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'm only read the advise that says 1hz ; if you check that's good :)


  • You had me worried so just checked a log and it shows it refreshing every 200ms which is 5hz I believe.

    I might be wrong but I seem to remember reading that the APM attempts to reconfigure the GPS module, or sends it's own config file to it?

  • It refresh at 1Hz by default, don't you need to change that?

  • Comment by 勇進 湯 5 hours ago

    Thanks MarkM, So this gps need changing the configuration?

    Nope, just unplugged the 6, plugged in the 8, re-did the compass calibrations and flew it.

  • Compass calib. still not working OK in APM Planner2 for Mac.10.9.5.

  • Thanks MarkM, So this gps need changing the configuration?

  • Yes it does. I have this one fitted -

    And my average sat count went from 9 to 14 and my hdop went from 1.8 to 1.1ish.

  • Can  M8N GPS work for APM 2.6? 

  • Randy: Thanks for the reply. The logs reveal that the Throttle output is indeed over 700 with the gimbal and GoPro onboard but this is the config that 3DR promotes as standard. They added a more powerful battery and motors along with lighter arms and long legs to get better performance. I did not notice any lack of climb rate performance but I did not fly except in Alt Hold, Loiter and Auto. I will try and fly with stabilize when the weather gets better here in the East. The original IRIS was notoriously underpowered with Gimbal/Camera but the IRIS+ is supposed to be much better. Any recommendations for 4S batteries that will fit the IRIS+ battery bay?

  • Developer


    I'd need to see a log to be completely sure but I think what this test is saying is that the vehicle is underpowered.  Looking quickly at the log analyser test it seems it complains if the vehicle's throttle output is over 700 but the climb rate is less than 1m/s.  I'm not sure what level the IRIS+ with gimbal hovers at but it might be around 700 or higher especially when the battery is weak (i.e. old or not fully charged).

    I often fly an IRIS+ but normally without a gimbal and it's fine.  When I fly with a gimbal I often use a 4S battery.  Anyway, this is just one person's advice..

This reply was deleted.