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 i be safe about using RTL as a failsafe with vibration level like these one's?


  • I have a small problem tuning 3.0.1 to perfection on a particular machine.

    It's a foldable quad, inspired by Steadidrones' QU4D, with front arms in "hero mode" 150 deg. apart, and set up in MP as a "V"-frame. The trouble is yaw and yaw-authority related. It holds alt and position extremely well, flies straight lines both front-back and left-right beautifully, but anytime I apply yaw it ill-behaves.

    Yaw in loiter woud yeld circling in increasing diameter up until 3-4 meters where it would settle and keep circling. Releasing rudder stick will have the quad snap back to center and holding nicely. In RTL, if WP_YAW_BEHAVIOUR is either 0 or 2 it will fly straight back without a moments hesitation keeping whatever heading it had. With 1, it will first do a large circle arc, which looks and feels unsettling :) then come home straight. And in high-speed Stabilize flight, applying yaw will have the motors sound like Rate-D is too high... a 2-4 Hz police siren.

    Unfortunately, no logs. My beat-up APM 2.0 reports "dataflash not inserted" so I'll try parameter adjust from your wild guesses. 

  • Hi Guys ..

    Would it be possible in future firmware to have the compass calibration done like Dji ?  Flicking the mode switch rapidly for more than seven times activates Compass calibration and LED light changes colour indication its in calibration mode ..then for each axis different color light ? Its not too user friendly at the moment when you have different sites/countries to visit and fly. 

  • Hello All, does anyone know if it is necessary to update the ppm encoder. Ive got an old apm2 that i am using ppm frsky without any issues, am i likely to run into any problems if I dont get the latest firmware? 

  • Hello!

    Prop Failed today on Hexacopter apm2.5, landed safely with full control !

    It was not spinning around as motor fail, just motors exploded with trust to compensate everything. I reacted instantly, it was possible to fly it back with no problem, but I decided to land it even aprox 150 meters away, with no damage. Footage is raw, might look dramatically, but it was really not a problem to land it. Logs are on the way if dev-team wants it, especially M.Robustini, who is also testing this kind of problems :)

  • I have also nice words about AC3.0.1. Very very good review.
    I have a good loiter, stab, alt-hold, rtl (small problem) and land.
    All this, only after very well isolate imu, insulators from an old CD player, and add weight with tiny lead balls at the base of the box imu. Also and very importantly, raise the MAG and GPS over the electronics with a long spacer. 

    I use only the signal wire from receiver to IMU to avoid vibrations spreading. (also from imu to escs)
    I had a problem with the orientation of the external mag, which is already fixed (beware with silked arrows).
    Thanks to the developers. Very good job.

    The RTL issue is when I change from stable to RTL through loiter with a 3 position switch (stable->loiter->RTL). In this situation the motors stops a fraction of a second.

    The yaw also are not good enough for me, but I think is a tuning issue.

    Loiter and Land are awesome. (supersimple also)


  • Are there any Beta versions after 3.0.1? I don't see any beta versions on the Mission Planner.

  • Hi Guys, 

    Just wanted to take a minute to say a big thank you to the dev team. You guys are unbelievable with what you keep achieving!

    I have built a larger quad-octo for survey work and I am using turnigy multistar 40amp speedies. I had it tuned close to where I thought it should be, but just couldn't get that final bit, that locked in type feeling.....until yesterday!

    I was changing the power distribution system, cleaning it up a little, when I thought I would look to see if these speedies are compatible with the simonk firmware,... After I found which firmware to load I updated all speedies and oh boy what a difference!

    My P and D terms went from around 2/3's default (P 0.09~) to around 0.22. I am running a higher D term as well. almost everything else is default values although I did play with alt hold settings a little..... 

    I was quite surprised to say the least as being a much bigger system and hovering around 35% throttle I thought I would have a lot more tuning to do.

    SO what have I learnt from this???   APM just works! There are no shortcuts, and if you follow the setup guides by Randy and others ( brilliant job there btw guys!) then it should just work. If it doesn't work then it MOST LIKELY is NOT the fault of the APM but just not setup correctly.

    If you need to disable compassmot then something is wrong and needs to be addressed. 

    If you need to disable any of the startup checks to make it work, then please don't use the autopilot side of things and DON'T rely on RTL, as it can't be guarenteed to work as the copter is not setup corectly!

    I have done many auto missions with a big octo full auto take off to landing and only use the tx to arm and initiate the takeoff. close on 80 flights now with no surprises.

    In a nut shell if it isn't working for you then YOU must realise that you have some work to do, please keep this in mind when asking for help. Everyone here is here because they love it and are willing to help, so keep calm, understand that it is not working because of something you have done or not done and let us help you! 

    Once again, hats off to the dev team!

    Best Regards

    Steve K


  • Just wanted to add a positive review of the upgrade. 3DR Hex here with everything loaded like a Cadillac! Anyhow I put off upgrading because I thought 2.9.1 was flying good but I finally upgraded and its much much improved. When I switch to Loiter its smooth I mean the thing just holds no fluctuations unless I come in hot and hit the switch but it will settle fast. I had a little problem with RTL but my setup RTL_ALT was set at something like 3000 I set it to zero. It would go into RTL but then gain alt because it was wanting to go to the 3000 programed in then start dropping ALT. I tried it out 2 times and walla no issues lands very nice. I only use RTL for emergency landing otherwise I feel you as the pilot should be landing in stabilize mode to keep up your skills its just like flying a real plane 3 takes offs and 3 landings to stay current.    Anyhow I can't comment on the Auto Pilot stuff because I don't use that this is an A/P machine.  I will do more Autonomous stuff with another machine or the fixed wing I am building for agriculture mapping.

    So Again Kudos to the team and I look forward to many years of updates. I just saw the 3DR Pixhawk I 

    I wish I would of went with the PX4 to start but that's how it goes I think next run will be PX4 / Pixhawk based, the processor is much faster for future updates and such as I see it. But the AMP 2.5 is staying on this hex.

  • I am having problem here, anyone can help me please? After the crash I had where altHold, loiter and rtl worked awesome now they dont work anymore, I still can fly in stab mode, very stable but when I go to alt hold for example, sometimes my copter go full throttle and up very fast, sometimes it just lands, The altitude is being measured wrong it seems, bellow are the part of the log I just flew, today I also reseted the board and configured everything again, I also attached tlog and dataflash log if anyone can take a look I appreciate.

    Ps: almost nothing has been changed after it was flying good, my board has the case and the foam as before, if the problem is with the baro is there anything to do? 

    Here is the thread I created about the crash: Actually I dont want know what happened I preffer to forget and just have my quad flying awesome again.. 

    RelAlt, BarAlt and Alt


    XYZ, I know there are some vibrations but its quite same before when it was flying good.


    2013-08-31 12-02-28.tlog

    2013-08-31 15-21 1.log

This reply was deleted.


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