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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Hi Randy,

Could you make THROTTLE_IN_DEADBAND a configurable parameter to reduce (if we want) the deadband for ALT_HOLD ?

Thanks,

David

Mha, vibrations always get a lot worse with speed. You might try logging imu on one of those vigorous flights. One of my rigs goes from like +-0.1g vibes at hover, to over 1g at 40mph.

Thanks for proving one of my points.  Can you post some data?  I keep trying to argue with a certain person on this forum that hard mounting the APM, and performing extreme amounts of balancing to eliminate vibes is pointless because as soon as the air starts moving, the blades start flapping and the vibration comes back.

With my simonk esc i have the exact same problem on my qav500 quad.

Even well balanced and vib free on th bench i got perfect smooth stab and accro mode but horrible motor pulsing in althold or loiter. And after extensive hours of tuning i'm unable to make it smooth.

Driving me crazy.
Nothing suggested here worked. For ultra responsive esc i think the tuning loop is offset in althold mode compared to stab mode. Which leads to motor pulsing hard, whatever the pid´s.

I have the QAV500G as well (among a few others) with an APM.  It would not behave until the ESC calibration was performed from the APM (read: Automatic Calibration)

Check that link out and see if it performs any better.  It's quite important to do it from the APM I've found..

I can't agree more with MhA and R.Lefevre. This is definitely Not a vibration matter, as for instance, everything is smooth in stab mode Which also generates lots of turbulence related vibs. There is something wrong in the control loop of althold mode with those high freq, highly responsive esc.

Why am I getting multiple RTL commands when a single one is sent?

I posted this question outside this thread, but got no bites.  I apologize for asking it again here, but this is an issue that affects my flight.

I'm using a 3DR Hex with an APM2.5 running the 3.01 firmware.  (I have no problems with anything else..  Loiter, Alt Hold etc. all work well).

I have RTL set up for geofence and TX loss... I also have a switch position on my  transmitter configured to trigger an RTL.

Whenever an RTL is set, I get mulitple RTLs following the initial one.  I can get up to 30 RTLs logged  when only one should be needed.   This happens when the fence is breached, the TX signal is lost and when I click my mode switch to RTL.

What's annoying is that each subsequent and unwanted RTL causes my hex to pitch and tilt.  Below are snips of two logs showing what I mean.   The one showing almost 30 RTLs resulted from a fence breach.  The one with around 10 was created when I clicked the RTL on my transmitter..  Does anyone else experience this..  If not, where should I look to fix this problem?

As posts tend to get a bit lost in this fast-moving 220 page thread, I've documented my odd problem of my APM2.5 not 'seeing' my functional external compass here: http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/strange-external-compass-issue-ap....

Any insight there would be very welcome!

Hi,

I remembered reading this post the other day, today while connecting to Mav, while the connecting/loading window is still open I had a window similar to this "Failed to update home location" window pop up saying something like "Failed to find home location"  just thought I should report it.

John

Rob, almost a year ago I posted data and said my $.02 about the effects of prop flapping, but it seemed everyone had rolled eyes like I was Columbus claiming the world is round. ;) I gave up on that crusade and moved on, but I'm also a habitual file farmer. So I know I have the logs somewhere on my drive, but it's been a while so I'll have to dig around for them. I'll present my data again later this evening.

[edit: I just realized I said "G", but I meant m/s^2... still a profound difference].

Jérôme, while the ACC sees the same vibes in stab and alt mode, the 2 modes do not use the ACC data the same way. What Rob and MhA are trying to tell you is that the alt hold code is a lot more sensitive to vibrations than stab mode. So it is more than possible, common actually, to have perfect stab mode but too much vibes for alt/loiter/etc... plus motor surging in alt not stab is a classic symptom of vibe problems.

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