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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  • Finally got out at noon today to fly (clear day, no wind - rare around here). Flew Stab and alt-hold, loiter, a simple mission. All perfect. Very happy.

  • My today fly.

    I have new problem.

    Circle radius 10m.

    I try change Loiter PID P to 0.2.

    I circle mode i see strange behaviour. Copter start fly circle and then slowly drift and fly in random position with random Yaw.

    At 63% of log i change Loiter PID P to 1. Then circle fly perfect! See log.

    And i have question. How i may up fly speed in loiter?

    2013-07-16 21-26-58.tlog

  • I think the MaxBotix Ultrasonic sensor are unsuitable for our purposes.
    They do not work in a test environment, they always show different values​​.

    Mounted on the copter there are always spikes on the signal.

    The copter bounces like a tennis ball.

    We should look around for better sensors.

    regards Peter

  • I have a questions about some strange behavior I'm seeing. Is the APM more sensitive to gyro values while armed? While doing some testing ( ) I notice different behavior while armed and disarmed. If I introduce a gyro mis-calibration with heat the artificial horizon will roll by a small amount in the MP display. If I arm the APM the roll will increase in speed slowly. Disarming the APM seems to arrest the continuous roll.

    If this doesn't immediately make sense let me know. I can take a short video of the behavior or produce whatever logs might help. (I can reproduce the issue fairly easily at this point.)

  • Hi Randy,

    Will it be possible for you to take a look at my log I attached? Rick helped me solved some of the mystery but there are a few questions we couldn't answer.

    It is currently on page 21.


  • Hi!

    How is the Stock APM2.0 MTK 3329 support in 3.0.1. Does it blend into the INS stuff? I am just asking because I plan to put my apm2.0 back to work on my little quad and was wondering, wich SW version to take without spending extra money on hardware. I don't want perfect PH with that quad just a "stay somewhere in 6 m radius" and some RTL with low accuracy, no waypointflying or "high" level stuff planned.

    Cheers Rob

  • I'm really struggling with 3.0.1.  The fact is, I'm now out of spare parts.  Every flight (8) I've made on 3.0.1, my hexcopter has simply done it's own thing and taken off.  I'm ready to downgrade back to 2.9.1b; however, my concern is that I won't know what the issue is to move forward later.

     I put the copter in stabilize and planned to simply hover in front of me for the duration of my battery.  This was working reasonably well (except for having to adjust yaw a few times), then my hexcopter tilted to my left and started going left and up.  Having experienced this before (page 3), I quickly cut throttle.  This was initially unresponsive, but within a second or two my copter slammed into the ground upside down.  My KMZ file seems to show an RTL and a LOITER.  I had my controls in stabilize and did not switch to either RTL or LOITER.


    Also, does anyone know why my altitude is starting above 12,000 ft?  It is really making it difficult to see the flight paths in google.


    Attached are my logs for a very short final flight. Any ideas?  Input?  I'd appreciate any suggestions.  I was at least able to fly in 2.9.1b.  I'm out of parts now, but after I rebuild (again), I'd like to be able to use 3.0.1 because of the fencing.

    Thank you,


  • Well I had flown RC1 on both my hex and a HoverThings FPV frame and both flew great. I first went to 3.01 on the HoverThings FPV and it was absolutely un-flyable. Figuring it was just that frame I put it on the hex and while the hex is able to fly it's not anywhere near where it was under RC1. Then I noticed the rollback but 3.01 is still listed as a beta. I went back to the repository for June 30 and put on RC1 again.

  • unfortunatly it seems you removed the 3.0.1 from the MP?

    it now shows again 2.91b

  • Distributor

    Yeah congratulation guys! (wish we could also say girls but none!) 

    This is a VERY big release.  I did some testing on the beta like many, cannot wait to get everyone onboard on this revolution.  When setup correctly (pay attention to vibration and magnetic interference) this rocks solid!  Will be doing some video next week when in vacation and this for sure will be put to the test. 

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