Time has finally come!! ArduCopter Alpha 1.0 is here

We have been talking about this release for a while while it's been in development and testing, but it's finally ready for daylight. Its been long and exhausting 4 months or so that we have been doing this project, there has been a lot of long nights and will be more. But today is a huge milestone: on behalf our whole team, I'm happy to release our first official ArduCopter Alpha 1.0 release for our users.

This code has been tested over multiple ArduCopters, they all worked out of the box after proper installation eg. EEPROM reset and calibration and we have not found anything alarming but I am sure that there are bugs lurking behind the corner. If you are afraid of bugs, then better to wait till we are in beta but if you think you can handle some small issues this is now ready for ou to play with.

What you need to know of this release are:
  • This is an First Alpha release so there might be some bugs waiting, we just haven't found any yet.
  • New orientation system: Always mount your APM/IMU aligned by Front/Rear Arms eg. in + configuration. X mode is switched from software it self and you are not allowed to rotate your APM on frame.
  • Before switching to X mode, test your settings and Artificial Horizont on + mode. When X mode it activated from software, Artificial Horizon on Configurator shows AH incorrectly (this will be fixed later on Configurator itself)
  • On X mode, your original "nose" rotates 45° to CCW eg Front becomes Front/Left
  • New variables and default settings so RESET your EEPROM by doing Initial Installation procedures
  • Unzip file and copy all Libraries from this zip file to your Arduino/Libraries folder and replace them if you had some of the libraries already installed. This Alpha release is designed to work with Libraries included on ZIP file.
  • Zip file contains Arducopter_alpha_RC1 folder where all firmware codes are and also libraries folder is there.

Alpha 1.0 Features:
  • Acro / Stable modes, changeable by switch input from radio
  • + and x modes, changeable from software code, APM orientation always as +
  • Magnetometer support (optional, default is off)
  • Finetuned PID controllers on stable mode
  • More cleaner code
  • 200Hz main loop

Sorry guys, no GPS features yet. We have some issues with it so we temporary took it out. We try to find it out as soon as possible. This is built on the APM code, which has full scripted GPS navigation, so as soon as we turn it on ArduCopter will have full UAV functionality.

For feedback please use #47 ticket on our issue tracker in here.

If you find bug or expect that you have a bug, please open new issue for us so we can look it. But before opening issues, try to reproduce your problem 2-3 times at least. If you can reproduce it, post an issue for it.

Also if you have code proposals of feature proposals you can post them too as new issue. But again before posting, check our wiki pages to see if someone has proposed it already of it or proposed feature is already on issue lists or on our software roadmap.

General help can be found from our Wiki pages at GoogleCodes ArduCopter Wiki

Happy flying guys/gals and don't do anything that I would not do :)

File download: ArduCopter_Alpha.1.0

(Current and future files can be found from wiki download areas too,
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  • @Sebastian

    The only way to mount the APM with this code is forward as in the (+) configuration. If you are flying it in the (+) configuration, there is no need to change the code. If you want to fly the (x) configuration, there are two lines of code that you need to comment one and uncomment the other. I talk about it in #3 here:
  • @John

    haha, I added that, but I was going to wait to post the link for you guys here until Jose looked at it and made sure it was fine. That's okay though :)

    Yay first public release! Good work guys!
  • if I want to mount APM pointing forward and not 45° sideways
    is it easy to change the code like that? (i don't have space for mounting it aligned to the arms on my new frame design)
  • Moderator
    "Yes we will add PID explanations to wiki asap and do some other rework there too."
    You guys are fast! For anyone needing a quick Arducopter tuning lesson:
  • Developer
    TenzinR, as soon as we get all our parts. There is now 1 week vacation in many Chinese factories so those will delay a bit. There will be more announcements and timetables of those in few days after we get some more confirmations.
  • When will the full kit be ready?
  • Congrats on the release.
    A small suggestion from someone that is doing opensource development since 10 years: please tag your source code when you release something, and always build the released files straight from your svn repo.
    Having a direct link between code and releases helps a lot, both the users and you.
  • Thanks Jani, so I will load the alpha 1.0.

  • PID's in nick and roll where resonating quite a lot. I was taking half the values and now its quite stable. I still have some issues with "nick drift". My suggestion to the dev team would be to set the default PID's not to high. A Table with Qud description and user PID's could be very helpful. (weight, span, prop, PID's)
    Any suggestions for the "nick drift"?
  • Developer
    This Alpha version is it's own can you can't find it on repository. Repository code changes multiple times per day and so does library files.

    Yes we will add PID explanations to wiki asap and do some other rework there too.
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