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.


Views: 298793

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Loaded up 2.9.1 this am.

Just found that snazzy "Raw Sensor View" screen. Mesmerizing. Mmmmmmm.


Alt_Hold seemed spot on yesterday using Baro only. And I love Sonar Terrain Following, but the transition between the two is a little disconcerting. 

As I sit here reflecting on yesterdays flying (and playing back the logs)..... Maybe my spastic loiter is the GPS, and the quad always trying to hold a GPS position that is all over the place. I've not whipped out the soldering iron and updated the GPS, maybe I'll have to do that if I want Loiter to settle down. (Still running default APM 2.0). 

What exactly is the new ESC calibration procedure for 2.9.1?

Ok, a bit high but perhaps not big enough to cause serious problems.

I guess we will see once 2.9.2 and inertial nav comes whether you see a serious toilet-bowl effect when travelling at high speed in loiter mode.


     The procedure hasn't changed so the existing wiki instructions should still apply.  It's just that it now works for SimonK firmware which apparently relied on the update rate from the APM->ESC being reduced from the regular 490hz down to 50hz (just for the time you're calibrating them).


    With the mediatek you should reduce your loiter rate P to 2.4 and it will settle down a lot.  Of course you should also try to update your mediatek's firmware to 1.9.  I did that on my APM2.0 board and it performed much better.  Craig E did some side-by-side tests and showed a vast improvement with the new firmware.

Thanks Randy, I thought so but I just wondered why "Boston UAV" said "Goodbye manual calibrations"...

In general you just need to give the algorithm 6 points and they should be quite far apart from each other.

I recall that the accelerometers can't be moving when the calibration points are taken which is why holding it by hand is not recommended.

Thanks Randy. Doesn't seem to work on my Mac and track pad. Have to pull out the old mouse.

Is the Px4 the next board or will there be a APM 3,thank you,Marty

It's very stable. I'm forgot attach pic it.

Man, you guys are killing me. New release, finished the new quad, AndroPilot is looking great, we have the first sunny dry day in weeks and.... I am stuck in a class all day.


I'd like to second the inquiry about an APM 3.  Is there one planned and how might it be different from the APM 2.5?  Are we running out of computing power with the AtMega 2560?


Thanks,  KB

Reply to Discussion


© 2020   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service