Looks like this flight controller uses the same components, and it's just $34


Both have:

Atmel's ATMEGA2560

MPU6050 6 axis gyro
HMC5883L 3-axis digital magnetometer
MS5611-01BA01 Barometric pressure sensor

Can someone explain to me the price difference? Even the software was ported so you can have same version on both boards. Why should I pay $180 for APM 2.5?


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You calculated only parts needed to create that board. You forgot to add time needed to develop it.

Switch hardware to software for a while:

"Why Photoshop is so expensive?" Come on! I could use notepad to paste the code (assuming I'll have the code). I could use free GCC to compile the code. I can write result to a CD. Summing up, CD costs <$1 so why Photoshop does not costs $1?

HK just makes a copy of such CD and sell it by CD costs. They do not need to add a time of development and QA to that price.

Welcome to the open hardware world.

Simple fact of the matter is, HobbyKing does produce remarkably cheap stuff.

I have an APM1 and APM2 and my next board will be an APM2.5.

Why, real simple, Arducopter is by far the premier software for flying multicopters in automated modes and it works with the APM's.

The direct software support is everything, it is updated, improved and new features added almost daily, good luck with that on the HobbyKing board.

I buy a lot of stuff from HobbyKing: Turnigy Nano batteries, motors, ESC's, etc but without DIYDrones and 3DRobotics we wouldn't really have anything.

Just take the time to source components, make a PCB, and then solder your own board. The time alone would make the cost greater than $170 for a one off board. In most cases time is more precious than money.

That said I do wonder how open hardware can survive with all the pressure from competition that does not put something back. But again, before open hardware, electronics had become such a commodity, designs would and are copied anyway!

@ Ioan Ghip

This is really sad, tragic actually.

The Hobby King board is $34 only because Hobby King already know beyond any doubt that the board THEY CONTINUE TO SELL has a serious manufacturing fault, it doesn't work. See my warning on RCgroups WARNING bad batch ** Hobby King Multiwii and Megapirate AIO Flight ...

Originally the price was $50 until I discovered it had a manufacturing fault, I notified Hobby King, they ignored me, I posted in the discussion page for the product, they deleted the post. Hobby King stopped selling it for about 6 hours, then in a real dumb corporate decision which reveals Hobby King's true colors they decided to keep selling what they KNOW TO BE A FAULTY BOARD at a reduced price to attract unsuspecting buyers like you, no mention of the manufacturing fault. More interested in dumping that botched batch and make a profit.

Hobby King botched a simple clone of the CRIUS AIO PRO V1 we eventually discovered they left off at least one critical trace the GND connection for the 5V regulator, they made lots of other minor changes meaning you cannot trust their clone AT AL, I certainly would NOT fly it, my personal safety and the safety of those around me is worth a lot more than $34.

CRIUS AIO PRO cannot be compared to APM 2.5, you only listed the key components and got a couple wrong - comparing AIO PRO to APM 2.5 is like comparing chalk and cheese, they are not even close to being equal.

AIO PRO uses the older barometer, slower MPU6050, has no fuses, no reverse polarity protection, no over-voltage protection, no ATmega32u2, no flash for logging, no level converters for sensors, no option for external magnetometer, no current limit on inputs, no current limit on outputs - ABSOLUTELY NO OFFICIAL DOCUMENTATION..

As you can see there is a lot more difference than what you listed.

You incorrectly assumed;

1.- You assumed HK was selling a good board at normal discount price, HK are dumping a clone they know they stuffed up.

2.- You assumed the boards are equal, the AIO PRO cannot be directly compared to APM 2.5, they are miles apart on many levels.

You cannot run ArduCopter on AIO PRO, you can run MP NG which is always a few months behind and never fully compatible with all new updates.

There is a board that is directly comparable to APM 2.5 and that is the Rctimer ArduFlyer 2.5.

I buy a lot from Hobbyking however I do choose what I buy. Motors, esc and batteries are ok there. I have a 9X that is top notch with er9x and a frysky module.

My APM will be from 3DR - I do not have sufficient faith in HK to trust my plane to an autopilot fom HK. Also though I am pretty sure the team here will support th HK board I think that it asking a lot for people to bend over backwards for a non 3DR board. I have seen some pretty extensive fault finding done by the developers and I am sure that I will have to avail myself of some of that support to get mine going.

Just like the apple computers I have switched to I am totally prepared to pay the price fr a good product with good support.

Really the 2.5 is pretty darn cheap anyway.

What you're saying appears in the comments of the product, but in German.
"humptydumpty" says: "... dieses hier hat einen Herstellungsfehler. Las die Finger davon. Oder warten bis es sich geklä*rt hat." -> "... this is a manufacturing defect, keep fingers away on this and wait until this is fixed."
However your explanation is much more extensive and accurate. Thank you for the advise.

Because there are many resellers in-between or seller want more profit to operate his business.

I purchased one just about 90 USD in Taiwan for your reference.

Well here we go again. Why is it cheaper is your question. Your answer is in the question.

Been answered a thousand times. 

Cheers, Steve

This discussion on price is incomplete (partially touched on by mentioning Asian labor costs) without noting the the currency costs.

When it is considered that the Yuan is less than 1/4 the USD, a major variable for the cheap price of the clone board becomes clear. On the other hand (a favorite economists phrase), if you bought that same board in China, it would cost nearly 212 Yuan. That is what it would cost the local hobbyist in the town the board is made in. Price is relative to your local economy.

The consumer decides where they want to spend their money. If you are happy buying your autopilot from people an ocean away, be happy. I prefer to keep the money I have earned on this continent as much as possible - even if I pay more. I am not just buying an autopilot but helping to employ people on this continent.

Our friends being paid in Euros are (still) having a great time as compared to us.. (1 Euro = 1.32 USD).


Probably the only reason it survives is because it's in German and they haven't read it yet.

I recently went through a ridiculous situation with HK forums, they kept deleting my posts for no good reason at all.  Such a stupid thing.  It was on a listing for a carbon fiber prop.  Somebody gave the usual "if you sand carbon fiber the sky will fall" post.  I simply, and politely asked for any evidence of the fact.  I'm genuinely curious where this comes from.  It's certainly not listed as dangerous on MSDS sheets, nor in any industry sources.  And I linked to a website where they are talking about how it's not that big of a deal.

They kept deleting my posts, no explanation.  Not understanding what was happening, I kept posting.  A few minutes later, deleted, no explanation.  I eventually gave up.  

It's stupid how they run the discussions there.

I guess if you want to do that, good for you.

I just spent... I dunno how many hours, cutting and welding an aluminum box for an antenna tracker enclosure.  I could have bought one for about $150, but I figured I could make it cheaper.  Cost me about $30 in materials, but it must have been at least 5 hours now.  I should have just bought it.

Sometimes DIY makes sense.  Sometimes not.  It's for everybody to decide for themselves I guess.

Thank you for clarifying why the HK CRIUS AIO PRO clone it's so cheap, that makes a lot of sense (shame on HK thought). I'm getting APM 2.5.

BTW, this kind of warning on manufacturing fault, should be on all the RC forums as sticky threads, so everyone can see them.


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