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Old Apr 11, 2014, 06:50 AM
changosurf is offline
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well-coded firmware alternatives for AVR-based boards?

I'm in a tough spot trying to decide on a firmware for my HK multiwii pro board. I've made the switch from the KK2 mainly due to the fact that I'd prefer to have a few more features for FPV such as RTH.

Unfortunately, after digging into and working with the MWC source code, I'm far from impressed by the messy, disorganized, unoptimized coding structure of the MWC. Even though I've managed to get it working relatively well on my tricopter, I still don't really feel that I can trust it 100%. I do like some aspects of the MWC, mainly the simplicity of certain features it has, but I just feel like its development has been very poorly managed and patched together by too many disparate sources. So, it doesn't seem like a really solid, trustworthy platform. I'm not trying to flame the MWC; I understand that it works great for a lot of people, but I personally just don't think it's done well enough so that it maximizes performance and hardware utilization...

I'm also not interested in making the big jump over to the APM (nor in doing something like running MPNG on my HK MWP board) since I'm not convinced by the APM's flight modes (they seem too automated for my taste), nor the APM's "way of doing things" in general. Plus, it would involve getting new hardware and making big changes to my setup, which is something that I'm not willing to do right now. However, I recognized that the APM team has done a pretty awesome job of cleaning up & optimizing their source code, but it's pretty specific to their hardware platform, and it's built up in a way that makes it less flexible and somewhat more bloated. There's no 'APM light', and you basically have to go 'all in' with the APM, and be forced to accept all the bells, whistles, quirks, etc.

So, it seems like there's a huge gap in the open-source AVR-based FC firmware universe, with the shoddy MWC being on one end of the spectrum, the 'fully-loaded' deluxe APM on the other, and not really anything (that I know of) in the middle...

Anyway, my question is basically "are there any other good multi-rotor firmware options for AVR/Arduino/'wii'-based FC boards?" Basically, something like a MWC 'fork' that is flexible in terms of supporting different types of hardware and custom user configurations, yet with a much better, more optimized source code base... Does something like this exist???
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Old Apr 11, 2014, 07:34 AM
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So, either contribute to the project and tidy things up, or write your own.
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Old Apr 11, 2014, 02:36 PM
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So, either contribute to the project and tidy things up, or write your own.
hmmm, not sure if that was a question or a sarcastic comment
My question was if something like this already existed, and not about having to contribute or 'write my own' and thus re-invent the wheel in order to get my hands on something decent.

FYI, the MWC community is a somewhat tight-knit bunch, and they're pretty set in their ways, so they aren't as receptive to change as you would think. The MWC code would basically require a major overhaul, which is something that would require a lot of changes and work. An undertaking like that won't be looked upon positively by many of the folks over there.

Any other *constructive* feedback would be greatly appreciated...
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Old Apr 11, 2014, 06:58 PM
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Bradwii?
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 01:30 AM
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hmmm, not sure if that was a question or a sarcastic comment
My question was if something like this already existed, and not about having to contribute or 'write my own' and thus re-invent the wheel in order to get my hands on something decent.

FYI, the MWC community is a somewhat tight-knit bunch, and they're pretty set in their ways, so they aren't as receptive to change as you would think. The MWC code would basically require a major overhaul, which is something that would require a lot of changes and work. An undertaking like that won't be looked upon positively by many of the folks over there.

Any other *constructive* feedback would be greatly appreciated...

That is 'constructive'... It's how open source works - don't like something, have something to add, create a branch and do your thing.
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 03:43 AM
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That is 'constructive'... It's how open source works - don't like something, have something to add, create a branch and do your thing.
...says the user with 23 posts... hmm.

as a programmer, I can confidently say that it would take a fair amount of time to refactor the MWC code, and I'd be all by my lonesome since there would be absolutely no blessing from the MWC development community...

In the meantime, I'm checking out bradwii as a possible alternative as it looks like 'brad' has made a sincere effort to come up with something nice&clean based on the MWC stuff...
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 04:17 AM
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Though I am not a huge fan of it, MegaPirateNG sounds more like what you want. It's a port of ArduPilot [ArduCopter] for many non APM boards.

www.megapirateng.com
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by changosurf View Post
...says the user with 23 posts... hmm.

as a programmer, I can confidently say that it would take a fair amount of time to refactor the MWC code, and I'd be all by my lonesome since there would be absolutely no blessing from the MWC development community...

In the meantime, I'm checking out bradwii as a possible alternative as it looks like 'brad' has made a sincere effort to come up with something nice&clean based on the MWC stuff...
Oh, shucks, there's the old your opinion doesn't matter because you don't have enough posts next to your name...

As an architect I can say neither code base is perfect but I've seen far worse code in my career.

I'm in the process of merging splinenav into MPNG. See, that's how open source stuff works, it took me all of 5 minutes to figure out the code base for both projects. If wrapping your head around an imperfect code base causes you this much heartache you must not have much real world experience.
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 03:46 PM
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Oh, shucks, there's the old your opinion doesn't matter because you don't have enough posts next to your name...

As an architect I can say neither code base is perfect but I've seen far worse code in my career.

I'm in the process of merging splinenav into MPNG. See, that's how open source stuff works, it took me all of 5 minutes to figure out the code base for both projects. If wrapping your head around an imperfect code base causes you this much heartache you must not have much real world experience.
lol, I have enough real world experience to know when to invest my time into something worthwhile and when not to waste it. Cleaning up & re-factoring the MWC code base isn't the same as doing a 5 minute merge of a couple of repo's.

