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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  • To keep things upbeat I just wanted to throw in that my 3.1rc5 is working great, used auto tune and never looked at a PID again, I'm finally just flying.  A number of firsts to post here, my first self shot video, first attempt at video editing, first YouTube upload and first time flying in wind. Thank you to all the developers, enjoy.

  • The Preflight Calibration in MissionPlaner with the latest Firmware from Git Repository is not functioning

  • Hello Randy,

    I will be  installing the 3DR Pixhawk on a converted Hexa-B to  X8 configuration with AC 3.0.1 for experimentation. My X8 is configured exactly as your 3DR X8 from a frame point of view, i.e. the arms are on a shallow angle "><" and not in a standard 90 degree "X".

    I am following the instructions on page 8 of the pixhawk-manual.pdf ( and it says that if you have an X8 configuration you should use the "V" option (see attached image) ???  This is strange because for an X8 configuration you have 8 motors/props and the choice is to use the "X" option given that the picture depicts 8 propellers whereas the "V" option has only 4? 

    Does this also mean that I should use the "V" option if you have a shallow angle configuration with an APM 2.5 i.e "><" with 3.0.1?


    Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 9.05.22 AM.png

  • I had a Quad Flip Crash today and would like to submit a report here and give A 'Beep' Caution --- 11/11/13.

    Background - 450 Quad, 1000kv motors, 10x4.5 props, APM 2.5, 3S 2200 mah, firmware 3.01 - no rev. Quadcopter previously flying well. All PID, radio, accel calibrations done. Connectivity through USB and telemetry RF - OK. HUD functioning normally.

    Pre-Flight indication: The common battery power connection with the slight twitch of the motors and common 'twiddle dee' sound was absent. Today, when I attached the battery the motors did not twitch and there was only a single beep. All else appeared to work. I'd attached USB to MP - fine. I'd connected through APM RF telemetry - fine. The HUD showed the horizon just slightly askew since I'd repaired a broken landing gear. So, I cleaned out the logs and ran the accel routine to level the sensors. The HUD was level. The RED Arm/Disarm and Blue GPS LEDs were functioning normally with solid Blue GPS lock and flashing RED. So, I went out to fly in a 6' cube area on my deck. I was watching and enjoying the quad's stability, responsiveness and just flying it around when at 6' high it did a FAST FLIP - SMASH! It Broke an arm.

    After Flip Crash review:

    I tested the quad for the motor sound since I'd really not given it much thought before flying and it was just one beep with no motor twitch. I decided to calibrate the Throttle extent on all of the ESCs at one time. This went normal and I got the proper responses. Now, we seem back to normal. That is, upon battery connection the motors give their slight twitch and they emit their normal musical 'tweedle dee.' I've not fixed the arm yet but, would believe all is now back to - OK.


    I do not know how or why the ESC's calibrations were lost. But, the indication was: Upon connection of the battery the motors did not move and there was only one beep from the group rather than the normal musical tones.

    I hope this will save some of us from a Flip Crash.

  • OK, I know I don't not want to go to DJI ANYTHING (and we know why)...

    So I have been doing this for over a year and half now and have gone through multiple AC versions, multiple configurations (custom Hex, Hexa-B, converted Hexa-B to Y6 to X8), external compass, Vibration mounts of all sorts, compassmot,  a plethora of PID tunings, forum and developer recommendations , vibration tuning, GPS glitch, APM 2.5, 2.6  processor limitations, PPM updates. I have diligently read, understood and hopefully applied every recommendation you have ( I think!).

    I have had relatively good success (no fly aways, a few expensive and inexpensive crashes). I know that this whole endeavor is  developmental. Your efforts are extraordinary and commendable, however, I am trying to minimize my investment damage given that I am trying to take a few simple high resolution pictures from a height of 200 feet using a brand new NEX5T with the possibility of winds of no more that 10 mph.

    I have 3 simple questions:

    Q1: Will I get better loiter performance by going to the 3DR Pixhawk on my X8 (given the performance limitations of the APM)?

    Q2: Will I get better loiter performance if I added the PX4 Flow kit to the above and wait for  3.1.xx (is that even possible)? 

    Q3: Does the loiter stability increase if I have a tight  X8 configuration( similar to your RTF X8) vs. a 90 degree X8 (3.0.1 or 3.1.xx)?

    I am trying to manage risk and I really don't want to loose the camera!


  • Guys,


    What would be the best approximation of the Naza Atti (w/o GPS) mode with respect to altitude? In this mode Naza only stabilizes altitude without trying to maintain a set altitude. Althold? Or are we missing something like stabilize with just acc data to stabilize. Or althold with no I Term?



  • Just tried the new version 1.5

     Tested the auto-tune on a heavy-side hexacopter, not particularly over-powered machine.

     Worked great. Haven't tested it in wind yet, but it looks good, good job.

    Can I also say that I used to have lots of problems with my previous board (2.5) that I eventually returned. The new board works seamlessly, which suggests that there are the occasional   multifunctional boards. Not sure if there is a good way to test them before hooking them on a machine.


  • Developer

    Sorry I've been slightly out of touch for the past week as I've been working with Rob Lefebvre on integrating a significant number changes to tradheli into master.  That work is largely complete now so I'm back working on some of the final fixes before we can push out -rc6.  -rc6 should go out within 1 week and hopefully that'll be the extremely close to the official release version.

  • Sometimes when taking off in loiter or alt hold with 3.1rc5 my copter jumps around 5 meters in the air rather than the usual ~1m pre-scripted take-off.

    This occurs as soon as I bump the throttle stick (like the old auto mission take-off) and if it's going to happen in only seems to occur on the first take-off on a fresh battery.

    Changing flight modes after arming but before take-off may be a contributing factor (haven't tested this enough to confirm).

    It almost seems like there's a bit of leftover code from the old way of switching to alt hold which sets the middle zone to where your throttle currently is.

    After taking off rapidly to around 5m the copter behaviour returns to normal for 3.1 with the throttle stick responding (go down - middle - go up).

    I hope this issue is looked into because it can be a bit of a surprise when it happens.

    I'll see if I can post a video and a log later.
  • I submitted this issue with plots of my log file related to 3.1RC5 (Nov 2) for a case where the Quad went diverged away from the loiter waypoint:

    I'm not sure if the divergent control behavior was due to a bad configuration (gains too high) or if there is a bug. One odd thing is that the throttle was pegged once the quad got disturbed by the wind gust. 

    (I've attached the log file as well.)

    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

    2013-11-07 14-51 72.log

This reply was deleted.


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