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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  • Just back from my first oudoor flight. It flies really great! Thank you, guys!!!
  • Jani, the code in repository still uses X mode with IMU facing between legs. It seems that new "45 degrees orientation" exists only in RC1. Does that mean that X mode is not usable for repository versions?
  • Developer
    To Taylor and others, yes sure you can always get code from repository but as you know, it changes rapidly so there can be even more bugs and most probably there are. Sometimes it does not even compile properly. That's why we have these "Freezed" official releases that we have been testing and we know that code with included software will work..

    NS Rana, well thank you for your kind words but it's not only me on this project, all the credits goes to our whole team. And thank you for your manual. We are updating wiki constantly so you need to keep it updated too.

    Phill, yep then we have a blast and it will not stay on that. There are a lot more to come...
  • This is great, imagine when gps, sonar,ir are all fully working. This will be the beast Copter. Around town
  • Chris, I'm using Jakub's frame, but anyway I need some values to start up with. So thank you very much for your answer!
  • 3D Robotics
    Igor: I didn't touch them. They're just the defaults in the code. But remember I'm using an official ArduCopter frame, for which they're optimized. If you're using some other frame, you may need different values.
  • Chris, what are your PID values? TIA!
  • 3D Robotics
    I just loaded everything up on the beta ArduCopter frame and it worked perfectly. I've never seen a quad this stable, even in the wind! Awesome..

    My only suggestion is that the Configurator connection timeout default to 30 seconds, not the current 5.
  • 3D Robotics
    @Ear:. You need to put the libraries in your Arduino Sketchfile directory (the one defined in the your Arduino IDE configuration menu). Instructions are here.
  • OOPS, had wrong board bad !
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