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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  • Randy help

    I finally took the courage to fly the hexa after the success with the Quad ...I was checking to see if it could carry 1.2kg payload .. I  booted up the board and waited for 5 mins before taking off to ensure I had good number of sats ..The flight was going well until i tried GPS Hold was toilet bowling mildly getting worse which it did not do before without the extra weight I went back to Alt Hold to come back closer to the landing site .. THEN ! without warning the copter tipped to its Right and crashed onto it its side destroying the Gimbal and camera and two motors and two broken booms ripped and cut wiring ..etc I have had a look at the logs it appears throttle was a bit higher than Std flight with no payload ..what is interesting looking at MOT ..I see motor two seemed to drop suddenly ..taking the copter down to the concrete drive way .Funny thing is motor two is on the left side of the hexa ..and when it tipped it went right ? breaking the right hand booms motor and props

    I can see the MOT values on the motors 1 and 2 started evenly then I can see 1 go a bit higher and 2 drop off ?  Can you look at the log and see what you make of it ?  I Have also just seen the Roll vs Roll In graph looks like something went wrong ??? I think esc issue ..what  ya think ?

    2013-08-23 13-41 4.log

    2013-08-23 14-01-22.tlog

  • Just took my quad for it's first flight after updating from 2.9.2 to 3.0.1. I just have to say good job devs.  It flies beautifully and the loiter/rtl is rock solid.

    My hat's off to you guys.

  • I have my quad very very stable in stabalize mode; so I went to try Alt Hold mode...

    To get an stable alt, I have to rise the "Altitude Hold" param from 1 to 4.5 ; and to avoid overshothing I have to lower the "Throttle Rat" param from 6 to 0.8

    In place the alt hold is OK, BUT; If I go into forward flight whilst in loiter or alt hold mode, the quad will lose height; and when stop moving it recover the height. I have the baro covered with foam inside of the apm case.

    I'm on the last firmware release 3.0.1; my CompassMot is 0 (external compass) and the vibs are under control (moongel)...

    What params I must to tune up¡¡

  • After asking if it would be safe to fly with the 3.0, and I read to discussion that prompted the question, I decided to try version 3.0 on the first flight of a hexa. He flew very nice and stable on the first takeoff with default pid's (just stabilize yet). As I still can not analyze well's log files (especially the scale that appears on the left side, makes me confused) I ask you to tell me if the vibrations that reach the sensors are within limits.
    Thanks in advance,
  • Hi Randy,

    Im updating from 2.9.0 to 3.0.1. With 2.9.0 I altered the code in the radio.pde as you suggested to switch channel 1 and 2 around for use with jr tx with frsky ppm. This worked fine in 2.9 but doesnt seem to work in 3. I assume its something to do with RC HAL something or other but I dont really know. And Ideas on what I can alter to make it work this time?



  • I have seen Many requests for log analisys, and even decided to expand my knowledge by analizing a few, but This morning I came accross Randy's Videoson youtube.

    This one and This one especially are extremely helpful, and I learned so much.

    Teach a man to fish.....

    GREAT job Randy

    I will recommend that ALL beginners and experts alike subscribe to his channel.

  • Guys,

    I want my copter to climb very fast to certain height and then go back quickly. I have set WPNAV_SPEED_UP to 1000(cm/s), but from the log I can see after switching to AUTO mode it climbs only 4.6 m/s whole the way (300m up).

    What should I increase/adjust to make it climb faster in AUTO mode (like declared in WPNAV_SPEED_UP)?

    It definitely is not poor motors power because when in STAB mode turn full throttle it climbs like a rocket (much more then only 1000 cm/s). There must be some constraining factor in control loop.

  • Developer

    For users with compass drift/error:

    These things have already been said hundreds of times and should be included in the "bible of multirotor".
    Connect only the essentials to the flight control, for example only the PWM signal of the ESC, do not connect the "red/black" wire of the internal bec output.
    lways use an external bec to power the flight control (i prefer 5.5V instead of 5), taking the connection cables short as possible.

    Twisted all the cables, including those that go to the telemetry and gps.
    Do not put too close the telemetry to the flight control, the antenna must be at least 15 centimeters from the fc, even better than not to the horizontal axis of  the compass.

    Do not use metal spacers or screws near the flight control, prefer the plastic ones.
    Have you done all this? No?! Well, it's time to do it! :-)
    Also use an external compass without first having done all this is useless.
    Using all these little tricks I solved a problem with compass on a S800 with VR Brain, where the error before all this trick was over 110 degrees (measured with "compassmot"), after this little tuning went not over 10 degrees.
    3.1-Dev still needs small fix for release but it is wonderfully stable.
    I'm sorry but those who have problems with APM Copter I depend only bad hardware or wrong tuning, the code works super well


    (APM Copter Dev Team)

  • Hi All 

    Thanks Guys for all the hard work you have done and are doing and the for email support  ..I think we finally have a serious competitor to  DJI WKM

    It can only get better from here!

    Just to report I have had great success in test missions run yesterday. I ran 4 missions and landed within a 1m of launch every time!! It was great ..I also performed and simulated radio loss by switching off the radio during a 5th mission and the Machine came home and landed beautifully  in the right spot ..It took me a while to figure out to put Takeoff and land points in the correct place in MP and also learned to Arm Copter and switch to Auto Mode then apply a little throttle before she took control and performed great unassisted takeoffs and continued with the mission.

    Just need to tame it in the wind now :o)

    Settings currently :

    Firmware 3.0.1 quad

    PID 3.5

    Loiter 0.5

    The rest of the param setting are standard for 3.0.1 quad

    Take off altitude set to 20m

    Air Speed stock at 6m per sec

    Mission altitude set to 40m

    Using APM 2.0 Std Config  ( mounted on a thick Ali plate stuck to small soft rubber squares, with the wires to and from APM fixed to ali plate too , Black tape on leds and black foam on Baro) 

    Ublox Neo 6M GPS

    Hobby king 660mm  Quad (cheap for testing before using on my large expensive Octo and Hexa frames)

  • Hi all,


    After reinstalling a new quad with Mission Planner 1.2.70 and firmware 3.01 the failsave option Enable always RTL when FS PWM is reached doesn't do RTL but Landing on spot, same happened with a friend of my.

    We checked the Full parameters FS_THR_ENABLE value is 1 Always RTL but after testing it does a Landing.


This reply was deleted.


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