ArduCopter 3.2 ready for wider use

After months of testing, ArduCopter 3.2 (aka APM:Copter) is ready for widespread use and we invite all users to give it a try.  In order to manage the support load at first it will be available only through the Mission Planner and APM Planner2's Beta Firmwares link.  This link is visible from the regular "Install Firmware" page if you check the "Advanced View" on the Config/Tuning >> Planner page.  On APM Planner2 the "Advanced View" it is under the File menu.

In about two weeks we plan to replace AC3.1.5 with AC3.2 as the default version dispensed by the ground stations.

The full list of changes can be found in the ReleaseNotes but here are the highlights:
Flight Mode Enhancements:

  • PosHold flight mode: similar to Loiter but with direct response to pilot input during repositioning
  • ACRO mode handling improvement EXPO (for faster rotations)
  • Drift mode uses "throttle assist" (similar to AltHold)
  • Smoother transitions between flight modes (i..e when entering Loiter or RTL from high speeds)

Mission Enhancements/Fixes:

New Sensors/Devices:

Safety Features:

  • EKF/DCM check will switch to LAND mode if heading error > 60deg for 1 second
  • Baro glitch detection
  • Pre-arm check for Gyro calibration success
  • Pre-arm check that internal & external sensors (gyros, accels and compass) are consistent (Pixhawk only)
  • Parachute support (Pixhawk only)
  • Feedback to Pilot when taking off in AltHold, Loiter, PosHold (i.e. motors spin up a little as throttle is raised)
  • EKF (new attitude and position estimate system only used for reference in this release)

Bug Fixes:

  • Pixhawk GPS driver buffer overflow that could lead to missed GPS messages
  • Pixhawk I2C bug that could lead freeze up if I2C bus is noisy

Known issues/Warnings:

  • Pixhawk users will need to recalibrate their compasses
  • PosHold won't show up as option on FlightMode screen if you have an old version of mission planner.  Please select Help > Check for Updates
  • Landing detector is more strict meaning it may take longer to disarm after RTL, AUTO
  • Set THR_MID parameter especially if you have a very powerful copter because "Feedback to Pilot" raises throttle to 1/2 of THR_MID
  • Spline twitches slightly as it passes a waypoint especially if WPNAV_SPEED is set > 500.
  • Dropped support for NMEA and SIRF GPS on APM boards (ran out of Flash space)
  • Dropped ssupport for sonar for MultiCopters on APM1 and TradHeli on APM1 & APM2 (ran out of Flash space)

If you hit issues, please post them in the APM Forum and include a dataflash log file if possible.

Special thanks the Marco and the Beta Testing team from the AC3.2 beta testing thread who put their copters at risk in the pursuit of a smooth, safe release.  Here are links to some of their videos: Marco's DJIs900, Holger's Water Tower, Josh's Acro, Ray's TradHeli2&FPV, Raph's Hawaii, PhillS's CommandYawThor's Zombie Run&FollowMePhanivyas's Test, Rob's TradHeli, Christian's Test1&Test2Balloon's Spline, JimJ's FPV, Ultrojo's ROI & Spline&FollowMe1&FollowMe2, Troy's Mission

Thanks also to the code contributors to this release including Tridge, Jonathan, Leonard, RobL, Paul Riseborough, MichaelO, Julien Dubois, David Dewey, Andrew Chapman, Emile, Allyson and many more.  If you want to get involved check-out our dev wiki.

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  • I don't think this is quite ready for release yet! 

  • Hmm the simplistic case does NOT work that of switch serial2 protocol to 1(GCS_MAVLINK).. needed to put Telem_Delay at 5 seconds and all works :)


  • whoops.. now I see how the telemetry link to the TX was done..

    no issues though and no splitter needed in this case as I have an upgrade IRIS+

    and dont have the trick transmitter so will simply switch back the serial2 parameter to MAVLINK..

    thanx craig!!


  • Developer

    @HZL Iris+ uses Telem 2 for FrSky protocol, not MAVlink.

    If you are using an OSD with your Iris+ you will need to use a splitter and add it to Telem 1

  • ouch

    telemetry 2 seems to not be delivering MAVLINK heartbeat messages any more

    IRIS+ Upgrade unit from retail IRIS with standard PIXHAWK

    I reinstalled all the FPV gear hooked back up to telemetry 2 on the pixhawk ...

    "waiting for MAVLINK heartbeat"  never comes out of wait.

    make sure the cable is good by switching it to telemetry 1..

    LOTS of good mavlink data on telemetry 1.. switch back to telemetry 2 and go into mission planner..enable OSD data.. clicked doesnt seem to resolve.

    I installed 3.1.5 and telemetry 2 comes right up with valid data for arducam 2.1 ..

    reinstalled 3.2 beta and broken-ness..

         thought you might like a heads up


  • I just did an upgrade to a Pixhawk and it won't take the compass calib.? No problem when I roll back. 

  • I have a new Y6 build using Pixhawk pre-installed with 3.1.5 from my 3DR Y6. It's been a while since starting from scratch.

    What is the proper procedure for installing 3.2 over older versions? I've installed it already, then went through the Wizard.


  • @Randy, that makes sense as well but increasing the WP_NAV_RADIUS helped from what I've seen in our testing this afternoon.  I'll know for sure tomorrow since it was very windy today but calm tomorrow so we'll give it another go.

    I can live with the slight twitch if it means keeping everything else which we are really happy with.  Figured out the camera tilt (angle ranges in the gimbal settings) and OSD issues too.

  • Developer

    @Yves, the only way to reduce the twitch is to reduce the WPNAV_SPEED I think.

  • @Randy here are the logs:

    Log 1:
    Log 2:

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