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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I don't think the directions say to cycle 7 low high but it shouldn't matter.

http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/autotune/

From what I can see it's not saving the new settings. I'm not sure which settings would be changed. Is this documented somewhere? Doesn't say anything in the link above or I missed it.

@Gustavo,

It depends on how your are powering your APM. If you are using a PM it will be between 5 - 5.25vdc. If you are using a BEC, then it will be whatever the BEC's 5vdc is set for if it is adjustable. Your Vcc is definitely on the low side. Are you sure that it is being measured correctly by the APM?

Regards,

TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

Leonardo, I just tried to do an auto tune with a overpowered octo and had to abort it after about 45 seconds or so it seemed. It must have done 30-40 iterations on the roll with some more aggressive than others. I had to catch it 2 or 3 times from getting too far away. At one point it jerked so hard to the right that I decided to flip switch 7 and abort. Is there a way to calm down the auto tuning? I can video it tomorrow if anyone wants to see. I can upload the logs too.

That's my understanding as well Steve, cycling is only needed to test the Autotune PIDs before permanently writing them into APM.

But to be sure, I would try one more time and this time I would cycle the switch before disarming. It wouldn't hurt...

I've got one particular APM board which climbs aggressively when I move forwards in alt hold, and drops (quickly) when I move backwards. I suspect it's somehow a faulty board, but can't interpret the logs well enough to be sure.

I have the info/dataflash log here: http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/climb-drop-when-moving-forwards-b...

Thanks Tom for our reply,

I'm using the pm, with jumper open, and one Esc is sourcing the output.

 

Will verify the calibration  measure on the apm,,

 

Could it also be vibration ?

Attached are my readings during hover

 

Attachments:

Great you got it to work. I will try it that way tomorrow.

I've found that if the receiver is disconnected from the apm power , then voltage increases by 300mvolts,

So probably I could power the receiver  from other Esc ??

 

Regards

Hey Leonard,

I can't hook up to mission planner right now as I am traveling without that quad, but I can verify there is no throttle mixing between it and the mode switch.  I had a look at the tlog for that flight and can see why you think that, it's pretty curious when I compare chan3_raw to chan5_raw.  I can't explain why the APM thinks I am lowing the throttle or raising it between those flight modes, but I am 100% sure the radio is not mixing those channels.  I'll definitely have a look when I get home on Saturday.

I attached a few pics; it is an ADS 400-Q which has a clean-frame/dirty-frame setup similar to the QAV platforms (in fact, I used QAV bobbins because I don't like the bobbins that come with the kit) and I used the 3DR foam mount tabs, one in each corner of the APM, inside the clean (anti-vibration) frame.  The arms are not flexible.  Wondering what has you thinking about that or possible flexible arms, do you had further feedback there?  I know vibration isolation is a real big thing since 3.0.1 but you almost have me wondering if for AutoTune you're going to suggest removing those?

Josh

Attachments:

@Gustavo,

Yes, you can power the receiver from a separate source, just make sure that the receiver, its power supply and the APM all have a common ground (rtn).

Your receiver sure is power hungry. I would expect most receivers to consume under a 100ma which well within the capabilities of the PM and would not make a dent in the PM Vcc output.

Regards,

TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

Do you know how to compile and load code onto the APM?

Post the log with a detailed description of the quad. A couple of pictures of the frame and the APM mounting would also be helpful.

We have found that on frames with soft arms or really soft mounting of the APM the Autotune aborts because it reaches dangerously low values for Rate P.

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