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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I did see a lot of references to Autotune process for ArduCopter.

Is this Autotune for rc5 the same process as Auto trim available on previous FW?

If there are different, is any documentation on wiki to explain this? My transmitter is 6 channel (dx6i) and I am happy to fly arducopter with it. Can I do "autotune" with a 6 channel transmitter?

I did "auto-trim" as described ("... Hold throttle down and rudder right for 15seconds...") and that worked OK for me, but now I want to know what "autotune" bring in addition to "auto trim".

Autotune is definitely NOT autotrim. And it is definitely something everybody should try.

As soon as I get my test quad up in the air with 3.1 rc5, I will give it a shot. I read very positive comments about it here...

There is a full instruction here

I am not sure if 6-channel radio would do it. You have to check that but it seems it may work...

Good luck...

You can use a 6 channel RC Txm for Autotune.
Just plug 6th channel from RC receiver to APM's 7th pin input signal pin.

+1 on spinning to indicate armed status. Very unambiguous and much safer for newcomers.

I think we should leave it on spin when armed. The only addition I would suggest for 3.2 is that we disarm if the copter is upside down (past 90 degrees) in any Stabilized based mode (ie loiter and auto but not acro), for more than 1 second.

Working fine here also. rc5 and latest minimosd for copter.

I had a crash doing fpv the other day. I was just a few inches off the ground but must have bumped into something and it flipped. Luckily a friend was near by and grabbed. The props never stopped spinning even when it was upside down. If this state can be detected then maybe an auto disarm would help.

Hi all,

Also using RC5 now :) thanks for that devs.

I am wondering if its just me doing some wrong with the failsafe.
In mission planner when i turn off the transmitter it allways go to LAND mode instead of RTL i have set up.
I have enough sats 3d fix as far i can see.
Havent used it before this failsafe, just due to bad weather i gave it a try at home without props so it isnt moving around.
Maybe its a small bug or something?

Is your transmitter going to it's on failsafe and setting your mode switch to land? You would be able to tell by looking at your flight mode screen in config/tuning. Turn off the transmitter and see if it goes to that position. If it does then it's just a matter of setting your transmitters failsafe so it goes to your RTL mode. Also check that your throttle is going below the amount set for the failsafe.

...this is the reason I will never let the props spin on arm.  Once crash detection is implemented then I will definitely do it, but for now I will not risk damage to the electronics if the quad crashes upside down a mile away (yes, I fpv a mile away regularly) with the props still trying to spin.  I also thing that the motors should never spin with the USB port active (meaning it is plugged in to a computer) regardless of any other settings.  I've been watching the passionate debate here and on the developers group on googlegroups and I think many, MANY fine points are being made - some are quite false but most are quite good! - and for me I just wont be happy setting it to spin-on-armed until its a bit safer.  I think the intent of what it is trying to do though is very good, and I'll be using it once crash detection and USB-connection-detection are in place.

Completely agree. I have some nice plastic prop scratches on my PC monitor when I armed when connected to USB....

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