I'm looking at buying an APM for a fixed-wing initially, but with the intention to use it on a quad at some point in the future.

From what I understand, the only difference between the two versions is the removal of the onboard magnetometer from the 2.6 board. I want to buy the most up to date and capable autopilot, not a legacy version.

I'm confused because the APM 2.5 appears to have a bridge point for disabling the onboard magnetometer, so why release a whole new board to achieve what is already achievable on the 2.5 with a bit of solder? If I bought a 2.5 and bridged-out the mag, can I still connect the 3DR GPS uBlox LEA-6 + Compass module?

Other than the stated reasons for having an off-board compass are there any other advantages to having the uBlox+compass over the mediaTek+onboard compass?



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Its been discovered that on Multi-rotors we cannot compensate for the magnetometer interference in software. This compensation has been more successful in ArduPlane.

The removal of the mag is the only difference, once the magnetometer is disabled you can connect an external one.

Not populating the mag onboard keeps costs down.

The costs for both boards is the same.

Am I missing something here?

Nope. They are just the same price. though unless you have a GPS and external compass already you will need to add $80 to the 2.6 or $20 for the mediatek GPS for the 2.5. so not really the same price.

The BOM (Bill Of Materials) is less with the compass not populated, that doesn't mean it's less for a customer to buy, just less to make. (and it's only a few dollars, so nothing for us, but for 3DR its a saving)

PS: buy the 2.6 version and the new GPS+Compass. You really will have a much better performance. The days of on-board mags is numbered, especially it you are going to fly multi-rotors

The store doesn't appear to let me specify the cable lengths I want when I select the uBlox+compass module. Do you know what the default length is that you get?

But what's the difference between buying the 2.6 with the ublox gps & compass and the 2.5 with the ublox gps & compass? They both cost 160$ + 80$ but with the 2.5 you have a fallback compass onboard.

Hi Timm , what is your conclusion ?

did u get the 2.5 + 3DR GPS uBlox LEA-6 + Compass module

or the 2.6+3DR GPS uBlox LEA-6 + Compass module


How do you identify a 2.6 board from a 2.5 board? is there some marking on it, or is it as simple as a mark thru the old onboard compass? thanks in advance


Since both the APM2.5 and APM2.6 look identical from the outside, the two APM2.6s that I just purchased have a small sticker on the top that says "2.6". Otherwise you would have to open them up to see if the compass IC is on the pwb or not.


TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

i did open the shell, some where on the board inside i remember seeing V 2.5.2 in a lower corner.  my item was sold as a 2.6 board but considering you'd only have to knock out the onboard Compass, i wonder if i am a victim of false advertising? thanks for you response  

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