ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner,, 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 Shyam,

I tried alt_hold again with sonar_gain set to 0.2.  It was much better however my quad still moved up and down with times but never stayed on the same height.  If I remember correctly the last time my alt_hold work perfectly was in 3.0-rc2 but ever since then it has not worked the same again...

How high were you flying?  As the air pressure changes with change of weather this affects the baro and on some days you can get very noticeable high variation drift. Or your Throttle Rate P might be a bit high.

Hi John,

Im flying around 2m above the ground (maybe less) when I change to alt_hold mode...

Are you using a sonar sensor.
If so bring down its gain to 0.2


Here in Lyon France the menu for the day is rain and wind (40km/h) so i will just replace the dampeners with nylon spacer to make new test when weather permits.

One other question :Yesterday most of the time the auto tune would not start or arbor the procedure after few twitches !!! Do you thing I should put the default pid's for this beta version 3.1-rc5.

No, your current pics should be fine. I will look at your logs as soon as possible but I am in hospital with my son at the moment so it could be a while.

Hi @ArchillesElbow,

A few plausibilities:

1) The connections from the ESC to Motors and ESC to PDB are loose. 

2) The problem can be electrical, with ESC unable to send out signal to motor continuously for some reason. Are all ESC's exactly the same manufcaturer, FW, current rating?

3) Have you replaced the ESC for this motor? ESC is a potential culprit.

- Did you study the logs for the individual motors (esp.). What do they say?

In the end. try to downgrade to 3.0.1 and take a few test flights to verify with the changes above then take to RC5. I am a bit doubtful if RC5 may cause this.


to high vibration, and or a cold solder joint.

Sorry about that.

Take care of yourself and your family is the most important.

Shyam, Im not having the bouncing up and down problem, I just want to do some finer tuning of the PIDs so not sure which to set up on my CH6 in MP for the altitude stability adjustment .

The wiki recommends using THR_RATE_P  and last July Randy suggested to only use THR_ACCEL_P  I am wondering if this changed since then and for rc4

I think the baro still might have some  mix with the sonar Andre. If you look in the logs check the baro and see if its drifting up or down in a constant line during the whole flight. If it is thats usually the change in air pressure

Auto tune always sets Rate I =Rate P, and Rate P Is never set lower than 0.02. So if your I was set to zero it wasn't set by Auto Tune.

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