ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner,, GitHub and the new Downloads Area.

Warning #1: Compass calibration and reducing interference is far more important than with 2.9.1b

Warning #2: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the Loiter PID P to 0.5 (from 1.0) to reduce aggressiveness (see image below of where this gain can be found in mission planner).

Warning #3: optical flow is not supported but will be back in the next release (AC-3.0.2 or AC-3.1.0).

Warning #4: loiter turns does not maintain altitude.  This bug will be fixed in AC-3.0.2.

Warning #5: This release has only been lightly tested on Traditional Helicopters.

Improvements over 2.9.1b include:

  • Inertial Navigation for Loiter and Auto meaning much more accurate control (Randy,Leonard,JonathanC)
  • 3D navigation controller follows straight lines in all dimensions between waypoints (Leonard,Randy)

         WPNAV_SPEED, WPNAV_SPEED_UP, WPNAV_SPEED_DN, WPNAV_ACCEL allows configuring speeds and acceleration during missions

  • "compassmot" to compensate for interference on compass from the pdb, motors, ESCs and battery.  (Randy,JonathanC) (Set-up video here)
  • Safety improvements:
    • simple Tin Can shaped Geo Fence
    • pre-arm checks to ensure all calibration has been performed before arming (can be disabled by setting ARMING_CHECK to zero).  (video description here)
    • GPS failsafe - switches to LAND if GPS is lost for 5 seconds
    • stability patch improvements to stop rapid climbs in very overpowered or overtuned copters
  • Circle mode improvements including "panorama" when CIRCLE_RADIUS set to zero (Randy,Leonard)
  • SONAR_GAIN parameter added to allow better tuning of sonar surface tracking
  • CH8 auxiliary switch (same features as CH7)
  • works on PX4 (some minor features still not available) (Tridge,PatH)

How to upgrade:

1. Make sure you are using Mission Planner 1.2.59 or newer (get it here)

2. Click on the MissionPlanner's Hardware, Install Firmware screen.  The version numbers should appear as "ArduCopter-3.0.1", then click the appropriate frame icon and it should upgrade as per usual.

3. Reduce the Loiter and Alt Hold PIDs if you have modified them from the defaults.  The modified PID values for the 3DR frame can be seen in the image below.

Note: Nav parameters have been combined with Loiter so do not be concerned if you can't find them.

4. Although not directly related to this release, if you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware (instructions here).

5. Try out the new version in stabilize mode first, then alt-hold, then loiter and finally RTL and Auto.

Numerous How-To videos are available:

Special Thanks to MarcoDaveC and the large number of testers on the pre-release thread who put their copters at risk during the extended testing period.  Some of their videos can be found hereherehereherehere and here.  Thanks also to MichaelO for the MP changes required for this release.

All feedback welcome.  Please put your questions, comments (good and bad!) below.

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     Well, there is a motor imbalance.  You've made it easy for me here by including the graph.  So the top motor is normally at 1650 while the bottom motor is at 1500.  So a difference of 150 is significant (that means it's running at about 20% faster).  From the motor pictures on this page it looks like it's the front left spinning fast and the back left spinning slowly.  The two right motors seems to be pretty much together.  That's a bit the center of gravity off?  something heavy on the front-left side of the copter?


Thank you for having a look at the graphs.
The quad is fully symmetrical, front left and right are exactly the same.I'll have another look again at the hardware but as far as I can see everything seems to be correct. Same motors, props, directions, esc calibration etc.

This puzzles me as I never had this before and this is not the first quad I build.

Could it be that the APM board is off in some way? Like not fixed straight or under a slight angle?

Great Job, thanks :) my first cuad with 2.91b  had problems to mantain alttitude  hold and loiter,and unstable in windy days; updated to 3 and solve the problems, now perfect loiters and I can fly in windy days too; I closed with tape lateral pins near the baro because if I blow there, the altitude  go down, i supose that help too

I just wanted to drop a note to give my thumbs up for the "compass learn" functionality.  I've been unable to use 'live calibration' --- tried it 7 times and got 7 very different results.  I used the compass learn and now my RTL seems to be functioning well!


I wholeheartedly concur.

Well, four good flights and my copter is out of commission again. 

I flew two flights last night and two flights today at the park and everything worked great!  I stopped my fourth flight a little early because winds were picking up.  On the way back to the car I noticed that the wind was spinning one of my props --- only one of them. 

I tried flying again, but now I can't safely get it off the ground.  The props all start spinning at the same time, but one runs faster than the others and tries to flip it over.  Once the props are spinning, if I set the throttle to zero, the faster prop still gets power and spins for another two seconds or so.  It's not simply decelerating more slowly, it definitely seems to be getting power for another two seconds.

Sorry, the video is sideways.  Any ideas?  I tried recalibrating the ESC's, but it did not solve the problem.

Thank you,






Dustin, Try swapping the ECS over to another one and see if its an ESC  issue or if its a motor issue.Also check the connectors for that motor if all three are connected properly

Also when you say you calibrated the EScs, have you ever done a full reset to default? One time when I was setting up one of my copters and ESCs the throttle was in revers and by the time I figured it out, I had unknowingly set one of the ESCs to use breaking. It took me days to figure out why I was getting weird flight behavior.  So I did a full reset of all the ESCs and then calibrated all them and that fixed it.

Thank you John.  It turned out to be a bad capacitor in the ESC.

Hi Dustin,
May I ask what ESC's you are using and how did you find out that the cap was bad?
I'm having issues with my new quad and I also suspect an ESC problem.
I'm currently using the RCtimer 40A HVSK (SimonK flashed)
Some seem to have problems with those ESC's while others are quite happy using them.

I was wondering how you were able to fix your ESC issue?  I just ordered the same ESC's from RCtimer after the fact of reading some of your problems. I was planning on using these in my X800 which I ordered from RCtimer as well, and now I'm starting to have regrets. Thanks for any information you can provide.

Biggest mistake you can do is order motors, esc's from that place. Buy from a reputable dealer. Thats just my 2 cents. How about putting on some american made esc's? You get what you pay for. 

is there truly such a thing as an American made ESC? I know a lot of stuff that has made in USA on it is not necessarily made in America. I know that for a fact becasue I have seen it in factories Ive been to in China and the stuff they are making for  American companies had printed on it "Made in USA"  One of those companies in particulate is Oakley.


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