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.

3. 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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Really happy to see this Randy,

Sometimes when you get to the edge of the cliff the only available option is to jump off - (Butch and Sundance).

I'll be updating the APM:Copter Wiki to cover all things 3.0.

Congratulations to you and the whole dev and test team for getting this huge batch of changes and improvements to this point.


I was hoping to be the first one to post here. I'm glad that 3.0 is out...

Watch out, Naza...

Count me too!

Very nice, I'm using RC5 in a big octo and the stabilize and loiter are so good... 

Ready, loaded, for tests, question the parameter coaxial y6 and 8x Motor top-bottom to this? not find


     I removed the TBRATIO parameter in 3.0 because even in previous versions it wasn't actually doing anything.  We can add support for different top-bottom ratios but I've heard some people say that the best way to deal with this is to put different sized props on the top and bottom.  I'm no expert but this seems like a reasonable solution because I imagine that motors spinning at different speeds could hurt performance in extreme cases because it slightly increases the change that one of the motors would hit it's limits sooner.  For example a faster spinning motor is more likely to hit the top limit, a slow spinning motor the bottom limit.  Once a limit is hit, we start reducing the gains on all motors to keep them balanced.

  • GPS failsafe - switches to LAND if GPS is lost for 5 seconds

GPS failsafe only triggered when copter at GPS required modes, so when i don't have GPS lock when alt-hold, it would not matter.. am i right ?


     Yes, that's right.  It will only trigger if you lose GPS while you're in a mode that requires GPS.  Alt Hold, Stabilize, Acro won't be affected.

Awesome!.. I have been holding at 2.9.1 for months and very soon I will be upgrading to v3.0.0-rc6.0:)))

 Hi! I'm waiting for the firmware V3. I think I updated it with 2.9.1b. 2.9.1.b copter I have good flying.

Thanks Randy, Leonard and the whole Dev team for this milestone release.
I remind all users that want to try the V3 to minimize vibrations to the board (imperative with this release) and carefully cover the barometer, even better using the appropriate 3DR plastic box.
To get the performance in Loiter shown in my video it's absolutely necessary to follow some steps:

- reduce the vibrations from your quad
- calibrate the accelerometers with the "six positions" step
manually calibrate your compass
- tune your motors magnetic interference with the new "compassmot" command in CLI
- set your declination manually, and then tune it in flight with CH6

Performance not in line with my videos are synonymous of wrong parameters tuning, too high vibrations or poor hardware (unbalanced propellers, very poor motors quality, etc.), not a malfunction of the code.

Bests, Marco

best one ever..Thank you all!

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