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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Hi John,

I have performed the same kind of redundancy tests for my Y6. In my case, with one of the front props missing, I had to add ~50% roll to maintain the copter leveled but there is no way the copter stay in the air without my input.

I am not sure it has to do with PID settings, otherwise it will be pretty hard to find a set of parameters that works fine for both setup (6 motors VS 5 motors).

It seems to me that there is a limitation in the controller that do not allow to give full throttle to one motor to maintain a stabilize level. Developers, am I right ?

this is true. Also IMAX in yaw is way out of bounds. What's the deal on these parameters?

Thanks Wessie, I will do another test flight and work on setting the throttle at 50%. 

i need a help to find a program for arduino to use in quad-copter

There is a different version of Arduino that has some changes for the arducopter i believe and there is a link to it here: https://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/Code 

Hi Pierre

At the risk of starting a bunfight let me say the following :

The guys at 3DR and DIYD have put YEARS of blood sweat and tears into the APM.

Like it or not, it is my personal opinion that you are being very unfair to ask for support on a clone APM.

Being RCTIMER stock, and based on anecdotal experience, those suffer from random quality issues, so I suggest you start by looking at that.

Interesting Wessie.

I couldn't agree more regarding your comment about the guys at 3DR and DIYD. I totally respect that.

But I didn't realized how close were the GNU GPL software development and the business of selling hardware.

In your personal opinion, will it be unfair to ask support for a machine using a non-3DR frame ?

Hey Pierre

I see where you are going, and I get it, but still, on a personal level,  yes it would be!

I see it Like putting a TATA engine in your VW polo, and complaining to VW that is is not reliable. I have seen many time people posting on this forum that APM does not work in this way or that, and it later turns out that they are using some cheap chinese parts, and those parts were the problem all along.

I do get your point that some people, however want to use a "custom" or "different" frame, but hopefully those people realise that the APM will only work for them with a certain amount of R&D and PID tuning.

As far as the APM itself goes, for me that is a no compromise. I see it as a way of supporting the developers, coders, testers, moderators and so on for all the selfless and non-income generating work they do. I may be mistaken, but selling REAL kit may be the way this project gets funded to some degree?

I just thought that, since by your own admission, you don't think its software, that leaves hardware. You have assembled the cheapest of everything into your copter, and are surprised that it does not work?

Hope I'm not missing something here...

But look, Im not trying to start something. I really hope that you DO get help, because that would mean one more person is hooked into this highly fascinating field. Keep at it.

Thanks Gary

hI,

On the newest ver of MP I cannot get it to "load custom firmware"  once the FW file is selected it just sits, the message says "status" and stays that wat till I unplug the USB, then an error comes up.  I had to use an older ver of MP to load FW which worked first try.

thanks,

John

Hi,    here is a paste of the error message I get when trying to flash custom FW using the new MP. I remembered to take a screen shot this time. I am guessing it is a bug.

this error only comes up after unplugging the apm from the USB

hope that helps,

John

Can you help me with a friend crash? He swich to RTL his cuad and the copter moves very fast and crash, I notice that lose some sats at that moment but not shure that was the problem, the rel alt seems underground?, perhaps a baro problem? Thank's  

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