ArduCopter 2.9 / 2.9.1 released

ACRO bug (fixed in 2.9.1b): while doing flips in ACRO mode, if you switch to Stabilize while inverted your throttle will go to minimum.  To regain throttle control you need to switch back to ACRO then back to Stabilize again (i.e. switch to stabilize twice).  You never lose control of roll/pitch/yaw.

Loiter/AltHold/Auto/RTL bug: if you switch into these modes with throttle at zero motors will go to minimum until you raise the throttle.

Auto mode altitude bug (fixed in 2.9.1b): setting a waypoint altitude greater than 320m over home altitude may wrap around and instead be interpreted as a low altitude.

ArduCopter 2.9 is now in the mission planner and the downloads area!

The major improvement is we use inertial navigation to improve altitude hold.  This increased reliance on the accelerometers means you must do some additional set-up before flying:

1. Perform the new accelerometer calibration in the mission planner (video).  The auto-trim metho has also changed (video).


2. Add vibration dampening foam between your frame and the APM.  Some suggested materials: DuBrogelhk foam.


 3. If upgrading from 2.8.1, modify the throttle and altitude PID values:

  • Increase your Throttle Rate P, reduce I to zero, increase D
  • Increase Altitude Hold P, reduce I to zero
  • Tune Throttle Accel P and I terms but try to keep P about 1/2 the size of I



Here is the list of major changes (a more detailed list can be found in the release notes):  

  • Alt hold using inertial navigation (Leonard, Randy, Jonathan)
    • AUTO_VELZ_MIN, AUTO_VELZ_MAX parameters control the max climb/descent rate for the autopilot (cm/s)
    • PILOT_VELZ_MAX controls max climb/descent rate for the pilot (in cm/s)
  • Landing improvements (Leonard/Randy).  Copter will descend to 10m or until an object is sensed with the sonar.  Then slows to 50cm/s descent (speed can be adjusted with LAND_SPEED parameter). (video).
  • Surface tracking with sonar (Randy/Leonard).  Copter will attempt to maintain current distance from objects in front of sonar regardless of altitude.  Only used in alt-hold and loiter, not used for missions.  Sonar can be enabled/disabled with CH7 switch. (video)
  • Failsafe improvements (Randy/Craig/John Arne Birkeland) including bug fixes, additional check for PPM encoder failure and implementation of battery failsafe.  Set-up instructions are here.
  • Mediatek gps driver accuracy improvements and use of SBAS [Craig].  Instructions on upgrading your mediatek to firmware 1.9 are here.
  • Traditional Heli improvements (Rob) including (a) bringing heli code back into the fold, (b) enabled rate controller (previously only used angle controllers). (c) fix to rotor speed controllers - now operates by switching off channel 8.  (d) allow wider collective pitch range in acro and alt hold modes vs stabilize mode  (e) bug fix to allow collective pitch to use the entire range of servos
  • Acro trainer (Leonard). Copter will return to be generally upright if you release the sticks in acro mode.
    • ACRO_TRAINER : set to 1 to enable the auto-bring-upright feature
    • ACRO_BAL_ROLL, ACRO_BAL_PITCH : controls rate at which roll returns to level
  • Camera control improvements (Randy/Sandro Benigno):  (a) AP_Relay enabled for APM2  (b) Trigger camera with CH7 or DO_DIGICAM_CONTROL command  (c) Allow pilot override of yaw during missions and fixed CONDITIONAL_YAW command.
  • PPM sum support for transmitters with as few as 5 channels (Randy/Tridge/John Arne Birkeland).
  • Performance and memory useage improvements (Tridge).


As per usual 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.

Special thanks to our testing team lead Marco and the dedicated bunch on the 2.8.1 release thread who put their copters at risk while testing the pre-release version.  Some of their videos are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Please feel free to report issues you find in the discussion below and/or add them to the issues list.


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  • I had the same effect. Must install, uninstall and install again. After the update, it was V 1.2.32.

  • Hi,

    I hope this is ok to post this here, at least I figure the correct people will see it.  I had been seeing a small problem with the MP update.

    I had updated to ver 1.2.30 when it first came out, since then (I think from the day or 2 after it updated) I have been getting the update message the first time I run MP every day, I hit ok to upgrade. It starts and gets through quite a bit of updating then gives me a message saying update failed (message about files altered, and one time about part not being a valid app, or slightly different messages). this happened to me quite a few days, when finished it still says ver 1.2.30 so I check the downloads page and see 1.2.30 s the latest version posted. so I let it go till today.

    Today I uninstalled ver 1.2.30, reinstalled it, ran it and got the same results, update message, I hit update and failed. I re downloaded ver 1.2.30 and tried again, same thing.

    finally I uninstalled and reinstalled ver MissionPlanner64-1.2.19.msi, got the update message, ran it and it worked, now I am running ver 1.2.32. (I dont see it in the downloads area, but it did update to this.

    Just thought I should report this, incase anyone else is seeing the same thing..



  • testing rtl, alt-hold, and loiter today in a strong wind.. with tri with stock pids except for rate roll.. stock mediatek fw, and unflashed redbrick esc + dt750 + 10" props..

    loiter got oscillation, and moving around about 3meters radius. but after a while, the loiter got very good hold... maybe because of the wind and stock mediatek fw.

    rtl was beautiful, got about 5 meters miss spot. i'll flash my mediatek tonight.. ( no need to recalibrate accel and magnet if i have safe my param, yes ? )

    alt hold was perfect. in fact, i only use stabilize only for auto trim and take off and gaining some altitude.. i flew all the time with althold, and smooth landing was easy with althold or loiter..


  • Has this new version got the changes for Futaba receivers that we had twiches on the motors?
  • I'm been putting 2.9 through its paces. I'm really enjoying this new release. I fly the tricopter with 3s 3000mah  lipo and it performs so smooth and silky. It flies like a butterfly and performs as expected with all of the flight modes from stabilize to loiter to alt hold.

    However, when I use 4s 3000mah lipo and activate loiter or atl hold, it oscillates rapidly in place... In stabilize mode, it flies perfectly, but the minute I switch over to loiter the tricopter oscillates like crazy.

    What might be causing this? Do I need to tune the Loiter or Altitude Hold PID settings ?

  • I just test loiter, guided ,RTL ,and Auto are excellent by MTEK 1.9. But sometime it had error position about 5 meters but it can move come back to set point. 

    wait a minute for my video.

    Thank for new frimware.

    2013-01-19 19-00 2.log

    2013-01-19 19-01 3.log

    2013-01-19 19-02 4.log

  • Moderator

    Having flown a couple of packs this morning I can't fault v2.9 except for the jerky Loiter, the Alt Hold is quite remarkable, Auto was fine and RTL good too, TakeOff and Land commands really good, amazed how the well 'Land' works, as the quad touches down the motors go slow and then stop, no more bouncing - impressive!

    Kudo's Dev Team!!

  • Quick Q: Do we still need to do the normal acc calibration and the new beta one or just the beta one from now on?

  • My 1st attempt:

    1. Its a li'l hassle when doing the accel calibration especially when using frame other than quad ex-Y6. Can it be as simple as the previous version? I tried my Y6 and couldnt get a proper reading. Placed it on a flat surface and completed the calibration process but the horizon level in mission planner and my roll gimbal look like they just had a bottle of vodka.

    2. Checked Simple Mode for RTL but it came back nosed in.

  • I have a problem with logs, I can't download any logs, and log number are all negative.

    I tried the erase command to get everything clean, but no success, still same problem.

    Any idea how to correct it ?


This reply was deleted.


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