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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Hi Cala, I just did the autotune with mine this week. Worked great with the 650.

Why is the folder QUADROTOR appearing in my /Windows/Program Files/Mission Planner/logs directory?

I've noticed that this folder started appearing a couple of MP versions ago...  In this folder is a subfolder called '1'..  In that are a few rlog and tlog files.  I keep deleting this folder, but it always appears again.   I don't want this directory. (I'm flying a hex not a quad)..  How do I permanently get rid of this folder?

FWIW, I'm using MP 1.2.85 build 1.1.5049.36165 and have the 3.01 firmware loaded on my hex

Great question Jim!  It is a little annoying but as long as I know where to get the logs, i'm good with it until it's addressed. 

We are working on getting the contents of the post included in the notification message

I'm anxious waiting the stable release to try autotune, I have an event this weekend and a demostration the next week so I don't want to change nothing but I don't know if my patiente resist to wait ;)

Michael just reminded me The 3.01 firmware reports it is a quad regardless of if it is a hexa or not.  When you put 3.1 on this will be fixed.

Is it possible to insert in arducopter the camera trigger function based on distance covered like in arduplane?

Tnx

Hi Raefa,

I think I might know what the problem is. If you like the old ACRO you need to fly in SPORT now. ACRO is proper acro now.

Have a go at SPORT and tell me if that fixes your problem.

Chat soon,

Leonard

If you send me a flash log of the tuning flight I can tell you why the parameters didn't save and I can tell you what they were.

Hello Alex & 12-HAK:

    Thanks very much for your observations.

    I probably don't fully realize just how far things have progressed.  I was sort of shoehorned into this clambake and see that my expectations were quite different from reality.  I certainly thought that the code would be more tested for safety and reliability before being issued to the hoi polloi.

    I assume that the fancy RTF gadgetry (DJI?) would permit full waypoint navigation, but maybe that is not the case?  And I guess there is no option with DJ I and the others for customization.

    I do find value in this forum, except that the kernels of wisdom are so deeply buried in the chit chat, much like this I guess!  However, the documentation seems to be quite thorough so I will lean on that more so.  I can't even find my own posts after a day or two; there must be a better way.

    I certainly don't mind the tinkering, if there is a fairly good prospect of gaining ground.  It is the huge administrative overhead that is discouraging.  However, I guess that's how it is if there are several thousand beta testers.

    Actually, I had decided to stay with 2.9.1 b and at least get it figured out.  But I have been persuaded to address the compass and vibration issues and hopefully enjoying the reputed benefits of 3.1.  I'll pore over the setup checklists and see how things turn out.

    Just reading this article about UAV operations in the US of A: http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3687.  It looks like a very long and convoluted road to the point when small commercial drones will be legally flying in America.  Much of the hold up has to do with privacy issues.  As is now becoming more common, the lawyers and insurers are the gatekeepers.

    Thanks again folks, Cheers . . . . . . . . Spring

Thanks , I will, when weather here will get better. Wind and rain did not stop from the last 3 days.

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