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,

    I am having a problem with an Octa-Quad. when in loiter it loiters great except when I yaw, even just a few degrees the copter will move about 5 feet away from loiter position then pause then move back to or very close to original position.

    I am thinking it is a mechanical problem, Ive done compassmot and calibrated the compass (and everything else) I use an external compass so my  % of mag field is only 7%..  what I think it is is the motors are not pointing "UP" at least not perfect. because of the motor mounts/frame I am having a hard time getting this correct.

    I have tried using a level but I dont have a very good one or at least not the correct one for the job.  I will set it then when I go back to double check it is off again, I think this is because of the landing skids are flexible so it is hard to keep the copter level;  I am wondering if anyone has any tricks or knows of a good way to adjust this, or if there is a good tool to use for doing this.  Also if there is a way to see if it is correct from the log's

    If this is even what is causing the problem with yawing while loitering?

    thanks for any help


    here are pic's of my setup


  • I can't seem to converty my tlog to kml is anyone else having this difficulty?



  • Rate Loiter PIDs in 3.0.1

    Hello, I have a quad with 850kv motors, and tbs discovery frame. I try the stock (in 2.9.1b) Rate Loiter PIDs on the new version (3.0.1) and the performance is awesome.  However with the stock PID of the v.3.0.1 the performance of the Loiter is worse.

    I must change de Rate Loiter PIDs to the default of v.3.0.1? Is there any risk in using the Rate Loiter pid of the version 2.9.1b in the new version?

    Why this PIDs on the new version? I only change the Loiter PID P from 1 to 0,5 for reduce the aggressiveness.

    Best Regards.

  • Moderator

    After waiting 6 weeks for my external magnetometer to arrive due to a shipping mess up, I installed it about 17cm above my quadcopter frame with the chip on the mag at an identical orientation to the chip on the APM2.5, declination entered manually at -17.3, auto declination disabled, re-did the compass calibration/dance, did compassmot and got 1% interference (from 35% before). Great stuff, I thought and took it out for a test fly.

    After waiting until I had 10 sats I took off and flew a bit, then went to ALT_HOLD, all fine, then into LOITER... the huge smile that was about to split my face just evaporated as my quad went into a graceful 4m radius toiletbowling loiter! I was gutted! Everything I've read has led me to believe that this ext mag is supposed to solve the toiletbowling problem completely.

    So I then reset the APM and did the entire setup from scratch, out again and it was better but after yawing the quad started to toiletbowl again, but at least it doesn't happen with every Loiter but I never know when it will loiter correctly or start toiletbowling.

    Annoyed and disappointed are two understatements!

  • Guys,

    Just a quick question: when will 3.0.2 with the fix for Loiter_turns be released. I know it's only one line of code, I could generate my own 3.0.1+.



  • Big thanks to the dev. team and to Randy for his advice to change my setup for something more powerfull. I'm now flying 4S, and with my 9x5x3 propellers, I don't have any vibrations anymore. So I manage to fly 60km/h at 2m or less above the ground, so wonderfull !

    For me with all the feature of 3.0.1 code, it's better than DJI Naza, juste amazing !

    To be even more better, it could also be nice to have those features (including correction of GPS glitch) :

    - More reaction in Alt Hold, when throttle stick is outside deadband, and lower deadband.

    - Less sensitivity of vibration like DJI Naza does  (could also be corrected with good propeller)

    - Simple tuning configuration like Naza assistant (only percent value for simple parameter like Alt Hold, Attitude, Reaction to user stick input in Roll / Pitch / Yaw, ...)

    - After selecting a tuning parameter, min / max set automaticaly (for exemple : 2 time current value for max, half for min value)

    But at this point it's really really wonderfull ! Thanks again.

  • Hoping someone can help, had a fly-away the other day that I somehow magically recovered from.  The mission started by me taking off and going Auto to do a mission.  3/4 through the mission my RC link failsafed but then recovered, so I brought it home to change the battery and send it out again.

    When I sent it back out, instead of doing the mission, the copter shot up, straight up, at max power.  This was not what the inputs on the radio were telling it to do.  It then started heading southeast while still maintaining max vertical speed.  

    Several switch flips and heart attacks later, I was able to get it to hold Loiter, and using the computer's telemetry I was able to guide it back in.  It went to 642m before giving me back control.  I noticed in the tlog that it didn't recognize my early attempts at going back to stablize, but it seemed to know where the waypoint was while ignoring that and heading for Mexico.  I had telemetry link the entire time but did see on the artificial hud that the rc link failsafed a few times.

    My primary question: What happened?

    Secondary question: Why on the failsafes did the copter not RTL, even though Home was verified correct, HDOP was very low, 

    Tertiary question: Why did the copter not respect the geofence alert and RTL that way?

    I've since reran accel and gyro setups from the terminal but I'm nervous to fly again.  I've attached the log at Craig's request, can anyone have a look and help me figure out what went wrong?

    I've had several succesful autonomous missions before this, including that day, that had no problems at all including with takeoff and land.

    Thanks so much to anyone who's able to take the time and have a look.


    2013-08-12 22-02 24.log

  • Got a tip for anyone who like us has occasional GPS glitches during auto missions.  We've come up with a quick procedure for recovering the auto mission without landing:


    1.  Once GPS glitch is observed (usually visually) switch to Alt-Hold

    2.  Manually keep the vehicle hovering

    3.  Delete the waypoints up to the current position of the vehicle

    4.  Upload the updated flight plan to the vehicle

    5.  Verify the flight plan was loaded correctly (by reading it from the vehicle)

    6.  Verify the GPS has recovered (HDOP below 2, Sats 8 or greater)

    7.  Switch to Auto mode and the vehicle will the pickup where it left off and complete your original mission


    We've tested this procedure several times and with 2 people (Pilot and Mission Planner operator) it only takes about 15 seconds to complete, so you're not wasting too much time and battery.  You could do this with 1 person and just wait about 10-15 seconds in Alt-Hold for the GPS to recover, then switch to Loiter and do all the Mission Planner steps.

  • Hi All,

    First of all: after a few months of not flying, I installed 3.0.1 and what a difference that makes!

    However, I have a strange problem: My Quad uses black plastic props (not the grey ones), I don't recall if I got them from 3DR, ReadymadeRC or HobbyKing. They flew just fine in 2.9.1, but in 3.0.1, I had props lose a blade three times!! I balance all my blades.


    Unfortunately, yesterday, when flying at night, it happened again, and due to vibration, a second blade snapped as well. However, the software is so good that it was able to keep the copter more or less under control (after two flips) and it did an slow vertical descend with a slow horizontal movement in to a tree. I was able to fish it out of the tree with minimal damage.


    My question is: why did this not happen with 2.9.1., but did happen three times with 3.0.1.? More aggressive motor inputs?


    I'm not longer using the plastic black props........




  • Guys,

    Is it possible to assign to CH6, only Pitch Rate Kp ? and not the couple Roll/Pitch Rate ?


This reply was deleted.


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