Version 2.6 of the ArduCopter code is now available in the AP Mission Planner and in the downloads area!


Updates to MavLink 1.0 means you will need to use "ArdupilotMegaPlanner10.exe" to connect.  If you've updated your mission planner recently you should find this executable in the directory where the mission planner is installed.


The above video is done using a prototype 3dr ublox GPS which seems to have better accuracy than the standard mediatek.


Improvements over 2.5.5 include:
     - MavLink 1.0 support (use with ArdupilotMegaPlanner10.exe) [Tridge, Craig]

     - Stability improvements especially during level hover [Jason]

     - throttle range improvement (higher min and max) [Jason]

     - improved standard Loiter PIDs [Alan, Heino, Jason, Angel]

     - dataflash erase speed up ('+' messages removed but it only takes 6 seconds now) [Tridge]

     - Copter LEDs [Robert Lefebvre]

     - RTL loiter stage target set to home to improve final landing position [Jason]

     - flip & acro improvements [Jason]

     - circle mode target improvement for ground station [Jason]

     - Auto Approach [Adam Rivera / Marco]


Bug fixes include:

     - UBLOX driver fixes (lock should now be more reliable) [Tridge]

     - enable mavlink messages during dataflash erase which resolves issue in which new APMs fresh from the factory appeared unresponsive [Tridge]

     - proper printing of lat/lon values in dataflash logs [Randy]

     - removed duplicate GPS reads [Jason]

     - resolve flooding of telemetry link with low-battery warnings [Tridge]

     - RTL bug would land if rtl_approach_alt was more than 1 [Jason]

     - WP Radius could not be set larger than 1.3m [Jason/Randy]


PIDs are optimised for the 3DR/Jdrones quad with 850 motors and 10" props.  If you're using more powerful motors/props and are seeing bad flight behaviour in stabilize, start by turning down Rate Roll P in 25% steps.

This time we spent some time optimising the loiter PIDs.  Tuning loiter can be tricky so please refer to the discussions which will appear below for more community feedback on what parameters work best.
All feedback welcome below.  Enhancement requests and bug reports can be put into the arducopter issues list.  When possible please include logs (tlog and/or dataflash) and tell us whether you're using APM1 or APM2 and what version of the software you're using (presumably 2.6 but tell us anyway!).


Happy flying!

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What does exactly "Copter LEDs" means? I mean, I know what LEDs are :). Just wondering if it had some standard hookup diagram and/or sequence.

Or has this code been included into the "core" (

Hmmm... I can't see the problem.  It should work fine on APM1.  Are you sure you're using the correct pin on APM1?  It's not with the 8 LED pins, it's actually off on it's own.

Power comsumption is always a problem. When you add LED stripes you'll have to analyze correctlly if you have the necessary amps to power it up without disrupting the APM. Most LED stripes are 12v and there are also some 5v, however I came across an alternative wich seems to me very very good. It consumes a lot less power, and gives a "neon like" effect. During the day it will be hard to see but at night I think it will be wonderfull. I've been opening one of them and the electronics is very simple. I will try to put it in my hexa and let you know how it went. 2 small very bright LED per circuit, powered by a cr2032 3V battery and a piece of transparent silicone flexible tube :D 

check in here if you'd like to try some

Well, you can use them.

What I do is solder one end of the little pressure ring so that it cannot rotate, that normally is where the problems arises.

Then, it does take some soldering skill, very easy to glob the whole thing up.

You are right, just solder the wires....

If I upload 2.5.5 no problem, and if I upload 2.6 no works ... It connect on AN5

Wow I can't believe I didn't try that. I guess since the reset issue on APM was fixed awhile ago, I didn't have a reason to open my FC container (i.e. tupperware bowl) and forgot there was a reset on the OSD. :) Thanks!

Just a thought Dany,

I waited 6 weeks for my APM2 and I love it.

Still working out the kinks in release 2.6 definitely requires different PIDs.

But wouldn't it be a thought to rethink how you guys are producing these APM2's.

Seems to me that after several months of not being able to catch up you might want to think about some way to ramp up or batch process production so you actually end up with stock rather than a waiting period.

If you actually had stock you'd probably sell even more of them.!

Just a thought.

BTW I really do appreciate the incredible effort you guys put out to support this stuff, just saying.

