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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  • when I load the latest firmware, I can connect to my apm 2.5 over usb with no lipo connected and all is fine. I proceed to calibrate my radio, accel, and turn on current sensor, optical flow, and sonar. then I disconnect and try to reconnect. usb connection fails, and no matter what I do I can not connect again. if I plug in the lipo motors will be an spin on their own. i thought maybe that all the sensors drew to much power over the USB connection, so i that's why i tried to connect with a lipo plugged in. today i even got hold of another APM 2.5, still no luck. im a good trouble shooter and usually work these things out. unless there is something im doing wrong....... back to 2.9.1b, works every time no funny business. i appreciate everyone's patience's and for the help i have received. this is making me loose sleep now. here is my copter and a list of its componets, let me know if anyone sees any red flags that would stop  me from using firmware 3.0.1rc1

    if anyone lives near geelong, Victoria, Australia, and can solve this there is many beers and free life time membership to our hacker workshop with access to all the tools you can dream of!





    apm 2.5


    voltage and current sensor

    optical flow

    ublox gps

     30amp multistar opto with simonK firmware.



  • Hi All,

    Just a quick question about the versions of  AC 3.0.

    In missionplanner if you use the button beta firmware you get version AC 3.0 RC 1.

    But if I go to the download sites github etc I see that AC 3.0 RC 6 is already available.

    What is the reason that missionplanner shows RC1?

    Thanks Erik

  • I had another uncontrolled roll today with my Quad. This time I think I had all the right logging on.


    3DR Quad frame Rev C
    APM 2.5 running 3.0.1-Rc1
    uBlox LEA-6H GPS
    3DR AC2830-358 850KV motors
    3DR 20A ESCs
    APC 10x4.7 props
    3S 5000mAH battery
    Spektrum AR8000 Rx

    Spektrum DX8 Tx

    It initially appeared as if I was having a loiter fly away as the quad rolled hard left. I snapped it back to stabilize and used stick input to fight it and turn it into a slow controlled crash. 


    3692766876?profile=originalThe quad did not flip or move more than 45 degrees past level. The MP screen capture is with it sitting on my table. It just thinks its continuously rolling right now.

    2013-07-08 20-22 11.log

    2013-07-08 20-11-53.tlog

  • Loiter test of my 3DR Hex using version 3.0.1 rc1 after solving problems with magnetic and GPS interference.

    GPS interference improved by mounting on a elevated support on the top plate.

    GPS Mount.jpg

  • Hello,

    I come back to you to ask you some help.
    Last week, my quad crashed for no reason (throttle suddenly cut off) and today, while coming back in RTL, I had a scary fly away.

    I can't see anything from the log, can you ??

    My config :

    450 quad, 1000kv with 10x4.7 prop, 30A ESC, 2.2Ah 3S battery, APM2.5 3.0.1rc1


  • Installed latest Acro mod, reset all loiter parameters to V3 defaults and it worked not bad, but copter starts wandering on yaw input. Set all compassmot values back to zero and it got better! Adjusted declination manually, will recalibrate ACCs and compass tomorrow.

    As Acro is way better than 2.9.1b and RTL operates well enough I will stick to 3.0.1rc1ACRO second edition!

  • Positive feedback 3.0.1-rc1. Took the quad to test loiter at the beach in sustained winds 23 mph, clearly a great improvement over 2.19b.  Expecting bright sun and high winds, we placed a centimeter of black fabric directly over the pressure sensor, inside the 3DR APM case that came with it.  Our voltage is off by ~ 0.5, for this MP version, could not find the APM Input Voltage to adjust it (did not try to change the default voltage divider).

  • I tried to use CONDITION_YAW in 3.0 via the mission planner over the weekend and had the following results:

    1. The absolute/relative flag is ignored.  The turns are always relative.

    2. The CW/CCW flag is ignored.  Turns are always clockwise.

    3. Negative values for turn amount are ignored. No turn is done if you put in a negative value.

    4. Values over 180 degrees are ignored, no turn is done.


    On the other hand, the ROI command seems to work well, except that it causes significant jerkiness in the motion of the copter.


    I don't have a gimbal on my quad and was trying to use the heading of the copter to film a tour of a location.

  • there is a repo somewhere for 3.0.x?
    and anyone know how far is the fix for OptFlow and sonar?

  • Hi. As of right now, there are 114 pages and 1367 replies to this thread. Getting overwhelming and hard to follow. Was wondering if there was any chance a new Arducopter 3.0 Category could be created so that individual issues could have their own separate post? May be easier to navigate and find info?

This reply was deleted.


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