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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  • Has any one used the Vibration control mount that some one posted a link to a bit back? how much height is needed to use it? how does it work? i have way too much Z vibration on my Drones. can some one repost the link to that Mount? thanks in advance

  • Hi Randy,

    RC8 was great!  My only issue is that I cannot tune the altitude mode to be steady at mid stick.  Following that, I attempted to Auto Tune  at 40ft (safe height for recovery to stabilize mode) and the quad will either gradually climb or loose altitude to the point where immediate input is required.  I have attached four logs.  Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  By the way, I have Velcro strapped around the APM.  Would that effect my Barometer?  And I've just flashed 3.1..........:) 


    2013-12-15 12-06 1.log

    2013-12-15 12-11 2.log

    2013-12-15 12-12 3.log

  • APM:Copter 3.1 is released! Flashing time :D

  • Hello!

    I had a crash yesterday with 3.1RC7

    I was flying normally when I fliped and crash :(

    I have no idea about what could happen.

    I attached the log.


    2013-12-14 13-53.log

  • Developer

    Ok AC3.1 is released!

    Thanks to those who submitted videos, in the end I had a hard time putting it together into a sexy release video so Marco was kind enough to create one. I've added links to your videos at the bottom of the release discussion and please PM me if I've missed one that you'd like included.

    Thanks again for all the testing you all did, putting your copters at risk in the process.  I'm sure it's contributed massively to making it a good release.

    By the way, we're going to push out AC3.2-dev later today.  This release candidate is a special release mostly for the people who will be receiving the Pixhawk 2.4 boards in the next couple of weeks and has "dual sensor support" including fail-over to the backup accels, gyros and compass.  The Pixhawk hardware people want this available so they can do more evaluation of the ST accels/gyros vs the MPU6k.

  • Hello all,

    My BarAlt seems very noisy to me. Is this something to do with 3.1-rc7 or is that I am getting too much prop wash? I also noticed that the foam (that protects the Barometer) inside my 1 year APM 2.5  is not as flexible and a little flattened as when it was new. I moved the AMP 2.5 further to the back of my Hex recently instead of it being centered. My flight was fine and Alt-hold was fine. But I am still concerned. What do you think?


    Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 11.41.32 AM.png

  • Hi Randy & Developers around the world,

    Can we work now for battery efficiency? I know some of you are skeptical, but I believe there are a lot of brilliant minds here!

  • Some smooth cinematic video on 3.1 rc7

  • Hello. I have some strange alt behaviour on my APM2.5.2 from rctimer. It drifts for 5-10 meters when being turned upside down or on it's side. Same thing on both 3.0.1 and 3.1rc8. Also, when I do terminal>test>baro, the raw readings are steady and good, so I suppose it isn't the barometer fault (anyway it is well shielded and was treated with care). Here is a video

  • Hi all, I would like to know about the accelerometer calibration, always calibrated as shown in this video:
    but mnya today were pelted with tomatoes explaining that it is relevant to 2.9 versions and new from 3.... we should not just put exactly as put by the level of construction, where the truth can you do without the level
    Ps: my flies beetle perfectly and....

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