APM vs. PX4 – what to get?

What are the advantages and disadvantages or each?


The PX4 looks like the very old days when APM had many boards and no case. Just looking at the advertisement I have no idea why I would want to trade in my APM 2.5+ for a PX4?




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  • APM is out of eeprom

    APM is out of ram

    APM is out of cpu cycles

    APM is not even on their new flagship "IRIS"

  • Hmm...

    If you are judging an autopilot by how pretty it looks or put off by being able to see the circuit board, perhaps take up knitting instead...

    All jokes aside...

    A simple comparison and understanding of specs will give you a pretty good indication that PX4 hardware is far more superior, however I would reserve final judgement on what firmware is loaded onto the autopilot and how well it is taking advantage of the available hardware architecture,

    If your requirements or interests don't exceed APM then I would say stick with that,  for now :)

  • I actually have my F330 / PX4 flying very nicely in stabilize as of today.

    I had motors 3 and 4 reversed which resulted in a lovely takeoff back flip.

    I checked by holding the copter at low throttle and testing for it working against your tilting it and it worked in two directions but did the opposite in the other 2 immediately indicating 2 motor servo connections reversed.

    I have really good cheap GemFan carbon props and did it on grass anyway so no harm done.

    Possibly better to check first next time though.

    By the way the little pre arm button with the green LED that comes with the PX4 system is a real asset.

    I was doing some handheld motion testing as above when my undercharged transmitter gave out and it was running at medium throttle at the time.

    Pressing the pre-arm button for 3 seconds shut it down.

    It would have been a genuine problem if that hadn't been there.

    I really like the pre arm button as an extra safety step required before take off too.

    There is no mistaking it.

    If the green LED is blinking continuously and evenly it is not pre armed and cannot be armed with the throttle.

    If it is blinking twice with a longer pause between each pair it is pre-armed and can be armed with the throttle.

  • Flew with PX4 flashed with Arduplane. Stabilized and FBW-A mode works fine. Will try waypoint navigation next week. So far looks good. Great work

  • Developer

    For all interested in flashing Firmware conveniently, there is a new tool called QUpgrade in the Downloads Area. It allows to flash the PX4 default or APM Plane / Copter / Rover Firmware on Windows, Mac OS and Linux with a graphical user interface in a single click. In particular for APM @ PX4 early adopters it may be interesting, since new builds can be flashed with a single click by browsing the Firmware page.


  • Hello everyone,

    I still have problems with PX4 board.

    1. I can not calibrate acc level with MissionPlaner. It only success via CLI.

    2. I have enabled IMU logs but can not download any logs from the board. It tells me Error opening com port.

    Does anyone have success with it?

  • Developer

    Ok guys, I have a simple question.

    If I get PX4 and use Arduplane firmware, what will I miss? What functions won't work? 


  • The DIYD APM and PX4 Firmware upload site is now directly linked in the Appendix of the ArduCopter and ArduPlane Wikis.

  • I'd like to be involved with the PX4 development.

    I'd like to develop XBee Drone-to-Drone communication and Cellular communication as a backup for radio.

    I am also interested in machine vision by PX4FLOW.

    Where do I start?

  • The pixhawk2.lbr Eagle library is missing couple of items. Is it possible to update it?


    • BAT54C-7-F (sheet 2 C1)
    • L3GD20 (sheet 3 C2) Error: Can't find package variant LL
    • MS5611-01BA (sheet 3 A5) missing from lib
    • MPU-6000 (sheet 3 C5) missing from lib


    • NX3225SA-24.000000MHZ (D1) Error: Can't find package variant 3.2x2.5
    • EEPROM-I2C-SOT23-5 (A6) missing from lib
    • Production testing pads (B45) VDD_3V3, JTMS-SWDIO, JTCK-SWCLK, JTDO, JTDI, !JTRST  missing from lib
    • HEADER-3X1RA  (C7) missing from lib
    • MAX3051 (C4) missing from lib
    • USART1 Test Pads (E6) USART1_TX, USART1_RX, GND. missing from lib



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