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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There is another parameter besides RTL_ALT which is RTL_ALT_FINAL. I had the same issue, wondering why the hell the copter was not landing. _FINAL is set to 15m by default. If you want the copter to land, you have to set it to 0.

After reading a few pages on here why is 3.0.1 even up. So many people are having problems with It and crashing......

I have actually been thinking now that the auto landing function works reliably that we should remove the RTL_ALT_FINAL parameter and just always land.  Is anybody out there still using RTL_ALT_FINAL and landing manually?

With 40,000 user on the forum, lets say 25% fly, let's say 25% upgrade to 3.0.1. Now all those crashes seem pretty small and most crashes are because people did not follow the upgrade instructions provided by the developers.

Don't forget, its all DIY.
There are only 2 types of pilots, those that have crashed and those yet to crash.
All in all its been a expensive and fun filled adventure.
Have fun and fly safe.

I've never used RTL for anything other than coming all the way home and disarming.  If I want it to hover before landing, I'll throw it into loiter or stab.  You've got my vote to remove it.

I just looked mine is set to 0. But I see RTL_ALT is set to 3000 I am going to set that to zero as to use the current ALT to landing in RTL.

Note that people who don't have problems are far less likely to post. For the record, I have had only one issue since updating and it turned out to be a mechanical failure having nothing to do with the SW.


I agree with the posts by Scott and Richard. Your statement is also unsubstantiated.

I.e.: I have posted quite a bit in the past, but not at all lately because it simply works. However, I have also learned lots of valuable lessons over the year and a half and still have issues sometimes that can all be related to my own wrong doing.

Key lessons:

- read, read, read

- check, check and double check

- check setup, rethink setup, balance props, center prop shafts (a have found them to arrive bent from the suppliers) and think about vibration.

- do something about vibration (yes, I know, I mention it a second time)

- check soldering joints.

- charge batteries before flying

- make sure batteries are stored in storage charge: they DO go bad.

- when in doubt: out (don't fly)

- start simple. Don't start with a Octo that has FPV, Sonar, Telemetry, OPTflow, etc. Start with a simple quad (I did not and learned my lesson)

- beware of power spikes when connecting the battery. They harm electronics: I have had an APM, GPS and several OSD's go out. I'm now using a Polulu switch to power up everything after connecting the battery. Not had a problem since. 

- beware of RF interference of FPV, Telemetry and camera equipment on both GPS and RX signal. I.e. I have had my 1.3Ghz FPV video lose 5 to 6 satellites on my GPS before I changed the location of the GPS receiver (yes, this causes jerky loiters and even fly-aways as the location changes rapidly). 

- Buy quality equipment: I had a cheap Hobbyking HD camera causing all sorts of interference. I had a junk piece of RCtimer knock of OSD equipment. I pay more, but only buy genuine 3DR stuff and get great service all the time (no, I don't work for them or have any other relation than having received great service). I had cheap plastic (black) propellers simply separating in flight since release 3.0.1: my new grey blades and carbon blades don't have that problem. You get what you pay for. 

Why would I (or someone) post if all is well? In this case just to make others aware. I have the greatest respect for Marco, Randy who are doing a marvelous job in supporting this community!

Best regards and good luck!

Don't hesitate to post if you have issues and I'm sure they can be resolved.


Yep, I second that. Bad bearing in one of the motors causing intermittent issues. Easy to find when doing a motor test and hearing the bearing make a squeaking noise...

Unfortunately, what Scott says is very true.  I've had one issue with my rig, but other than that fly the heck out of my copter and love it!

I use RTL both ways..  Sometimes I program RTL_ALT_FINAL to land and other times I have it loiter.  (I set it to 2 meters).   Right now it's set to land. 

Rather than completley remove the feature, why not just set the default firmware settings to 0 (land)?  It would be presumptuous to assume that nobody from this time on would ever have a use for loitering on RTL.

I upgraded to 3.0.1 and haven't had any problems.

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