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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     You're just running out of flash space on the AVR.  If you try to compile with Arduino (which uses a slightly older version of the compiler) it won't fit anymore.  You'll need to turn off some features before doing the make.  Check the APM_Config.h.  You'll see a bunch of #defines in there to easily turn off OPTFLOW or MOUNT or some other features that you might not need.

Thanks Randy - and there it was all along in APM_Config.h - just as you said.

Is there a guide to update the complier anywhere?


That's it. I just had the issue. I removed all possible option in the APM_Config.h and it goes into the APM. Thanks Randy.

How accurate is Baralt at low altitudes? I've been experiencing negative readings in the logs and today it hit me. I've been roughly 1-2ft off the ground just trying to tune stuff and not suffer a major break if I crash. I graphed RelAlt and I had more above 0 readings than with BarAlt but there were a few negative readings. Even as I sit here typing the USB reading for Altitude is jumping from -.20 to 1.40. It's settled at .85 and I'm on the second floor of a house.


     Baro drift of a few meters is quite common.  The zero altitude is set when you arm so if you arm on the second floor of your house "zero" will be about that altitude.

     The only annoyance I think of having negative altitudes is when you go to do the kmz graphing with the logs because the flight path may become invisible as it passes into the ground.  It's not important for the landing detector which altitude you're at though as long as you're below 10m.

This seems like an excessive amount negative readings if it zeros out at arm.



     You're right.  That actually looks like baro noise.  You have the foam on the baro of course?  The other possibility is that light is hitting the baro at just the right angle.  We've discovered in the past month or so that strangely the baro can jump up to 17m if a bright light hits it at just the right angle.  The solution is to put some black electrical tape (or something) over the case where the baro is (you can likely see where the baro is because it's covered in pink foam).

I have the pink foam in the case that's on the lower frame of a TBS discovery. I also have a little duct tape on top but I'll move some things around and see if that's helps. Thank you.

I'm unsure these results are better. I covered the baro with dense foam and then used vibration foam where the pink foam one was. I can't even see the TX/RX leds. I then put duct tape on the top of the case. While in stabilize I hit the negatives but then I tried Loiter and Alt Hold and the baro looked good. Is this something I can live with? 

Unrelated but once I switched from loiter back to stabilize the copter dropped altitude. I was over grass and it kind of bounced. Would tuning Trottle rate and accel help the bouncing? Thanks Randy I'm a big fan of your videos and the help you provide.



     The 2nd half (from 20k onwards) looks pretty ok.  The first part though from 0 ~ 10k is quite messy.  If the copter really is going up and down that much then no problem but if that was a stable hover then it doesn't look good.  Is your alt hold generally ok?  if it is, then no need to worry i guess..

     The negative altitudes themself are not an issue really.  It's all relative as they say.

     the issue with dropping when switching back from loiter to stabilize (which is completely manual throttle of course) can be somewhat resolved by adjusting the thr-mid parameter (see wiki page here).

I'll try to set the video question without words understandable:)

I too interesting this question.


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