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:
WPNAV_SPEED, WPNAV_SPEED_UP, WPNAV_SPEED_DN, WPNAV_ACCEL allows configuring speeds and acceleration during missions
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!
Steve, i did it for Radio Failsafe and submitted it to the Wiki team for inclusion.
It is now on this page in the Throttle Failsafe chapter.
It is up to date up to APM:copter version 3.0.1 RC1 and PPM encoder version 2.3.16.
Great Olivier!.. Now there is a detailed flow-chart on the page. I will study it when I get a chance...
Almost went back to 2.9.1.
10 x 4.7apc props
Decided on Wednesday to make the move to version 3.0.1 rc1 and that was the start of the problems.
compassmot gave me a reading of 174% which I got down to 24% by twisting the wires from the battery to the PDB and speed controllers, Instead of routing the motor wiring through the arms and back to the speed controller they now run direct from motor to speed controller via the bottom of the arms finally moved APM to the second level as per Randy's video.
This all caused another problem although the GPS was getting a lock according to the kmz file was jumping around by 10 to 20m on in some cases. I assumed that was caused by some sort of interference off the APM which was directly below. The GPS module is now on a 30mm standoff at he back corner of the top plate.
Still some file tuning to do but the Hexcopter is a lot better.
Hopes this helps someone
My post below this may be helpful
Thanks Dave! That's a dramatic improvement. - I picked up one point there that I never tried - twisting the battery to PDB cable. WIll try that when I come back to 3.x.x. My power cables to the ESC's are only 2-3cm long, so not really practical to twist those.
PS - how many times did you run compassmot? I ran 2-3 attempts for each calibration, and got big variances. The testing procedure - specifically how quickly you throttle down at the end seemed to affect mine. I would need to do more tests to confirm this (but I just don't have the time or energy right now).
Euan, Check this out
And this is a perfect example of what I was going on about when I said we were going in the wrong direction with compassmot.
I know you mean well, but I'm not reading this. I barely understand it. I *can't* read it. The devs might be able to, but they're way smarter than me. I know the precept of APM is DIY and open source, but I didn't realise I needed to be a physics major to make my quads fly. As we seriously expecting people to understand this physical concept and use it to apply structural changes to their quads?
As I said - this is probably dynamite info you've posted here, and I appreciate it, but for joe public buying his first 3.0.0 APM, this is just way too much.
Just read the 3 points.
There are 8 (5 are sub points), and they still don't make sense.
"The magnetic field increases as a function of the enclosed loop area Pi R^2"
Pure gibberish for anyone who is not a mathmetician or a physist. And that's only point 1.