After a long wait we are delighted to finally release our second official firmware for ArduCopter. This code is our intermediate code (code name NG) that is a step towards reconciling with the full ArduPilot Mega framework. The next version (codename ArduCopter Mega, ACM) will be fully compatible. As always, be careful when testing fully new software.
Our development group has been flying this software on many ArduCopters without any problems but still it does not mean that is won't have any bugs, there might be one just behind the corner. Tho we have been trying to nail them all down.
Thank you for whole ArduCopter/ArduPilot Mega teams for this great release.
Always check our latest release notes and test instructions from ArduCopter Wiki pages.
Main new features:
- New architecture. This puts us on the path of integrating fully with the main ArduPilot Mega code, which brings compatibility with all the UAS tools (ground stations, mission planners, datalog analysis, and a full two-way flight command language) that are already in place with the fixed-wing UAVs. As a result of this back-end code migration, you should see full UAV features come to ArduCopter more quickly going forward and rotary-wing development keep pace with the fixed wing versions.
- CLI (Command Line Interface) for easy and quick configuration: The ArduCopter Configurator still works fine but some of tests have been moved only to CLI. The CLI allows people with Macs and Linux to set up ArduCopter without having to run the Windows-only Configurator.
- GPS position hold: This has been tested with MediaTEK GPS that comes along with ArduCopter kits. Expected hold will be around 3-5 meters from activation location. ArduCopter can still be manually flown with position hold on, but it will return to the hold position when you release the sticks.
- Magnetometer support: The DIY Drones magnetometer is now in stock and fully supported.
- Altitude hold: This barometer assisted altitude hold works while user has activated GPS position hold. It is possible to alter altitude even when position hold is on with throttle.
- Easy X and + configuration: You can choose between either X or + flight modes by simply moving a DIP switch. (Note that the APM/IMU must be mounted in the + position, regardless of which mode you're flying in. This may change in future versions of the code, but for now it simplifies installation for most users.)
- Helicopter code: preliminary and flyable code for more traditional helicopters. Code has been tested around world with some Trex450 style copters.
- ESC calibrations for official ArduCopter ESC's
Here's a video of GPS position and altitude hold working:
Quick install notes:
--Download the code and unzip the ArduCopter RC2 folder to your desktop. It will include two folders: "ArduCopterNG" and "libraries"
- Move the libraries folder into your regular Arduino sketchfile folder, replacing the libraries that are already there. Delete all the old libraries folder and copy this one in instead.
- Open the ArduCopterNG.pde file in Arduino and check that the #defines in that file and ArduUser.h meet your requirements. Typically the only one you will need to check are magnetometer orientation (if you're using a magnetometer):
#define MAGORIENTATION AP_COMPASS_COMPONENTS_UP_PINS_FORWARD // This is default solution for ArduCopter
//#define MAGORIENTATION AP_COMPASS_COMPONENTS_UP_PINS_BACK // Alternative orientation for ArduCopter
//#define MAGORIENTATION AP_COMPASS_COMPONENTS_DOWN_PINS_FORWARD // If you have soldered Magneto to IMU shield as shown on the wiki
- Upload software to your ArduCopter electronics
- Run the CLI by changing position of SW2 switch and reboot your APM--towards the servo rails is CLI mode; towards the GPS connector is flight mode. Open the Arduino serial monitor, setting baud rate to 115200 baud and ensuring that "Carriage Returns" are enabled. You should see a command line on the monitor. CLI instructions are here.
- Run and all necessary settings like factory reset and IMU level calibrations along others your might need.
- Make normal flight preparation tests before connecting your propellers
- Fly safe....
Installation and latest information, please do check our ArduCopter and ArduPilot Mega wiki sites for more information.
ArduCopter NG, NG specific details and test procedures
ArduCopter Wiki, for all quad and heli based information and updates
ArduCopter Heli, especially for ArduCopter heli modifications. It is flyable and needs more beta testers.
ArduPilot Mega Wiki, for general electronics related information and also fixedwings
Last but not least, the release code: ArduCopter RC2