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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Generally the firmware in the ESCs does not allow them to spin backwards.  The SimonK firmware has the ability to spin backwards if you recompile it as a car motor ESC...

Elvin,

    Yes, that's one of the bits of misinformation that I just corrected.  There's no need to have Guided mode set upon your transmitter.

Haven't forgotten and will get to it soon.   Hopefully tomorrow I'll test my APM1 and ensure it's working.

ok. by the way, is that SimonK update so good on multicopters? read very positive comments on that but not yet experienced it.

Thanks again for spending time making the wiki a very useful tool..Your videos and revised wikis have contributed exponentially.. My previous "guided" attempts were dismal.

Like you I've also heard (nearly) only good things about SimonK.  I know it has less filtering on it than normal ESCs which makes it's response faster.  I know there must be a difference from regular ESCs because during the testing of AC3.0.1, SimonK users were able to see a mistake we'd made with the navigation controller (it produced a wobble) that normal ESC users could not.  I have only recently started using SimonK as 3DR has started selling SimonK flashed ESCs.  My frame has also changed though so I'm unable to say personally if it's significantly better.

I almost don't have any flat surfaces where I fly so it was nice to see the slope landing. At what degree slope does it start to have a problem? I was in loiter the other day with an octo and had to quick land when batteries got low. Probably if I switched to stable quicker I could have saved it since it was limiting my throttle but it ended up landing on a 45° slope which is usually what I encounter. It of course flipped several times, broke some props and an arm. Looking at your video, I think it would have survived better with AC3.1.

I think adding it to auto-trim would be better. Just make sure you maintain altitude while trimming roll and pitch. Then flick ch7 for auto-trim and it learns pitch roll offsets and throttle mid.

I'm getting ready to order one of these:  http://www.foxtechfpv.com/tarot-gimbal-stabilization-system-p-913.html

but wondering why I'm not able to use the APM2.5 / AC3.0.1 camera stabilization. It's on an Octo and when I use the camera stabilization it has a definite lag. Only the slowest rolls and pitches will be compensated in time. If you move the copter any faster, it just lags behind making it worse. Could I have something wrong with my setup or is the APM2.5 reached it's limits on processing power? I'm using the standard roll and pitch ports even though I have digital servos because on an octo you can only use the analog ports for camera stabilization.

Steve Dont order that one!!u want to find one to control brushless gimbal and this is not it...and for servo gimbal its not good one too

Tried it this morning Randy, and it works excellent. Thank you very much. One thing I notice though is that whenever it flies to a waypoint the heading of the copter does not change. It just flew sideways. But on first 'fly to here', the copter rotates and faces where the target location was then flew there and loiter. Then when I tried another location point it just flew there sideways without facing the target location.

Randy,

Thank you for having a look at the graphs.
The quad is fully symmetrical, front left and right are exactly the same.I'll have another look again at the hardware but as far as I can see everything seems to be correct. Same motors, props, directions, esc calibration etc.

This puzzles me as I never had this before and this is not the first quad I build.

Could it be that the APM board is off in some way? Like not fixed straight or under a slight angle?

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