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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The way Minhaj asks, reveals that he is lacking of experience in multirotor design and actual power limitations. Anyway, thanks for sharing 101 min flight time result, it's inspiring :)

Sometime our experience can keep us blind to new concepts. I never think to assume just because they don't have experience they wouldn't be able to achieve something. They might just make completely different mistakes we have all made and find something completely new. 

This long flight time achievement is one example where the guy was using Nicads rather than  Lipos to get the flight times where most people assumes lipos are the best option. . But are they?

I really dislike such remarks

"NO ONE IN THE WORLD IS DOING THAT AT THE MOMENT

you should buy NORMAL aircraft instead,not multirotor"

Its so uninspiring and arrogant.

Imagine someone said that to Chris Anderson when he decided to build an open source DIY Drone? I'm sure plenty of people told him it no one is doing that and he has no experienced and it wasn't possible as well. But look at the marvelous development we now have in this.

I prefer to encourage their enthusiasm and a new idea and challenge, not put it down

thanks john for your support i am still developing idea and information but hope i will try some new

Hi minhaj,

It's complicated and it's not! As some have said below, it's really a matter of experience.

To some extent, these forums can help, and to another extend they can hinder. They often express limitations, which innocent hearts don't want to consider.

But if you are persistent, and don't give up easily, you just may meet your goal.

You have to read all you can, and try to understand the limitations, pick out tricks and ideas, and most of all form new ones.

You will not achieve what you are looking for by simply asking questions. You must build, and fail, build and fail and build again.

I am one of those who asks questions that nobody answers, perhaps like you. It is frustrating. But I know I am doing things that others are not.

As far as heavy loads over long distance... the challenges are immense. Building a long duration air vehicle is like powering a rocket into space. You need more power to go longer distance, so you need more fuel, which means you need more power, which means you need more fuel, etc. etc. In rockets, the fuel outweighs the payload by 1000s.

Efficiency is the key. Lower powered high torque motors, big props, often quite expensive. Look at T-motor for instance.

Then you need tricks. Because it will be very difficult to get more than about an hour out of a high payload drone.

I'll be going all day with a 2 Kg load. Although I'm not at liberty to talk about my tricks just yet.

Just read, read read, all that you can, and build, build, build. There's lots to be found, but don't expect lots of direct responses.

Good luck

Can you make screenshot of your mission planner waypoints for the circle option?

I like your comments. it means its possible but hard work is key.  i will try the same way you told. and  i will try my best. it needs alot of  work for which i am ready. 

Answering my own question,  again......

I found somewhere else, someone who had exactly the same problem. Seems loading Mission Planner on another machine corrected his problem. I guess I'll give that a try.

There are enough other challenges, that we shouldn't have to loose time on stupid simple things!!

For some reason, on my machine, Mission Planner struggles with the drivers.... I do load the MSI and the correct drivers are installed. I work a lot with "other development" which probably loads other USB/serial drivers that may conflict.

Mission Planner is great when it works. But when it doesn't.....

It would be nice to have a slightly higher level of guiding menus, especially when something fails.

Anyways, I'll see if loading MP on another machine resolves my problem... so that nobody wastes their time answering my question in the meantime. :p

AC3.1-rc8 is available now through the mission planner's Beta Firmware's link.  Not many changes over -rc7 but here they are:

1) add Y6 motor mapping with all top props CW, bottom pros CCW (set FRAME = 10)
2) Safety Changes:
    a) ignore yaw input during radio failsafe (previously the copter could return home spinning if yaw was full over at time of failsafe)
    b) Reduce GPSGLITCH_RADIUS to 2m (was 5m) to catch glitches faster
3) Bug fixes:
    a) Optical flow SPI bus rates
    b) TradHeli main rotor ramp up speed fix

I'm expecting that -rc8 will become the official AC3.1 release (i.e. just a name change) in about a week.  Thanks for all the testing so far and if anything comes up I'll have a look at your logs.

Hi Randy, thanks for all the hard work you and all the developers have put into the project.

I just loaded rc8 on a hexa that I will test in the morning.

I did strike an odd thing when performing Accel Calibration, when told to place on Left, a few seconds later before I was ready and had not pressed a key, it changed the message to read place on Right side, did this many times, eventually was quicker to place on left and I swear it ignored my key press but that calibration completed successfully, I was running MP .1.2.88

Dragu,

     I've had a look at the logs and RTL is being engaged and it even seems to be returning home.  One thing that I don't understand is that it looks like it's not doing the initial climb.  I couldn't find your initial report, is this what you think is strange or is it something else?

     I also had a quick look at the parameters and a few things that stand-out which all may be unrelated:

     1) X-axis compass offset is a bit large at -243

     2) GPS Failsafe is disabled.  I can't think of any good reason to turn this off.  I may actually ask MichaelO to remove this checkbox from the mission planner to protect against people doing this.

     3) GPSGLITCH radius and accel are very low (2m/s/s accel and 1m radius).  I would have thought this would be too strict and would lead to false positives in the glitch protection (which would also stop RTL from being invoked) but I don't see any sign in the logs of glitches happening so it seems ok.

     4) RTL_ALT_FINAL is set to 5m so at the end of RTL the copter would stop 5m over home.  If this is what you want then no problem.

     5) WPNAV_ACCEL is quite low at 50cm/s/s.  This will just make the copter more docile I think...I suspect this is what you want.

    By the way, I've added more info on how the GPS Glitch protection works on this wiki page.

Thank you Randy, Leonard and team of developers around the world! More power.

thanks again dragu. Yeah I have a small quad for about 350 of size and has 8 x 4.5 props. I hope I have the courage to it. wish me luck. :D

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