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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  • Hello!

    Which bootloader to upload, after re-soldering new 32u2? Everything else is ok.

  • I too wanted to come in and say that I'm totally thrilled with this software release, on an APM 2.6 and Y6.

    Really stable flight, excellent missions, very predictable behavior.

    I continue to have these two bugs to report:

    • [test] [motors] Does not work on Y6.
    • [setup] [compassmot] refuses to run, insisting radio is not calibrated.

    Also, I made the mistake of using cyclic radio trim (+14 on the Futaba scale).  On the next flight, the copter immediately spun onto its side when armed on the ground.  I don't know if there should be a failsafe for checking center-stick on arm?

    My vibe numbers look incredibly good, maybe too good?  Is this even possible?


  • Sorry in advance if this has already been mentioned or addressed--searching in ning is not always fruitful ;)

    Several other users and me have reported in this post:

    that the feature of setting Ch 7 or Ch 8 > 1800 is not working for most options.

    In my case, I have set Ch7 to enable super-simple mode.  It doesn't appear to do that.  I have confirmed that Ch7 is hitting well above 1800 when I flip the appropriate switch on my tx.


  • Some finetuning gavegood result:

    Firmware 3.1rc2

    Frame TBS Discovery

    Props 10 inch

    esc 30 A 

    Motors 1000kV

    2200mAh, flighttime 8 minutes

    Battery 3s


    Wpnav_speed 850

    wpnav loid speed 850

    wpnav accel 150

    ahrs_rp_p 0,2

    Wp radius 300 cm

    stabilize mode: almost perfect

    loiter mode: almost perfect

    auto mode: almost perfect

    will do some more missions and will report.

    Dick Gerritsen

    Dutch Mountains, Netherlands

  • Hi Randy and all the developers, we often forget to post how good things are, a big thank you to you all for all the hard work! on  ArduCopter 3.1-rc1 and rc2, they  are the best fun one can have legally with one's clothes on.


    My HAL quad with an Rctimer AVDome and CN06 Plus GPS+MAG+LEDS both of which I had a hand in developing, flies absolutely great with 3.1 on stock PID settings.




    Testing Loiter today in winds gusting between 10 to 20 KPH between tall trees on purpose to see how good it really is, I couldn't be happier with the results, been testing for quite a few days, I can't fault it.


    My vibes





    Yesterday I had my wife who has never touched any RC equipment fly my Quad after showing her twice what to do, ARM in Stabilize simple, switch to Loiter, slowly raise throttle, when at desired height wait a few seconds, lower throttle slightly, wait until it lands, lower throttle fully, switch to stabilize and disarm.









  • hi Randy,

    just watched you GPS Glitch protection video on youtube.

    I'd just like to know the progress on this.


  • My quad pulses when it is in alt hold. I have disabled my sonar. It is an APM 2.6 w/ external mag/GPS. I am running 3.1rc2. Stable is ok. What should I adjust to prevent the pulsing up and down. Thanks
  • 3692836146?profile=original

    i upload AC 3.01 firmware, APM 2.6

    stab, alt hold, loiter was perfect, thanks to dev team.

    i have problem with waypoint.

    at the field, i tested auto with that setting.

    after wp #4, my quad did not going to wp #5 ,RTL,LAND

    after wp#4 the quad continue wp#1 and seems quad want to repeat all over again (waypoints)

    anything wrong with my wp setting?

  • I did the update of 3.01 final version to the new 3.1RC2 beta. This version 3.01 works fine with over 70 flights without any problem. Thank you very much to all the dev team and Randy.

    Tested 3.1rc2 with my hexa in Stabilize mode, loiter, altitude hold, take off and landing in loiter , altitude hold, everything works fine. But I worrie  about a solid yellow LED on the APM  board (the Blue and RED LED was solid) that I do not understand why? Could  you tell me how to remove it.

  • Is there a way to change radio channel assignment in the 3.0.1 software?

    I have a radio where switch A is on Channel 6 and switch B is on Channel 5.

    This cannot be changed on the radio and I would like switch A to be on Channel 5.

    Can the ArduCopter code be modified to "flip" Channels 5 & 6 ??

    If this is possible, where in the code would I modify this ??
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