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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oh thanks i will defiantly try that! thanks!!!

I have sent Marco some test code so hopefully I will be able to report a fix soon!

Fingers crossed........

If I was on your side of the bay I would gladly help. Sometimes just restarting MP or your computer can help and making sure you can see the com port. Pretty basic and you have probably tried it. Otherwise just go through a proses of elimination.

hey randy
yesterday I tried arducopter v3 on my quadcopter
I use NEO-6M GPS module
Stabilize mode looks good
loiter mode looks good
poshold mode looks good
althold mode looks good

but when I tried to RTL mode with distance approximately 10m away from the home point
4 of quadcopter motors stop working as there is no signal that go to esc
and finally crashes: D

whether the NEO-6M GPS module is not good for the APM
or the need for an external BEC to power APM

thanks before

sorry my bad english

Nope. Roll/Pitch In are definitely my stick inputs.

Roll and Pitch are what the copter is actually doing.

What Drol and Dpit are, is still beyond me.

I can't see any correlation in those 2 between stick inputs or actual copter angles, when flight mode is loiter.

INAV didn't contain anything regarding Roll/Pitch.

Hmm, maybe Drol/Dpit are responses to a position error? That would explain a lot.

DRol & DPit are the desired roll and pitch from the controller

Yeh, there is a bug that stops the I term building up.

There will be fix out shortly.

Sorry about that one!

Ok, sorry I miss read your last post.

RollIn and PitchIn are your stick inputs.

Roll and Pitch are the measured roll and pitch angles

DRol and DPit are the roll and pitch commands from the auto controller.

I'm not sure I 100% follow. But the main point I'm making is that current PPM is masking no PPM signal by using valid PPM signal set to certain values. This is the same problem we have with FrSky RC Receiver holding the last known values, or when the RC receiver moves to preset failsafe values, is that we are not sure it's a failsafe condition. If we can signal from the PPM encoder its lost the signal, outside of using valid PPM values, I think that is clearer. (though it doesn't solve it for all receivers)

I'll check over the failsafe logic you posted early. It really helps. The configuration I will be checking is loss of PPM signal, as that is how I have setup my FrSky unit, and the APM/PX4 should be able to understand clearly this is a failsafe condition.

Thanks, now I understand, and the data makes sense now.

Hi Randy,

a dataflash log would be helpful.. if you already succes at loiter or althold, there should be no problem with GPS or BEC or vibration.

coba donlod lognya dulu bro, sekalian di post laporan problem.. lagian kalo loiter/althold udah sukses.

harusnya ga ada problem di GPS atau BEC atau vibrasi

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