ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner, firmware.diydrones.com, 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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RC5, great! 

Just a quick check:

I just saw that COMPASS_EXTERNAL is set to zero in this release. I have it earlier enabled and calibrated as well, as external one. Works great, just tell me please is this ok to remain as zero value, or I have to activate it with 1.

Thanks again for Your efforts! 

ps With this progression of developnent, I can bet  for at least 1 more breakthrough event till the New Year, glow motors and apm/pixhawk/else :)

Is it possible to define yaw speed on auto missions or RTLs? It jerks around really fast which drops the heart near the stomach area if it's during an FPV flight :) I see all the advanced parameters relating to this but nothing about yaw rate. I know you have the splines in the new beta version but I haven't updated yet. Maybe it yaws smoother with the spline code?

Leonard, how low does the low pwm signal have to be for the autotune switch. Is 1500us low enough to engage the new PIDs after the autotune process?

I just did a complete reset and recal but it's too dark to test it out. I just did a quick hover and it seems ok so far. TOmorrow I will test it more.

Hi Dragu,

Thank you for your reply. I was doing the cut and paste thing as well, but I thought I was doing something wrong. I didn't think it should be that complicated a flight plan just to follow a ROI point.

The problem I find with the repeated Do_Set_ROI WP's is that the copter twiches as it circles, then points to the ROI then circles.

Would you still be able to post your mission file anyway? So myself and others could see how you set the WP and ROI points, it seems your copter does a smooth transition between points.

Is there a reason why I cannot reverse radio channels using the RC6_REV, RC7_REV, etc. ???

It works fine for RC1_REV up to RC4_REV but any channel higher has no effect.

Paul,

     You should never reverse the channels in arducopter.  Instead it's best to reverse the channels in your transmitter.

Finally, I had a windless evening.. 3.1rc5 tunes perfectly in 5 minutes. The new folks just getting in are so fortunate.. Manual tuning is now a thing of the past. The auto-tune PIDS are flying so much better than I ever attained over the last year tuning manually..  Thanks Dev team for all your efforts..

Sandy

Yes, but I have a transmitter where this is not possible so I have no choice but to make adjustments in the code.  Unfortunately this option seems to be broken in the code.

Like I mentioned, it works fine for the first 4 channels but not higher for some reason, unless this is a bug.

Steve,

    Spline isn't in the beta versions yet I'm afraid.  It is definitely one of the things we want to get in but there simply wasn't the CPU available to do it until the recent performance improvements (in fact, there still may not be room without sacrificing other features).

     It's certainly possible to slow down the yaw on waypoints.  I've modified an existing issue to make it more clear that this is the request.

Paul,

     I don't think it even works for the lower channels.  It may appear to be correct when you're flying in stabilize mode but I think the autopilot (RTL, Loiter, etc) will have troubles.

Great feedback Randy, thanks.  Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think you or someone mentioned compiling on the fly via MP to enable/disable features to make room for stuff like this... such as, an operator may want to sacrifice MOUNT in favor of Spline, where another operator may choose to keep MOUNT and not compile in Spline or some other feature, etc... am I remembering right?

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