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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Thanks, John! The dev team lives on positive user stories like this...much appreciated. 

Hi Guys, 

Just wanted to take a minute to say a big thank you to the dev team. You guys are unbelievable with what you keep achieving!

I have built a larger quad-octo for survey work and I am using turnigy multistar 40amp speedies. I had it tuned close to where I thought it should be, but just couldn't get that final bit, that locked in type feeling.....until yesterday!

I was changing the power distribution system, cleaning it up a little, when I thought I would look to see if these speedies are compatible with the simonk firmware,... After I found which firmware to load I updated all speedies and oh boy what a difference!

My P and D terms went from around 2/3's default (P 0.09~) to around 0.22. I am running a higher D term as well. almost everything else is default values although I did play with alt hold settings a little..... 

I was quite surprised to say the least as being a much bigger system and hovering around 35% throttle I thought I would have a lot more tuning to do.

SO what have I learnt from this???   APM just works! There are no shortcuts, and if you follow the setup guides by Randy and others ( brilliant job there btw guys!) then it should just work. If it doesn't work then it MOST LIKELY is NOT the fault of the APM but just not setup correctly.

If you need to disable compassmot then something is wrong and needs to be addressed. 

If you need to disable any of the startup checks to make it work, then please don't use the autopilot side of things and DON'T rely on RTL, as it can't be guarenteed to work as the copter is not setup corectly!

I have done many auto missions with a big octo full auto take off to landing and only use the tx to arm and initiate the takeoff. close on 80 flights now with no surprises.

In a nut shell if it isn't working for you then YOU must realise that you have some work to do, please keep this in mind when asking for help. Everyone here is here because they love it and are willing to help, so keep calm, understand that it is not working because of something you have done or not done and let us help you! 

Once again, hats off to the dev team!

Best Regards

Steve K

Mine broke when i programmed it WITH the gps on.  No contact to the CPU (2560) any more.

Are there any Beta versions after 3.0.1? I don't see any beta versions on the Mission Planner.

Not yet.  There will be a new release candidate coming out very soon.

Ok that's cool.  Thanks Craig!

Any idea when DO_LOOP will work again?

I see some points up to -20 +10 in Z

I did the accel calibration, many times without any change. The apm has not changed its position at all. Still in the same place.


     Maybe stick a dataflash log here and we can have a look at the parameters to see if there is anything unusual with them.  Updating the firmware with the same version shouldn't have any impact on how it flies.  I think it is more likely that you're kicking off the auto-trim accidentally by keeping the throttle down and rudder right too long as part of the arming sequence.


     I've had a look at your logs and it seems the input throttle (CTUN's ThrIn) goes to zero at line 3218 but the throttle failsafe doesn't happen until line 3236 which is about 4/10ths of a second later.

     I'm wondering, have you checked how low your throttle channel goes when you turn off your transmitter as mentioned on this wiki page?  Is it at least 10 below the FS_THR_VALUE which is set to 975 in your copter's config?  Maybe when your transmitter is turned off it's going to 975 or some value very close to that so the failsafe isn't reliably triggered?

Yes, I agree with Juan.  It's very likely to be vibration.  Coming after a crash is not unusual, there's probably some motors not spinning freely or a bent motor shaft or something like that.

Same issue. I see that the copter go up when accel Z noise is very high (-20, +20)

What kind of isolator are you using with the imu?

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