterday bestowing much well-deserved praise on Evan. Randall answered me early this morning and thanked me, and told me he'd pass the email on to Evan's supervisor.

I just hope I didn't get the kid fired. ?
I hope not !
This guy Mr. Evan just replayed me today about an issue with the SC volume. The first message he told me where the volume settings is, so I replayed back that I know where the volume settings is and a lot of guys from the Autel Pilots forum are having the same issue with the volume. So, now I’m waiting for the next message.
 
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GeekOnTheWing

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I hope not !
This guy Mr. Evan just replayed me today about an issue with the SC volume. The first message he told me where the volume settings is, so I replayed back that I know where the volume settings is and a lot of guys from the Autel Pilots forum are having the same issue with the volume. So, now I’m waiting for the next message.
Keep us posted. I'd love to know of a fix. Otherwise, when the warranty is expired, I'll implement one of my own.
 
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GeekOnTheWing

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But how can you update the firmware on each battery without using the SD card update method? ?‍♂️
I think it will notice if the battery firmware needs to be updated. It did notice when the RC firmware had to be updated, even though the version number was the same; so I think it checks the modules, not just the package number.
 

kenautelevo2pro

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But how can you update the firmware on each battery without using the SD card update method? ?‍♂️
in the past, the rc has asked me repeatedly for each battery.

and in an earlier post, I also mentioned the quiet audio as well but I still can hear it but just barely. I haven't yet tried a 3rd party app to improve audio.
 

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