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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Kinda hard to learn how to collect logs when no one tells you how to collect logs.  And most of the stuff i find doing a search is outdated and for the old mission planner.  Thing flew great for a good year on 2.9............................

3.0.1 has problems considering it flew perfectly fine on 2.9  End of story.

Who said anything about crash proof.   Crashes should be pilot error or mechanical failure not autopiloted into the ground.

You can load older firmware. The links are located on the bottom right of MP. You can also disable fail safe check. Disable 'Pre-Arm' check. Go to Adv. Parameters list, Set 'Arming_check' to zero.

Hi Marco,

While you are correct that the inertial controller does work all the time, the output's of the inertial controller are not used for Stabilize, it is used in AltHold though.

However, everything you say is spot on regarding the setup of the Arducopter and it's reliability. The amazing thing is we have at least 2 more releases of very significant features for Arducopter in the works and a couple that are just cool and useful :)

I seriously think WooKong has too watch out! (as do the KK boards for ACRO)

I would advise small steps. I know i changed some params and didnt fully understand what i was doing and things go wrong. It was my fault, once i realised just what was happening. The machines only do what they are told. They dont know or care if you tell it to crash, they just do it. 

I would suggest that you try small things one a time. Dont get greedy and try too many options at once. Try at most one new thing per day so you can stop and think about what you just did. Sure it means it takes longer to do the really cool stuff, but it also means you rarely crash.

Is anyone using a stock APM2 with original GPS with this latest release? If so how accurate should I be able to get loiter to be?

Hi Alex,

I'm flying a stock 2.5 with the uBlox GPS. Loiter is extremely accurate and it auto lands within a foot of take-off location. However in order to get it this accurate, I had to move the GPS receiver about 4 inches up (on a little pedestal) and create a small ground plane. Additionally, I have noticed that my FPV transmitter makes it lose 5 satellites instantly if I don't have it on the pedestal.


The original Mediatek performed fine as well after the firmware upgrade, but I have not used that in a while.

Hopefully this answer is what you are looking for?

Alex P

Did not know about GPS firmware upgrade. I will try and track it down as I'm still with mediatek.0
What does the ground plate consist of Alex?  the 400  Running ntm 1200 motors and a 4cell 3300 nano tech pack and afro 30amp esc's.  

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