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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  • Developer

    I've spent a bit of time reworking the dataflash and tlog wiki pages.  I've also added a "Diagnosing problems using Logs" page that attempts to go through how to spot 5 of the most common problems that people have.

    Basically trying to improve our documentation about how to use the dataflash logs and tlogs so people can make better use of them.  All comments/corrections/requests for additions welcome.

  • With all the various people having problems with vibrations on the z-axis, why not have a switch to basically disable it.

    Why try and guess the current position using relative changes reported by the z accelerometer when one can use absolute values that are reasonably accurate such as gps or sonar. Sure they are not exact and can be off by a meter or two, but it would appear that the z accel can go really wrong and make your copter take off or at best be more than 2m wrong in height.

    How is using z accel a better thing ?

  • Developer

    "ArduCopter (VR Brain)" VS "DJI (Wookong-M)" - Position Hold comparation:

    Bests, Marco

  • Having to change the battery settings in both power module and Battery FS in MP each time you want to switch from a 4S to 3S or if you change aircraft is a bit troublesome and particularity if your out in the field.

    What I notice  also if you switch to a different copter, the Bat FS in Software Settings changes to the different APM boards settings, but the 3DRPower Module low battery alert settings in Hardware stays the same from the last aircraft setting.  I suspect this needs to be fixed?

    Also to make it easier, wouldn't  it be better to have low battery warnings and alerts set to the cell reading rather than the over all cell voltage as in set them to 3.5v ? Then it wouldn't matter if you swapped from 4S to 3S and so on.

  • OK, so I'm having a bit of trouble getting 3.0.1 to load on my APM.   And yes, I've searched for an answer to this, and as of yet, nothing has changed.

    I loaded the APM with the new firmware, tried to connect, at the correct port and baud rate, and it timed out.    So, I reloaded 2.9.1, got back to where I was, GPS lock, etc., then reloaded 3.0.1 again.   This time, it connected, and I started working on parameters.    A couple of minutes into it, it starts screaming at me "No data for X seconds", and I'm very annoyed at that point.   So, I repeat the process of reloading the old firmware, back to normal again, and then reloading the new stuff.   Now, no connection again, so, reloaded the old firmware and I'm back to where I started :(.

    So, any answers for me, they would be much appreciated.  


    Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day



  • Any reason I'm not able to search in discussions from these pages now?

    Any word I search replies:
    Our apologies - we couldn't find any discussions matching your search.
    Make sure all words are spelled correctly
    Try different or more general keywords

    Even tried several browser !??

  • Quite often when I descend while in loiter, the copter will shoot off to the side. Everything is working otherwise very well. I'm not using compassmot compensation with this copter as it is light/low current and I am getting adequate performance without it.

    I have attached a log, where towards the end of the flight I descended from 400ft while in loiter. I was giving slight forward pitch input as it was descending and about halfway down the copter started to move backwards and to the right, so I flipped out of loiter, and continued my descent in alt hold mode.

    2013-07-20 10-42-10.tlog

  • Hi Randy and crew-

    Testing 3.0.1 now has been really great - random yaw gone, loiter spot on, sonar is perfect (mounted hanging off arm, away from prop, battery, and esc), RTL a thing of beauty.

    Last night I fired up the LED strips and ran some midnight missions (full moon, clear skies - it is an absolute awe inspiring thing to watch this fly thru the stars - almost a religious experience for me!). The first mission was a simple back and forth thing-


    It was perfect except for one thing - it flew the leg from 6 to 7 backwards, all others it yawed to face next wp. I got this result  It was the same with WP_YAW_BEHAVIOR set to 1 or 2, it only picked on this leg to fly backwards.

    I then ran a longer mission and it flew backwards on 6 to 7 and on 9 to 10.   The missions all were flawless except for this repeatable goofiness.  Wassup??

    Thanks again!


    2013-07-21 14-00 1.log

    2013-07-21 14-04 2.log

  • Hi, First and most importantly.  THANK YOU DEVS for all the great work.  I've seen a huge improvement in my Hexa-C's flight and stability since upgrading to 3.0.1.


    I do however have an issue I would like someone to review and help me with.


    1.  I do not think my sonar is working when I switch to ALT HOLD. I've attached logs for your review.  Am I right that it's not working?


    2.  Where exactly do I go to see vibration issues with my motors?  How do I call up all 6 motors to monitor for vibrations.


    3. Still trying to determine PID settings for LOITER.


    Logs attached.  I'm open to suggestions. 


    2013-07-21 14-21 4.log.gpx

    2013-07-21 14-21 4.log

    2013-07-21 13-39-24.tlog

  • Has anybody got a link to the the version 2.9.1b hex file? 

    I've been clicking through almost every directory here but can't find it:

    The stable directory contains only the latest stable.

This reply was deleted.


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