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.

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  • Developer

    @Stephen, a tube launch copter (using throw mode) would be super cool.  If you're going to do that you might want to lengthen the DISARM_DELAY parameter so that you have plenty of time to load it into the launcher.

    Personally I'm interested in seeing a copter thrown from a plane or helicopter (again using throw mode).  It's a little tricky because we require the vehicle be moving up by 50cm/s so maybe we will need to change that.

  • Randy is EKF2 enabled by default or do we need to enable it?

  • 100KM
    This release include traditional heli. I really wish some one can up date the wiki and provide more info especially in the set up and tuning. I try with my old Trex 450 fly bar with APM 2.7. I manage to tune the rate P of all three axis. I can hover it in stabilized mode but when I try Alt Hold mode, once lift off it goes up and down violently and main blade pull out from the blade holder and the heli crash. Wonder what parameter had went so wrong....
  • it s a good news randy for all pixracer buyers.

  • Yay! We will test the Precision Landing feature to ensure everything is still A-ok. 

  • T3

    I hope I get the chance to build a tube-launch quad.  Nothing says deployability quite like "FMMMMP ........ whrrrrrrrrrrrr."

  • Developer


    Thanks for your support!  Getting ardupilot working well for the pixracer was quite difficult but I think we've got it pretty much sorted out now.  In the last two weeks, Tridge in particular, has put a fair bit of effort into trying to resolve the issues.

  • thanks randy for you reply

    my english is not perfect so sorry if we question is not well made

    i love this project and i fly only with pixhawk..i am intend to buy the new xiaomi drone because i am fan boy from all their product ...but anyway i am always in love with this project..

    i am waiting to see a reliable version for pixracer (this board is a beast and i would like to change all my pixhawck for this new little board..there are bad health problem with the new sensor and it s a real improvement) 

  • nice, known bugs also in the forum?

  • Developer


    I'm afraid although, like Copter-3.3.3, we allow two GPSs to be attached, We still don't recommend it because the item to remove the jump when it switches GPSs hasn't been compl....

    Copter: failover to 2nd GPS can cause sudden movement · Issue #1875 · ArduPilot/ardupilot
    Few day ago I had a crash. Unfortunately no log and no video. I was using double GPS on PixHawk. 2 Ublox LEA-6H. I was flying with DCM, no EKF. I was…
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