Low Price Pixhawk units out of China, anyone know anything about them

Hi all

Looking to replace my Pixhawk that died when an ESC went into meltdown and dumped batter voltage up the signal wire and just cannot afford the cost of the genuine items so was looking to the Chinese clones, I then stumbled across these 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331784307248 and at under £50 quite a bit cheaper than the usual Chinese clones, but was concerned by the reference in the description to German & Russian firmware.

Anyone know anything about these, are they fully compatible with Pixhawk and Mission Planer and the normal APM firmware normally used.

I know you get what you pay for and if you buy cheap you buy twice, but I need to get something to replace my smoked Pixhawk and just cannot justify the cost of the genuine item at the moment.

Thanks for any help with this

Paul
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I would like to know this too...

I do not know what it will take to come up with the money,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,do not buy a clone !!!!!!!!  First you have no support which you will need one way or the other. Is your machine worth loosing or put into peices on the ground ? I was also in your position and after allot of research I waited. Also try to find a possible used (real) one. Just my 2 cents worth.

There really is no such thing as genuine anyway. It is open source. 3DR stood behind their quality more than others.

That may be fine, and it may also contain the cheapest parts imaginable with cheap solder and questionable QA. You pays you money and takes your choice. Personally if I was looking for something cheaper I would go for an HKPilot32. Hobbyking are generally ok and they have more of a reputation to uphold than an anonymous ebay store or even the likes of Banggood and Goodluckbuy. They know that people will talk of they sell a lots of blatantly faulty units.

You may also want to look at the different form factors. Pixfalcon from Holybro (do not get them from GLB, fakes apparently) and Pixhack are also supposed to be good.

But if you do get one like that just check the board with a magnifying glass to make sure the soldering is ok and test it carefully. At that price you are going to have to do some of your own QA.

If you want quality I would look at Drotek, but they are not using DF13 so you would have some crimping to do and they are not cheap.

Good luck

This makes no sense BTW. It is an open source project. This is not a clone as such.

It just may be too cheap to be sure it is of adequate quality.

The idea that you have to buy 3DR to be sure it ok is moot now and they will be outsourcing to China as well as their factories in Mexico are closed.

I think think an HKPilot32 is probably just fine.....

And that is a more believable price too: $164

What about a unit like this? What is it missing compared to a full PH unit?

PX4 Lite (link)

For anyone looking for a good quality pixhawk clone (with 1 year warranty by an actual company) i 100% reccomend HobbyKing, you may think oh hobbyking is just cheap w.e but I can guarentee you they have put more time into the pixhawk then other no names. I have been running mine now for over a year with no complaints.

Here is a forum that links to the product as well, you can see everyone is pretty happy.

Link to product HERE $119  You can also get a "combo" pack HERE
Link to RCgroups Forum HERE

They are even selling GPS units, Air Sensors, Optical Flow Sensors, Current Module and even a 500mw Telemtry Radio! This whole line up has been a very good purchase for myself. and a couple fellow flyers.

Just I/O that you may or may not need. Pixhawk as a lot of I/O ports and most people do not use them all. I do not think that one is one of the better versions of slimmed down Pixhawks though even if it is cheap.

If you want a cutting edge PX4 small board with newest sensors I would try and snag a Pixracer from Arsov. That is actually the newest official PX4 board.

I think the Pixfalcon is a quality product if you do not use the Aux inputs on an Pixhawk.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__86437__PixFalcon_Micro_P...

There are so meany different versions of the pix hawk but here is the Original model $99.90

http://brushlessgimbal.ca/Auto-Pilot-Controller/Pix-Hawk-V2.4.5-32B...

Worth mentioning: this was always the idea behind the open source model. A third party makes the hardware and the software remains in everyone's hands.

You failed to mention the clones continued using outdated and/or defective hardware that 3DR identified, then pulled all Pixhawks off the market and fixed. Pixhack for example still has the 1mb flash limit. The RTFQ's of the world kept on crashing and wondering why their copters wouldn't work right.

3DR continued to replace Pixhawks long after the warranty period for the faulty boards THEY discovered and reported the problem.

It wasn't HobbyKing or any other big box store that spent the time and money finding and correcting these issues.

Also, as I have the AUAV-X2 which had the USB bug that caused my first and only flyaway (posted here at DIY), it was 3DR that fixed the problem via firmware. The open design of the X2 is plagued with holding altitude and must be encased well (no case sold with unit). While I like the smaller size, connecting everything can keeping wiring organized is a nightmare. Why did they stop making it? 

And what good is having a new product (Pixracer) if they are near impossible to purchase and then wait 2 weeks for delivery? I can order a Pixhawk and have it in a few days. I'm not into racing quads, so it really doesn't appeal to me. 

I also have a Pixhack with the aforementioned outdated hardware. While it is a nice solid design, the vibration damping is largely a gimmick. Maybe the latest versions work better, but mine still required using latex foam to get vibrations very low. There is no U.S. source for support so waiting weeks on end for replacement after trying to break the language barrier ping pong back and forth emails is not my idea of fun. 

The other two FC's are genuine Pixhawks, neither of which has failed, although one has the 1mb flash limit; not a big deal for this year anyway.

Having worked in the manufacturing field for 35+ years, I've seen it all. For the past 20 years I've worked at a company that designs and builds turnkey assembly and test systems for the automotive industry, specifically mostly engines and transmissions. We have a spare parts division that supplies the customers with perishable parts and sub-assemblies. Retrofitting is in constant flux. Some customers decided it was cheaper to deal directly with the manufacturers of the details, bypassing us. Yep, they got the parts cheaper, but also an unacceptable rejection rate which could virtually shut down an assembly line. The difference is we 100% inspect and test all components before shipping to the plant, plus since we actually designed the systems we know how the details et al work and fit to the mating details. We've not had one single detail rejected back due to a defect in the manufacturing. That's 20 years of fighting the bean counters and mfg to get where we're at now. We have the highest profit margin in the company because of it, and customers have come back after much frustration with the "cheap" stuff.

I run the inspection department and set up the system that earned the spare parts division and final inspection department the reputation they so deserve. Am I bragging? Nope. I just knew from experience going for the cheapest price usually results in getting what you pay for. Therefore, except for $50 drones I play with in the yard, I will always go for the higher quality parts, which almost always translates into higher prices.

Everyone wants to save a buck, but flight controllers are like a box of chocolates. When 3DR says they are on top of an issue, they have always come through in my experience. Therefore I am looking forward to seeing what improvements will be made to Pixhawk.    

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