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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Well done!

congratz randy for release, finally.. it's been long run but now it's here.

Very Well, I still can't test it. Because, Thailand have a raining everyday. But,If have without rain I'll test it and share video to our for look.

What is the expected magfield value for APM1?  I still need to disable the pre-arm checks as my magfield is around 177/178...

Is there a changelist from 3.0.0?  My hexas are flying (in an airplane) to Costa Rica on Monday for ecological surveying, and I'd like to know if it's important that I update them from 3.0.0.  Thanks for all the hard work!

Yes, there are a number of improvements and fixes that are worth updating for if you have been flying 3.0.0.


     Generally I think you should stick with what you know (i.e. 3.0.0) if it's been working well for you but there were a few important changes that went into 3.0.1-rc1 related to dealing with GPS glitches.  See below in bold.

Improvements in AC-3.0.1 over AC-3.0.1-rc1
1) Rate Roll, Pitch and Yaw I fix when we hit motor limits
2) pre-arm check changes:
    a) double flash arming light when pre-arm checks fail
    b) relax mag field checks to 35% min, 165% max of expected field
3) loiter and auto changes:
      a) reduced Loiter speed to 5 m/s
      b) reduced WP_ACCEL to 1 m/s/s (was 2.5 m/s/s)   <-- will reduce response to GPS glitches
      c) rounding error fix in loiter controller
      d) bug fix to stopping point calculation for RTL and loiter during missions
4) Stability Patch fix which was freezing Rate Taw I term and allowing uncommanded Yaw  <-- only important if you have some motor imbalances (which it doesn't sound like you do)

Improvements in AC-3.0.1-rc1 over AC-3.0.0
1) bug fix to Fence checking position after GPS lock was lost  <-- very important if you use FENCE
2) bug fix to LAND so that it does not attempt to maintain horizontal position without GPS lock  <-- quite important if you ever lose GPS


     ah darn.  I made it wider so it's now 192 ~ 907 for the APM1 but that's still apparently not quite enough.  It seems like for the APM1 the field can be either 330 or 550 depending upon whether you're using the 5843 or 5883.  Sorry about that, I'll sort it out for 3.0.2 (or 3.1.0 if we're lucky enough to get away without a 3.0.2)

Thanks Randy.  Since I only have a few days, I'm going to stick with 3.0.0 for the trip.  One of my copters, "Crimson", has over 6 hours autonomous flying time logged on 3.0.0 already.  No crashes since I built it and loaded in 3.0.0.  The other one I'm sending "The Red Baron" has probably under an hour, but it is identical in build and its test flights have all come back beautiful.  So thank you for making a great firmware.


No worries it's not a train smash.  I think the lowest I've seen it go to was about 170...

Great Job! 

Randy, does this release contain the relaxed accelerometer settings?

apm2.0 3.0.1

offsets more than 3 seem not to pass

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