If you don't believe me, then please, by all means, feel free to impress us by spending your weekend(s) typing & hacking away at the MWC code until you've turned it into something *decent*.
http://code.google.com/p/multiwii/so...ltiWii_shared/

In the meantime, I'll be out flying, surfing, or just doing something more productive with my time...

I already stated above that I'd rather not go with the APM, which includes the MPNG port (which apparently has it's own set of sub-issues in addition to the ones being inherited from the main APM code itself). I actually *was* considering MPNG until I started to read through the issues list on github, and I also found a bunch of scattered info on users having random crashes and sub-par performance. In any case, the general consensus is that the MPNG project is losing speed and slowly dying off as the APM hardware ages and also becomes less expensive & more available. Plus, people are starting to look towards the 32bit boards, so attention is shifting away from keeping all of these random 8bit boards running with the latest&greatest firmware.

Aside from all of that, the APM is simply overkill for what I need. It's too bad there isn't an APM light; that would be sweet...

FYI, post count is more/less a reflection of involvement&experience in the RC community. I'll admit that it's not a perfect indicator, as you could have also magically appeared from some other RC forum where you have 20+ years of guru-level experience and then *just barely* found out about RCG (probably the biggest RC-related online forum) and decided to stop by (not very likely at all, but I guess anything's possible). Or, you might just be a conflictive user that was blocked under another nick/account and/or have created an alternative account to side-step the ban. Or, it might just be your RCG alter-ego. I dunno, and I don't really care either way. One thing's for sure: it's difficult to take someone seriously who only has 23 posts yet who's giving advice to someone that has been actively working on this stuff for a while. just sayin...
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 05:07 PM
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And then there are people like me that have been doing rc for 20+ years and joined the forum in 09, and have low post counts...because I mainly read, not post, until recently.

As far as other firmware it is slim pickins. For multirotor I have only used multiwii 2.3 so far but I am very pleased with how it performs. As for the coding practices, I haven't really looked through, but it does work lol. The good thing is that with so many people running multiwii, any big bugs get found fairly easily.

I might try out bradwii one day because it looks interesting, but for now I'm having too much fun flying to start experimenting lol.


Mike
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 05:45 PM
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And then there are people like me that have been doing rc for 20+ years and joined the forum in 09, and have low post counts...because I mainly read, not post, until recently.
I believe the technical term for that behavior is "lurking", and it's usually frowned upon by most folks, especially when users only come out of the woodwork to selfishly ask for help or to cause trouble by trolling, challenging or offending others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike105105 View Post
As far as other firmware it is slim pickins. For multirotor I have only used multiwii 2.3 so far but I am very pleased with how it performs. As for the coding practices, I haven't really looked through, but it does work lol. The good thing is that with so many people running multiwii, any big bugs get found fairly easily.
I might try out bradwii one day because it looks interesting, but for now I'm having too much fun flying to start experimenting lol.


Mike
I also stated that it works, but not perfectly; there's room for improvement and optimization. If you go check out the MWC forums, you'll be able to tune in to all the back&forth among different users about bugs, patches, change suggestions, etc.

so far, bradwii looks like the best&only other alternative...
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 06:01 PM
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Lurking? Sorry I always looked at it as research, that way I wasn't one of the hundred threads asking the same question. Up until recently I would come, look for info instead of asking questions, then go out and do my thing. It is only lately that I have been spending more time in the forum and trying to help out where I can.

No need for any more discussion on this, not looking for an argument or back and forth.

Now back on topic lol.

Mike
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 11:25 PM
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Lurking? Sorry I always looked at it as research, that way I wasn't one of the hundred threads asking the same question. Up until recently I would come, look for info instead of asking questions, then go out and do my thing. It is only lately that I have been spending more time in the forum and trying to help out where I can.

No need for any more discussion on this, not looking for an argument or back and forth.

Now back on topic lol.

Mike
sorry mike, my bad, didn't mean for that to come out the way it did since that comment wasn't directed toward you. I meant to say that there *are* people that do that kind of stuff. I should have been more clear about that. My apologies...

Anyway, game on... I'm hoping that someone might chime in and offer info on other projects since all we've got so far is bradwii.
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Old Apr 13, 2014, 08:08 AM
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Aeroquad can be utilized on that board I think.
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Old Apr 13, 2014, 02:57 PM
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I believe the technical term for that behavior is "lurking", and it's usually frowned upon by most folks, especially when users only come out of the woodwork to selfishly ask for help or to cause trouble by trolling, challenging or offending others.
So sorry, I was not aware I had to create posts on this forum for problems already asked, answered and resolved just so my presence and post count could be more prevalent, or create post asking for information that was readily available - lemme guess, you'd also be one of the first ones to shout about using the search function, huh?

I've been 'lurking' for a LONG time, and if that's so frowned upon, have me banned - simple. I created an account here JUST to get the attention of someone I had been trying to reach for a couple of months, other than that, I've had no cause or need to post here - any information I've needed was already available, and any problems I've had I've figured out.

Here's another little tidbit - I've been in my career for, oh, 20 years. You will not find a single post from me on any technical forum anywhere - you will find code submissions and whatnot, but not a single post in a single forum - and by your logic, that MUST mean I don't know what I'm talking about or doing.


You asked a question, and I answered it, only because it was the second post on the page, first one below another post I've been following, and my answer still remains correct - the great thing about open source is the ability to change it - YOU may not want to, but if you're going to rant and rave about the code base looking like crap then perhaps you should lend a hand and clean it up. I believe you mentioned something about 'selfish' in your post, little bit of the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.

But, you win - I will take my 10+ years in the RC scene, 2+ years in the multi-rotor scene and move on. I've not the time or patience to deal with post counting ego-maniacs who think that *just* reading a forum is so selfishly frowned upon.
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