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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  • Moderator
    Hey Sebastian, what failed- the IMU or your estimate of height/speed?
  • just tried to do a loop...
    it failed and i'm now rebuilding my quad :)
  • Developer
    Max, we have a plans to move + and x mode selection to DIP switches on IMU board. And yes I agree + is easier for acro/free flying and x for FPV.
  • Developer
    I have an idea :)
    Acro mode looks better on a + setup and stable mode are for the X setup
    So, the APM always in + setup, can it go like: Acro will switch to the X to the + :)
    not in the air or maybe set One of the switches on AMP to change + and X
    Can be very cool feature :))
  • Michael, Applying more power to the rotors can increase the ring state effect this maybe why it continued to wobble. The best way to recover from settling of power in a multi-rotor system is to yaw and simultaneously attempt to gain lateral airspeed. In a single rotor input forward cyclic.
  • Moderator
    Or try to descend slower, or with some lateral motion, or accept the fun and frantic stick twiddling toward the end of your descent :) :)
  • phill: read the last 2 pages ;)
    there is no fix, just try to avoid descent vertically
  • Yea I have the wobble effect too. Any info on fixing the wobble ?
  • it isn't completely closed, you can view the sourcecode here
    i didn't find the flight algorithm but maybe you'll find it
  • Developer
    @Sebastian, yes i know that video and was waiting when someone is referring to it. On that video Holger basically let's it fall down small distance with low throttle and breaks hard before ground. So hes hexa does not even have possibility to do any maneuvers. If you look more careful you can see that hexa is banking hard when Holger lowers throttle. Would be nice to see if they have some special algorithms for that type situations but due it's not closed system, no one knows... Nevertheless they have really good platform.

    @Michael, i'm sure that it would help a bit. It would have a bit same effect like flying forward slowly while descending because then propellers would roll of from vortex area but due quad/hexas are rather small props might hit vortex from another prop depending on your rotation speed.
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