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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  • First 3.0.1 has been pretty stable for me, your guys did a great job!

    I have a stock 3DR quad with the 850kv motors and a 3S 5000mAh Lipo. Yesterday after upgrading form the beta version I was able to do about 6 different flights, including testing waypoints which were spot on. Loiter is rock solid as well. On my last flight as my quad was coming back and I was testing RTL for the 5th time, something strange happened, from what I think I see in the logs, it looks like maybe the battery was the issue? As it was descending and was about 8ft from the ground , suddenly it just dropped and I had no control at all, it hit the ground pretty hard(thank god for POOL NOODLES), no damage, but I couldn't even disarm my quad, the motors were still spinning, it was like the tx/rx went completely out. All I could do it wait and finally I was able to use the remote to disable the motors. If someone could take a look at the logs I would appreciate it.

    2013-07-11 21-24 1.log

  • More, more, never before has a boy wanted more ... I know we're sounding greedy but I concur with those who desire the fence to have the capability of a floor and "bouncy" walls. And further, the ability to set the fence limits, or at least the radius, from the Tx while flying manually, to avoid having to guess (or measure), for example, the distance to a clump of model-eating trees; one would simply fly to within a reasonable distance of the trees and hit a "set" command on the Tx which would establish the fence radius from home. For those of us who live and fly in places where big open flying fields simply don't exist (coastal Northern California in our case here) this would be especially wonderful.  

  • X650 with
    HP2814-710KV Outrunner,
    SK-30A ESC 30A Simonk
    external Compass (compassmot = 1%)
    4s 4500 mA / h Battery

    AltHold and loiter are perfect. I made 20 starts since yesterday with RTL and land successfully. The wobble when in Loiter is now gone.

    Here's a short video:

    Thanks to all developers for this great version.

    regards Peter

  • I made a couple of videos to show a alt hold yaw problem I'm having. I wasn't having it before but I think it's because some settings got  changed in the process or some became more sensitive. My loiters are very good but if I try to yaw, it climbs or descends. Since the octo is a little over powered and not holding it's camera, it's more pronounced. What setting can I change to reduce that?

    I've attached a log from the second video.

    Here is a 8x speed loiter. Some z movement sometimes but usually it doesn't even do that. I think that was just the location I was flying in. The pressure might have been fluctuating there. I'm on the peak of a mountain.

    Second video shows the problem. I'm in Alt Hold and when I give yaw you can see it jump up or sometimes go down. It always recovers but during an fpv flight it can be uncomfortable because your not sure how much or quick you are descending.

    2013-07-12 09-18 2.log

  • What is 'atlasl' parameter in status window (MP1.2.60) ?

    (right below 'alt' param.)

  • Randy,

    Here are my alt_hold test logs; one with and one without the sonar but the results are the same.  The copter will drop when alt_hold is engaged. Sometimes it will stop on the way down and bounce back up and then sometimes it will go right down to the ground...
  • Developer

    Alex O asked how to enable the motors in the dataflash.  Below is a screen shot of where in the mission planner you can do this.


  • Oops... that upgrade didn't work for me.  Almost had my hexcopter slam into the ground from a very high altitude.  Could someone please look at the attached logs for any issues you see?  Any help would be greatly appreciated


    Things that worked well:

    1) Compass "Learning".  I had some compass issues in 2.9.1b.  I didn't have those issues in 3.0.1

    2) Upgrade process was well documented including the PPM upgrade.


    Some problems I noticed after I upgraded:

    1) Mission Planner no longer created rlog and tlog files.

    2) Generated KMZ files had two issues: (1) Altitudes no longer seem to be referenced to ground.... the flight paths start and finish way up in the sky (viewing Google earth).   (2) Clicking on the KMZ file did not bring me immediately to the flight area, I had to click on the one of the flight paths.

    3) Lost complete control of hexcopter.  It would not respond to any input from me.  It just kept going higher and higher and 'wandering' in the sky.  I think it may have gone into RTL or Auto mode and wouldn't come out. (not sure why) If it was in auto mode (I did have some preprogrammed waypoints in there, but they were set to be low to the ground), then it was waaaayyyy to high.  I did everything I could think of to get control of the hexcopter again (toggling switching, moving the throttle,.... no response).... then, suddenly, down...down...down... flipping and falling....  (I suspect it was stuck in auto and finally came out during the time I had cut the throttle to try to keep it from going to high.  I threw the throttle into high as it fell and it recovered about 2-3 feet off the ground [now... despite the tension I felt..., seeing it recover at 2-3 feet off the ground was downright cool!..... especially because it was falling at a very high speed and likely would have been completely destroyed).

    4) Due to the fact that it was flying on its own at a very high altitude, and when I went into RTL mode it would just start gaining altitude, and the KMZ flighpaths are all way up in the sky....  Any ideas what might cause this?  I suspect a setting issue.  However, if I have a setting wrong that would affect RTL and Auto, I don't know why it would throw the KMZ files off for Stabilized flight.

    5) I've never had trouble getting out of RTL & Auto mode before.  What would cause this?:  The only thing that changed was upgrading to 3.0


    Below is a picture of one of my KMZ file screenshots.  The mountains in the background are nearly a mile higher than my takeoff area, but the KMZ file shows my flightpath way up there.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, I have some rebuilding to do. 


    Regarding a general suggestion regarding creating KMZ files... it would be nice to have a checkbox to eliminate 'transition modes'.  By that, I'm referring to the modes that the APM cycles through as it's getting to the selected mode.  ie.... if modes 1,2,3,4,5,6 are in order and you go from 1 to 4, the APM sometimes briefly hits modes 2 and 3.  This clutters the KMZ file.


    Thank you for your help!



  • I saw the new firmware come up on my software suite. Now I am running a RTF 3D hexa thats (apm 2.5) less that 2 weeks old should I really be upgrading this seems like lots of improvements.  My major question is do I need to go through the whole setup process or just reduce the pids suggested? Everything is stock setup from 3D.  Is there a backup function to what I have now just in case I have issues and just want to go back with all my settings. I assume I can just screen shot everything.  Thanks guys you are doing some really amazing work.

  • One more fpv/minimosd video showing two short Loiter segments in a 20mph gusting wind using 3.0.1. Check out the "HA" (Altitude) shown on the right side of the screen. Loiter holds even in the heavy gusts. Also interesting is the vertical speed changes shown to maintain the altitude.

    Thanks developers! This is an absolutely terrific release!

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