Had a chance to compare the Naza M to AMP 2 this weekend and wanted to share the experience.

The comparison was done on two similarly sized custom built quads at ~24" span running the same props, motors, PDU and ESCs.  The Naza quad had a Go Pro and Fat Shark FPV 5.8Ghz Transmitter and weighted in at about 3.1 Lbs.  The APM Quad (mine) had no additional equipment besides a Sonar and it weighed about 2.75 Lbs.

In general both performed very well with a nod going to the Naza in Loiter, RTL and auto landing due to what appears to be a better GPS.  Clearly APM has auto mode and Naza does not.. for the price the APM appears to be a solid value.

Stable Mode

As expected both quads were equally stable with no real noticeable difference in stability.  The only big difference was NO TUNING on the Naza... it just worked out of the box.

Loiter

The Naza quad had a noticeable difference in loiter stability and accuracy.  Granted my quad my not be tuned perfectly but the Naza held its position more accurately and with less twitching in the wind to do so.  The Naza's corrections to the wind seemed to be invisible.. where the APM corrections were noticeable in both pitch and prop noise.

 

RTL

We did a RTL comparison taking off from the same spot and flying about 100 yards away at about 35 feet.  The Naza returned to the exact spot of take off.  APM got within 10 feet  (see below).

 

Auto Landing

Testing the auto landing during RTL..... the Naza descended from 35 feet in what appeared to be about 5 foot increments.  It was a very controlled decent.  It landed perfectly on home and shutoff.  As mentioned the APM quad hit the launch point within 10 feet.  Its decent to landing was steadily and constant.  When it touched down it then proceeded to skip around on the ground and went another 10 feet from its landing point before shutting down.

AutoPilot

The Naza has no autopilot.  I finally got all the gremlins out of my APM and flew several successful missions which was very cool.

Cost

APM is ~$200 with GPS and Autopilot

Naza is ~$240 + and additional ~$160 for GPS. = $400

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I have asked him. He changed the ESC and he thinks that the problem may be gone. That would have been my last guess since they worked quiet well in the video. He already had a Jeti DC16 (1000€) that didn't solve the problem. I still think he had the same RF interference problem (Telemetry, VideoTX, Gopro, opto esc seem unlikely) i had. My naza also did a crazy, fixed, bank angle (in my case tilt left and back). The only thing i could do sometimes to regain control was to switch to the gyro only mode to save it from crashing. My advice for every naza owner is to get an 2€ alubox (connected to GND) and some folding ferrite for the RC and ESC lines. That solved my naza problem.

Greetings

Kraut Rob

I think the prime advantage over the naza is that once you buy an apm board you have all the software revisions and improvements that come with the innovation of an open source code. I applaud all the developers for working on these issues and making it better with each revision. I can't wait to load 2.9. When is the expected release date?

John,

     ArduCopter 2.9-rc1 ("rc1" = release candidate #1) is now in the downloads area and ready for beta testing by those who are willing to help us thrash out any bugs ahead of the official release.  I'm tracking feedback on the testing in the 2.8.1 release thread which is here.

     Personally I'm pretty excited about the alt hold improvements...and even more excited because i think we're close to getting inertial nav working for loiter and way points as well.

NAZA = Artificially restricted feature set to to support a tiered marketing structure leading to vastly over priced products, which go on to gouge customers for even further restrictions and "feature" licensing. 

Arducopter = Pushing the hardware to the limits, constant updates bringing an ever more refined product. Massive community support where everyone tries to give the developers feedback in an open forum. Problems are found, discussed and resolved extraordinarily quick. No restrictions on features or tiered marketing license BS. And it's cheaper.

Seriously, it's no contest. 

Bill,

I don't think anyone here would disagree with you at all, but I think what is great is that the APM community is looking at what that overpriced closed source system does well, and seeing how we can bring some of those features over to the APM.

Sorry but I disagree.  Naza has no competition when what you want is a very stable platform with a good failsafe RTL and autolanding.  Most people want exactly this and don't need waypoints!  At $400 no other solution comes close, and no, APM is not there yet.  How DJI sets its prices is none of my business as a customer; it's a free market.  At least they are not cloners.

I am writing the above as an APM owner and a supporter of this project.  I've seen APM go from an almost useless state to a very stable and good solution, and I have good reasons to believe it will eventually compete with Naza head to head.

