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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  • Hi everyone,

    i am trying to make my hexa redundant, so in case of motor or ESC failure it can stay in the air without crashing. Yesterday i was testing how it would behave with one motor disconnected and there is a question that i have. Lets say i disconnected left motor (X configuration), so to be able to lift hexa from the ground i needed almost full right aileron stick input (~75%) to make it stay level. (I was able to hover at ~65% throttle, so enough power.) So i need to know what parameter in PID settings i have to tune so my hexa will be able to hover with no or very little aileron input? I guess it is Stabilize_I term, but unfortunatelly in 3.0.1 release it is not there anymore :/  Can anyone give me an advice?




    Often people post their logs here, then get frustrated because their plea for help goes unnoticed, unanswered, or just gets lost in the flood of messages.

    Can I PLEASE ask that the blogs (LIKE THIS ONE) be used to discuss the TITLE of the blog entry only. This one, for instance, to talk about or ask questions regarding the version release SPECIFICALLY.

    Recently I have a unexplaied crash. I posted it in the FORUM and got an amaizing amount of responses, with ALOT of help. I suppose its about how you ask, and the information you provide.

    So here Are my tips :

    • Post in the FORUM, not in the BLOG
    • Make sure you choose the right Forum category
    • Desribe the event / problem with as much relevant detail as possible
    • Include the software versions, APM version, and as much TECHNICAL detail as possible.
    • Keep the questions simple - A post with 5 different problems will only have 1 possibly answered. Rather create a new post for each DIFFERENT problem.
    • Include your DATAFLASH log, and include the Tlog as well if you have it
    • If you have video, upload it to YouTube, and post the link.

    Doing it this way also helps beginners, because help is then found in one place only, instead of being scattered around blogs, forums, announcements, and so on.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi.  I had a flight today where the I had to hold my control to the right about 3/4 of the way to keep my quadcopter level.  Strangely, this flight also took about four minutes to lock the GPS signal.

    Consequently, I'd rerun the accelerometer setup to see if it was at fault.  When I click the setup, it prompts me to level and click, the hold to the left and click, then hold to the right and click....     When I click after holding to the right, it Mission Planner says something like 'cannot communicate with the serial port' or something like that.  This happens over and over at the same spot... always when I'm holding the quadcopter with the right side down.

    When I first set up my quadcopter, I had the same issue.  Eventually, after trying it again and again, I got through the right side down and everything was fine.

    Any ideas what might be causing calibration to fail when on the right side?


    Thank you,



  • Hi All,

    Two weeks ago I took a nasty semi-controlled crash which destroyed two arms, two motors on my Hexa-C copter.  Well after ordering replacement parts and reassembly was completed this weekend, I decided to conduct a ground up system check and calibration checks.  So here is what I did.

    1. Performed a multi-ESC simultaneous PWM calibration.

    2. Installed latest firmware (ArduCopter V.3.0.1, FW Ver: 120, with Free RAM: 2060) with Mission Planner 1.2.68

    3. Disabled all failsafes and RTL functions.

    3. Used the Ctrl-W and tested the wizard menus.

    Today I took a cautious approach to getting it back up and found it flew in Stablized mode very well.  So I brought the Hexa back inside and reprogrammed it so I could test LOITER mode.  Took it back out, plugged battery in and let it stand for a few minutes before arming and launching it a low alt (3-5ft above ground).  Again in stablized mode, all seemed well.  Then I toggled LOITER and noted the copter attempted to maintain position, but it started a slow climbing process.  It climbed to roughly 20 feet above ground.  Not sure why it didn't stick to the altitude it was at when I toggled to LOITER mode.  But it climbed and then hovered.  As I watched it hover, I noted it did a few yaws and drifts horizontally (note there was no wind at all) and it climbed slightly then hover, then wanted to climb again.  

    At this point, I took over and switched back to Stablized and landed it.  Logs are attached for your review. 

    Also note that the time was almost 7pm with a high humidity overcast evening.  My APM has a tinted dome over the APM, the APM was raised higher than factory configuration, and I placed tape over the unit to mitigate light influencing the baro.

    I'd appreciate it if someone would analyze my logs and help me to understand what the issue may be.

    Thanks to the Devs for all the great enhancements.  I'm really enjoying the complexity and features in the APM arena.

    Doug W.

    2013-08-11 18-58 4.log

  • The experts are obviously busy doing good work and I feel I was asking too much previously, but could someone please take a look at my log to see if there's any clues for my crash? Thank you.

    2013-08-05 19-19 2.log
  • I'm tuning "Alt Hold" mode... First to maintain enough altitude well I had to raise the parameter "Altitude Hold" from 1 to 4.5 is not that much but at that value goes well, the only thing I found strange is that when you turn the Yaw to either side my quad rise a bit... in Stabalize mode goes perfectly maintaining altitude when turning. I tried several things until I touched the parameter "Throttle Rate" I have dropped to 0.8 from 6; and has improved a lot ...

    What the function of this parameter?

    Just in case, the board is in the original box and foam covered baro ...

  • Does a dataflash log end when you first disarm or does it cover multiple arm and disarm?

  • Finally got the quad back together.  Uploaded the newest firmware.  Couldnt get the damn thing off the ground more than a foot.  Motors would randomly stop and it woudl crash or it would just go nuts and crash (usualy the front left motor so i replaced it thinking it was bad).  Changed the firmware back to 2.9 and it flys fine.  Why!?

  • Hi Randy,

    Do you plan, for a future release, to handle GPS Glitch, for exemple revert temporarily from LOITER to ALT Hold when a GPS Glitch occur ?

  • Is there a place to look for a good explanation of logging? How to set WHAT you want to log, etc. Also WHAT does the logging? The ground station? What is the SD card in px4 used for? The memory in APM on board, what is it used for?

    I now have MANY APM's as well as Px4's. 3 X8's and 1 quad.

    I can test many things.


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Aug 25