ArduCopter-3.0.1 released!

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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  • Great work Randy, Craig, Mr Oborne, Marco and everyone involved in the development. My loiter is rock solid, simonK esc's and all :)


    auto land after RTL- 

  • Developer

    Stefan Gofferje asked:

    Question 1:

    Does Arducopter 3 now autostart the MAVLink streams as they are configured in the parameters? Or is it still necessary to send a stream start command via telemetry?

    It's a bit unpractical if you don't have a laptop and want to just go FPV-flying using MinimOSD-Extra...

    Answer: push this button in the mission planner


    Question 2:

    How important is the vibration issue REALLY? I mean, is AC3 totally unflyable with vibrations? What's the absolute limit?

    Answer: keeping vibration levels low is very important in order for the inertial navigation alt and position estimates to remain accurate.  The acceptable range for Z axis is -15 m/s/s - 5m/s/s, for X and Y axis is -3m/s/s ~ 3m/s/s.  There's a graph just above which shows the output from the dataflash for someone else and includes the lines which your vibration levels should be within during a stable hover.

  • Developer

    I'm putting all responses from the original AC3.0 thread here to help drive this thread higher on the Top Contents list.

    David Ardis asked me to look at his vibration levels and they are a-ok.


  • Wow! Loiter much improved with SimonK esc's! I don't know how many hours I spent trying to kill the SimonK wobbles but they seem to be gone now. Congratulations on the great work!

    Here is a video of Loiter 3.0.1 in winds 12kts gusting to 15kts... 880KV motors, 3dr quad frame, Next Level Simonk 600mhz esc's, GemFan wood props 12X4.


  • Hi Randy,

    Congratz for the new release..

    How about ROI, is it fixed on this release?

    Really kinna required ROI feature now..




  • Great Job! 

    Randy, does this release contain the relaxed accelerometer settings?

  • T3

    Is there a changelist from 3.0.0?  My hexas are flying (in an airplane) to Costa Rica on Monday for ecological surveying, and I'd like to know if it's important that I update them from 3.0.0.  Thanks for all the hard work!

  • What is the expected magfield value for APM1?  I still need to disable the pre-arm checks as my magfield is around 177/178...

  • Very Well, I still can't test it. Because, Thailand have a raining everyday. But,If have without rain I'll test it and share video to our for look.
  • Developer

    congratz randy for release, finally.. it's been long run but now it's here.

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