ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner,, 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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In 100 meters too this result.

Please write how i may add?

I right think, what if i add "GeoFence switch off" to the prearm checklist, then GeoFence will not working after bootup??? Or it simple check TX button position and not give result?

What Craig didn't tell you in his reply is that the behavior you experience is what the controller is supposed to do, based on current programming.  It's been covered somewhere back in this monster thread.

The controller will default to fence enabled when powered on (if you've set the parameter to use the fence).  It will ignore the position of the switch.  A change of the position of the switch will cause the code in the controller to respond to the switch.

I don't recall if the switch responds as a toggle, that changes the state of the fence, or if it's an absolute switch, if the switch is on, the fence is on, if the switch is off, the fence is off.

Logic would dictate that the switch would be absolute, however, logic would also dictate that the position of the switch would mean something at boot up and not require a change to be recognized.

I don't know if the behavior is considered a bug by the dev team or if it's scheduled for change in any future releases.

Good luck!

Hey jack ass.  I followed all the upgrade steps and watched all the videos and i have posted numerous times asking for help and have received none.  How about you piss off


Yep followed all the directions and watched the videos numerous times.  Im not the only one having these problems...

Been over those pages hundreds of times.  Hence the copter flying great for a year on 2.9... When i switched to 3.01 i went over it all again a few to make sure i did it all.  And loiter and rtl are nuts.

Hi all,

I see some people having issues. To balance this a bit, I have the 3.0.1 FW running perfectly. It loiters spot-on and fully stationary. It RTL's within 0.5 to 1 m. It flies missions as it should.


I am impressed by this SW package.


P.S. Note that I did follow all the setup steps carefully with very little vibrations and magnetic interference.





Let's all just take a deep breath and calm ourselves a little bit.

I think we can all understand Ryan's frustration with a crash that he doesn't understand.  He's pointed out a number of times that he doesn't know where to find the logs...since the logs are pretty critical to understanding what caused the crash, getting them, and knowing where to get them is pretty important.

Sometimes the information can be difficult to find.  The support wiki is extensive and not always a fast path to understanding.

Ryan, you can get the logs by connecting your copter to your computer with a USB cable, then:

  • Go to the Mission Planner’s Terminal Screen
  • Click “Connect APM” or “Connect PX4″
  • When the prompt appears click “Log Download”
  • When the “Log” window appears click the checkbox of the log you wish to download (normally the highest number)
  • Select your vehicle type (APM:Copter, APM_Plane, APM:Rover). This ensures you get the correct scaling for a few parameters as the data is downloaded.
  • Push “Download These Log”

The hard part is going to be understanding exactly which log you need to download.  It's not intuitive which log holds the data you are looking for.  So, just download all of them.  You can use the instructions in the wiki to help you understand how to use the log browser and how to understand what the information you are looking at means and how to diagnose some of the errors that are commonly seen.  I'm going to wager that like many of us, the data and things won't make a whole lot of sense to you, but if you post the log to the forum, it's pretty likely that others will have a look at it and be able to help.

The link on how to download and analyse the logs is here;

There is a TON of information there, sift through enough that you can get the log, and then enough more to be able to identify the log with the crash in it.

Thanks John.

Yes, the firmware changed...but it was a BIG change.  It added a whole new way of dealing with position hold.  It affects all of the autopilot modes.

As such, it adds a whole new level of sensitivity to a couple things that didn't make as much difference previously.

The first, vibration.  Eliminate as many vibrations as possible.  Those you can't eliminate, damp with a mounting scheme for the APM that absorbs as much as possible.  This is covered a lot in many places on this forum, in addition to some great info in the wiki.

The second, and far more subtle, is the compass.  The new firmware relies on the compass far more than it did previously.  There are two things that are going to affect the accuracy of the compass, the first is the general interference of the copter.  Any ferrous material (stuff a magnet will stick too) will change the magnetic fields the compass is sensing, the compass calibration will help the controller compensate for these errors. The second, is the magnetic interference caused by the current moving through the electrical components of the copter.  ESC's, wires, motors etc.  This is a dynamic thing and the compassmot calibration attempts to correct for these errors.  If you can eliminate any magnetic material from your copter and control the magnetic fields generated by electrical currents, you'll be better off than just trying to compensate for what's there.  

This video details how to setup the compass calibration;

This video details the compassmot calibration;

Distance is your friend in these cases, move the APM board away from anything that causes interference...sometimes small changes the mounting of the board will result in large changes in the character of the interference.

And you are right, copters that flew just fine with 2.9 can crash with 3.x.  It seems most often that magnetic interference and vibrations are the cause.

Ok. Good answer. Thanks.

This 2 your variants is good, and everyone has a to be, but I have not seen this information in desctiption of Fence.

Now i understood what if Fence enabled in parameters, and i do not want use if after first take off - i must change switch to ON - OFF.

Yes, I think that is correct.  If you change the switch from off to on to off, I think you will turn off the fence and make it so it will respond to the switch.  I'd run a test to make sure though.

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