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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I totally agree with you Wessie, however I have a number of times posted issues separately and they never had anyone reply to them. Soon as I posed it into this most active "blog" after no reply for nearly a week then it was answered immediately.

This doesn't happen all the time, but it has happens more than enough to make it so I will always post a link to my new topic into this "blog" so it will get noticed.

Overall I think the discussions in this one blog is all ok, but its often hard to keep track of and any new important issues found relating to the main topic and the firmware. If someone finds a problem and and you don't keep onto the blog daily you might miss it. Hence your suggestions are the best solution.

Perhaps people who reply with any answers should  bump questions not relevant to the topic to the relevant areas to encourage people to use the correct forum procedures.

Can someone please tell me how far the APM board could be mounted (in cm in z-axis)
Also how far from center of frame could the board be mounted?
And how to set this offsets in MP?

Thanks Randy.  In working with it, it seems the data pin on the USB is flaky.  It always has power, but doesn't always communicate. 

 

Thanks again... looks like I have a connector to replace.

Hi Graham, apologies if I ask a stupid Q. Is your declination at -17.xxxx. I had a similar effect and reducing the loiter rate reduced/eliminated this. I just took up my galactica (big H-quad) and loitered her in a gusty area. She performed quite well-less than 2m loiter radius - Oh, I did not do a compassmot at all (I'm too chicken sht to run this copter at full speed in a static hold)

Thanks Antonie, I've deleted my comment while I try figure it out, yes my dec is -17.xxxx. I think it may be an orientation problem but trying to find info on this is not so easy.

I actually had a problem with compass orientation.  I thought I had everything setup right, but I was wrong.  An easy way to check this is to look at your mag_x and mag_y values.  Point the copter dead west (i installed a compass app on my phone to validate it was going exactly west) . The mag_x should show 0 and the mag_y should be a negative number.  If your compass shows this, you're setup correctly.  Otherwise you'll need to alter the orientation param or move the compass.

Please, tell me something about the Flight Mode "Sport", i can't fine anything...

Thanks Rob, I'll check that. My copter just completely fell out of the sky now as I switched to Loiter so I must investigate that first...

Pointed the copter exactly West (270), 'mx' shows 16 and 'my' shows 98, so something definitely wrong there.

I need some help understanding the differences in 3.0.1 between the "Loiter PID" value and the "Rate Loiter" values on the "Arducopter PIDS" screen in MP. I'm not exactly sure what operational characteristics are affected by these values.

I'm confused since the variable for the Loiter PID is HLD_LON (or LAT)_P which seems to be an assignment of how aggressive the copter is to holding its lat/long position. How is this different from the LOITER_RATE_P (and the rest) values which assign desired speeds in Loiter, presumably to maintain position? I've read up on what there is regarding these variables but there must be some subtlety which is going over my head.

Ultimately I'm looking to tune out roll and pitch twitchiness which seems to be present during my loiter but not in Stable or Acro modes. I'm wondering if my answer lies in adjustment of these values. Thanks!

upgraded to latest version 3.0.1 ok, went through firmware update all seemed ok and showed 3.0.1 but could not connect again to load params, APM2.5  board.   the only thing I see is the little yellow light flashing.  am i doing something wrong?

We just did a release. Is that .68 or .69

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