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

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__31138__Multiwii_and_Mega...

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?

TIA

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No worries.

In my book the core of the problem is the difference between developing open source and designing open hardware. If you have a computer, coding open source only cost time. So if you are willing to dedicate spare time on it, there is no money involved.

But hardware on the other hand cost real money to design, no matter how open you are about it. As your project become more and more advanced the traditional DIY electronics approaches become unpractical and to time consuming to really get anything done. So pretty soon there is need for specialized equipment that come with real physical price tags on them. The price of components and materials also quickly start to add up. While some component only costs cents to a couple bucks each, the real stuff like sensors, micro-controllers and such costs more. And you need many of then and then some to spare, during the dev cycle. You can't expect software programmers to make their own boards (at this level of complexity), so you have to make batches of prototype boards, so that they can make software and use the boards to give feedback for the next revision. All this adds up to real money, not just time.

And this brings us back to what I consider the core of the problem. Without companies like 3DR, willing to put up the money for the hardware design process (and then release all the information for free), there would be no APM. Just like there would not be a APM without the free coders doing the software part. Once hardware reaches a certain level of complexity, there is/must be at least some minimal level of commercial interest involved to cover the cost.

Companies like HobbyKing and RCTimer only mass product already finished designs. All of this totally legal (or at least in the grey zone). An they are very good at this, using the lower labor cost in China for maximum effect. But the fact is, that without 3DR there would be no APM for them to mass produce and sell. And then you would save even more money!! :)

I stumbled upon this:

http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=...

They copied everything 3DR makes, it's wild.

I don't understand how you can talk about things being unfair for the developers, and talk about their "plight". When none of them are complaining. Your on here playing your "persona" supposedly for people that have been somehow wronged by 3DR, and are constantly talking about how 3DR is unscrupulous and ripping off or wronging one group or another. And  seriously, the idea that 3DR should make a wiki about how to clone there product is just ridiculous. They have fulfilled there obligations and made public the eagle files and what not.....Which you say are incomplete, and yet quite a few company's have been able to use those docs to clone them pretty well.

I understand watching your friends copter fly off was a bad experience (BTW, were you actually there when that happend) but at some point you need to give it a rest and quit looking for conspiracy everywhere. You have the option of contributing to the code yourself, but you apparently fall at the top of the Developer pyramid and are so good that you don't want to do that without stock options.(which is what the top devs get) You also say that system is unfair, but Ive yet to hear a Dev who has actually felt that way.

I'm sorry for the rant, but I'm tired of all the negativity. Youve openly stated that your Playing a "Persona", but the rest of us are here as normal people. And we love having a community full of other normal people being themselves and helping each other out. You now have 2 websites of your own (diydronesafety and diyclones) where you can (and do) share your views of 3DR, but the rest of us would much rather get back to a non toxic helpful forum, then to keep up with the non stop negativity.  /rant

tardupilot.com, really? That says it all right there. I'm not going to debate this with you...today your crusade is clones, before that it was the ppm, and next week it will be something else. We both know the only reason that you haven't been banned again is because no wants to deal with your threats of a DDOS against this site, among other things.

In any event, that's all I have to say....I'm taking a friends advice and I'm going to quit feeding the Troll. For anyone who wants to see just how biased this guy is, check out his site  and click on 3DRobotics clones. It will give you an idea of just how crazy toxic this guy can be.

That is multiwii board not an ardupilot, and it copied from this one.

Fact remain they did indeed make an unwise decision to pretend all is well and continue selling a product that indeed has had for over a week now a clearly well documented undeniable manufacturing fault.

Absolutely no doubt about it. Confirmed by everyone so far that has received their board from Hobby King who understands how it is supposed to operate in order to sue ALL available features..

I agree it is difficult to even attempt to fathom Hobby King's thinking on this one, facts remain - no user's wrong operation, no user error - a manufacturing fault where at least one GND trace missing on the PCB, a trace that prevents power supply from working as intended. No amount of guesswork or arguing will jump over that real manufacturing fault.

You either have not read the clear detailed description of the manufacturing fault or you did not understand it.

@Ioan Ghip

You picked a board that has a manufacturing fault and even if it was manufactured correctly IS NOT AT ALL COMPATIBLE with APM 2.5

A lot of the discussion in this thread including your OP has completely overlooked the fact the 2 boards are not comparable at all.

You should have compared APM 2.5 with the fully functional comparable ArduFlyer 2.5 then the exaggerated difference in price due solely to Hobby King reduction in price to dump a FAULTY BOARD dramatically shrinks.

You opened a can of worms only for those who do not read nor research facts before typing replies.

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