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Tune Meanings (Pixhawk Series)

Pixhawk-series flight controllers use audible tones/tunes from a buzzer and colours/sequences from a LED to indicate vehicle state and events (e.g. arming success and failure, low battery warnings).

The set of standard sounds are listed below.


Developers: Tunes are defined in /lib/tunes/tune_definition.desc and can be tested using the tune-control module. You can search for tune use using the string TUNE_ID_name(e.g. `TUNE_ID_PARACHUTE_RELEASE)


These tunes are played during the boot sequence.

Startup Tone

  • microSD card successfully mounted (during boot).

Error Tune

  • Hard fault has caused a system reboot.
  • System set to use PX4IO but no IO present.
  • UAVCAN is enabled but driver can't start.
  • SITL/HITL enabled but pwm_out_sim driver can't start.
  • FMU startup failed.

Make File System

  • Formatting microSD card.
  • Mounting failed (if formatting succeeds boot sequence will try to mount again).
  • No microSD card.

Format Failed

  • Formatting microSD card failed (following previous attempt to mount card).

Program PX4IO

  • Starting to program PX4IO.

Program PX4IO Success

  • PX4IO programming succeeded.

Program PX4IO Fail

  • PX4IO programming failed.
  • PX4IO couldn't start.
  • AUX Mixer not found.


These tones/tunes are emitted during normal operation.

Error Tune

  • RC Loss

Notify Positive Tone

  • Calibration succeeded.
  • Successful mode change.
  • Command accepted (e.g. from MAVLink command protocol).
  • Safety switch off (vehicle can be armed).

Notify Neutral Tone

  • Mission is valid and has no warnings.
  • Airspeed calibration: supply more air pressure, or calibration complete.
  • Safety switch turned on/disarmed (safe to approach vehicle).

Notify Negative Tone

  • Calibration failed.
  • Calibration already completed.
  • Mission is invalid.
  • Command denied, failed, temporarily rejected (e.g. from MAVLink command protocol).
  • Arming/disarming transition denied (e.g. pre-flight checks failed, safety not disabled, system not in manual mode).
  • Reject mode transition.

Arming Warning

  • Vehicle is now armed.

Arming Failure Tune

  • Arming failed

Battery Warning Slow

Battery Warning Fast

  • Critical low battery warning (failsafe).

GPS Warning Slow

Parachute Release

  • Parachute release triggered.

Single Beep

  • Magnetometer/Compass calibration: Notify user to start rotating vehicle.

Home Set Tune

  • Home position initialised (first time only).

Power Off Tune

  • Vehicle powering off.