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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Thanks for the feedback Jay!

Steve,

     I finally built an APM2-quad binary (here) which should show us more details of what's happening with the angle boost.  It logs to the dataflash at 5hz or when the angle boost falls under -1000 using a modified PID message.

     Could you load this up onto your problem copter (tell me if it's not an APM2 quad) using hte mission planner's Load Custom firmware link and give it a try, then download the dataflash log and post them here?  Now, it may not actually be necessary to fly the copter...it's probably ok to fly it but if you can reproduce the problem on the bench, maybe with props off that'd be just as good.  might need to wave it around, raise/lower the throttle.

Randy,

When CLI is disabled (#define CLI_ENABLED DISABLED), it's impossible to download any logs. Is it possible, when CLI is disabled and LOGGING enabled, to have a minimum of CLI to allow log's downloading ?

Ok, good point and good idea.  In the past we've talked about allow downloading of logs through mavlink which would also allow us to avoid the cli.  Let me chat with Tridge about this part.

Yeah minimosd is working fine for me too with Rc5. Also using MinimOSD extra r621

Still works here with MinimOSD-Extra_Copter_Pre-release_2.4_r682.

OK I will try it today but since I have rc5 on there now, and the weather is nice, I'm going to fly a lot with that to see if the problem shows up. So far I've taken a handful of flights and haven't seen it at all.

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.

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