ArduCopter-3.0 ready for wider use

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.

3691031698?profile=original3. 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   

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Moderator

    Hey guys - had a decent amount of time to set up and play with the 3.0.0 today and flew for a total of 25 minutes.

    After updating the PPM encoder and performing the live compass calibration I took the quad out for a fly and found stabilise and altitude hold to be perfect.  Loiter took a little time to settle down but by the end it was just sitting in the same spot perfectly still.

    I didn't perform the CompassMot setup based on what I experienced flying.  The APM is approximately 3 cms above the PDB.  There is vibration foam and a plastic sheet (bottom of a CD case) between the PDB and the APM.

    I did notice that:

    * when switching from stabilise to alt.hold there was no drop in motor (or altitude) like there was with 2.9.1 (this didn't happen before 2.9.1 either). 

    * it was much smoother and responsive when changing directions suddenly (however)

    * it didn't seem to go as fast?

    Again, thanks to all the developers, Michael Oborne for Mission Planner, beta testers and all the mavens answering questions here.

    Video of the first flight post upgrade below:

  • This is just amazing!

    I first flew the rc6 release two days ago with my old Flycam 925 motors with excellent results. Though I had severe vibrations from two of the motors giving me +-2.5 G i z-acc.

    Now two days later I've rebuild the quad and fitted some Tiger Motors MT2216-11 and after some heavy wind last night with some inflight CH6 PID tuning it works wonders.

    I also did a throttle compassmot today and got:

    thr:601 cur:0.00 mot x: 3.9 y: 0.5 z:-2.3  comp x:-2.10 y:-2.66 z:3.47

    thr:0 cur:0.00 mot x:-0.1 y: 0.5 z:-1.3  comp x:-1.95 y:-2.74 z:3.65

    Interference at full throttle is 1% of mag field


    This is with an external compass mounted 95mm above the power dist board next to the GPS. :)

    And lets talk about the graphing the IMU logs. I did a quick hover inside the livingroom with IMU logs enabled.

    +-1G in all axis! :D The new tiger motors and my vibration mounts works it like a boss.


    Got to love this community and the awesome hardware! Now the hardest part is left, learning to fly better :D

  • I flew copter in simple mode on loiter, alt_hold and stabilization for tuning PID. The copter is tend to counter clockwise Yaw movement. The attached chart shows magnetic field, especially mag-Y value is linked to unintended yaw movement. 


    Actually, I put manual yaw input several times as you can see.

    There is no toilet bowling movement is observed on loiter. However, some magnetic filed interference brought unintended yaw movement on the copter.

  • Moderator

    The mission planner CLI 'compassmot' calibration screen now states to raise throttle to the midpoint for 5 secs, so is it no longer required to go to full throttle for 10 secs?

  • Randy, Craig,

    I just realized the Mission Planner use old Google image taken a few years ago. (At least for my home area) When I go to Google map, there is a new image taken just a few months ago.

    Why is that? Wouldn't the mission planer get the images from Google directly over internet?

  • Today, I had test loiter when headwind come it about 3-5 knots. it's awesome and still hold position.

    This's my PID config


  • I've been trying to follow Randy's guides and think I've followed all the steps.  But I can't seem to get past ALT-HOLD testing, stabilize works pretty well haven't changed any of the default values.  When I switch to ALT-HOLD, as long as I don't let the copter wander it is fairly stable.  But any sort of flying starts cause the copter to vary its altitude a lot, as much as 10 or 15 meters.  I've attached a log file, flew in ALT Hold from the early on and very gently kept the copter in a small area.  At around 15k-16k mark I flew forward at maybe 1meter a second or so, bit more than a walk.  After just a few meters, the quad just dropped from about 5 or 6 meters to the ground and flopped about for a few seconds till I recovered enough to kill it.


    Looking at the log, the barometer spikes at the end of the flight and seems to add several meters to the actually height, causing the plunge.  Any suggestions as to where I might start looking?




    2013-06-22 18-51 1.log

  • Holy Moses whatta release !!!

    Loaded 3.0 in the morning on my APM2 machine and flew 10 packs. Only had to dial acro_P lower, then _D higher then _P back up. Everything else is at default. Skipped compassmot because loiter and carefree worked dead-on.

    It probably would benefit from a few parameter touches here-and-there, but I was too busy gaping at how well the machine was behaving. Congratulations folks !!!

  • Hi Folks!

    And congrats on the stunning 3.0!

    I loaded it the other day, calibrated everything and went out the same evening. Did a few turns in STAB, switched to ALT_HOLD - worked fine - then LOITER and watched my hexa just sit there for minutes! If it wasn't for my ears I'd be smiling all around!! Tried pushing it over but it just bungeed back! Fantastic is all I can say.

    Today as I was out doing the same testing in relatively strong wind I noticed in STAB it would "twitch" a little now and then, felt like a good old 35MHz glitch. The LOITER was still fantastic! It fought the wind just great!

    I can't really figure out the log analysing thing so I ask if any of you guys could have a look at my log file.

    Happy Man Bent Are

    2013-06-22 20-26 1.log

  • When will the official release come out
This reply was deleted.


Gremsy liked Gremsy's profile
Mar 12
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: Donkeycar 4.4 released with tons of new features, including path learning (useful with GPS outdoors), better Web and Lidar supp…
Nov 27, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @NXP: We are already biting our nails in anticipation of the #NXPCupEMEA challenge! 😉 Did you know there are great cash prizes to be won…
Nov 24, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @gclue_akira: レースまであと3日。今回のコースは激ムズかも。あと一歩 #jetracer
Nov 24, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
UC Berkeley's DIY robocar program
Nov 24, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: The next @DIYRobocars autonomous car race at @circuitlaunch will be on Sat, Dec 10. Thrills, spills and a Brazilian BBQ. Fun…
Nov 24, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @arthiak_tc: Donkey car platform ... Still training uses behavioral cloning #TCXpo #diyrobocar @OttawaAVGroup
Nov 20, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @emurmur77: Points for style. @donkeycar racing in @diyrobocars at @UCSDJacobs thanks @chr1sa for taking the video.…
Nov 20, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Going to @diyrobocars race at @UCSDJacobs
Nov 8, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Race @diyrobocars at @UCSDJacobs thanks @chr1sa for taking the video.
Nov 8, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @PiWarsRobotics: Presenting: the Hacky Racers Robotic Racing Series in collaboration with #PiWars. Find out more and register your inter…
Oct 23, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @Hacky_Racers: There will be three classes at this event: A4, A2, and Hacky Racer! A4 and A2 are based around UK paper sizing and existi…
Oct 23, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Oct 23, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Oct 19, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Oct 18, 2022
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @NeaveEng: Calling all UK based folks interested in @diyrobocars, @f1tenth, @donkey_car, and similar robot racing competitions! @hacky_r…
Oct 13, 2022