Introducing the new better, cheaper APM 2.5+ kit (with power supply/sensor, enclosure, new GPS)

We're delighted to announce the new APM 2.5+, which is the same APM 2.5 board you know and love but surrounded by lots of new goodness!  Now, for a new lower price of $179, it comes with all this, right out of the box:

  • The new APM 2.5 enclosure, available in both top pin (above) and side pin (right) styles. It's designed to keep your electronics safe while looking great at the same time! The enclosure is made of black translucent ABS plastic so you can see the board's LEDs. It protects your electronics while allowing access to all pins and connectors. The inside of the enclosure is lined with ESD safe open cell foam to ensure the barometric pressure sensor is surrounded by static air and prevent unwanted readings due to airflow over the sensor. And the screws that secure the enclosure have been moved to the top for ease of use. It's also available as a stand-alone product for $4.99. (customers who already have an APM 2.5 are eligible for a coupon code to get a free enclosure with their next order. Email sales@3drobotics.com if you don't already have one)
  • The new APM Power Module, available with either XT60 (shown) or Deans connectors. It's a simple way of providing your APM 2.5 with clean power from a LiPo battery as well as monitoring current consumption and battery voltage measurements, all through a 6-pos cable that plugs in neatly. The board is also shrink-wrapped to protect it (the bare board is shown here so you can see the innards). Been wondering what that "mystery connector" was on APM 2.5? Now you know! This will ensure that you have no brown-outs due to insufficient BEC power from your ESCs, and makes current and voltage monitoring easy! It's also available as a stand-alone product for $24.99
  • Our new Version 2 of the Mediatek GPS module. This takes all the learning we've had with the Mediatek over the past two years and wraps it up in one vastly improved product. New big ground plane antenna to improve reception! On-board battery for fast lock! New firmware for better performance and datalogging! Also available as a stand-alone product for $37.95.

Oh, and did I mention that we also lowered the price of APM 2.5 by $20 at the same time?? This is all thanks to our new production facilities in Tijuana, which allow us to make an increased volume of products at higher quality and lower prices. We're even adding a new Manncorp four-head pick-and-place machine there to handle even higher volume!

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Developer
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 23, 2012 at 11:52am

The power module is interesting, but is there any plan for a higher capacity version?  I'm interested in something like this for my bigger machines (Octo, 600 Heli) rather than my smaller, shorter range (quad, 450 Heli) machines.  And I can't put that 100A through those XT60's.  Also need to use with 8-12S.  Any hope?


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 23, 2012 at 11:55am

Robert, if there's enough demand, we'll offer a higher capacity version. But the vast majority of our users will be fine with the standard ones. And you can always solder on different connectors if you want. 

Comment by Martin Bellomo on November 23, 2012 at 12:13pm

This power board only supply current for APM? (servos still taking power fron ESC)

Comment by DougB on November 23, 2012 at 12:21pm

I can work with the 100A's but three of my platforms run on 6s's so a increase in cell count would cause me to by more of them.


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 23, 2012 at 12:51pm

Martin: No, it supplies power for both APM and the entire RC gear, including servos. 

Update: I just checked with the designer, and I stand corrected. They say:

It's supposed to only power the electronics (APM, GPS, telemetry) and RC receiver. There are a couple of scenarios:

1.- Multicopter: remove the JP1 jumper so you only power your electronics with the Power Module, or leave it present (doesn't matter) if you have third party 'no-BEC' ESCs. The two wire power cable from the PDB to the output pins is still necessary for the ESC's ground connection (there is also a ground connection through the Power Module cable, but it's a longer path back to the PDB/ECS).

2.- Plane: remove JP1 jumper so you only power your electronics with the Power Module, while still being able to use the output rail to distribute power from an ESC or BEC to your servos.


Developer
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 23, 2012 at 1:11pm

Oh, the connection is on the "far side" of JP1?

I wouldn't try to run servos on 2.25A.  Maybe a couple of micro analogs, to move an FPV camera,  but that's it.

Comment by Peter Meister on November 23, 2012 at 1:51pm

This is awesome, thanks Chris and team for providing this new APM 2.5 and the new GPS module at such an affordable price point!

Comment by Patch Thompson on November 23, 2012 at 1:59pm

Nice job on protecting the barometer, and the new features are genius! Couple of questions;

1) Can the BMP085 sensor be used as a plug & play alternative(with some set-up), to the on board barometric sensor? Can it be used in conjunction, for a comparative reading?

2) Regardless of price, what's your best GPS option offered? The new Mediatek? Ublox? 

3) Can additional batteries be monitored by the APM with the new power module? e.g. flight batteries and avionics batteries? Or are we limited to using/monitoring a single power source?

Thanks for all the work, can't wait to test it out!


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 23, 2012 at 2:20pm

Martin: I corrected my response to your question above. 


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 23, 2012 at 2:21pm

Robert: Please see my corrected response above.

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