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.
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.
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 Marco, DaveC 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 here, here, here, here, here 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!