ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner, firmware.diydrones.com, GitHub and the new Downloads Area.

Warning #1: Compass calibration and reducing interference is far more important than with 2.9.1b

Warning #2: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the Loiter PID P to 0.5 (from 1.0) to reduce aggressiveness (see image below of where this gain can be found in mission planner).

Warning #3: optical flow is not supported but will be back in the next release (AC-3.0.2 or AC-3.1.0).

Warning #4: loiter turns does not maintain altitude.  This bug will be fixed in AC-3.0.2.

Warning #5: This release has only been lightly tested on Traditional Helicopters.

Improvements over 2.9.1b include:

  • Inertial Navigation for Loiter and Auto meaning much more accurate control (Randy,Leonard,JonathanC)
  • 3D navigation controller follows straight lines in all dimensions between waypoints (Leonard,Randy)

         WPNAV_SPEED, WPNAV_SPEED_UP, WPNAV_SPEED_DN, WPNAV_ACCEL allows configuring speeds and acceleration during missions

  • "compassmot" to compensate for interference on compass from the pdb, motors, ESCs and battery.  (Randy,JonathanC) (Set-up video here)
  • Safety improvements:
    • simple Tin Can shaped Geo Fence
    • pre-arm checks to ensure all calibration has been performed before arming (can be disabled by setting ARMING_CHECK to zero).  (video description here)
    • GPS failsafe - switches to LAND if GPS is lost for 5 seconds
    • stability patch improvements to stop rapid climbs in very overpowered or overtuned copters
  • Circle mode improvements including "panorama" when CIRCLE_RADIUS set to zero (Randy,Leonard)
  • SONAR_GAIN parameter added to allow better tuning of sonar surface tracking
  • CH8 auxiliary switch (same features as CH7)
  • works on PX4 (some minor features still not available) (Tridge,PatH)

How to upgrade:

1. Make sure you are using Mission Planner 1.2.59 or newer (get it here)

2. Click on the MissionPlanner's Hardware, Install Firmware screen.  The version numbers should appear as "ArduCopter-3.0.1", then click the appropriate frame icon and it should upgrade as per usual.

3. Reduce the Loiter and Alt Hold PIDs if you have modified them from the defaults.  The modified PID values for the 3DR frame can be seen in the image below.

Note: Nav parameters have been combined with Loiter so do not be concerned if you can't find them.

4. Although not directly related to this release, if you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware (instructions here).

5. Try out the new version in stabilize mode first, then alt-hold, then loiter and finally RTL and Auto.

Numerous How-To videos are available:

Special Thanks to MarcoDaveC and the large number of testers on the pre-release thread who put their copters at risk during the extended testing period.  Some of their videos can be found hereherehereherehere and here.  Thanks also to MichaelO for the MP changes required for this release.

All feedback welcome.  Please put your questions, comments (good and bad!) below.

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Raefa,

      I had a look at your log.  First off you have really low interference on your compass, nice!  Throttle is red and magnetic field is green below and you can see the green line doesn't change when you raise the throttle which is really good.

     I think you should go into the Advanced Params list and update the Yaw Behaviour to "Face next waypoint".

but also there is another little change in the RTL behaviour.  When it reaches home it will turn again to face it's original heading when you took off.  So if you set that parameter when you engage RTL it should:

  1. stop and climb to the RTL_ALT (15meters)

  2. turn and face home and fly home

  3. stop above home for 5 seconds (RTL_LOIT_TIME)

  4. turn back to original heading when it was armed and descend

  5. stop at 2m and wait for you to take control (RLT_ALT_FINAL)

Please tell me if I'm missing something and I will look at your logs again.

Well, Its working now.. I didn't do anything, but tried it again as the first step in trouble shooting and it just armed like it was supposed too.. hmm maybe toggling it in MP was a one time fix. I'll see what it does tomorrow.

Thanks for the link Francis!.

 I had two motors the wrong way around so all good now. How can I see where the vibration readings are?

Attachments:

Thanks for the hard work. Looking forward to the optical flow in 3.02

Great 3.01 has finally here! Just tried it on my hexa  and looks excellent. How come that now default ins_mpu6k is set to 0? Btw, flies fine, just it was a must in earlier releases, to be set on 20Hz. 

Thanks.

