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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As I said, my CEO analogy was a generalization.  Many of the base salaries of CEO are fair.  It's the bonuses that are outrageous.  For full disclosure,I don't think corporations of any kind should exist.  In the developer sense, I was trying to say that some developers are not as important as others, some code is more important than other code.  Your engineer analogy would have been better, I just didn't think of it at the time.

Yes, anybody that wants to be rich and can find the right product or has a special talent can be.  You don't have to be a multi-national company to get rich.  It's harder now with all the government regulation, but it is still easily doable.  Heck, rich is an relative term.  Rich to me is having a family that I love and they love me.  I can do and have done that with very little money.  I've also done it with upper-middle class income.  I've been happy and sad at both levels.  I've also never been jealous or envious of those with more.  I've never been jealous or envious of those making money off my labor. Yes, money is nice but it shouldn't be the only measure of rich.  To me, being a billionaire is disgusting but it is none of my business as long as they are not harming me.

From your humble beginnings as an altruistic member of the community, through your "banning" period, to your eventual rebirth as a self-labelled troll. 

Gary, your statements at the bottom, that is EXACTLY why I do what I do.  Trust me, it's not worth it to me economically.  I'm doing this for fun, and I like to hope I'm doing a small part in making the world a better place by making UAV's available to people at reasonable cost.  I dream of a time where I hear stories of medical supplies delivered to small African villages in the belly of a Bixler flown by an APM.

That and, I really wanted an autopilot on my helicopter.  Not having $13,000 lying around for a DJI Ace One, I latched on to this project. No way I could have done any of this by myself.  As they say "I have stood on the shoulders of giants."  

“IF I did just use the design as is I would likely pump out a poor product which would make clone hardware look bad.”

So you want to start your business without any R& D of your own. You'd really want to make a profit off all those unpaid developers? Maybe you'd pay them all retroactively? /sarcasm

I do believe that if it is truly open source hardware, the design files should be available for the latest flying product.

I believe that ArduCopter, ArduPlane, and ArduPilot Mega are the copyrighted names but I'm not an expert on 3DR copyrights. I believe you can advertise your product as compatible to these products but you can't name your product one of them.

I agree with you about the wiki and I'm disappointed that Chris' promised updates haven't materialized yet.

I am also curious about how exactly "support" is defined / perceived by diydrones proper. 

In at least one talk (link below), Chris Anderson mentions his position regarding community support.    Is this really also the general consensus of the diydrones community?


Looks like I opened a can of worms. My intention wasn't to start a war against 3DR or Chris Anderson. I respect Chris and like I said before, probably this great community wouldn't had existed if it wasn't for Chris.

Being a developer in a open source community it means that you donate your work for a good cause. The developers who work on open source projects don't expect to be paid, they do it because it gives them satisfaction. When someone posts their own quad config files, they don't expect to be paid, they are happy they can share their knowledge with others.

If Chris decided to pay the top contributors, that's more than the community could expect and that explains why the original 3DR hardware it's a little more expensive than the clones. Go and check out any other most open source projects and you'll see that nobody gets paid (there are few exceptions). If you find a bug in the code, or have a great new idea that improves the hardware or the software, wouldn't you be excited and happy to share with us? Well, that's your payment, having a community to share your success with!

All the functions of the 2.5

Free mission planner

Free updates

If you have a problem there is someone to call or write 

Power module

Plastic case

$180 is a fantastic deal

Cheap copies from China $34 is a rip off.

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:


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.


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