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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Well after looking at some MOT vs THR values, I discovered that the motors were not in unison while the craft was armed and powered up in stable mode.  I preformed an all-in-one ESC calibration and I now have spinning motors when armed. I forgot to do this after i upgraded to the 3DR motors. I bet i'll have even better alt holds and loiters next flight!  

hmm wonder why that would help? Throttle calibration only teaches the ESC the range from 0 - 100% throttle which the RX/APM puts out. It doesn't change ESC parameter for calibration of different motor parameters.

You probably never had the ESCs save correctly any previous throttle range calibrations. Happened to me too before with some HK ESC that were real stubborn to memorizing settings.

What MOT_SPIN_ARMED value did you end up with?

The THR_MID went from 500 to 400 after the motor upgrade.  I also noticed that a couple motors would not start at the same time the others when I slowly added power.  And I was maxing out the motors around 75 -80% stick.

After the ESC calibration, I have a linear motor response all the way through 100%. 

MOT_SPIN_ARMED is at 70 - very slow and THR_MIN is at default of 130.  The calibration allowed my ESC's to respond as intended to the APM outputs.

Oh and I had done the ESC calibration with the old motors....I reviewed logs from them and the above issue was not there.   

My hexa just FLY away from me and LOST!!

arducopter 3.1.rc5

apm 2.5


gps lock (solid blue led and wait for about 1 minute)

stabilize - loiter ( not too bad ) - stabilized ( suddenly fall to floor) and motor spin very faster - and fly away-- cannot respon any mode( RTL - stabilized)

T_T so saddd

I would say your previous calibration didn't work right. Swapping motors should not affect that.

I didn't like that spinning, I mean what do you do when you tip it over? I rather shut the motors down with simply taking the throttle all the way back...

IT's possible they got screwed up somehow - Multistar 30A SK....

I think Randy is putting a crash detection feature that disarms the APM.  It's somewhere in these 315+ pages....

I like the spinning as it tells onlookers not to approach it.  I'd hate to be taking off under FPV goggles about the same time someone runs up to have a closer look and I didn't see them.

Is called: crash_check.pde
I'm about to prove it in a controlled space.
part of the code:

/ / Code to detect a main crash ArduCopter code
# Define CRASH_CHECK_ITERATIONS_MAX 20 / / 2 second (ie. 10 iterations at 10hz) Indicates a crash inverted
# endif
# Define CRASH_CHECK_ANGLE_DEVIATION_CD 2000 / / max angle 20 degrees beyond we are inverted signal is
# endif
# Define CRASH_CHECK_ALT_CHANGE_LIMIT_CM 50 / / baro altitude must not change by more than 50cm
# endif

/ / Crash_check - disarms motors if a crash has been detected
/ / Crashes are detected by the vehicle being more than 20 degrees it's angle limits beyond Continuously for more than 1 second

hahaha I saw that somewhere with the crash disarm function...

Ok, I don't have that goggle problem yet - that makes sense. I still fly with a LCD monitor. My buddy just got a set so I am waiting to look at it if I really want that or rather spend THAT money :)

ahh see there it showed up on this page... probably so the elderly don't have to search for it.

If you are looking for beta testers I am NOT volunteering :)) 

I also use arducopter 3.1.rc5

Hi John, could you send me a loiter or auto log where you think it isn't doing a good job and describe where you think it is lacking?

Have you calibrated your ESC's? That is what the problem looks like to me.

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