Hi, I've been looking at buying the ArduPilot and parts for some time but delivery from websites such as SparkFun and this store are about $55 and this doesn't include the rather lovely "import tax" I'd have to pay once it's in the country which is another $15 or so.

I don't mind paying 30% of the price I paid for goods but when it's more like 100% it gets crazy but I'm sure there are quite a few UAV flyers in the UK and I'd love to know how they got their kit.

What's the cheapest way for me to get hold of an ArduPilot and XY, Z sensors?


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Fedex and a friendly supplier who will put a 'massaged' value of goods on the side. Never, ever, ever use parcelforce. Pay the premium for Fedex Express, it saves a lot of money in the long run and arrives faster. I say this having made lots of small purchases amouning to several thousand pounds from the states over the last few months. It may seem more expensive at the time to go Fedex priority, but when you add in all the crap and incompetency and 'handling fees' of ParcelForce, it becomes a no-brainer.

Thanks Ed, I bought some stuff from Sparkfun... made a big mistake of going for the cheap option and getting stung by ParcelForce. So you mean you don't have to pay handling fees with the Fedex option?

I live in the UK and bought an Ardupilot back in February without any problems. The price I paid on the website at the time was $43.90 delivered to the uk with no problems. It was delivered within a few days too. Marvelous. now all I need to do is get around to using it.
Have a look at http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/ they have pretty much everything you need.
Hi Richard

I brought a UAV a development board and other bits from sparkfun last week and chose the FED-EX option with the goods insured at their replacement cost (presumably what it would cost sparkfun to replace the goods rather than their retail value). This cost was declared on the package label as the both the carrigae and customs value and I recieved the package within 3 working days without any additional charges or delays.

Hope this helps,

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the info. That's amazing! Last time I ordered stuff from SparkFun, Parcelforce kept it for a week then charged me £8 for the pleasure. Definitely going to choose the FED-EX option now. Btw how much was the stuff you were buying?

Hi Richard

Total cost without shipping was $216.90, the declared customs and insurance value on the box was $83.95.

Now out of excuses to get started and use it as something other than a paper weight....

HI Richard,

I have offered on 2 occasions to Chris adn Jordi, that we would be happy to stock thier products, i just havnt had any kind of reply. Im not sure if they thought i was serious or there might be other issues, dont know...

We have had successfull flights and thier systems seriously do work, quite abit of tuning involved, but the new software Jordi has sorted, has cut the mustard!!

maybe one of the guys will let me know?

We are in the UK by the way.


Hi Mike,

Perhaps they are a bit busy these days since I just noticed the latest Make magazine has Jordi on the front cover and an excellent article written by Chris.

A UK seller would be great however, particularly if it's quicker and cheaper than ordering it in the US. As everything is open source maybe there is room for some boards (shields etc that coolcomponents don't sell) to be built in europe?

Spoke abit too soon about the TAX in sparkfun shipments to the UK....

Letter arrived from FEDEX today asking for DUTY and Tax charges of £14.46, have yet to work out fully what they are based on but a Tax charge of £15 based on a goods value of £51 does sting a little!

Interestingly the letter also includes the commercial invoice from spark fun with the itemised replacement costs of each of the goods purchased which is presumably what they cost sparkfun to buy / manufacture....


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