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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  • Today I updated to the Alpha Code. After mirroring PIDs and MIN_THROTTLE to what I had on previous code, everything is working well. :) Thanks again to all !!!!
  • I did as you suggested jani. Hopefully you can expect a steady flow of "improvements" from me in the coming weeks. I am using arducopter as a platform for my intelligent machine design lab class. Alpha version is flying stable, and my next goal is to try to get altitude hold working with a combo of baro and maxbotics sonar. Thanks for all the hard work dev team, hope I can give some back!
  • Developer
    If you or someone else has any good ideas, working sniplets of code or what ever. Those can always be posted to our Issue tracker and that way you and your friend can contribute to this community. This is after all open source project.

    If there is not open issue for feature that you would like to see, you can always go and open a new one. Our core team them checks those issues on our weekly meetings.
  • Developer
    Ike, Jose and me we are main coders and code leaders of ArduCopter project. On next release we will have altitude hold among with many other features. We are working on both navigation and altitude hold with our team.
  • arducopter will use custom designed motors
  • what kind of motors do you use in the projects?
  • Developer
    Everytime when we have official release it will be posted to a new thread. Between official releases, people who dare are using our codes on repository but as said.. Repository is only for developers so there are no real support those codes and absolutely no guarantee how code on repository might work. We do not try to break it but now and then it is broken.

    So if you want to play a bit more safe, use only our official releases and then you also have correct libraries included on release packet.

    Next release might take month or so from us. But i'm sure that you won't miss it..
  • Hey Jani - Thanks for all the work you guys have been doing on Arducopter -It is going to be an awesome platform - Will new software updates be posted in this thread or will a new one be created for each release? Thanks again

  • Developer
    Sebastian, yes it does if you have enough altitude and also having enough throttle to flip over. It even levels from really random orientations rather fast. I made some tests few weeks ago in way that I just threw quad up in sky without any throttle. After highest altitude was achieved and quad started to fall, i applied throttle to check how it levels... 9 times out of 10 it leveled well, 10th time I let it fall down a bit too much before applied throttle.. WHAM.. almost full throttle to concrete. Oops :)

    On Acro mode I don't see any reasons why it would not do a flip. Have not tested this personally so cannot say. Jose tho tested it earlier with his older frame and he was able to flip it upside down. Did he do full flips i don't remember but he was also testing auto level and it worked for him..
  • i don't really know
    i think i had to much throttle on highest point of the loop, so it smashed in the ground
    it doesn't turn back to normal (would stabalize mode bring it back to normal when it is upside down?)
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