Pixhawk vs. APM 2.6

The good news: I am a senior computer design engineer with loads of had and SW experience and have been a LOS RCer for many years.

The bad news:  I am new to FPV and UAVs.

I have been pouring over DIYDrones and 3DR sites for a few days. I am still a little confused.

What is the feature-level differences between the PixHawk and the APM 2.6?

Why should I choose one over the other?

It's fun to be here and I look forward to becoming a viable contributing member of this forum.

Thank You,

Gene .  .   .    .

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Replies

  • Pixhawk for sure. The newest code deals with retracts and other features just not avaiaible in the APM. APM is out of head room and cpu. I have yet to meet anyone disappointed with the Pixhawk. That said.

    It like the APM, needs time and attention to get it right.

    Throttle mid position, ya have to study the data. Landing speeds, ya need to tweak it. The list is long, but as you tweak the experience improves. I love all mine. wa hoooo

  • To answer my own question. Yes there is a noticeable difference in performance. I replaced my Pixhawk clone hk pilot32 with a hk micro APM. You can hear and see the APM reacting to keep althold and position even on mild wind. The Pixhawk was close to optimal after auto tune, while the APM is better than stock after auto tune, it's still not as great. Slower response, I had to significantly reduce the throttle accel, jello on some situations. Pretty sure the stability can be better after tuning.
    I do wish Pixhawk was smaller and I read that even on alt hold APM only does 100hz vs 400hz for Pixhawk.
  • Hi,

    I'm thinking of getting HK pilot micro APM set. Looks interesting as it's very small form factor of everything. I am still new to uavs, started a few months ago. Have already done a dji f450 and naza, then done a pixhawk clone hk pilot32 tbs discovery clone. So have a bit of basic knowledge.

    I am happy with the pixhawk platform, but I am thinking of getting the APM because of size and cost. To my understanding as of this time APM and pixhawk software wise is still the same? The APM cpu is less powerful, is there a noticeable difference like on acro mode, loiter mode is strong gusts?

    Thanks
    • i have the HK pilot micro APM. How does it compare on acro/sport mode to a naze32? Given that the APM is slower than a naze32? One of the disadvantage of pixhawk is size. I am not a fpv racer but I do want to do some faster flights, not too keen use another FC if the acro/sport mode is good enough.
      • Works just as well as the Naze32.

        One thing I like is that there is a trainer mode from Acro, so if your just starting you can be a little easier on your self.

        I am very happy with it. I am doing a lot of proximity these days and it works very well. had a few guys ask me what it was as they where impressed by its performance.

        • Thanks for the feedback. I might move my micro APM from H600 to a beat up F450.

          • No problem glad to have helped out. I love it to the point I am adding another mini to a TBS discovery clone I am building. My only complaint would be the wiring of it. Its not as easy to wire as a regular APM, but it works well

    • I have the HKPilot mini on my zmr250 frame and it rocks.

      I confess I have all the bells and whistles.

      GPS OSD telemetry and so on. A little over kill for the 250 class machine. But it flies really well.

      Real stable and I blew the guys at my club away when I flipped it into RTL and it landed within 4 inches of its take off spot. Loiter in a 20 mile and hour wind, solid. I freakin love it. However the HK Micro Minimosd, it died about 2 or 3 weeks into use. Not a good story, frankly a bit p o'd over that. But all in all everything works well. Going to use it on a 450 class machine next as the weight and foot print is so small. Cheers

  • Hi, Eugene,

    I have both the APM 2.6 and the new Pixhawk.  I have successfully flown the APM 2.6 and it works great.  Having the APM fly waypoints all by itself is really cool.  I just recently received the Pixhawk in January (which I had on order since August)  and have been waiting for the weather to be above freezing here in Minnesota to take it for it's first flight.  I am impressed by the construction and diligence which has gone into delivering the Pixhawk.  It has passed all my static indoor tests and I am itching to get it outside and in the air.  So far everything with the Pixhawk has been working great as far at the configuration goes.  The instructions have been clear and easy to follow.  I just cannot vouch for the features once it is in the air since I am grounded by the weather.

    The difference between the two is that the APM is old, well tested, and full featured, but at the end of it's development cycle. The Pixhawk is new, is more powerful, but is not as fully tested, and has a lot of promise for the future.

    If you want a tried and tested configuration, go with the APM.

    If you do not mind some growing pains, the Pixhawk probably has a bright future.

    Whichever you decide on, be certain you have plenty of spare parts.  A crash kit is necessary, because you are going to crash.  If you don't crash, then you are not having enough fun.

    • Thanks Robert. I'm not "burnt in" to this paradigm yet. I'm not loose with the acronyms nor am I as understanding of the relationships of the products as many of you are. I am entering this anew. But my long general experience is enough to have taught me how to be careful. 

      Your answer is the kind of thing I am looking for.

      Thank you so much for sharing your detailed experience. I am chomping at the bit to hear more from you. I will pray for good weather! :D

      Gene .  .   .    .

This reply was deleted.

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