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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I have run many missions with 3.01 with no problem, just beautiful flying. Watching a nightime led mission at 100 meters is quite a rush.
Face it, this software release does not have any critical flight errors. If you are having problems you need to look at the the dozens of other things that can go wrong. This project has taught me that Aviation is very unforgiving, but figuring out what went wrong is a big part of the fun.

I also wish to know the  the test result of  APM1 boards , now my APM1  still  use v 2.81 .

Did the upgrade and now can not arm! I can do a ESC cal and control thrust. Red led starts with heart beat flash then constant flash. Reset button did nothing. Reinstalled firm ware too. any way to go back to 2.9.

This release is very sensitive to vibration, let us remember that the inertial controller (not used in previous versions) works not only in Loiter/Auto etc. but also in Stabilize Alt-Hold.
For this reason the parameter INS_FILTER is crucial, have to do the tuning of this too.
It's imperative not have a lot of vibration in your setup, this is the first thing to do to not have crashes.
The compass must be calibrated manually and the procedure compassmot is practically mandatory.
Without all this, and verified that your hardware is generally ok is almost impossible to crash, I have thousands of flights assets with the release 3.x without a single problem, I can not just be lucky, the meticulousness rewards.

With this release a crash means not being followed to the letter all these steps, or having hardware problems in general, to be resolved before other tests.
I saw multirotors with WooKong-M go fly-away because the IMU not well insulated from vibration, do not think that this is only a problem of APM Copter.


Lots of other boards out there that don't have near as many problems.

Oh really? So let's hear your list of these along with some documentation of their lack of problems... Look, everyone is trying to be helpful and nobody is happy that you're having problems but the cold reality is that higher performance always demands higher attention to detail and there are folks who just don't or can't get that right. To me, 3.0.1 is much more stable and secure than the proceeding versions - I am now trusting my hex not to do anything really stupid where before I was always sort of expecting a nasty surprise.  Badmouthing this firmware is not going to impress anyone who has taken the time to understand how to use it. If you want to try to fix whatever you're doing wrong (and I use that phrase advisedly) folks here will be happy to help, otherwise maybe you should just stick with a less capable and thus less demanding system. 

Have a read of the instructions and check out Randy's video about failing the pre arm checks.

Yikes! No, No, No! I almost always land manually at the end of a RTL, among other reasons because I often land on my little portable pad (a painting canvas on stretcher bars) to avoid sandblasting the camera & gimbal, and also because the ground around here tends to be rough and uneven. So until you can tighten the landing spot down to about six inches or so (grin) I'll land mostly manually.  I could of course just dump RTL further out and fly the rest of the way in manually but hey, RTL to the "short final" point is fun and cool and also gives a nice indication of how various things are working at that moment.  

Why would someone think that something must be crash-proof? It is desired obviously but not possible.

What vehicle is there in the World that never crashes? I am not aware of any...

Randy - how could you tell compassmot hadn't been done?

By the way, if you wrote that wiki page, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  I think that's the best page of information ever written on APM.  I've learned so much from it, and applied a lot of it to my builds.

If Ryan doesn't want to learn how to even collect logs, I think he should probably go with a very simple RTF system with no tuning parameters - maybe a Blade mQx, or similar.


     No troubles.  I could see that compassmot hadn't been done by extracting waypoints from the tlog and then I could see that the COMPASS_MOT_X, Y and Z values were all zero.

     With every jump in performance there are some hurdles to get over in the frame set-up.  I hope we can get Ryan through his troubles.  When people get really annoyed and say things we wouldn't expect, it's often just their way of asking for help.

I followed your video as i did the compas calibration.  I have no idea what data flash logs are..or how to get them or how to make them...

According to the Status screen the mag readings are

Mag X  -96

mag Y  -30

Mag Z  64

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