The APM:Copter community is centered around DIY Drones, which is the best place to go for daily news, discussion and support. If you have specific comments on the manual you can comment on the APM:Forum, but general tech and usage questions should be posted on the DIY Drones discussion forums.
Latest Project News:
Version 3.0 APM:Copter Firmware is ready! Get all the information you need to run the latest from the APM:Copter 3.0 Preparedness Page.
Milestones and announcements:
- July 11, 2013: ArduCopter 3.01 released. Major performance improvements. Details here.
- April 5, 2013: ArduCopter 2.9.1b released. Adds some performance enhancing parameter changes and a few small bug fixes. Details here.
- Jan 17, 2013: ArduCopter 2.9/2.9.1 released. Major performance improvements and some bug fixes. Details here.
- Oct 19, 2012: ArduCopter 2.8/2.81 released. Bug fixes and performance improvements. Details here.
- Sept 1, 2012: ArduCopter 2.7.2 and 2.7.3 released. Bug fixes and performance improvements. Details here.
- Aug 1, 2012: ArduCopter 2.7.1 released. Minor maintenance release with a few bug fixes. Also includes preliminary support for the Digital Motion Processor (DMP) in the MPU-6000 sensor. Details here .
- July 24, 2012: ArduCopter 2.7 released. Many performance improvements, including in loiter and waypoints. Adds 3-axis camera stabilization, altitude limits and geofencing. More details here ; details on geofencing here .
- June 14, 2012: ArduCopter 2.6 released. Includes performance enhancements, MAVLink 1.0 support, dataflash erase speedups (including proper MAVLink connectivity during erase, to improve first use experience) and support for new 3DR uBlox GPS. Details here .
- May 14, 2012: ArduCopter 2.5.5 released. Fixes a bug that affected some APM 2 boards with a newer version of the MPU-6000 sensor. Fixes bug that required some APM 2 boards to be reset after power-on. Various stability improvements. Details here .
- March 24, 2012: ArduCopter 2.5.3 released. Maintenance release with some bug fixes, including changing to a more appropriate throttle setting for most people in Alt Hold and re-enabling the Ch 7 auto-trim. Details here.
- March 17, 2012: ArduCopter 2.5 released. First code optimized for the APM 2 board, which will now outperform APM 1. Significant improvements in DCM code for performance and stability. More details in the release post here .
- Feb 19, 2012: ArduCopter 2.4 released. This is mostly bug fixes and performance improvements. Recommended for all users. More details in the release post here.
- Jan 31, 2012: ArduCopter 2.3 released. This is the feature complete release of 2.x, and is recommended for all users. More details in the release post here .
- Jan 14, 2012: ArduCopter 2.2 released. Mostly performance enhancement, bug fixes and improved APM 2 compatibility. Autoland now much improved. More details here .
- Dec 16, 2011: ArduCopter 2.1 released. This is the first version that supports both the APM 1 and APM 2 boards. If you’re building it with Arduino, you’ll need the “relaxpatch” version of Arduino that you can find in our downloads section . To harmonize with APM 2, the hardware CLI switch is no longer used–you now get into the CLI by hitting “Enter” three times in a terminal. Other details are in the announcement post here .
- Dec 3, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.55 released. Most stable flying version yet. Includes new stability patch by default and a new DCM gain and clamp value that should reduce drift due to linear acceleration in missions or long flights. Switched rate gain calculation to use raw IMU rather than the DCM’s omega. This crisps up the response a lot. 1280 has lost local flash logging, sorry, but it’s just not supportable any longer. Some older tests have returned now the program memory is freed. Remember, to use the new logging format on the 2560, you need to erase it at least once to format it.
- Nov 30, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.54 released. Bug fixes, better alt hold, CH7 switch to Simple Mode enabled.
- Nov 19, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.50 released. Many bug fixes and performance enhancements. Log files will now overwrite from the beginning when the dataflash is full (rather than stopping). Initial compatibility with MAVLink 1.0. A full list of changes is here .
- Oct 16, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.49 released. Tweaked Alt Hold PIDs, Loiter PIDs based on SIM testing and feedback. Increased distance error for loiter for faster return to center. Params for camera roll gain fixed.
- Oct 14, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.48 released. The PWM output has been set to 400hz (to counter the low pass filter in most Turnigy PWMs). The DCM’s Roll and Pitch gains were lowered to .03 (recommendation of Hein Hollander). Mavlink has gotten a re-work for performance and memory savings.
- Oct 7, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.47 released. Fixed RTL overshooting bug. Better loiter PIDs
- Oct 2, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.46 released. Rolls up all changes since 2.0.42, including improved sensor filtering, loiter and waypoint navigation. Simple mode has been changed and Guided mode added (see this post for more information).
- Sept 11, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.42 released. Includes much more efficient DCM processing, now running 25% faster. Should be most stable yet. Also includes improved Circle mode.
- Sept 7, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.40 released. Totally new control laws, which are much more effective. Loiter should now stay within a 1m box and RTL is rock solid. New Alt Hold mixes the temperature sensor reading with the barometric pressure sensor readings for drift-free results. New flight modes, including user configurable ones. This is a release candidate for the first non-beta code.
