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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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.

I will try to do that by the end of the day. Roman

That would be a great idea.  A subforum for each release, so it's easier to find issues.

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).

This is what you added? That is really helpful!! Thanks!

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!

thanks !

I was looking at this guide (a month ago?) and it was for 2.5 only.

Thanks again !


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


Log file


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.



I like your setup. Which landing gear and mounting hardware are you using?


The landing gear is the long landing gear from my vario skyfox not used since i moved the mechanics into a Bell 222. The gear is screwed onto the frame using the bolts through the 2 front and back arms.

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