ArduCopter 2.6 released!

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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  • Hello Randy
    The day starts very well thanks to you
    I load 2.6 through Mission planner this morning on my part FL 450, I followed your instructions (P reduction rate of 25% because my engines are 880kv), all other PIDs are original.
      this is fantastic! the quad is almost motionless in radius of 50cm, with sonar altitude seems to follow the terrain, really exellent, loiter is very strong
    Congratulations to the team
    I do not know the MK (very expensive) but I think with 2.6 MK designers have worries of what to do!
    Congratulations again to all the team and thank you for your efforts

    Regards Daniel

  • Hey all, nice to see 2.6 making it to MP.

    As mentioned before on the 2.5 thread, I've laoded 2.6 delta and the stabillity improvement is excellent, so much so that I've been rolling and looping my quad and now alos by big 1m+ octo. Looping in acro is obviously possible and pretty easy to do, but it's FAR BETTER and easit to roll in STABILIZED mode, simple give it gas and flip, like a pancake!

    Here's a video of one of our new SteadiDrone ei8ht octos, just over 1m from motor to motor, it's big and powerfull, we are still waiting for our new stock of landing gear/gimbals to arrive, so here it's hovering at around 20%

    Also some footage of the quad flipping and fast flying, these are are DEFUALT pids, no tuning at all. PERFECT.

    The stability is amazing, even when dropping the quad from the sky, and it truns upside down, as soon as I tought the throttle it catches iself super quickly.

    I also did some shots of me throwing the copter as hard and unstable as i could and then also, stability just kicks in no probem, if you manage to crash a quad now, then something ELSE is wrong, not code or hardware lol ;)

    Again, AMAZING job on the code and really looking forward to where things are going. (new gps, when when ?? :) )

    SteadiDrone Octo flipping out! from Motion Pixel on Vimeo.

  • The standard Rate P changed from 0,14 to 0,18 ... 

    So my PID Settings are not the same as in AC 2.5.5 ??

  • Is there a firmware upgrade planned for the minimosd to support mavlink 10?

  • Reposting here (closing the separate original thread) as Chris A. suggested:

    Fly-Away Scare.

    Preface: Needless to say, correlation is not causation. The event described here occurred on my first flight with 2.6, but may be found to not be a software problem at all, like many quad issues.

    The Event:

    I installed 2.6 this evening and took it out to do a bit of close-in, low altitude test flying to see if my tuning was still good, just before it got dark here. Before today, I had been flying 2.5.5 without issues (besides a yet-to-tune loiter). This first flight with 2.6 went fine too, until...

    ...a few minutes into the flight, while I was in Stabilize mode I think, the quad suddenly started accelerating vertically, climbing away. I zeroed the throttle, and jumped into Land mode, but got no reaction. I was flying next to a tree, and the quad lodged itself high in the tree crown, preventing a total fly-away. It hung there, props spinning at high throttle like a weedwhacker, for a very-long feeling time (maybe a minute), until it came loose, tumbled down and smacked in the ground.

    I flipped through my modes and wiggled the controls while the quad was in the tree, getting apparently no reaction, but I did not have the presence of mind to try to disarm it. (Note to self: remember to disarm.)

    A couple of broken legs, a set of chipped props, a few popped screws and a broken cheap camera mount seem to be the only hardware crash damage - not a problem, thanks to the 3DR frame engineering. As a positive side effect, it was good to experience that my heart does not actually stop in this type of situation :-)

    In my flights over the last few weeks since building the quad, I have not experienced any unpredictable behavior, scares or radio problems. The props were balanced and the battery had plenty of power.


    3dr-b frame, 880kv motors, 11*4.7 APCs, APM2, 3dr radio, sonar, optical flow (not tested yet), 4s1p LiFe 4200mAh battery, DX8 TX, AR6210 RX with satellite, DSMX.

    I am attaching the log. It gets interesting just after 90% / 600s in the .tlog, and at line 13930 in the .log



    Graphing the log myself, I see that the rc inputs go flat a couple of seconds before the unexpected climb starts. This might indicate an RC connection failure, followed by what looks like a behavior similar to the rtl-failsafe for Auto mode ("Climb!").

    I wasn't in auto mode, though, and I don't have that failsafe mode enabled.

    While the quad was in the tree, I power-cycled the TX, and that does not show in the RC inputs, also indicating that the RC connection may have been lost. I'll have to compare these frozen rc input values to my RX failsafe settings.

    2012-06-14 19-54-44.tlog

    2012-06-15 00-02 101.log

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

    is that meant support for ultrapwm (min throtle 200us) ?

    i just remove xaircraft stock esc, and replace turnigy 18a plush.

    my quad is x650 XA frame., stock motor,18a esc, 3s

    anyone have same setup, use 2.5.5 version, crash many time when change loiter in strong wind,

    - glad to hear 2.6 release.

  • It sounds like a wonderful set of enhancements!  Great Job.  I do have a question...

    I'm using an APM 1.4 with the 3DR Xbee kit.  Other than upgrading the planner host software (run the ...10.exe) and uploading the new APM 2.6 code, is there anything else I need to do to get to MAVlink 1.0 support working?   

  • Distributor

    yeah! soldering and testing boards for customers right now! this will be a lucky one!
    pushing 2.6 on this one for tests! happy!!!

    Will try to give it a flight test this weekend and report here as usual.


  • Developer

    Also, I believe Auto Approach is new in this release as well (courtesy of Marco and myself).

This reply was deleted.


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