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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  • @michael

    if the 3.2 uses 2 compasses, would it still use the onboard compass on APM 2.6? it is disabled by default on the APM2.6. I assume it would only use the external compass. Maybe on Pixhawk it's a different thing.

  • All right Rob, my bad, I missed the overshoot :s

  • No, that is actually normal.  It's by design.  If the Yaw is off by more than 10° it starts to drag the yaw target around with it.  So it will return about 10°, but that's it.  It was done on purpose, to try and prevent sudden, "uncommanded" yaw movements.  You would not normally have a machine rotate 90°, that's a pretty big error.

  • Here is the log where I turned the copter around in a circle in Pos Hold.



  • It should, please attach a log.

  • I'm kind of disappointed in 3.2 in that in Position Hold I am able to walk up to the copter and turn it 90 degrees and have it stay there.  It doesn't return the copter to it original Yaw.


  • 3.2 uses two compasses.  The internal one and the one on the GPS if you are using 3DR's.


  • @michael

    Thanks for the info, I think I should recalibrate my compass to fix the yaw. I never had this issue on 3.1.5, just here on 3.2. I disabled the Gps prearm parameter today on my test flight, since it was too cloudy due to the coming storm. So I hovered low even without gps, :) next time I will enable gps prearm :)
  • It would be nice to see the logs for this flight.  Auto tune works in Alt Hold mode and not Loiter.


  • I had a strange experience today, after engaging loiter the model took up a rock solid hold in the sky as usual, but then after a couple of mins. It started to run what seemed to be Autotune. I went back into Althold and it went back to normal, then after switching back to loiter again and the same thing happened. I noticed that without any stick input it was stable but any inputs from me or a gust of wind, and it would start an oscillation that seemed to immediately stop once I let go the sticks. I landed and checked my channel 6 and 7 settings in MP and they were still set to Do Nothing. Any ideas anyone? My PIDS were set manually in stab. and Althold and were well dialled in for a great feel in those modes FWIW. GPS was showing 12 sats.and updated my location after only a few mission planner. - This website is for sale! - Sec Resources and Information.
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