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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It may sound weird to some people at first (I was like that as well) but in time I loved "motors always spin at arm" feature.

There is a belief that this is not safe because motors spins unexpectedly. Well, users will get used to that very quickly. When motors start spinning it makes people aware that the system is armed and ready to go.

The other very important feature is that users do NOT shut off the motors in the air accidentally. With traditional airplanes and helicopters, stopping motors in flight is not a big deal; pilot still have the control. But in multicopter world, No motor means No control.

I personally suggest that people should use this feature. I can guarantee they will get used to it pretty quickly and will never go back... 

Cheers Randy!

Got it back to normal, was a bit of a surprise to me;) Well, now I read it and got it.

Good that the MOT_SPIN_ARMED was by default set to 100 (low spin) instead of 0 (no spin). Makes me learn more parameters everyday :-P

Keep up the good work.

Regards..

This is the SPIN_ARMED parameter. Just set it to zero if you don't want the motors to spin when they are armed.

This is right. And you can put the level mode on a switch so you can choose when you want it leveled and when you want leveled acro.

Hah wow! Before leaving for work, I flashed 3.1-rc5 on my discovery quad and took it out to fly during lunch. Amazing, like I have a new quad in my hands! This is in combination with my new external compass, which also makes all the difference.

I set it up to do AutoTune which worked flawlessly first time. Took off, hovered a little in ALTH mode and flicked the Ch8 switch which engaged the AutoTune samba :D I could retrieve the quad when it wandered too far off inbetween, it resumed tuning everytime. It started doing sideways roll movements and proceeded with pitch tuning.

DEV TIP: One thing that could be implemented as a usability feature is *something* that the quad could do to indicate that AutoTuning has finished. I assumed it was as soon as it hung still for a few moments after which I landed and disarmed it.

All in all: this firmware version is a massive improvement, hats off to the devs!

Hi Steve,

If you want to move to 3.1 that will be fine. Just keep us posted on the problem if you see it again.

We really appreciate you help on that one. We will be looking out for other examples of it!!!

Randy or Leonard, after doing the reset I noticed my RATE IMAX was 180. I don't recall it being that high before. What I did was save my parameters first and then did a compare being careful to just transfer over parameters I wanted. I don't recall seeing the IMAX but now it it's 180. I looked for it in the full parameter list. Is it RATE_RLL_IMAX? That is set to 1500 and showing an acceptable range of 0-500.

Did the default IMAX go up? I recall mine being set to something like 20.

Hey Steve, there's actually a feature you can maybe use for WP yawing that you might like.  It's called "yaw lookahead".  What it does is, instead of yawing to look at the next waypoint like a robot, it tries to keep the yaw looking into the direction of travel through the whole path.  So it's much smoother as it rounds waypoints.

It's the standard mode for helicopters.

The only issue with it really is that sometimes in a hover, it can be a bit "noisy" in that it can be moving around a bit.  Something we need to fix.

Balloon,

Your logs do not have the parameters in the header.  I would kill for this kind of response in Alt hold.

Could you send me a dump of your parameters, specifically the THR_*  and the alt hold PID parameters

Thanks so much

Gerrie

Robert, could you please explain this bit more? Because when I read the above paragraph, it sounds like both do the same thing. 

What is the difference between "looking at the next waypoint" OR "looking at the direction of flight"? Aren't they both the same thing?

Thanks

Randy, would it be possible to get this issue included in rc5 and/or the final release?

Gerrie 

    Those are my Parameter before and after autotune.

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