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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Hi John,

You'll find THROTTLE_IN_DEADBAND in Attitude.pde, and DISARM_DELAY in motors.pde


Hi David, could you tell me where is motors.pde. Thanks

Heading hold In Loiter.

As we all know, the position in loiter is fixed in space and the copter strongly attempts to get back to its original position when disturbed. However I have noticed that if its heading is disturbed there is no tendency to return to the original heading. There is a weak attempt to resist the yaw but then it is quite content to stay on the new heading. This may seem like an ‘I’ term function but I have tried adjusting many things to improve it but cant.

My gimbal, like most people’s is just 2 axis so I am relying on the copter to maintain an accurate heading while filming. The Loiter position holding is spectacularly good but the heading can get knocked off on a windy day.

Im still on the last ‘full’ release. 3.0.1?


Any ideas?

Vince, did you get any answer to your question yet? I stop by here to see if there is any reply but so far haven't seen one.

I too wonder if there is any parameter to turn the copter back to its original heading after any outside disturbance.

Please post here if you find anything.


Is there a hard limit for the number of mission commands/waypoints you can enter, or does it just reduce the amount of logging available? I'm starting to fly long, complicated missions, (60~70+ min) and would like to enter 500+ waypoints, maybe even a few thousand, I'm just wondering if this is OK?

I currently have v3.0.0. Due to the recent CPU performance issues, I decided not to switch to v3.1 beta firmware at this time. The latest release firmware now is v3.0.1

Does anybody know the major difference between v3.0.0 and v3.01? Any significant change?

Also if I switch to v3.0.1 right now, do I lose my PID settings and compass calibration?


Somebody posted this link today. It answers my above question about 3.0.0 and 3.0.1 differences and more.

If you are wondering what changes are made between releases, take a look at it...


Thanks. I just saw the beta releases. However, I was wondering about support of Optical Flow on the newer version as someone suggested it would be there in 3.1 release.

@Randy: Are the updates for 3.1 release mostly for Pixhawk? Could you help me answer the support about OF sensor?

Thanks again.

I have successfully used Auto tune in ArduCopter 3.1-4c3 on a Quad and 2 Hexas, all work much better than I could ever tune them the old fashioned way, string tune and all that.

A video tuning one of the Hexas


Congrats to the dev team on a job well done, thanks.

Hi Joe!

Great job! What values did you get after autotune for Hexa? I saw your setup on Youtube, I have very similar configuration and it would be interesting to compare the values, with my props 10x5.5, also on 4s@6000.

I'm almost tempted to try auto-tune on my Octo. However, would it be safe? I suspect that I'm at the edge of the APM 2.5 capacity since my telemetry appears to be updating irregularly (and the minimOSD states 'waiting for Mavlink quite a bit'). I'm also using a camera gimbal. 

Question: would it be safe, or should I wait? Any one tried it on an Octo? 

Hi Alex,

It should be safe as Autotune uses about as much cpu as AltHold. However, I would make sure you use rc4 because there are some cpu speed ups there that will help you a lot in other areas (I think rc4 is out now or will be very soon). It also has Autotune turned on by default so it will be easier to get going.

The other thing in rc4 is that there is a small change to the Stability controller to make large Stab P values safer.

I look forward to hearing your results.


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