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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Hey Steve, any info on the machine?  It'll help Leonard when he sees this.  

I've got a quad which won't tune, and the only thing we can figure is the frame is too flexible.

Steve, if this is DwarfStar, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that it's just too flexible to auto-tune properly.  Especially since you're using the long arms.

I should talk to you about beta testing my new design. ;)

oh!  is it a 1000mm octo made of foam?  haven't seen that yet, but I'm in! :)

Heh, I was trying to do that with my Nerf quad, hit 25 m/s, kissed 28 once.  Takes a bit of room to get up to speed, and when flying manually you run out of room easily.

I actually tried changing the Angle Max parameter to allow 60°, but that didn't go so well.  I think Angle Boost was adding too much throttle, and/or it was just too much power for this frame to handle as it started behaving really badly so I had to reduce the angle to 50, now it's manageable. 

Bruce, Detlef, another interesting test to complement the BEC power supply test would be to disconnect every devices on the frame that could generate high frequencies in the Megahertz range or eat a lot of current on the APM power supply, for example video cameras, transmitters, servos and things like this.

There is quite a low probability that they could cause troubles on the APM but it's better to fully isolate the APM first so that we can narrow down the problem faster being sure that it is not caused by an external device interaction.




Is APM 1 supported or even tested with AC 3.1?? I'm still using 2.91B and like to update when 3.1 comes out.



Duh.. I meant 3.0.1. (Fumble fingers in action :)

Ok.  I tried it with a 5V BEC and got the same results with and  without Compass, RX, and GPS.

I use D/R all the time on my planks, but I try to avoid it with my copters because of the reduced control resolution. I like fast flips too, but what would be better is a ch7 option for acro dual rates... turn it on for flips at 10+, or turn it off for shooting gaps at 4.5 or even lower. This way we would have 100% resolution in both "acro modes", unlike using D/R which reduces stick resolution when it is needed most (shooting gaps mode). It wouldn't be so bad if resolution is reduced during a flip, but unfortunately it's the other way around with tx rates.

Wow, 10, that must flip fast. :) Is that on your CP heli's? Got any video of a full stick flip "@10"?

I've got 3.1-rc5 loaded on my APM1 board - no problems so far...

Had a busy day with guests so didn't get any testing in but I did fly the small quad about 6 times and it never did the surging. So far I've never experienced it on 3.1rc5. I posted a picture of the quad some posts back I thought. Here it is:!

It has 10" props and these motors;

On the octo I have some filming I need to do with it this week and I don't want to risk doing the auto tune before that. When I tried it the first time it got really aggress. Like it does on the quad but as you know that octo has some power and I didn't have the extra weight of the gimbal and camera. I will try the auto tuning another day with perfect calm winds and calm nerves to not hit the abort switch :)

I've never noticed the reduced resolution myself.  Even 200 steps per direction... that's a lot of resolution!  I mean, even a good servo has about 4mS of resolution.  The APM has 1mS of resolution.

No actually, the 10 was on an F450 clone.  I don't have any video yet, but I'd love to get some.  I've done 4 consecutive rolls (tumbling down) and pulled out, no problem.  And lots of high speed backflips, forward flips, barrel rolls.  It's pretty fun.  I definitely think this frame is the limiting factor instead of the APM.  It flexes a lot.  If I punch the throttle, it shoots off in a direction because the APM can't control the attitude properly.  It is extremely overpowered.  I'm not sure why.  Only 800 kV motors, 10x4.5 props.  Maybe it's the battery, 4S5000 so it can deliver the amps.  Mind you they're only 20C.  I dunno.  But it's crazy fast.

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