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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Ken,

    replied over on that thread.  Looks like a mechanical issue.  Impressive flight time!!

Josh,

    We don't have anything like that at the moment, I imagine instead of making it compile on the fly we would just pre-prepare some builds that have certain features on/off.  There's some obvious things that many people don't use like optical flow and the older servo camera mount.

Dragu,

     Basically "Yes" although to be precise it's actually the maximum acceptable distance between the newest GPS position and a position projected from the previous GPS position + previous GPS velocity.  So theoretically you can be cooking along at 100m/s and the GPS position moving by 20m in the 0.2second interval will still be accepted because (hopefully) the projection will account for the vehicle speed.

Yeah, sorry about that delay.  I forgot that after updating the release tags I needed to do a commit (any commit) to make the autobuilder recognise the tags have changed and push it out.  Got it eventually!

Thanks Balloon.  Looks like your flight in Loiter and RTL was mostly ok.  the FMT messages didn't appear in your logs which is a bit weird..maybe you chopped them out?

Shyam,

    The list of releases is here.  best of luck.

No problem. I just uploaded rc5. Thanks!

let's see how it performs soon.

thanks Leonard.

Ivan,

    This is a very good question but I'm afraid I don't have the perfect answer yet.  I'm pretty sure that it's possible to get the compass working with it set either way. What that setting apparently does is change the meaning of the orientation setting of the compass.  So if it's zero it's in relation to the flight controller's orientation, if it's 1 then it's independent.  I somewhat suspect that if your flight controller is in the default orientation (i.e arrow pointing forward) then it doesn't make a difference...that's my guess but not confirmed yet.

Is there a way to fly in ACRO  mode with 60 deg pitch/roll limit removed?   I would like to be able to do flips by pulling on the sticks.  I am aware of the FLIP flight mode (toggle) which just does automatic flip.

Are we getting 3.1 Halloween 2013 release?

Hi Glenn, you need to be above 1800 to engage Autotune and below 1800 to go back to your initial PID gains.

To test your Autotuned gains you need to first switch low after Autotune finishes then switch high again.

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for the feedback! I am glad it worked well for you.

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