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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  • John,

    Sonar does not work.

    It makes enormous spikes, the copter suddenly shoots up or down a few meters.

    I have a MaxSonar MB1240 to, it has a separate power supply and I use the R / C filter.

    regards Peter

  • How effective is using sonar on this version? How much difference will the sonar make for alt hold accuracy and stability in this version?  I just bought the MaxSonar MB1240 to try it out, but not sure whether to use it on my APM1 or APM2.5

  • X650 with
    HP2814-710KV Outrunner,
    SK-30A ESC 30A Simonk
    external Compass
    4s 4500 mA / h Battery

    Here is a short video of a AUTO mission with takeoff, waypoint, loiter and land:

    regards Peter

  • I had a flight with a small quad today using 3.0.1 and was doing some fast circles LOS and just after 92% in the tlog it lost control. I was able to recover it but i would really like to know if there is something in the log that shows what caused it. There wasn't any change of mode and I was in stable during that time. The exact point shows up if you watch the hud horizon but it's right after 92%. I was flying forward toward my self strong pitch forward and I saw it jerk really bad so I let off the pitch/roll and recovered it staying in stable.

    2013-07-13 08-52-49.tlog

  • Excellent release. A typhoon is approaching today, so I got the opportunity to test it out with some really high winds (about 25 km/h continuously, with some much faster gusts, and quite severe turbulence down near the treetops). I set WPNAV_SPEED all the way up to 2000 cm/s, loiter speed to 2500 cm/s, and WPNAV_ACCEL to 500 cm/s/s, so I could make it really push the speed against the wind in auto mode. I tested a couple RTLs from 220 meters downwind of home, so it was heading directly into the headwind on the way back. It didn't lose significant altitude in the process, nor did it build up a big altitude I-term, even though it was fighting the headwind with everything it had.

    I must say awesome job on this release!

    Check out the trees flailing around at the end of this video to get an idea of how strong the wind was today:

  • Hi Developers,

    great software !!!!!

    Big Thanks to all, for this great forum and support !


  • Hi Randy,

    I'm still on 2.9.1 at the moment. I'm using a jr tx with frsky rx in ppm mode. If i upgrade to 3.0.1 is there a way of selecting rc channel inputs or will it have to be altered in the code as per 2.9.1.



  • Oops - posted my last reply to the old thread.  Let me try again.  Been playing around with 3.0.1 on a test quad I have.  It is a bit heavy but around the 450 size.  In the past it has been a good test platform but I am having difficulty getting the quad to loiter without major drift.  I have increased loiter pid a bit (1.1) but didn't see any difference.  Do I need to really jack it up or is this the wrong pid?  Using Ublox GPS with APM 2.5+.  Did a manual compass calibration.

  • Well done!  Ill try get out on the weekend to test it

  • Hi, managed to get my octo flying yesterday on this latest firmware.

    Today ive just opened mission planner and it updated from .59 to .60 All ok so far.

    Connected to the octo and now my hud looks like the picture! The octo is level on the floor.

    Has my AMP 2.5 or mission planner done something funny?!3692770892?profile=original

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