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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I might be wrong, but i think the YT bundled with the initial post for this thread has Marco showing AltHold without sonar. Personally i dont use sonar its just to flakey, and i find height stability is much more reliable without sonar. Im no expert but i would suggest that you try alt hold without sonar just for fun and compare against previous experiences. Dont forget sonar only works for ranges a few meters above ground anyway. Once your more than 15m sonar is not used.

Hi John,

Im sorry I dont quite understand what you are saying, but here is my baro graph from the flight I did this morning with the sonar gain set to 0.2

It mostly shows me taking off and then landing again.  I will attach the log files if that might help.

I know that the sonar is only used when the quad is close to the ground but I would like for it to be as stable as possible when doing so...


It really sounds like a hardware issue and a faulty motor Archie. I has similar issue with these same orange motors and had about 3 to 4 of them fail for one reason or the other. Two had bad bearings and were jamming up off and on. Another one the stator coil to the base mount fitting was loose causing the coil stator to move ( rotate back and forth slightly) and it eventually loosened some wires that got jammed between the stator coil and the outer housing and jammed up. The coil stator on these motors has a key spline but the base mount post doesn't so there is no key and nothing to stop it turning. The third one the shaft wasn't tight enough and while pushing the props on,  the shaft slid down slightly but I didn't notice it. Then while in flight when giving some extra throttle the housing would jump up monetarily . This didn't stop the flight but it made a weird noises and jitters a bit like what is see yours doing.  So check the bottom of your motors and see if the shaft retainer clip is flush with the bearing or if it is sitting away from the bearing. If its not flush you will notice you can pull the housing up until is stops at the clip. This will happen in flight when applying throttle making it jitter.  The supplier exchange mine so was no issue there and replaced them with the black ones which are better made. Likely you have had those for some time so might be well out of warranty? Anyway most of those issue can be fixed when you know what to look for.

That is a really weird baro graph if you were supposed to have been in ALT HOLD at 2 meters, it doesn't seem to have any level spots?.  Have you fitted a filter to your Sonar? Can you do a hover  at the same height for a few min and then look at the baro and see if it is drifting?  Is your baro covered from prop wash and what type of housing are you using? Take a look at this blog

 I think Randy means Radio Failsafe, as apposed to battery failsafe or Fence.

I hate to say it bur here is a Arducopter 3.1 RC5 bug (serious one) on APM2.6:

After an auto mission with a well-tuned quad, here is what i found:

-During AUTO mode, gps lock was lost for 5 seconds due to some external factors. Copter never recovered AUTO after gps lock become solid (10 sats) It was drifting away and no RTL or LOIT worked. I suspect the new anti-glitch GPS filtering routine has a bug .

- Secondly, after a few seconds from getting gps lock again, quad entered in GPS FAILSAFE, LAND mode kicked in and i LOST CONTROL of roll/pitch, even i had GPS lock and RC control (LAND mode should give roll/pitch authority, but the way)

-After crashing and loosing the copter, with only video telemetry available until hit the earth (mavlink PC telemetry was lost first) i managed to get the gps coordinates of the crash location. I added them into google earth but somehow it didn't point exactly the spot. MissionPlanner should have a box where to manually put crash GPS coordonates from video link in the same format mavlink offers from video telemetry. Is more fast and reliable to use MP to find your crashed copter, and prefetched maps are a real help also (no need to connect to internet)

I will attach log in a few hours.


Hi John,

The graph is correct as it shows me taking off and landing about 8 times.  I dont have a filter on my sonar but it is covered.  I will do a single takeoff flight and hover for a few minutes without using sonar and post a graph again...


Yes you can just set I after you find a good value for P.

You should tune THR_ACCEL_P And leave the others alone. Mack sure your vibrations are good though.

Andre , I meant to make sure your baro is covered with foam. They recommend to use a filter for the sonar to prevent rf noise that would make it making unstable. Check the Wiki out

Sorry I only saw now what I wrote.  What I meant was I dont have a filter on my sonar and my BARO is covered with foam yes.  I moved my sonar out from underneath the quad to out infront between the arms long time ago - see below:

After I moved it the alt_hold improved dramatically back then...

Thanks Leonard. Might be worthwhile then to make this clearer in the wiki?

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