Information about firmware versions
The software that is installed on your MICROBEAST PLUS controller is what we call a "firmware". This firmware can be updated (i.e. for improvements, fixes, new features, ...) by downloading a file from the internet and flashing this on the device. To distinguish between firmware files each firmware has a unique version number "X.Y.Z" where "X" is the major version, "Y" is the minor version and "Z" is the patch version. You can say that when the major version ("X") changes then a lot will be different between two versions. When minor version "Y" increases, there will be a few new features or parameters. A change in "Z" is only a patch or fix that shouldn't be greatly noticable expect for some very little improvements. From the changelog below you can find out differences between versions. In general it is always recommended to stay with the latest version as this should give you the most features and benefits.
Reading the current firmware version
When connecting your MICROBEAST PLUS with the StudioX app or software the firmware version is the first thing you will see when the overview screen opens. In case there is a firmware update available usually there also should pop up some information message. Then you may update your device right away or read here what has changed in decide if it's useful for you to update.
LED display of the device
Reading the firmware version from StudioX is the most convenient way but it also to read the firmware without the help of an external device. After powering up MICROBEAST PLUS it performs a brief initialization phase. A quick self test turns all menu LEDs on simultaneously and the Status LED cycles through all colors. Then, for about 3 seconds, the Status LED turns red and the first two digits (X and Y) of the internal firmware version are shown. In the remaining time a running light of the LEDs A - G signals that the sensors are being calibrated and the LEDs H - N do indicate the initialization of the receiver signals. During the initialization phase (i.e. when viewing the firmware version or later) briefly push the button to display the third digit (Z) of the firmware version. Here the Status LED flashes purple. Again briefly press the button and the color of the Status LED changes to flashing blue. Now you can read the firmware‘s data version "X.Y" from the display. If you press the button for a third time, the Status LED goes off and the hardware version "X.Y" of this MICROBEAST PLUS device is displayed. Press the button for a last time to leave the version display and to view the running light for status information.
Representation of values
The representation of all values is in binary using the Menu LEDs. When a Menu LED is lit up this stands for "1", when the LED is off this means "0". The least significant bits are A and H. The type of value that is currently displayed is represented by the color of the Status LED as described above.
As mentioned above the firmware version consists of three values "X.Y.Z". "X" and "Y" are displayed automaticaly before the initialization sequence. "X" is represented by Menu LEDs A - G, "Y" is represented by letters H - N. The "Z" value is shown if the button is pressed once while initialization takes place. To display "Z" all LEDs A - N are used.
The data version consists of two values "X.Y" which are displayed at the same time through menu LEDs A - G for "X" and H - N for "Y".
The hardware version consists of two values "X.Y" which are displayed at the same time through menu LEDs A - G for "X" and H - N for "Y".
Here you can see what has changed from one version to the preceeding version.
- Tail gyro
- center rudder servo when heli is on gound by giving brief stick input "left-right-left-center"
- improved performance of governor in nitro and electric mode
- no throttle lock at full speed when headspeed does not increase fast enough in nitro mode
- use logging feature to get more insight what the governor actually does, i.e. it will tell you that chosen head speed is too high when head speed can't be reached or only can be reached at nearly maximum throttle
- AttitudeControl (stabilization) (PROEDITION only)
- when using Bank Switching and AttitudeControl with separate switch channel you can now do both, set fixed AttitudeGain in a bank or use the separate switch. So AttitudeControl is always active in this bank when the gain is set to greater than 12 by software. When it is set to 0, the separate switch will determine when AttitudeControl is on or off.
- in 3D - Mode you can enable/disable stabilization when the heli is in exact vertical position, so you may be able to practice maneuvers in which the heli is nearly upright more easily, i.e. funnels or hurricanes
- at SETUP POINT K (Pitch adjustment) you can see the actual thrust stick center position when the Status LED is off. You can use this to identify a little stick offset which may cause your pitch not being at 0 degrees when the stick seems to be in center position!
