Copter-3.4 beta testing starts

Copter-3.4-rc1 has been released for beta testing and can be downloaded using the Mission Planner's Install Firmware screen's beta firmware link.  Some of the changes since Copter-3.3.3 are listed below.

1) EKF2 allows "boat mode" (attitude initialisation without gyro calibration)
2) Throw mode by Paul Riseborough
3) Terrain following:
    a) Support terrain altitudes during missions using GCS's map data or rangefinder (i.e. Lidar)
    b) LightWare range finder driver fixes (I2C works but we still recommend using Serial interface)
    c) Bebop sonar support (we strongly recommend the Bebop2 over the original Bebop)
4) Precision Landing using IRLock sensor
5) Attitude controller re-organisation (all parameter changes automatically moved and scales adjusted)
    a) RATE_ parameters become ATC_RAT_ (i.e. RATE_RLL_P becomes ATC_RAT_RLL_P)
    b) Rate Roll, Pitch, Yaw P, D are reduced by 10% for X, V, H frames, increased by 27% for all other frames
    c) STB_ parameters becomes ATC_ANG_ (i.e. STB_RLL_P becomes ATC_ANG_RLL_P)
6) Motors library improvements:
    a) support OneShot ESCs (set MOT_PWM_TYPE to 0 for Normal, 1 for OneShot or 2 for OneShot125)
    b) TriCopter compensates for tail servo angle
    c) SingleCopter, CoaxCopter adjust control surfaces based on throttle output
    d) MOT_PWM_MIN, MAX allow specifying output ranges to ESCs which are difference from throttle input channel (i.e. RC3)
    e) TradHeli servo objects moved into heli class (HSV_ parameters become H_SV1_)
7) uAvionix Ping sensor support (ADS-B vehicles appear on GCS, avoidance will come in future release)
8) Improved Solo support (gimbal and buttons now work)
9) Pixracer support
10) Safety:
    a) warning if GPS update rate is slow (under 5hz, does not stop arming)
    b) RTL cone (vehicle won't climb to the full RTL_ALT if it is RTL-ing from close to home)

Warning: It has been reported that Tower's Follow-Me mode causes a rapid descent with Copter-3.4 so we recommend not using Follow-Me until this is resolved (it's likely a mix-up as we've added support for absolute and terrain altitudes).

For this release we will be doing the support on the new ArduPilot discourse server instead of creating a monster thread here on DIYDrones.

This beta testing include both multicotpers and traditional helicopters.  We're also starting beta testing of the Antenna Tracker (Release Notes here).

Thanks in advance to the beta testers!

P.S. I would like to personally thank EnRoute (youtube channel) for stepping in to support my ongoing development efforts on ArduPilot and Colestl/GatewayGeospatial for their sponsorship of the Terrain following work.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • ok Thanks a lot Randy.


  • Developer


    There have been many changes for sure including some in MAVLink.  Perhaps it was the addition of MAVLink2?  Or perhaps some messages were replaced by others?  If it's MAVLink2, I think only -rc6 has it as the default protocol, -rc7 (coming out tomorrow) as the default back to MAVLink2.

    In any case, I don't spend much time on DIYDrones anymore.  We do the release beta testing here in the ArduPilot forums.

  • Hello,

    Did you change anything regarding mavlink protocol ?

    We were willing to test this beta code since it includes new interesting features. However, for some reason we are not able to connect to the drone using pixhawk and 3dr radio on our custom GCS if we upload the beta firmware.

    But we are able to connect it with the standard release.

    Thanks in advance for your help !


  • Great news! Look forward

  • Developer

    Hopefully Copter-3.4-rc2 will be out within a week.  It's hard to be sure of the dates because unexpected things fall onto my plate sometimes but I'm reasonably confident it'll be out within a week.

  • Hi. Thanks for all of your great works. I would like to jut know about any news about the 3.4 release. As it is a long time that it is in Beta situation.


  • How's the Boat Mode portion of all this going?  Anxiously awaiting that, frustrating to see other drones flying off boats with no problems and I can't even get my solo to initialize.

  • Developer


    In EKF2 and Copter-3.4 optical flow can be used as a fall back for the GPS or it can be used alone but as far as I know the EKF never fuses data from both of them together at the same time.

  • Great work Randy and all copter dev team!

    Does EKF2 supports GPS and Optical flow fusion for strong positionning and flight security enhancement ?

  • Developer


    The EKF2 is on by default, EKF1 is off but can be turned on somehow (EKF_TYPE parameter perhaps?).  DCM is still running in the background because it's simple but generally quite robust so it serves as a good reference point when we're wondering if a support issue could be caused by an EKF failure (also we fall back to the DCM if the EKF completely fails).

This reply was deleted.