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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Nothing wrong with being able to solve your own problems. ;)

i cant wait to use that function. i suggested that this function include parameters that allow an ascent or descent while circling. i hope that makes it in this release. very cinematic shot as far as i am concerned :)

It needs a wider circle radius param, now it works only 127m maximum (i had 200m fortress to film)

. If you want to modify altitude, simply rise your throttle.

Safety: How about a temperature sensor (thermistor) for li-po battery? (useful in winter or hot summer to know if li-po battery is in optimal temperature range 20-50 C)

I know, everybody is loading 3.1 rc7 on everything.... what am I don't wrong, or what could be failing?

My X8 is new. this is the first time I've tried to load something new on it.

Perhaps there's something different about an APM 2.6.

Have others with an APM 2.6 loaded successfully?

It uses an Arduino Mega 2560 driver PID 0010&REV0001

The AMP 2.6 doesn't seem to respond to the board version. and hangs.

Anyone?

Not having GPS problems anymore but it wont arm, even with pre-arm checks set to 0.

No messages from MP to indicate the problem just 'FAILSAFE' when I try to arm.

*******Ok just figured it out. He had set the THR_Failsafe slightly above the low throttle position. I wish MP had said that.

i think the FC would make a smoother descent/Ascent on its own.

With the problems in loading firmware to my X8 with Mission Planner I started to look for other means.

I have an Ubuntu on a virtual machine in my Win 7, where I have compiled a project successfully, but so far haven't had the guts to upload yet... besides, I still have to sort out USB connections through the VM.

So the other means was through the patched Arduino.1.0.3 .

Here I had a little surprise. 3.1 rc7 compiles "too big". 262,438 KB where the limit is 258,048.

So question 1) do the linux compilers optimize enough to get the code squeezed into the space required?

My only other option then is get my linux working.

Question 2) Do the everyday linux compilers that we have optimize enough to get it into the required space? Are 3DR compilers enhanced?

I guess we are pretty much at the limit with APMs

Thank God I've got my Pixhawk!

Although I've still got an X8 with an APM 2.6 stuck in 3.01!

In Circle mode, altitude is controlled by baro and acc exactly as if it would be in altitude hold. You can climb or descend very smoothly, on a constant pease. An extra parameter for CIrcle would be useless. I was thinking about a thermistor sensor to check temperature on battery, especially in winter :)

very nice!

@Dragu is that AC3.1 rc7?

all dears i am going to assemble arducopter and i want some comments about selecting frame which frame is best and strong that it should handle 5-10kg weight and second thing which i want to designe such arducopter that i could controll it from 10km range through fpv camera. its flight may be in between 1km but should be controlled from long range so guide me about selecting antena and also camera and also other important information you have  

As a camera man, i see a lot of value in letting the FC control the ascent/descent. it would allow the camera person to concentrate on the camera shot and not the drone. But i do appreciate that you have done an excellent job on circle and i am still thrilled i'll be able to use it.  i SINCERELY, as a carmera person, appreciate this function more than you will ever know. :)

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