Dror

>Naza has no competition when what you want is a very stable platform with a good failsafe RTL and autolanding.  Most people want exactly this and don't need waypoints!

Then the Naza is for them.  I don't think anyone is contesting that. It does a good job of doing what it does, and have a very clear market of "my first GPS flight controller".  If I had that market, I would be charging as much as I could too.

For the rest of us that desire more features, future development for free, more tuning and headaches, along with open source hardware, the APM is the solution to use currently.  I've seen good things from open pilot as well, but I believe they're still lagging on hardware development. 

Just to point out here... You do realize that RTL DOES use a waypoint (home) and the only reason you can't set other waypoints is not technical, but solely to get you to pay $700 for their tiered marketing/branded product? There's nothing WRONG with the Naza per se, but.....

I don't know about you, but I get insulted when companies think I'm to stupid to know what they are selling to me.

[edit] removed bad parable [edit]

I don't know how we got to this state, but at every opportunity, I refuse to play these kinds games with these kinds of people. And sorry for the digression,  I know this isn't exactly the proper place to get on a soap box. DOH! 

Swear I'm done ranting on DJI.

So What ??

You get functionality X for Y dollars.  A vendor has every right not to sell you functionality X+1 unless you pay Y+many dollars. It's their product, you always have the choice to buy the competitor's product.

I don't understand why you get insulted by free market competition.  A very talented vendor that creates a very good product can afford to ask as much as it wishes for it.  You always have a choice to buy another product from a more competitive vendor.

[Soapbox on]

Once upon a time, people (craftsmen if you will) produced a product. 

And that product was the finest product that craftsman could make with the materiel and skills that he had. 

Then in the 20th Century, and even more in the 21st Century, Marketing comes along and says: Wait! We can make 10x as much for our product, if we cripple it and sell it as "entry level". Then charge ridicules amounts for the "premium" version. 

My beef with this is: Is it moral and ethical?

In my heart and soul I believe this is unethical. Certainly it is legal. And it is capitalistic. I also think it is predatory on that great unaware lemming herd that is the global economy. 

I was raised to do your best, work the hardest, and you will be successful. But Increasingly, I've witnessed products being introduced with tiered licensing structures where you buy the hardware, and then you license the capability. How is it that we've allowed ourselves to be led down this path and we think that this is the norm? What happened to producing the best product?

Corporations have entire departments devoted to License Tracking, and they pay annual "Maintenance Fee's" on licenses  And what do they pay for? Hot Air. Nothing. A thought. An idea that somehow this is what we do. Pouring money into hardware they already own for features and maintenance that should been included or should have worked when it was purchased. 

Is this the future you want for Flight Controllers and Auto Pilots? Because this is the future that is obviously envisioned by DJI. They are already doing it. 

I guess your basic assumption is that s/w if free (as in "no cost") and all the cost is in the h/w.

Obviously in flight controllers most of the investment of the vendor is in the s/w.  You don't need to look to far, just take the APM as an excellent example.

So it makes sense to me to pay more for s/w that does more on the exact same h/w.

I don't see what's wrong with this?

BTW, DJI undercuts Mikrocopter (it is MUCH cheaper).  Your see, you can take the price vs. value game in both directions.

Ok. 

Lets stick with Mikrocopter. 

Hold out you hand and look at it. 

Now go here. http://www.foxtechfpv.com/wkm-5-waypoint-upgrade-p-394.html

Spend $900.

Now look in your hand. Is it empty? Yes? Lets try again. 

Go here: http://www.foxtechfpv.com/wkm-multiwaypoint-upgrade-50waypoints-p-4...

Spend $1300. 

Look in your hand. Still empty?

Was the software, in your device ACTUALLY changed? No. 

Did the development cost any less for them to sell you a crippled piece of software. No. 

Actually I would put forth that it actually costs MORE to develop a scheme of restriction than it would to just sell you a fully functional device in the first place. They actually have to go through the code and deny you access to features based on this scheme. This has NOTHING to do with "Software Development Costs" and everything to do with separating you from your money. If they are making money on a one waypoint version, then they are stealing your money on a 5 waypoint version. 

And to me this is filthy and unethical. Maybe its just they way that I was raised, but I would have produced the best software with the most features that was possible. 

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