Developer

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, firmware.diydrones.com, 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.

http://ardupilot.com/downloads/?did=63

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.

3691032069?profile=original

3691032034?profile=original

4. If you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware.

http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/common-ppm-encoder/

http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/common-ppm-encoder-apm2x-atmega32u2/

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        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33Tl_rjhQEE
AC 3.0 "Live" Compass Calibration  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmsueBS0J3E
AC 3.0 CompassMot Setup                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vZoPZjqMI4
AC 3.0 Pre-Arm Checks                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ3H2eLmStI
AC 3.0 Fence                                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDnGdo54o-4
AC 3.0 Maiden Flight Checks             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOQPrTdrQJM

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Replies

  • When will the official release come out
  • Hi Randy and Developer Team.

    My Loiter Test result was awesome, Thanks for your hard work!!

    Any suggestions to improve loiter performance are very welcome..

  • I was flying my copter and noticed that the back right motor (M4) kept on dipping and the quad wouldnt fly level.  When I analized the log files I got this graph clearly showing M4 being different than the others.  Is this a sign of a hardware failure perhaps?  Im not sure how to interpret the motor logs.

    3692752384?profile=original

    2013-06-22 16-43-40.tlog

    2013-06-22 16-48 1.log

  • Developer

    I've added a video about the new Fence feature is AC3.0.  Then fence is fairly easy to set-up and hardly needs an introduction but you might at least take some comfort in seeing it actually work.

  • I did the upgrade successfully, and it worked (I got a message saying "done"). And I reconnected in Mission planner, and all seemed to be working, had a look around, all looked good. So I disconnected from Mission Planner (pressed the disconnect button), exit Mission Planner, disconnected USB from computer which powered off APM 2.5

    Now when I try to reconnect, I plug USB in, I get orange flashing light like normal on APM 2.5, but no red or blue light. And I can't connect in Mission Planner, it just times out. Any ideas?

  • Hi Randy,

    Can you tell me about the HIL support in 3.0.0. I had tried HIL in Xplane with 2.9.1. Nothing expect the stabilize mode seemed working. In any other mode the Quad would go crazy and crash eventually. QRO_X was the quad model that I used in Xplane.

    Let me know.

    Thanks!

  • Ohooo,new Mission Planer graphic..nice...I wonder is there solution for this;when i go and fly to some place where i was not before and have no internet connection there is no maps stored i just get blue screen..is it possible to store maps somehow?I do have Google Earth on my Notebook but that does not help.. usually i use Ovi map bcs. of higher resolution...

  • Moderator

    Randy, what must we look at to chase down a little toilet bowling problem?

    I had a flight during the week which seemed perfect, today in a different location Loiter was bad again. I redid compassmot and the compass dance with battery in.

  • Im posting here as the other post ran out of space.

    As Randy mentioned the magfield is very low in parts of South Africa and South America. Im in South Africa and the other night I got a magfield reading of 190~193.  Today however I get a reading of 173~175 and I noticed on the flight data screen that my copter is facing slightly off the direction that it's actually pointing in.  When it was in the 190 range the heading was spot on...

  • Does the order of operations matter between doing the compassmot and live compass calibration?

This reply was deleted.

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