Oliver,  I didn't know that about the etrex...interesting.  I work with the survey grade Trimble GPS's at work (L1, L2 channels with a variety of modes usually PPK or RTK).  We do get cm precisions.  It could be very useful to have those precisions on a UAV for some mapping applications..I imagine there are some out there, but do you think it will be a DIY Drone someday?

My radio is FlySky/Turnigy 9X...definitely limited in failsafe....I think I'm ready to try the RTL.

Thanks very much for the analysis Randy!  After watching your video and with your really handy annotation I'm getting the idea what to look for.  Thank you.  

Random motor/esc failures are pretty annoying to try to track down. I can see nothing obvious. I have some new SimonK/timecop ESCs on the way so maybe changing those out will help? (I hope).

As far as vibrations...it is good to hear that my experiment is working..I have the APM mounted with doublestick "gyro" tape on a thin piece of hobby plywood which is then attached to the mainframe with the orange earplugs.  I have the large FlySky 9 ch rx velcroed to the top of the APM.  The APM  and rx assembly is really softly mounted with those earplugs and affords a fair bit of movement....but well dampened apparantly.

Hi guys, currently following the steps to set up my 3DR hexa, and I get some quite high results for COMPASSMOT test (following the indicated method

Is it normal ? if not what can I do ?

Also, I think I have isolated the vibrations from the APM by using the range video stuff, but how/where can I check that the level is acceptable ? can someone say from the attached LOG file (from the compassmot test), or will it require a TLOG ? Any link on that would be appreciated

Thanks

..and the forgotten LOG file...

Thanks

Attachments:

Rob, i think it's very difficult to use carrier phase with a moving UAV. It would ask for a very high acquisition rate (100 Hz or more) so that phase jumps can be avoided. This is actually very expensive at the hardware level. Even with a high acquisition rate there is still the problem of the banking antenna that should be addressed with an antenna gimbal... And the multipathing problem as well that is certainly a nightmare at the carrier phase level for a low altitude moving UAV.

Using the L1 P(y) and L2 (P(y) channels would be nice but it's not possible because they are encrypted for military use. They gives ten times the precision of the L1 coarse acquisition channel.

For this reason i think that L1 pseudo-range, DGPS differential corrections (through SBAS or a local beacon) and eventually carrier phase smoothing for Loiter mode is the best we can use keeping a low cost actually.

I think that real enhancements will come from new low cost GPS modules taking advantages of the new civil channels, L1C, L2C and L5.

L2C is designed to improve navigation accuracy and is easier to track. Using L1 and L2C civil channels will permit direct measurement of the ionospheric error in the same way as an expensive dual frequency L1 L2 P(Y)-code receivers.

So precision with L1 + L2C should be in the sub meter range.

An interesting information : because the P(y) encrypted signal may change after 2020, the US government recommand to use L2C and newer L1C and L5 signals  receivers instead of L1 P(y) / L2 P(y) codeless receivers.

Federal Register Notice: Preservation of Continuity for Semi-Codeless GPS Applications

This public notice from September 2008 commits the U.S. government to supporting codeless/semi-codeless access to the GPS P(Y) signals until December 31, 2020. Users of codeless/semi-codeless GPS receivers are advised to transition to new user equipment utilizing the modernized GPS signals (L2C, L5).

First enable IMU;
In MissionPlanner from Terminal hit button "Connect APM"
type: logs
type: enable IMU

Make a test flight

In MissionPlanner from Terminal hit button "Log Download"
Download last log close "Log Download" window and hit button "Log Browse"
Choose last downloaded log and scroll down to any line starting with IMU and headlight this cell.
Pic and Graph AccX, AccY & AccZ
The values for AccX & AccY should be between 2 to -2 and AccZ -8 to - 12

Hi Randy and Dev Team,

I have strange problem. I am using Turnigy 9XR Mode 2 transmitter (throttle on the left stick) and Frsky Receiver.

I setup the channel on my transmitter to output the Throttle on Channel 3 and connect the cable from rx ch 3 to apm input 3.

My problem is when I do the Radio Calibration on the MP v.xx.60:

  • Throttle stick = give input to Pitch Channel (Radio 2) with tx Ch3 connect to Input 3 on APM.
  • Pitch stick = give input to Throttle Channel (Radio 3) with tx Ch2 connect to Input 2 on APM.

My quad give the right input to the board and fly perfectly with v3. rc5 before update to v3.01. tried to downgrade to v 2.9.xx and the problem exist. I am not flying the quad yet with the above problem.

Sorry for my broken English and any suggestion will be much appreciated..

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