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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So with the simple mode, when you ARM the copter on the ground, the current forward heading is set as the pitch forward till you change it with CH7 and CH8?

the version 3.1work with apm 1 (Now not work xbee and alt hold)? and when it is release?


- the current forward heading is set as the pitch forward : true

- till you change it with CH7 and CH8 : not true

"Reset yaw to armed" only reset yaw orientation to the armed yaw orientation. It does not reset the control direction.

It is useful if you are lost with control direction after a GPS lost in supersimple mode. You activate this function, rotate yourself in the orientation you were at arming, and push the roll / pitch stick in the right direction to get the copter back to you.

The only way to manually reset the control direction is to land and arm again.

Nevertheless the control direction will be updated during flight with supersimple.

Switching back to simple keep the last supersimple updated control direction.

Version 3.1 will have a supersimple mode, where if you are using a three position switch, you will be able to select three modes :

- simple disabled

- simple enabled

- surpersimple enabled

Before version 3.1, supersimple was available only from a parameter, so you needed to choose between simple or supersimple but it was not possible to switch between the two modes during flight.


Warning #4 was experienced and now keeping me grounded.  I had terrific high altitude loiter with very stable turning (my GoPro was permanently fixed and was rock solid) for 30 minutes (3 x 10 min) of flight time.  The very next day it was Warning #4 every time I tried Loiter and turning.  My fourth Loiter and turning ended in a hard landing on one leg that would been worse if it were higher - lost a few screws and spacers (who hasn't?) Blah, blah, blah, . . . .

How is the progress of future releases?  Might you shed some light on their status?  I know its coming as soon as possible so I have decided to wait for it before going out again.  The Developers of both the APM and Mission Planner are doing amazing things, I can't wait to see what's next.

#4 is only loiter turns in a mission. It doesn't apply to loiter mode. Which are you doing?

Maybe some kind of notification in mission planner? Distance to breach might be nice. If its already there sorry I haven't tested it out yet.

Can anyone help me??... I Didn't understand the meaning and the use of this 3 parameters:


Controls whether a curve is used to linearize the thrust produced by the motors


Set to the lowest pwm position that produces the maximum thrust of the motors.  Most motors produce maximum thrust below the maximum pwm value that they accept.

Set the pwm position that produces half the maximum thrust of the motors

On my default setup I have 1, 93 and 52...... this could be right? What is the rule to modify them?

Rino, they are used to linearize motor thrust curve.

It is useful for example when yawing. A set of motors is running slower, the other set is running faster. If the thrust curve is not linearized, then you get a bit more thrust difference on one motor set, causing ascend or descend.

This can have effects as well on the stabilization efficiency specially during descends where stability is more difficult to achieve because of turbulences and motors will run in a less linear part of the thrust curve.

You'll need a thrust test jig an a servo tester if you want to set that. The most important one is MOT_TCRV_MIDPCT.

The default values have been set a long time ago for 3DR ESCs. At this time we were using blue motors with 10" propellers.

I don't think that it is important to set them correctly for hobby use. But for professional use they certainly help to get the best possible stability.


Thanks Randy. I'll try increasing the THR_MIN a bit. I've calibrated the ESCs numerous times. They are Turnigy Plushes reflashed with BLHeli firmware. I want to wrestle with the Loiter/Althold roll twitchiness a bit more and see what I can do before I throw it out as a formal request for help. Because this is a heavy H-quad with the mass all lined up on the roll axis I'm figuring I need to have higher pitch rates than roll rates.


Right, but around here the topography is mostly up and down and heavily forested. 75m let alone 150 would often have the craft buried in a hillside, in the trees (big trees...) or out over the ocean.

I see the fence both as a last-ditch safety net but also as a more routine "leash" to simply define the desired working area - for example to keep from inadvertently flying over the someone's property while filming nearby, etc. For that reason I would like to see some other options when the fence is hit, such as simply stopping in loiter, or "bouncing" back a couple of meters. Although it's easy enough to abort an RTL.

I understand that polygonal fencing is on the way. My fantasy is that a course could be flown around an area, thus creating a fence ...


Scary that people are flying things that can't tolerate a simple (slow-ish rate) 360 yaw!! I would think if things are that shaky they'd fall out of the sky before an RTL was completed.

Also, while as you know I'm a big safety advocate, to what degree are we going to limit capabilities so they don't create a problem on underpowered or badly tuned machines?

Telemetry of course requires hardware. Lots of people, myself included, don't need it and don't use it.

I wasn't suggesting introducing any manual control into any AUTO mode. Just a distinct signal from the craft when it enters an AUTO mode on its own, in this case fence-induced RTL. I can actually force that now, by setting the RTL parameters so that craft swings around and RTLs nose-in. This is why I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to pirouette, since that's already usually a half-pirouette. The trouble with the default (I think it's still default) half-pirouette to nose-in is that if the pilot wants to immediately abort the RTL he's left in manual control with the aircraft yawed up to 180 degrees from where it was a moment ago. That can be disorienting and there are plenty of people who aren't comfortable flying nose-in. So often a pilot's first move on taking back control will be to yaw the craft back to tail-in orientation. Now a 360 yaw has been completed anyway.   

Hi Olivier and Bill,

Oliver, is really just talking about a 360 degree yaw, not even a fast 360 degree yaw, just an action to take to indicate that you ran into the fence and it is now undertaking fence response action.

As it is if you have RTL set to go to the direction of travel it will do a 1/2 turn anyway, this way you would simply always get at least 1 full turn even if RTL is set to return facing in the same direction as original.

As it is now when you run into the fence, the copter simply immediately puts into effect the selected RTL response, basically it takes stick control away from you and starts heading off in a direction hopefully back towards you.

You certainly don't know immediately what has happened or why and this period of confusion can certainly leave open the possibility that you may undertake what turns out to be some unfortunate course of action.

A guaranteed 360 degree standing rotation would make it entirely clear that you have entered RTL mode.

I actually think this should be a user settable parameter option for RTL itself, not just fence.

The idea of protecting users from there own actions by making all decisions for them is completely inappropriate for this group of bleeding edge researchers, which is what we all are.

Give them the information and let them make the decision, certainly, the code effort and resources are infinitesimal for this.

We aren't making this for the Parrot group or even the DJI Phantom group, this is DIYDrones.

Bill, Your analysis of fence use is too narrow.

For high speed Acro flying probably it is just right, but for all the uses the fence could be put to, not so much.

Rather than being just a last ditch safety device, the fence is perfectly useful in a wide variety of scenarios.

And for our little copters often flown very close in with precise video and photographic requirements, the degree of protective envelope it can provide could sometimes be very small and still be very functional.

This is also why we need a user settable parameter that provides an alternate response to the simple RTL like fence bounce for instance or stand in place and spin maybe.

For the next while at least, the most common expanded use we are going to see of these little multicopters is as photo and video platforms and for that, Simple and Super Simple modes now provide an easy way to ignore copter orientation and simply use it as a platform to keep the camera aimed where we want it while flying around.

Our UAVs, Copters, Planes are rapidly in the process of becoming tools, rather than toys and it is because of the features that have been recently added that this is true.

A few small additons and user choices can improve their usefulness even more.

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