- August 23, 2011: ArduCopter 2.0.39b released. Many bug fixes and some experimental new control laws. This release is mostly for beta testing feedback to prepare for 2.0.40, which is a non-beta release candidate.
- July 30, 2011: ArduCopter Beta 2.0.38 released. Lots of changes, big and small. Moved ground start to first arming. Added ground start flag. Moved throttle_integrator to 50hz loop. CAMERA_STABILIZER deprecated – now always on. Renamed current logging bit mask to match APM. Added MA filter to PID – D term. Adjusted PIDs based on continued testing and new PID filter. Added MASK_LOG_SET_DEFAULTS to match APM. Moved some stuff out of ground start into system start where it belonged. Added slower Yaw gains for DCM when the copter is in the air. Changed camera output to be none scaled PWM. Fixed bug where ground_temperature was unfiltered. Shortened Baro startup time. Fixed issue with Nav_WP integrator not being reset. RTL no longer yaws towards home. Circle mode for flying a 10m circle around the point where it was engaged (not tested at all! Consider it experimental).
- July 17, 2011: ArduCopter Beta 2.0.37 released. Added rate of change limit for noisy Sonars. Code converted to static functions to save memory.
- July 16, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.36 released. Added Yaw control when descending in Alt hold, lowered kP & kD for Alt hold a tad, Adjusted RTL behavior to do speed control up to 4m to home, then go into Loiter. Fixed issue with AUTO not getting proper input.
- July 12, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.35 released. Added camera reversing parameters in AP_Var, Added RTL Throttle Hold set/check, Added dynamic speed control to slow down as you reach waypoints and RTL Home, upped Yaw Dead zone slightly. Available as a hex firmware download in the Mission Planner.
- July 9, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.34 preview released. Lots of new control laws and needs more testing before we give this wide release. Right now it’s download only (get the file from the download section above and compile and load with Arduino). Full description of the changes in this release is here.
- July 2, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.32 released: New Loiter PIDs, tuned down control on standard frame, shunk the mixing range for sonar from 3 meters to 2 meters, added framework for Guided mode – not tested! removed pitch and roll deadzone, decoupled S, MPLE mode from LOITER PIDs Synced Mavlink with APM, Logs report correct WP number now. Disabled Sonar spike filter.
- June 29, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.30 released. Minor bug fixes. Note that there is a known issue with the magnetometer, due to a change in the sensor used in recent DIY Drones magnetometer boards. The code to autodetect which one you have is still a big wonky and compass readings my be off by a factor of 2. We’ll fix that in the next update.
- June 27, 2011: AC Beta 2.0.28 released. Fixed serious bug (exit from !Alt_Hold left quad with controls reversed) in 2.0.26, and other tweaks. All users should upgrade immediately.
- June 24, 2011: AC2 Beta 2.0.26 released: Minor updates. Arming motors now for only Stabilize, Simple, and Acro Modes. V Octo Support.
- June 19, 2011: AC2 Beta 2.0.25 released. This brings ArduCopter (traditional heli) into the AC2 trunk, giving it full MAVLink capability, too. Many other tweaks and performance improvements (details here ). Getting close now!
- June 5, 2011: Much improved Mission Planner 1.0 released. Check out the gorgeous new design!
- June 3, 2011: AC2 Beta 2.0.23 released. Minor bug fixes and tuning to improve loiter and hex airframe performance. Sonar test added to CLI test suite.
- May 27, 2011: AC2 Beta 2.0.16 released . Improvements in yaw control, minor changes in LED function, and other bug fixes. The Mission Planner has also been updated, so check the Update menu item in that to upgrade. Just a few more things left to get beta test feedback on before we’ll feel confident in taking AC2 out of beta.
- May 18, 2011: AC2 beta 2.0.6 released. We’re still bug-fixing at a rapid pace, so thanks for your patience. The Mission Planner has been significantly revamped, especially on the firmware upload process, which is now based on visual icons. Frame choices are now made at firmware upload time, but orientation (x vs +) can be made in the CLI. We still recommend that new users stick with the ArduPirates code , but people with well-tested hardware are invited to join the AC2 beta test. Feedback at DIY Drones, please.
- May 14, 2011: AC2 beta is improving quickly, thanks to the huge increase in feedback and testing from the open beta release. The latest tested version can always be downloaded from the Mission Planner. At this point, we feel that it is stable enough for most users with well-tested hardware, although please remember it’s still in beta so there may still be some bugs and you’re flying at your own risk. Go through the setup process carefully and please read the manual before flying!
- May 7, 2011: ArduCopter 2 first beta released. Details here . This is an early public beta and may be unstable. Some features and portions of the manual are a work in progress and will be changed over the next few weeks. Most users are advised to continue using ArduPirates code until ArduCopter 2 comes out of beta.
- May 5, 2011: Manual revised for ArduCopter 2. Older ArduCopter 1 manual can now be found here .
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