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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  • Is MP up to date? I know that could cause issues with compass calibration but don't know for acc.

  • Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I tried them all but still no Joy!

    I loaded an older version of the AC ..did a reset and an erase. went back and loaded AC 3.2 ( rebooted) then tried to calibrate accelerometers, again no joy.  Repeated several variations of this scenario, but again no luck.  Compass calibration is good. In frustration, I went back to AC 3.1 and easily calibrated accelerometers.

    What's in AC3.2 thats stopping me from doing this calibration?

  • @turdsurfer

    As noted in the post, Pixhawk users will need to recalibrate their compass.  Other than that its essentially flash and fly.

  • Is there an upgrade procedure described anywhere for upgrading from 3.1.* to 3.2?
    Or is it just a matter of flashing and flying without having to do any new calibrations or setting adjustments?

  • @Steve

    I do believe that your ideal choice comes down to budget and the quality that you need. I would forget using a PWM servo driven gimbal. The sensor has to be mounted on the camera base for it to function properly. Walkera make 2 very good dedicated stand alone encoded brushless gimbals for the GoPro /I-Look and also the Sony RX100 111 if you want extreme high quality I know that 3DR are in bed with the Canon but at this moment in time it is Sony who have the edge. If you want to output to social media then go for the I-look camera/gimbal which includes a built-in vid.Tx.  If you want to get rid of that awful fisheye look then change the lens to a 6mm or a 5.4 from Rage cams.

  • Developer


    Remember that after updating the firmware to reboot the board.  The only time I've seen gyros or accels fail to calibrate after a firmware update is immediately after the firmware is loaded onto the board and before it is rebooted.

  • @LTMNO, you do know that once you updated the firmware, you need to go through all the setup and configuration process including recalibration of the compass right?  What was not working?  Are you sure you set the correct orientation before calibration? Even going back to the old firmware, you need to recalibrate so there if you have problem with 3.2, going back to 3.1.5 will give you the same problem.  You should read up on how to install and setup APM firmware from scratch and try getting 3.2 to work first.

    I don't have the JDrone so not sure what you would need, but all firmware hex are in GitHub.  If you have APM 2.x and it is a quadcopter then here is the link GitHub APM2 quad hex file

  • @Vinnie, 

    Hello, I have the JDrones Compass from Yani. This was all working prior to my update.

    Also, I am not able to backup via the Previous Firmwares. Apparently that option is only available in Windows version of Misssion Planner and not the APM Planner for Mac.  On my Windows Machine, it crashes everytime while trying to revert. But i can load as many customer Firwares on my mac with APM Planner.  Hence, if you can supply the Firmware, I can get it on there. I have tried sifting thru the release on the Github but that is no luck. I can't compile it either as I don't know how to do that unfortunately.


  • @LTMNO, there is no need to share firmware.  You go to MP and choose install firmware and then look for the previous version there based on the type you have.  BTW - what compass do you have.  I have upgraded many APM with external compasses and there should be no difference.

  • Could you share the 3.1.5 Firmware somewhere for consumption.

    I have upgraded 2 of my APM's and both don't work now with my External DIYDrones Compass.  Everything was fine before update. I would be curious if the originally shipped Firmware fixes the problem.  Many thanks.

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