- added visualization when performing a factory reset
- increased Quick trim range
- using SRLX receivers the internal function assignment of MICROBEAST PLUS was not similar to the transmitter display/function assignment of the radio manufacturers, this has been changed so that Microbeast uses different assignments for each manufacturer. (Please note: due to this update you will have to do the radio setup and function assignments once again after the firmware update to version 5.1.2 when using a SRLX receiver)
- added data logging to be viewed in StudioXm and StudioX V3 (Note: log data is only temporary and will be erased when removing power from the device!)
- added possibility to perform factory reset by software
- Now you can use Boost Pitch also in 3D-Mode and Rescue Bailout mode without(!) pitch. So the heli will get a short lift when the heli is leveled but then you will regain pitch control immediately.
- Basic functionality
- now fully adjustable (Setup & Parameters) also with StudioX computer software or StudioXm mobile App; see manuals for further information
- added support for FlySky iBus and Jeti EXBUS serial line input data
- Spektrum/JR remote satellite can be directly connected to pin board of MICROBEAST PLUS (Spektrum Adapter not required anymore); see manual for further information
- added separate trim values for aileron, elevator, collective and rudder
- removed "User defined" presets instead you can directly edit a value with StudioX/StudioXm if necessary
- reworked adjustment in Receiver Menu:
- Receiver Menu Point A: automatic receiver type detection; see manual for further information
- Receiver Menu Point A: changed LED colors for receiver types and also changed receiver type naming; see manual for further information
- reworked adjustment in Setup Menu:
- in general values and presets are changed using the rudder stick; menu options (selecting servos, changing adjustment positions) are set with aileron; when directions are setup correctly, left stick decreases a value and right stick increases a value
- Setup Menu Point C (Rudder pulse width): swapped LED colors for 760µs and 960µs (now 760 = purple and 960 = red) so that the values are increasing in the given order from purple (lowest) to blue (highest)
- Setup Menu Point F (Gyro/Rudder direction): no need to check gyro direction by user anymore, instead teach the rudder direction to the system; see manual for further information
- swapped Setup Menu Points G and H (now H = Swash servo directions and G = Swash mixing)
- now supports up to 4 swashplate servos (when choosing 90° eCCPM swash mixing at Setup Point G and using a single wire receiver); 4th servo (2nd elevator) is connected to CH7 output
- Setup Menu Point J (Cyclic throw): measurement and neutral positions can be selected as often as you like now, so you can even check positions after the setup was finished; see manual for further information
- Setup Menu Point K (Collective pitch): no need to teach the stick end positions anymore, instead the user has to adjust the pitch range initially so the stick movement and range is shown correctly on the display; see manual for further information
- Setup Menu Point M (Cyclic directions): no need to check swash gyro compensation by user anymore, instead teach the stick directions to the system; see manual for further information
- reworked settings in Parameter Menu:
- Parameter Menu Point A (Quick trim): added collective trim and rudder trim can be done with rudder stick now; see manual for further information
- Parameter Menu Point L (AttitudeControl Mode): swapped LED colors for different modes (now purple = Angular mode, red = Bailout rescue, blue = 3D - Mode)
- throttle failsafe indicator (only when using Single line receiver): when throttle is higher than failsafe position and failsafe engages during power up, the system will lock throttle after initialization and the Status LED will flash red/blue!
- reworked adjustment in Governor Menu:
- Governor Menu Point D: swapped LED colors for displaying Autorotation and Governor at maximum speed (now purple = Autorotation, blue = Governor at maximum speed)
- Internal headspeed governor
- increased range for electric governor to be used with SAB Goblin Fireball: Maximum headspeed now 5000rpm
- added new feature "Bank switching" (can be enabled with StudioX/StudioXm only) which allows to set parameters for three flight conditions; when used gain adjustment using the dials and gyro gain adjustment with the radio are disabled, instead the gains and parameters are all set with StudioX/StudioXm; see manual for further information
- Rescue Boost allows to give additional collective pitch for a given amount of time when activating rescue bail out or 3D - Mode (with or without pitch control)
- 3D - Mode no does not engage when the helicopter is in upright vertical position which gives a better control when training 3D maneuvers while 3D - Mode is active
- added FFT tab to show frequency spektrum of the sensor input to visualize vibrations, especially interesting when planning to use the AttitudeControl; see StudioX manual for further information
- added event logging function to better understand what the system is doing during operation and to give more information for support team