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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  • My Quad crashed and I cannot understand why. Maybe you can help me. I'm trying to download the flash log with 3DR radios, but I get time out. What can I do? I attached the telemetry log.

    The airframe is a reptile type like the TBS Discovery quadcopter and with APM board with Arducopter 3.2. I was trimming it because with CG in the right place it was flying forward a lot. I configured it with a V-Type frame. Do you know why in stabilize mode this happen? It's normal to trim a lot in some cases?

    When I was trimming in stabilize mode it suddenly rolled to the left and fall. I throttle down immediately. If fall from about 2 meters in thick grass and without any damage. But I only want to fly again after understand  what is wrong.


  • hmm I was looking for a way to embed them in this post... any ideas?

  • Can you post a link to the log files?


  • 3.2 fly away today. (logs attached)

    here's what happened. - this is my 5th 3DR quad (4th pixhawk quad) I have hundreds of successful flights logged.

    The quad is a QX 350 frame with a pixhawk in it, 2212-920 motors, no gimbal 4000mAh 3s weighs 1Kg.  Radio is an EZUHF 8ch.

    Its been flown a half dozen times successfully.

    Here's what happened.  I powered on, waited for GPS lock (blinking green external LED),

    Armed the arming switch while in stabilize mode, armed the quad with rudder...  as I added power, it flipped over...

    I put it back on its legs, armed it with the radio in stabilize mode again and took off... within 5 seconds it stopped responding to command from the radio... (yeah radio off enables RTL if its off, but it didn't work either.  I changed all the modes and turned the radio on and off... no change)

    I ran to the basement and grabbed the PC and the data link radio but by the time the PC link was established is was nearly a mile away... I engaged RTL from the Pc and it came home from 7200 feet away.... (good news)

    long story short... it came down a 1/4 mile away from my take off point... i have the telemetry logs for half the flight (once the data radio was connected) and I have the onboard log for the whole thing.... As i read the logs it looks like it stopped responding to the radio almost immediately... which still works (checked after rebooting the quad)... I'd sure appreciate the devs having a look at the logs and telling me what you see.... 

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • cool

  • Hi everybody,

    I just upload 3.2 in my carboncore cortex, and i wonder if i can activate ekf "just for try" or is it something to tune before use? 

    Thank you, specially to the dev team that did a really impressive work!

  • Thank's Philip for the info I'm going to read it

  • The batt FS info is here:- Even if you have multiple batteries in parallel you only need one Power module as you can only set one voltage failsafe.
  • At 10.5, that the problem thank's Philips; I concern that only the DPlanner advertise the problem  (I not use it always), but not the battery alarm, I use one in only one battery, how is better? to have one in each battery?.


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