ArduCopter 3.0 is ready for widespread use.  To make the transition easier, this time we are asking people to voluntarily upgrade from 2.9.1b for the next month or so before we make 3.0 the default firmware downloaded by the mission planner.  The new version can be found in the Mission Planner's Beta firmware's link,, GitHub and the new Downloads Area.

Warning #1: A bug was found in the FENCE in which if you lost GPS it could lean at extreme angles as it tried to maintain an invalid position.  This is fixed in AC3.0.1-rc1.

Warning #2: This release has not been fully tested on Traditional Helicopters

Warning #3: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the WPNAV_ACCEL to 100 and Loiter PID to 0.2 (from 1.0) to reduce aggressiveness.

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.

2. Click on the MissionPlanner's Firmware screen and click the "Beta Firmwares" link on the bottom right.  The version numbers should update to "ArduCopter-3.0.1rc2", 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. If you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware.

5. Try out the new version in stabilize mode first, then alt-hold, then loiter and finally RTL and Auto.

Special Thanks to MarcoDaveC and the rest of the beta testers for putting 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.  

Added by Craig:

Please watch Randy's videos on setting up and flying APM-Copter 3.0 before you go flying.  They are excellent!

3DR Quad Set-Up Suggestions
AC 3.0 "Live" Compass Calibration
AC 3.0 CompassMot Setup      
AC 3.0 Pre-Arm Checks            
AC 3.0 Fence                               
AC 3.0 Maiden Flight Checks   

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Thanks Randy and if you could edit the main top post for this and the note around how to now play with acceleration ... configurable ust reduce the WPNAV_ACCEL parameter from 250 to 100 as many will want to make the copter slower to react when they are in their learning phase. 

Phenomenal work guys (again!) 


    Thanks and done.


I am having trouble with telemetry now that I upgraded to 3.0 on my quad.

It works fine and allows me to change the parameters, gains, and view its location, but the left side of the 'flight data' display is not working. It does not show GPS lock (even though it is), the horizon does not work, and no battery data. The rest of telemetry seems to work fine.


Thanks! V3 is looking good!

EDIT: Now it is working... Not sure what was going on.


Hi Guys,

Thanks for the hard work and new killer release. I've tried rev.3 since rc2 and have flown every rc up to rc5 on my big H quad(Galactica).

I took up rc5 yesterday(not sure what has changes to release 3.0.0) and experienced the great stability in alt hold and loiter. I set the quad in loiter for a few minutes. I then performed a few yaw's whilst in loiter. She did the yaws without event, but a few seconds later dropped about 5meter. Recovered, and dropped again. I went back to stabilise and did a manual hover and alt hold for another 12 minutes(battery issue ruled out).

Would this behaviour be part of warning 2?

(Warning #2: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the WPNAV_ACCEL to 100 and LOIT_SPEED to 400 to reduce aggressiveness.)

Thanks, Antonie


      Not much has changed between -rc5 and 3.0.0.  Just a few bug fixes to circle mode and we reduce the Alt Hold P gain from 2.0 to 1.0.   Ah, and we added the WPNAV_ACCEL parameter.

     I don't think a GPS glitch would be the cause of your altitude loss.  It's more likely a barometer issue or vibration.  We'd need to see a tlog or dataflash log to know.  I'd prefer a dataflash log if you can find them.

I made a mistake when doing the release and accidentally released out of our master branch instead of the special purpose ArduCopter-3.0 branch.  The effect is that an untested feature called RCMAP (which allows the pilot to configure which input channel is used for roll, pitch, yaw and throttle) got into the release.

I've just updated the version coming out of mission planner so that the feature is removed.  I don't believe there is any real danger but if you've loaded AC3.0 between now and when I created this thread (about 1.5days ago) I'd like you to reload AC3.0 at a convenient moment.



Could you please clarify the Rate and the Stabilize P values for the new v3.0.0 version?

I watched your video on how to adjust the stabilize P with channel 6. I am using 2.9.1 and about to switch to 3.0.0 My rate and stabilize P values are working fine for me.

Now do I need to reduce any of them? If so which one(s): Rate P or Stabilize P?

Someone mentioned by 10%. Is it pretty much right?

Currently Rate P = 0.1120; Stabilize P = 3.3



     No need to modify any of the stabilize or rate gains (except for the loiter rate) as part of the upgrade.

Great thanks. I will not bother changing anything then. I never changed loiter rate. I always use the default.

When I load the v3.0.0, would my rate and stabilize P values stay the same?

Or would I need to go change them back to my 0.1120 and 3.3 respectively?

Someone said before that if the code doesn't make any change to default values, all the adjusted parameters (by the user) kept same after the upgrade. If default values changed for any specific parameter(s), then user specified values for those parameters changed back to the default values. Correct?


     Yes, the rate and stabilize values will not change as you upgrade.

      That last bit you quoted is not quite right.  If the *user* has not changed any values from their default then as part of the upgrade, the parameters will be automatically changed to their new defaults.  If the user has changed values then the upgrade process will not touch them so if they need to be changed then the user will need to change them manually.

      Basically it's sort of like, "if you touch the parameter, you own it".  Once you modify a parameter the upgrade process will leave it alone.

Very glad I have asked Randy. I remembered it now that it was exactly the way you said. It is better this way; it makes more sense...For some reason, I didn't remember it correctly. 

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