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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  • If I install 3.0.1rc1 over 3.0.0 can I use my current settings by loading my current param file or will I have to redue compassmot etc.

  • … few thoughts about gps glitches.

    Just to say, did not looking into the apm code, and also don’t know the new methods. In my old days, I had to code something for car gps measurements’. We also had to avoid gps-jumps (old devices).
    We developed a prediction code. We used the gps coordinates of A and calculated the coordinates of A* with a, v, t and the coordinates of last point. Then we calculated the mean of A and A* (we also had a weight variable, to give A or A* more or less weight). For the next point we did the same, but we also did a check of the delta of B and B*. Was it too high, we just used B*. For the next point, we also have gps-C and calc-C*. Was the difference between C and C* still too high, we took the mean between B and C and calculated a new C# with mean BC and t/2.

    We ended up with a little rubber band feeling, but it was very smooth. I don’t remember, if we had 2 or more (maybe) faulty points for the calculation, before we kicked the second step of this modus. For high differences, we also had a speed limit, and we calculate not the correct C# … more rubber band.

    I also remember, at first we wanted to use this code just if the differences were too high, but we kept the code in normal situations as well, because it smoothed our measurements very nicely

    maybe this is old fashioned, and you use similar more rocket science methods ;)


    best .cj

  • Just updated MP from 1.2.53 to 1.2.56
    When entering CLI I get this messages from two different APM2.5 boards:

    Board 1:
    command received: FGGOING DOWN FOR REBOOT

    Board 2:
    3command receive: OINGDOWNFORA EBOT

    Something messed up?

  • Dev team thanks for the create software.

    I just started using a APM a month ago, all seems to work great.

    Now i just updated my APM to firmware V3. Stabilization mode seems to work fine. But when i put it in loiter mode the quad just shoots off. Every time i put it in loiter mode it shoots off in a different direction. After switching between loiter and stabilization mode a few times loiter seems to work pritty well (a bit of drift). When repowering the APM the some problem seems to be there.

    Did a recalibration of the compas and compassmot. My compas mod was 300% first. After replacing the APM i got it down to 36%. Still cant get the loiter mode to work propperly. Any suggestions?



  • Moderator
    Hi Randy, I was running through some log analysis earlier and was comparing throttle vs mag field. I did notice that the mag field did get, what I would say, quite high. However, I haven't noticed any ill impact when flying. Alt.hold, stabilise, rtl and auto modes work very well. I keep seeing the importance of reducing the mag interference. But is there something else I should be looking for?
  • Hi,

    MP 1.2.56 does not work in Cli.

    Regards Peter

  • I have been working for few hours on getting the v.3.0.1. rc1 to work.

    I am at compassmot, and I am getting weird errors on the CLI.

    Here's a screen capture for you. What am I doing wrong? the apm worked fine and flew perfectly before this.

    Thank you in advance.3692756495?profile=original

  • Developer

    I have just pushed out a fix for Warning #1 re the Fence.  In about 1 hour from now if you click the Beta-firmwares link the mission planner you will see the version change to "ArduCopter-3.0.1-rc1".

    The change is limited to the Fence bug and the loss of GPS.  If you lose GPS while the circular Fence is enabled the GPS failsafe will now switch your copter to LAND mode even if you are in a mode that does not require GPS (like Stabilize or Acro).  This makes sense if you think of the Fence as trying to guarantee that you won't stray too far.  As per usual you will be able to retake control by changing the flight mode switch.

  • I have a question about AHRS_GPS_GAIN parameter. While I was fling 2.9.1 someone advise to set this parameter to Zero (0).

    I cant remeber who but someone told that with parameter should set 1 only for AdruPlane and for copter it should set to 0 to prevent GPS glichs. I was happy flying with this parameter set to 0. Loiter was the same (or even better) as NAZA.

    Can anyone comment it in case of V3.0?

  • Where is this setting WPNAV_ACCEL located in the mission planner (am using MP 1.2.55)?

    I would like to reduce WPNAV_ACCEL to 100, but I cannot find it in the MP.  I've looked everywhere.  It's not in the Adv Parameter List.


This reply was deleted.


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