After upgrading from 2.5.5 to 2.6 I can't see the remaining battery percent in Mission Planner correct anymore. This is with Attopilot 90A volt and current sensor and APM2. It starts at 23% and end at 10%. Never start at 100% as before. "Status"  display in Mission planer also tells "battery_remain 0,230". Volt is displayed correct. Anyone else have this same problem? Suggestions? I tried to load back firmware 2.5.5 and it was ok again. And same problem when going back to 2.6.


Today I got loiter mode to work well! This has never worked on my standard 3DR frame before! This was with stock 2.6 parameters. Problem was disturbance of compass and gps.


Yesterday I aligned the model straight north by comparing with a compass. In Missionplanner I could see the compass was not heading north. After several compass-learn flights I saw the offset-parameters were different each time.

I decided to move APM2 from bottom plate on frame and up to next floor in the stack to get distance from power wires. After a compass-learn flight 3DR Quadrocopter now loiter nice. I also get much faster 3D fix at the GPS. I know placing APM2 sensor out of center can have negative effects also but getting loiter to work is great!

Thank you for your work all developers and contributers!



I agree that I could sell a lot more! I get a shipment of 20 every 3-4 weeks and I always go out of stock. 

There is 2 major issues at play here.  

One on my side called CASH (I do need to pay for these before I sell them) Donation welcome!! hehe

The other one on the 3DRobotics side called DEMAND (everyone wants one!) 

But we both are working hard to solve these, 3DR is doing another "assembly line" and I am buying more and more of these babies as profits comes in.  I am currently and since the grand opening 8 months ago constantly re-investing all profit into the inventory to grow.  I also inject quite a lot from my own pockets to get new products.  This just takes time and calculated risks.  For me this Canadian distributor thing is not my main job but I love the hobby and community that much that I gladly work the 40 hours + extra per week to please my fellow Canadians.  One day it may turn profitable but at the moment the main goal is "just" to stabilize in the inventory and cash flow process. 

There is quite a few US citizens that also found my store... Somehow when money is not an object they buy the APM2s from me and pay a lot of shipping. But they get it most of the time faster than if it was ordered from the US store due to the waiting line over there.   

See I do not "pre-sell" them, I do not allow back order sales so when I get a batch, the fastest gets them first.  

Anyhow, we digress from the topic of 2.6 firmware... Cant wait to fly it (more than the small test I did) 


Sorry Dany,

Really wasn't trying to be critical, didn't understand you were Canadian Dist, this was really directed at 3DR not you.

I ran my own business for several years selling a kiln controller I designed and I would have loved to be in the position that 3DR is now, but I do think I would have eventually figured out how to ramp production to match demand and make money doing so.

Unfortunately APM2s are in a lot more demand than kiln controllers.

Your effort and the value of your responses are greatly appreciated, sorry if I seemed otherwise.


I have a problem with GPS wander which shows up when hooked up to a laptop in the flight data window.

Sometimes GPS show is correct, but usually over time it will wander around up to several hundred feet form its actual position, sometimes stopping, sometimes just continuing to wander.

Your experience certainly makes me wonder if sitting right over power distribution board could be a problem.

I am going to try additional spacing and probably a grounded sheet of copper between the APM2 and the Power Dist board.

I will post results.

Robert Lefebvre has ported and consolidated various LED code bits and it is all now in the "core". Here's the relevant section in the code:

//      Copter LEDS by Robert Lefebvre
//      Based on the work of U4eake, Bill Sanford, Max Levine, and Oliver
//      g.copter_leds_mode controls the copter leds function via bitmath
//      Zeroeth bit turns motor leds on and off:                                                                00000001
//      First bit turns GPS function on and off:                                                                00000010
//      Second bit turns Aux function on and off:                                                               00000100
//      Third bit turns on Beeper (legacy Piezo) function:                                              00001000
//      Fourth bit toggles between Fast Flash or Oscillate on Low Battery:              00010000                (0) does Fast Flash, (1) does Oscillate
//      Fifth bit causes motor LEDs to Nav Blink:                                                               00100000
//      Sixth bit causes GPS LEDs to Nav Blink:                                                                 01000000
//      This code is written in order to be backwards compatible with the old Motor_LEDS code
//      I hope to include at least some of the Show_LEDS code in the future
//      copter_leds_GPS_blink controls the blinking of the GPS LEDS
//      copter_leds_motor_blink controls the blinking of the motor LEDS
//      Piezo Code and beeps once on Startup to verify operation
//      Piezo Enables Tone on reaching low battery or current alert

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