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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Mine is 148% and it loiters ok at P0.8.Seems "fidgety" though...(not a DJI frame)

Today i did some test flying and wanted to check out the vibration on the board.

But i could not get raw logging to enable. Did i do something wrong?

I believe Raw is now IMU with 3.0. Try "enable IMU".

how about this?

I'm a little scared because my rate_d and rate_p are so huge comparing with other values i've seen(including my past quads)

Is it because i have 390kv engines with a 4s and 15x4.5 wooden propellers?

Is it safe to go higher than rate_p >2.5? and rate_d>0.0130?

Erwin, I believe RAW has been renamed IMU

Do you have foam covering the baro? Is it in the 3dr case? I've read about this happening before with regards to prop wash throwing off the readings.

With the new version 3.0, RAW is renamed to IMU. You should use enable IMU.

I moved my ESC farther away from the APM, and got it down to 87%.  Haven't tried a test flight yet, but will soon.

Just checked if the motors are still working. I had still the same behaviour. Just a little throttle on the stick make the motors spin full power. So i did the following - i deleted the logs. After that, the motors are working normal again. What the hell is that?

Hi Martin. This thread is dedicated to version 3.0. You should post in the 2.9 thread for help request.

I think you did a big error, rate pitch and rate rool P gain are set to 1.0. This explain why the copter was fully uncontrollable.

Normal rate P gains are Between 0.09 and 0.15. So here you are more than 6 times higher !


Very nice, happy flying Erwin !

Mine is at 360 after rewiring it to bring it down from 260ish. Doh! It's really such a small quad that it begs for the external mag.

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