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   

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  • Hello everyone,

    Yestoday a make couple of flights with v3.0. Px4- Works as expected. Everything almost perfected (maybe small woobles in loiter but i'm have used stock pids)

    But with APM2.5 I've got crash. I was inspected all logs and video and still can not understand it was my fault or controller.

    My mistakes:

    1. I used new GSP+Compass so I have connected all wires (telemetry, I2C, PW, GPS) to my board. This wires twisted board on my vibro platform. So i've got slow yaw drifting. You can see it on video.

    2. I didn't configured GPS. Also i didn't wait enough time after 3DFix and put it in air only with 6-7 satellites.


    Some Interesting thinks I have noticed. Logs show me that board is APM2 but I have APM2.5. (With 2.9.1 i have 2.5 in logs)

    NLon in end of flight become to grow.

    At end of flight copter became uncontrollable I was in little panic and cant really remember was mode was.(logs show loiter)

    I suppose it was my fault with not accurate control but I'm not sure. Please someone who have free time look to my logs confirm(оr not) my opinion.

    Here is the video of end of flight.



  • The only other issue from a few hours of solid testing with 3.0rc6 yesterday was a tip over on AUTO landing. I seem to recall auto takeoff+landing was being improved in 3.0 in terms of the I-term building up when on the ground? 

    In my case the copter drifted about a meter just before touchdown so was fighting to get back to position as it landed. The motors wound down a little on contact with the ground, so it seems to have registered the touchdown, but then it was still trying to get back to that position and it started to tip over. I took it back to STAB before it actually tipped though.

    Sorry for the shotgun feedback, I think it's better to have a separate post per issue. All in all I was super impressed with 3.0 yesterday, congrats to everyone involved!

  • Circle mode is AWESOME! Previously I've practiced trying to do orbital moves around myself facing inward. When you get it right the footage looks really cool, and it's a shot you can't get with traditional camera rigs. But it's super hard to do smoothly.

    AC3.0's CIRCLE mode is a way better pilot than me,  enter the distance and rate to circle and it does it perfectly:


    I did see one glitch though. I tried and couldn't repro it afterwards but one time I entered circle mode it moved in the right way but wasn't yawing in to face the center of the circle but kept a fixed heading.

    In the attached .tlog you can see the first circle around 53.5% works perfectly, but the one after it at 57% has a fixed yaw.

    Tlog and dataflash log attached.

    2013-06-22 08-08-53.tlog

    2013-06-22 09-22 5.kmz

  • Thanks Olivier, will have a play this afternoon. Thanks for the help!
  • Hi Randy, latest software looks great, cant wait to give it a go. I spoke to you over the issue with jr ppm channel setting. Ive checked the github and i dont think the code has been written to accommodate this fix yet (hopefully Im wrong). Can i change it in the same way as 2.9.1 with rc in code 1 and 2 switch? Cheers Alex  

  • Hello 

    When i go to the site listed above i get an error message failed connection i am trying to update my mission planner and APM can someone please list the new download site as the old one says no longer supported thanks.


  • Another question: If I were to run the LEVEL command in CLI, does it overwright the ACC calibration values/process or does it just reset the level?

  • Just a quick question: Is there a special way to enable MODE logging?  I've tried "enable mode" but no luck...

  • About manually enter a declination in MP v1.2.55 Declination box

    Is value in Declination box(MP) same as COMPASS_DEC in adv_Parameter_List.

    Why i ask:

           when enter 1.57 in Declination box it convert to 1,5795, that is fine, but COMPASS_DEC value is  0.028


  • Hi Guys,

    Congrats to all involved, the level of performance now is nothing short of marvelous !

    I have done several flights now with a big octo and overall I think i am pretty close except for rate of climb / decent.

    Attached is a graph of alt vs waypoint alt which shows the slower than demanded rate of climb and decent,... and yes it was 350 meters... (pretty damn small up there!!  it was a Photographic job) if Randy or some of you guys that know how to readthe logs could have a quick look and let me know if I can tighten this up I would really appreciate it!   I have played with it for quite a while and this is as close as I have got. very happy with the track and way it handles waypoints now, just the climb rate to go (i think anyway, happy to be corrected though!) Oh on the climb i did notice it pulsing a little and in loiter the motors sound slightly nervous? rock solid in stab....

    Also if there is other logs I should be logging to help please let me know!

    Best regards to all!


    2013-06-23 18-08 7.log


This reply was deleted.


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