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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Hello!

Prop Failed today on Hexacopter apm2.5, landed safely with full control !

It was not spinning around as motor fail, just motors exploded with trust to compensate everything. I reacted instantly, it was possible to fly it back with no problem, but I decided to land it even aprox 150 meters away, with no damage. Footage is raw, might look dramatically, but it was really not a problem to land it. Logs are on the way if dev-team wants it, especially M.Robustini, who is also testing this kind of problems :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPydQ8jF5fU&feature=youtu.be

Hello All, does anyone know if it is necessary to update the ppm encoder. Ive got an old apm2 that i am using ppm frsky without any issues, am i likely to run into any problems if I dont get the latest firmware? 

Did another quick flight.  here are the logs.  I thought i did all the compass calibrations.  How do i do the one your talking about?  Is it this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vZoPZjqMI4   going to be interesting trying to do that with this short cord. 

Attachments:

It flies really well now, however there are some whooper noticeable when reduce throttle. 

It times to catch up with openpilot in this particular fly characteristic. CC3D board fly well when you drop throttle even to 0. The controller board still control some of the motor to stabilize the multirotor.

Oops, but great that you figured it out.

Ryan,

    Ok, so it looks like very high compass interference.  About 350% of the earth's magnetic field strength when the copter is at full throttle.  If you give compassmot a try I suspect it will report something similar.  That needs to come down to below 60% and ideally below 30%.

     You might be able to reduce by moving the APM up but a faster better solution might be to get the external compass+gps module.  To save a few $$ you could use the external compass (i.e. no gps) but it's tougher to set-up neatly I find (I use one on my old APM1).

Alex, I don't think you'll see any issues.  The new version is a little faster which was important for the Futaba users and there were some changes to the failsafe behaviour but only when you're using single wires for each channel...so not sure it will improve things for you.

Nice!  I think Leonard is interested in testing this out as well on some of the frames.  I think it's about getting the balance of I-MAX terms on the various roll-pitch vs yaw controllers so that roll-pitch generally wins.

Hi Guys ..

Would it be possible in future firmware to have the compass calibration done like Dji ?  Flicking the mode switch rapidly for more than seven times activates Compass calibration and LED light changes colour indication its in calibration mode ..then for each axis different color light ? Its not too user friendly at the moment when you have different sites/countries to visit and fly. 

Reuben,

     It shouldn't be necessary to re-do the compass calibration when you go to new countries, only when you change the position of metal objects on the frame.  It's capturing the static offsets.  When you go to a new location, the thing that changes is the declination (variation between true north and magnetic north) and we look that up in a compressed table when gps lock is first attained.

Joao,

     great news.  The barometer drift and going negative is completely normal as long as it's slow and within a few meters.  I've seen it drift 5m over 5min....that's just the way it is.  you can reduce the amount of drift by giving the APM more time before arming.

     Re vibration, we think the pixhawk will be more resistant to vibration because it's got enough CPU that we can do better filtering of the accelerometers.

  Nice landing!. You can see half the prop flying away at the 6.03 min mark.

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