ArduCopter 3.2 Released

ArduCopter 3.2 (aka APM:Copter) has been released as the default version replacing AC3.1.5. This is the exact same version that we invited all users to test two weeks ago.  Users who wish continue using AC3.1.5 can find it under the "Pick previous firmware" version on the MP's Install Firmware screen.

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 support 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 to 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 CommandYaw, Thor's Zombie Run&FollowMe, Phanivyas's Test, Rob's TradHeli, Christian's Test1&Test2, Balloon'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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  • @larry
    Try what I did, When I downgraded to 3.1.5 (I'm glad that I got a hex file for this stable firmware, because the Previous Firmware option gives 3,1.4 instead), I did a factory reset using CLI. That step cleared every setting on my APM.then I tried to setup my quad on 3.1.5, when I checked that everything works fine again, I updated to AC3.2.
  • I have been running FW 3.1.5 for some time with no problems. Updated to FW 3.2, now accelerometers will not calibrate. At one point I received error msg: Failed to Level: AC 22.0.37 + is required. However, I haven't received this msg since that one time. Any suggestions?
    Note: I went back and installed FW 3.1 and Accel Calibration works fine. I see in the Introduction that "AC3.2 also uses the backup compass and accels" but i'm not sure what that means or even how it affects my situation. I would love to upgrade to FW 3.2 - Help! Larry
  • i have just uploaded AC3.2 again, and it seems to work well :) no issues on arming and booting. I cant' wait to test this new firmware outside :)

  • Most gimbals are usable.  At this point, there is just a simple PWM interface, which most gimbals are already designed to accept.

  • @Dharmik Dave, I commented on this yesterday too.  I have APM 2.5 on my Steadidrone that I updated to 3.2RC and GPS stopped working with high HDOP.  Randy commented back that it should reprogram, but does not seem to be the case on mine.  As the GPS was originally programmed to use NMEA protocol and 3.2RC had dropped support of NMEA for APM boards, your GPS is probably programmed for NMEA and will only work with Pixhawk as is.  You must reprogram the GPS to use UBX protocol for use with APM board on 3.2RC.

    What I ended up doing was connect my GPS to computer using USB FTDI cable and went into uCenter to reprogram it.  You will see it working in uCenter as soon as you connect it.  Hit F9 to bring up the message view.  Drill down to UBX and enable GPS in GNSS section and make sure to select auto channel.  Make sure you hit send and then UBX=>CFG=>PRT - set UART1 to 38400bps and make sure ALL the protocol settings are on 0+1 UBX+NMEA.  Hit SEND.  UBX=>NAV (not UBX=>CFG=>NAV): double click on POSLLH, STATUS, VELNED. They should change from grey to black. SEND. UBX=>CFG=>CFG : save current config, click "send" in the lower left corner to permanently save these settings to the receiver. Then go to menu and find Receiver=> Action=> then click Save Config. Otherwise, every time you unplug your gps, it will revert back to the original configuration.

  • What kind of gimbals useable with Pixhawk?

  • Got the problem isolate. It seems that after I flash my apm's firmware to AC3.2, I got issues with my ESC. but not because of the AC3.2, I tried going back to 3.15, then factory reset to erase everything on the APM. Then the esc is back to normal. I have done esc calibrations again, now I am updating to AC3.2, hope everything works well still :)

    thanks again to our dev team!

  • i have flashed arducopter 3.2 firmware on my APM 2.6 with NEO 6M GPS and compass but since the new firmware loaded GPS not working. i don't see blue LED on APM, when i flash old firmware 3.1.5 GPS starts working again. Can anybody tell me how to resolve this issue? i have tried changing options of "GPS TYPE" in advanced parameters but it doesn't works as well.
  • @leonardhall

    OK I'll give that a try. Should be interesting.

  • Developer

    Hi Denny,

    Hit it with autotune. You shouldn't have a problem.

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