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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Hello Shyam:

Thanks for your comments.  A friend loaned me the arducopter so I wasn't certain what I was getting into.  I thought the Ardu-code, being open source, would be essentially a finished product with citizen programmers mostly adding new features, speed tuning, etc.

I was surprised to find that the whole thing seems to be an ongoing beta testing project, albeit with great gains being made with huge efforts from all concerned.  Not what I expected, but I'll make of it what I can.  With over 3000 e-mails on the 3.X version of Ardu-code, and development still ongoing, the Ardu-world is certainly for those who have lots of spare time.

Mission Planner is a case in point.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I was just advised to never install the latest upgrade.  Often, they don't install anyway.  I'm very reluctant to devote an evening to this project when I can't be sure that the software will even work.

For me, I'm looking more for reliability than bells and whistles.  Once the code is solid, then add the icing.

Cheers . . . . . . . . Spring


Yesterday I'm flying with the v.3.1RC4 on my quad. Stabilize works well, but Alt-Hold and any other "automatic mode" like Loiter or RTL is problematic. The main problem is rather strange motor behavior. 

I had the same problem wrote in:

Also, my GPS3D fix lost and recover continuously... but I was in a elevated point where the GPS have 11 satellites! 

Anybody knows how to fix this problems?

After, I had change Motors from T-Motor MT4008 600kv to MN 3110-26 470 kv is very stable and temp max about 43 C only. And I still flight with 3.1-rc5  is no have Problem it.


Yeah Spring, this has been an ongoing project for several years. And you really came in at a good time. There are some glitches yes, but once tuned well, the current code flies the copter pretty damn well.

I have been following this project for the past few years and I know the time where the copter wouldn't hold position, alt-hold would be totally useless etc. Those days are gone now...

When totally completed, this project will be a game changer with its affordable price and rich functionality.

There are other commercial products on the market that work well out of the box for sure. And they come in a very nice packaging, sometimes the units are in a quality aluminum cases. But you pay pretty good money for those. And the funny thing is that the whole functionality isn't there at all. 

People still buying those products. To me, it is mainly because of two reasons:

-They have money and they don't want to deal with tinkering. All they need something that they can get in the air with a minimal effort.

-They are really not aware of cheaper open-source projects available on the market (or may be they just don't want to be!..)

With Arducopter, people get a chance to experience fully available way-point navigation. This few-hundred-dollar controller can be used as a fully functional UAV platform and not only for multicopter!... It can be use for traditional helis, airplanes, and even for land vehicles. With the other commercial companies, you almost have to pay extra for additional features.

Well it is no brainer for me, I am sticking with the arducopter guys. They will get everything done one by one...

And yes to what you already figured out yourself. Don't be in hurry to load the newest/latest firmware or Mission planner. They generally have many simple issues in the very beginning. If you follow with a few versions back, you will be much safer.

My mission planner is still 1.2.73 and it is working fine for me. Before that I was using 1.2.53 for a long time successfully:)

Even if you don't have much patience when it comes to tinkering/tuning, follow this forum time to time. It will be in your benefit for sure...




     Replied over on that other thread.

Very Nice.  I hope to have mine flying that well soon!

Sorry, I think i deleted the previous post by mistake. Though, here it is:

Rise of Arducopters: I thought to look back into the past and future of the UAVs ;)

@Oh, yes.. this graph is esp. for 3DR/ DIYDrones, just my personal viewpoint!



Wow and in such a relatively short time!  Can't wait to see where this is in 2-5 years!

Beautiful Balloon:)

Very nicely put together platform and it flies just as well. I can't believe how this is not good enough for some people!..

Is your Quad custom made or did you purchase it? What is it?

My Quad is used Tarot Quad 650 Frame. and another detail at below.

Controller : APM 2.5 and GPS uBlox LEA-6H with Compass
Frame : Tarot Quad 650
Motor : T-Motor MT3110-26 470 kv
ESC : T-Motor 40A
Prop : Carbonfiber 15x4
Battery : Zippy 4s 8000 mAh 30C
Radio : Turnigy9XR with Frsky Module
Receiver : Frsky DR8-II XP
Hover Time : about 24 mins.


Wow... 24 mins hover is great. If you load it with camera, you will still have 15mins easily.

I heard about Tarot multicopters. They look nice.

Can you tell me if the one you have could be upgraded to Hexa if you wanted?

I mean is it possible to add 2 more arms without changing the main frames?

I am asking because I would like to buy something as a quad and possible upgrade to hexa later down the road.

I think is can't upgrade from Quad to Hexa. Because, plate frame is small and gadless between Motor to Motor. But, If Hexa to Quad is can.

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