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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  • Making the question in other way. The Autopilot will put the COT in the same place as the COG to a level flight.

    According to this, it will be better to have already the COG coincident with COT to have all motors rotating at the same speed. Just to not overheat the back motors. I'm thinking right?

    So, why the autopilot is not correcting that? Why the aircraft is flying forward and I have to keep the stick back all the time to compensate?

  • I have to move the COG to the COT?

  • What could originated the esc/Motor fail? They appear to work well just in arm position. I will wait more opinions to decide if I dry another flight.

    I selected V-Type frame in the configuration. It's correct, right? I have to modify anything in another place?

    This is the frame:


    It's normal to have this kind of frame flying forward in stabilize mode at first flight? I had to trim a lot to put it leveled. I put the battery in the middle of the frame to have a COG in the COG mark as indicated in the image bellow:


  • I tried via USB and it worked.

    Here it's:

    Your help discovering what cause the crash will be very appreciated. You can see in the Roll graph what happen. But I don't know the cause.

  • I could be way off (usually am) but to me it looks like you had an esc/motor failure causing the roll as there is no radio input to command a roll and the desroll doesn't match roll at all.

    But the log doesn't look right to me, the TimeMS values have 3 big jumps as if there is chunks (around 4 minutes) of the log file missing.

  • thanks for the clarification! still does not work for me via usb, though - not sure why (never did)

  • As Paul said, I could never download logs from my APM over telemetry radio only over USB as it used to time out.

    It is called downloading via mavlink but it doesn't mean it HAS to be done via the telemetry radio.

  • I can assure you. I am only able to download dataflash logs over USB. It doesn't work for me over 3DR radio.  

    I assume you are talking about the removal of the CLI (command line interface) from the APM boards, you do not need the CLI for log download.

    To download logs over USB you need to click the 'Dataflash logs' tab on the main mission planner screen (the tab is a few tabs across from the 'status' tab). From there you can download logs.

  • Paul - that is incorrect. APM no longer has the ability to download over USB, you must download logs over telemetry (which sucks). This is for the APM boards only, not pixhawk.

    Rui - disable ECC in the telemetry settings on both sides to download the logs, it's the only way that works for me.

  • Download the dataflash log over USB, it doesn't work over 3DR radio

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