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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  • Can anyone help me??... I Didn't understand the meaning and the use of this 3 parameters:


    Controls whether a curve is used to linearize the thrust produced by the motors


    Set to the lowest pwm position that produces the maximum thrust of the motors.  Most motors produce maximum thrust below the maximum pwm value that they accept.

    Set the pwm position that produces half the maximum thrust of the motors

    On my default setup I have 1, 93 and 52...... this could be right? What is the rule to modify them?

  • Warning #4 was experienced and now keeping me grounded.  I had terrific high altitude loiter with very stable turning (my GoPro was permanently fixed and was rock solid) for 30 minutes (3 x 10 min) of flight time.  The very next day it was Warning #4 every time I tried Loiter and turning.  My fourth Loiter and turning ended in a hard landing on one leg that would been worse if it were higher - lost a few screws and spacers (who hasn't?) Blah, blah, blah, . . . .

    How is the progress of future releases?  Might you shed some light on their status?  I know its coming as soon as possible so I have decided to wait for it before going out again.  The Developers of both the APM and Mission Planner are doing amazing things, I can't wait to see what's next.

  • the version 3.1work with apm 1 (Now not work xbee and alt hold)? and when it is release?

  • Hi Randy and others,

    Could someone tell me what the SIMPLE and GUIDED modes are please?

    I also would like to know if a custom flight mode where it combines STABILIZE and ALT-HOLD could be defined.



    So this morning I tried the fence for the first time, in a large open field. Had it set for 30 meter radius and paced that off from launch point so I'd know where it was. Launched in stabilize, switched to Alt-hold then Loiter, then a short RTL (aborted over launch point by re-selecting Stabilize), all of that to confirm that everything was working. Then switched back to Stabilze and flew the Hex into the fence. Hex initiated RTL as hoped. Repeated a couple of times.Very, very impressive, it works!!!  A big, big Thank You to all the developers!

    No doubt many people will use the fence to help keep out of trouble during aerial photography shoots. The fence will allow more attention to be given the work, and less to the platform. So when filming while flying around manually in Loiter or Stabilize mode it may come as a bit of a surprise when the fence is hit. The first indication is the loss of response from the sticks, as the APM takes over control. As any experienced R/C pilot will tell you, that is very definitely not a pleasant sensation. Today, even though I knew it was coming, it still gave me a few nervous seconds, until it was clear that RTL was indeed underway (I have RTL configured so the Hex stays pointed in its current direction, so no clue there). I don't think that sinking feeling will go away the next times.

    In kicking this around with Gary McCray we thought about different ways the pilot could be notified that the fence has been hit. Telemetry, lights on the aircraft, an air horn :=) , whatever. Most methods would require hardware.  An idea that emerged is to have the craft (as an option) do a 360 degree pirouette (yaw) when it hits the fence and then commence the RTL. This might seem silly, but it would be unmistakeable, wouldn't require any hardware,and should be easy to code and not use much of the APM's resources. It would alert the pilot whether he was looking at a camera feed or at the aircraft. Is there a downside I'm not seeing? If not, I think this would be a nifty addition to Mr. APM's bag of tricks.

    (Aircraft: DJI Flamewheel Hex ("The Witch"), upsized 900Kv T-motors, Graupner 10X5 balanced carbon props, APM 2.5/3.0.1 on o-ring suspension, 3300 mah 4S X2, 3DR power module, Ublox GPS on stalk, 3DR compass on stalk, JR 9ch Rx w. 2 satellite Rx, GoPro 3 in case in ServoCity servo-based 2-axis gimbal (heavy) independently powered, LED strip nav lights independently powered, JR 12X Tx)


  • Hello, just tested it on my quad. I've got e very solid loiter even in mild wing. Rock solid not moving. But when I flicked the switch to guided mode it just tilted forward, sidewards and then it won't stay on the same place like in loiter. I believe guided is like loiter except that you can do the point and click waypoints.

    Any parameters I should adjust? And many thanks to the developers. I was really impressed with my loiter!!

  • Today I tested the new firmware in my Octa.

    Its is flying pretty stable until i try the loiter

    I have no idea why but each time i switch to loiter Octa banks almost 90 degree instantly, in pretty aggressive maneuver. I have 3 apm 2.5 here and this is the first time i saw that behavior. I have time only to switch loiter back to stab mode and save the octa.

    Anyone have an idea?


  • I had assumed that enabling the "Arming Check" prevents arming unless there's a GPS lock?

    I had a very unusual and exciting flight today. My new H-quad is heavy, about 1.8 kg with long arms (equivalent to 700 mm). 470 KV motors turning 14" props and still in the tuning phase.

    I did a normal, but short flight, set down, disconnected the battery, realized I still had battery left. Plugged the battery back in, gave it a few seconds to acquire a GPS lock (but didn't visually see that it had a lock), armed and lifted off.

    I got it up about 2 meters and it started some hard rolls to the left. I tried to correct but it mostly ignored my control inputs. It then made a full 360 degree roll, coming back to level just as it reached the ground where it plopped down without damage. Onlookers were quite impressed thinking I had done it deliberately. I was relieved it made it to the ground without breaking something. Two later flights were without incident.

    I figured it was a GPS issue so I checked my log for the flight. I was surprised to see no GPS entries, unlike the logs for the rest of my flights today. I did find on line 308 an "ERR", for Subsys 7, Ecode 1, which means GPS lock lost for 5 seconds or more.

    So....Why did it let me arm if it didn't have a GPS lock? Or am I misunderstanding the Arming Check?

    Also, I was wondering about the Angle Boost. Per the log it goes nuts during the roll. Is Angle Boost adjustable?

    The log is attached for your amusement.


    2013-08-03 12-29 2.log
  • Today i try Land mode from Tx. First i set Land button in MP and save this, then takeof in Stable and press Land button. I see strange behaviour and shaking. It is repeated every few seconds. Then i try different sequences in Stable, Loiter, Land and RLT. RTL is too strange (first log). Then i power off battery and disconnect/connect MP. Then i again fly in different sequences, but i not see shake, all ok (second log). What could it be?

    Please see my logs.

  • ..About flight mode "Circle" on 3.0.1 and Mission Planner 1.2.62

    Today, with my hexa, I tried circle with only parameter changed Circle_Radius=20mt

    Well, with same setup and firmware 2.9.1 when I select flight mode "Cirle", the actual Hexa's position is the center from circumference.
    Now, with 3.0.1, when I select flight mode "Circle", Hexa start to Circle and it seems alredy in the circumference.
    Here my video from Mission Planner when I'm selected "Circle"

    Is this right with 3.0.1 ? and in case positive, there is a way to return to old formulations ? :-))

    Ciao - Giuseppe
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