Friday, April 18, 2014

Bypass new 3DR OTP "protection" on homebrew Pixhawk clone

Lot of flaming on forums those days about new 3DR OTP policy on mission planner.

To summarize the story, now you can't upgrade your pixhawk clone firmware from Mission Planner anymore. You will get an "OTP error" when trying to upload.
Only legit boards from 3DR works.

Considering this is an open source hardware & software, I don't get the move here.

Anyway, don't cry, there's an easy way to remove your pain.
You can upgrade your board using QUpgrade tool.

 Off course, for whatever reason, all qupgrade binaries have been removed from 3DR/PIX4 website.

You can still find the source from github here.
This compiles with QTeditor.
I've compiled a windows & mac binaries here: QUpgrade tool

With all the fuzz on this, I think they will change their position and make the things different quickly.


In home screen select correct firmware and hit Flash Now button:

FIXED: The Flash Now button in home screen doesn't work,  links have changed on the website. I'll try to fix that. You need to  manually grab the latest firmware following this:

To manually download & flash other builds follow this:

scroll down to All APM Firmware Options
go to stable or latest for current dev branch
Choose correct firmware
Most clones are v2
With latest firmware you don't need to unplug your board, just let it going, board will reset itself.
If not unplug it click ok, plug again.


  1. Thanks for your effort!
    CN I Dawg

  2. Hi,
    I am getting myself a clone Pixhawk as 3DR is currently not shipping its pixhawks outside of US and Canada.I really need your help as I am totally new to pixhawk. I guess the first thing I need to do is to update the firmware of the clone pixhawk. I would like to know how I could do it (as in is there anything I need to do on the hardware part?). You mentioned that the firmware can't be updated using Mission planner, am I right that it's just the firmware but not the ardupilot code?

  3. the link does not work.

    1. it's back, I had to move migrate the server.

  4. Hi,

    If I go to the stable download I can choose between v1 or v2.
    How can I find out wich one I have to use?


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