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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  • How can i convert the saved files on the APM2 to a tlog file... I want to use the data for a compass LOG Calibration...

  • Hello,

    Ok i switched to Arducopter V2.6 Hexa X for my jdrones Hexa 880 Kv; the only changes on the stock pids i made are:

    Angular Rate Control P 0.110  (for medium motor size)

    Stabilize Control P 3.5

    Any other param that needs to be changed?

    What is the significance of Stabilize Control I and Imax, previously i was flying the Arducopter V2.5.5 with I = 0.01 and Imax = 2.00 while in V2.6 they are 0.100 and 40.000, should they also be changed?

  • Am I right in thinking if I don't have a programming cable (have now ordered one) for the MiniOSD, I shouldn't upgrade to 2.6 as I can't update the MiniOSD to use MavLink 1.0 by any other means?


    If this is the case, I think you you stick it somewhere on the post as a warning!

  • We tried out 2.6 yesterday on the Hex and small quad and its noticeable much more stable and easier to fly. Loiter was good and stayed inside a 2x2M box. There was no wind so yet to be tested in wind.  RTL works OK as well but slightly drunken to start off with. RTL landing is between 5 to 10 meters from he home point so some calibration probably needed somewhere.  It really over shoots going behind the home point a lot before it starts to find its was back. The throttle control fees so much better and easier to do soft landings than I had with 2.5s. Today I even managed to fly me small quad in the lounge room with 2.6 that's how much better it is.

  • Tried out 2.6 yesterday in Stab,  Loiter and RTL.  

    My  Hexcopter:APM1   2560, 1.5Kg , no sonar , with default parameters

      1) Stab mode is OK  

      2) Loiter mode is bad ,  it always swing or circle with 1 - 2  meters . There was a light wind at the time. 

          Seems the MediaTek GPS update is somewhat lag.

      3) RTL is ok , but the Alt Hold RTL parameter  no matter how much I set the value  , it always flew back at current height .

         One time I flew at very low altitude then fliped RTL SW , it almost crashed to a bush .

  • I made my update 2.6 on APM1 and when I connect I get the mission planner with errors and not be switched. I can help what happens.

    this is what comes.

    Mavlink 1.0 heartbeat, please upgrade your mission planner this planner is for mavlink 0.9

  • Is it normal for the new 2.6 code to be beeping constantly? I have a speaker attached to A5 on my APM2 and when the motors are disarmed, the system is just beeping constantly. When I arm the motors, the beeping changes to a solid tone. On 2.5 and earlier code, it worked just as it should, providing audible indicators when the system ARMs and disARMs.

  • T3

    I have two AMP2 boards.  I have both uninstalled currently and my first board is all in one unit, the second one has a separate GPS.  Both boards have nothing connect to them.   The first connects and shows GPS info in the terminal test window.  The second one which is new and never installed, gives a time out message in the terminal test window for GPS.  Is there a need to enable GPS when you get a board with no headers and a remote GPS? 

    The GPS has the blue on solid.

  • Wind dropped finally and could take the 2.6 out for a flight.

    Did only stable, AH and a little bit of loiter.

    Stable is very good. It seems to react to drift and corrects itself.

    AH is not so good. I'm using the XL-EZ0 sonar and in the beginning it reacted very slow when I put my hand under it.

    At the end it could quite hold altitude when below 3 meters.

    Attached are the logs and you can see that the sonar works correct.


    2012-06-17 22-31 1.log
  • Tried out 2.6 yesterday in Stab, Alt-hold and Loiter. In general, pretty good results but I will need to tune all three to achieve results observed with others.  Here are my notes from yesterday.

    APM1, Sonar, 880kv 3DR motors, 2Kg (with camera, mount and Tx).

    1) Cannot get logs to work. 2.5.4 worked fine, but 2.6 will not write to the logs. Have Erased, reloaded 2.6, erased, reset and cleared logs 3 times. After each flight, when downloading the log, I get a message that says there are 19 logs but only two available for download. After downloading those two logs, each has two entries- the version string and amount of free ram. Has anyone seen this?  Do you know what I am doing wrong?

    2) Stab mode is OK - some tuning needed for the 880kv motors and weight. Under 2.5.4, I had to raise RateP to .213 and StabP to 4.7.   I guess I need to start with the defaults and increase the values like I did with 2.5.4.  Does it make sense that I need to RAISE the values and not lower them?

    3) Alt-Hold OK - some tuning needed for the 880kv motors and weight. Tends to move up and down a bit (+/- 1M) using sonar and more using baro. With 2.5.4, I had throttle rate at .45.    The 2.6 default is .25

    4) Loiter mode is VERY good at first but after a minute or two, it starts to circle with increasing diameter circles until I have to reel it in. There was a light winid at the time.  Can someone give me a hint at where to start to tune out the increasing diameter circles behavior?  Start with Nav WP or Loiter P and I?  Maybe give it a little Loiter I?

    Overall pretty good, but still needs some tuning.  And what’s up with the logs?

    As always – many thanks to the dev team – you guys are the best!


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