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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Ok.  I tried it with a 5V BEC and got the same results with and  without Compass, RX, and GPS.

I use D/R all the time on my planks, but I try to avoid it with my copters because of the reduced control resolution. I like fast flips too, but what would be better is a ch7 option for acro dual rates... turn it on for flips at 10+, or turn it off for shooting gaps at 4.5 or even lower. This way we would have 100% resolution in both "acro modes", unlike using D/R which reduces stick resolution when it is needed most (shooting gaps mode). It wouldn't be so bad if resolution is reduced during a flip, but unfortunately it's the other way around with tx rates.

Wow, 10, that must flip fast. :) Is that on your CP heli's? Got any video of a full stick flip "@10"?

I've got 3.1-rc5 loaded on my APM1 board - no problems so far...

Had a busy day with guests so didn't get any testing in but I did fly the small quad about 6 times and it never did the surging. So far I've never experienced it on 3.1rc5. I posted a picture of the quad some posts back I thought. Here it is:

http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?11777-Honey-Badger-is-ready...!

It has 10" props and these motors;
http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=...

On the octo I have some filming I need to do with it this week and I don't want to risk doing the auto tune before that. When I tried it the first time it got really aggress. Like it does on the quad but as you know that octo has some power and I didn't have the extra weight of the gimbal and camera. I will try the auto tuning another day with perfect calm winds and calm nerves to not hit the abort switch :)

I've never noticed the reduced resolution myself.  Even 200 steps per direction... that's a lot of resolution!  I mean, even a good servo has about 4mS of resolution.  The APM has 1mS of resolution.

No actually, the 10 was on an F450 clone.  I don't have any video yet, but I'd love to get some.  I've done 4 consecutive rolls (tumbling down) and pulled out, no problem.  And lots of high speed backflips, forward flips, barrel rolls.  It's pretty fun.  I definitely think this frame is the limiting factor instead of the APM.  It flexes a lot.  If I punch the throttle, it shoots off in a direction because the APM can't control the attitude properly.  It is extremely overpowered.  I'm not sure why.  Only 800 kV motors, 10x4.5 props.  Maybe it's the battery, 4S5000 so it can deliver the amps.  Mind you they're only 20C.  I dunno.  But it's crazy fast.

Yes it is and with the longer arms. It didn't abort the tuning. I did because I was afraid it was going to rip itself apart to the aggressive rolls. The one that will not auto tune is the smaller honey badger quad. I've tried it about 10 times but it always fails the auto tune. Maybe arms too flexible?

I would like to see your new design :) Send me an email.

Thx Andre

No problem with 2.91b so i'm looking forward trying 3.1 too...

Oliver, I was going to strip down my quad and replace this board with a second one I have which doesn't show those issues. Just don't know how fast I get to that - my APM is buried at the lowest level of the quad :)

If that works that should proof that the failure moves with the board and is not caused by any periphery. Like I posted earlier, for the test logs I only powered the APM and compass.

Besides, the 3.0.1 / 500kHz version works with a real dirty power supply. If I power mine over USB and have all periphery powered with it my board voltage jumps all over the place from 4.1V to 5.1V but no twitching can be seen.

Thanks Bruce, just for checking, where did you connect the BEC ?

I have to be sure that you did connect it to the PWM input side of the APM.

I powered it on port 8 on the PWM inputs. I'm open and ready for more ideas to test. Just send them my way! I have faith you guy's will beat this!  Thanks!!!!

Bruce

Haven't had the stamina to keep up with the thousands of posts.

Is 3.1 available?

Does it have all the vibration and compass restrictions that 3.0.1 does?

I s 3.1 documented or is it the same as 3.0.1?

Thanks very much . . .   Cheers

The log does not look like full garbage on the SPI bus but the baro and IMU chips looks mad like if they had a very noisy 3v3 power supply inducing garbage on the ADC converters but keeping the digital circuits working normally.

That could be a decoupling problem between the 3V3 devices causing important noise on the baro and mpu6000 chips when the bus speed is rose to 8 Mhz.

Decoupling is managed by 1 uF capacitors C1, C5 and C9 around the MPU6000, MS5611 and the 5V to 3V3 spi bus level converter and 4.7 uF Capacitors C22,C23 near the 3V3 regulator.

If you have access to a scope, it would be interesting to check for the noise on the 3V3 power rail, watching if there is some heavy noise in the Mhz range.

The scope analyze i did on the SPI bus did not show hardware problems and a large safety margin even at 8 MHz (at least on my board). This is why i think that there is perhaps no problem on the SPI bus himself on your board.

Do you have a 3DR APM 2.5 board or a clone one ? Is it a recent one or an old one ?

I would be curious to see your board, it would be certainly easier to find the root cause. In the mean time we have to guess what's going on and that's not so easy.

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