Looks like this flight controller uses the same components, and it's just $34


Both have:

Atmel's ATMEGA2560

MPU6050 6 axis gyro
HMC5883L 3-axis digital magnetometer
MS5611-01BA01 Barometric pressure sensor

Can someone explain to me the price difference? Even the software was ported so you can have same version on both boards. Why should I pay $180 for APM 2.5?


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@ Ioan Ghip

This is really sad, tragic actually.

The Hobby King board is $34 only because Hobby King already know beyond any doubt that the board THEY CONTINUE TO SELL has a serious manufacturing fault, it doesn't work. See my warning on RCgroups WARNING bad batch ** Hobby King Multiwii and Megapirate AIO Flight ...

Originally the price was $50 until I discovered it had a manufacturing fault, I notified Hobby King, they ignored me, I posted in the discussion page for the product, they deleted the post. Hobby King stopped selling it for about 6 hours, then in a real dumb corporate decision which reveals Hobby King's true colors they decided to keep selling what they KNOW TO BE A FAULTY BOARD at a reduced price to attract unsuspecting buyers like you, no mention of the manufacturing fault. More interested in dumping that botched batch and make a profit.

Hobby King botched a simple clone of the CRIUS AIO PRO V1 we eventually discovered they left off at least one critical trace the GND connection for the 5V regulator, they made lots of other minor changes meaning you cannot trust their clone AT AL, I certainly would NOT fly it, my personal safety and the safety of those around me is worth a lot more than $34.

CRIUS AIO PRO cannot be compared to APM 2.5, you only listed the key components and got a couple wrong - comparing AIO PRO to APM 2.5 is like comparing chalk and cheese, they are not even close to being equal.

AIO PRO uses the older barometer, slower MPU6050, has no fuses, no reverse polarity protection, no over-voltage protection, no ATmega32u2, no flash for logging, no level converters for sensors, no option for external magnetometer, no current limit on inputs, no current limit on outputs - ABSOLUTELY NO OFFICIAL DOCUMENTATION..

As you can see there is a lot more difference than what you listed.

You incorrectly assumed;

1.- You assumed HK was selling a good board at normal discount price, HK are dumping a clone they know they stuffed up.

2.- You assumed the boards are equal, the AIO PRO cannot be directly compared to APM 2.5, they are miles apart on many levels.

You cannot run ArduCopter on AIO PRO, you can run MP NG which is always a few months behind and never fully compatible with all new updates.

There is a board that is directly comparable to APM 2.5 and that is the Rctimer ArduFlyer 2.5.

I buy a lot from Hobbyking however I do choose what I buy. Motors, esc and batteries are ok there. I have a 9X that is top notch with er9x and a frysky module.

My APM will be from 3DR - I do not have sufficient faith in HK to trust my plane to an autopilot fom HK. Also though I am pretty sure the team here will support th HK board I think that it asking a lot for people to bend over backwards for a non 3DR board. I have seen some pretty extensive fault finding done by the developers and I am sure that I will have to avail myself of some of that support to get mine going.

Just like the apple computers I have switched to I am totally prepared to pay the price fr a good product with good support.

Really the 2.5 is pretty darn cheap anyway.

What you're saying appears in the comments of the product, but in German.
"humptydumpty" says: "... dieses hier hat einen Herstellungsfehler. Las die Finger davon. Oder warten bis es sich geklä*rt hat." -> "... this is a manufacturing defect, keep fingers away on this and wait until this is fixed."
However your explanation is much more extensive and accurate. Thank you for the advise.

Because there are many resellers in-between or seller want more profit to operate his business.

I purchased one just about 90 USD in Taiwan for your reference.

Well here we go again. Why is it cheaper is your question. Your answer is in the question.

Been answered a thousand times. 

Cheers, Steve

This discussion on price is incomplete (partially touched on by mentioning Asian labor costs) without noting the the currency costs.

When it is considered that the Yuan is less than 1/4 the USD, a major variable for the cheap price of the clone board becomes clear. On the other hand (a favorite economists phrase), if you bought that same board in China, it would cost nearly 212 Yuan. That is what it would cost the local hobbyist in the town the board is made in. Price is relative to your local economy.

The consumer decides where they want to spend their money. If you are happy buying your autopilot from people an ocean away, be happy. I prefer to keep the money I have earned on this continent as much as possible - even if I pay more. I am not just buying an autopilot but helping to employ people on this continent.

Our friends being paid in Euros are (still) having a great time as compared to us.. (1 Euro = 1.32 USD).


Probably the only reason it survives is because it's in German and they haven't read it yet.

I recently went through a ridiculous situation with HK forums, they kept deleting my posts for no good reason at all.  Such a stupid thing.  It was on a listing for a carbon fiber prop.  Somebody gave the usual "if you sand carbon fiber the sky will fall" post.  I simply, and politely asked for any evidence of the fact.  I'm genuinely curious where this comes from.  It's certainly not listed as dangerous on MSDS sheets, nor in any industry sources.  And I linked to a website where they are talking about how it's not that big of a deal.

They kept deleting my posts, no explanation.  Not understanding what was happening, I kept posting.  A few minutes later, deleted, no explanation.  I eventually gave up.  

It's stupid how they run the discussions there.

I guess if you want to do that, good for you.

I just spent... I dunno how many hours, cutting and welding an aluminum box for an antenna tracker enclosure.  I could have bought one for about $150, but I figured I could make it cheaper.  Cost me about $30 in materials, but it must have been at least 5 hours now.  I should have just bought it.

Sometimes DIY makes sense.  Sometimes not.  It's for everybody to decide for themselves I guess.

These are FLYING ROBOTS; We are living in THE FUTURE! $180 doesn't seem so bad, especially if you compare it to buying all of the elements as Arduino-compatible modules (9 DoF IMU, GPS, Mega 2560, etc)

3DR probably has a lot of overhead: Accountants, lawyers, marketing/PR/website, facilities, certifications, product liability insurance, and of course R&D. And they make a quality product, which takes more time (therefore cost) per item.

HK is able to take 3DR's open source board and use it as a reference design for a cheaper version, skipping part (or most) of the R&D. HK sells a LOT of stuff, so their overhead is easier to recover. Also, because of their location, they probably have less overhead. And as others have noted, HK seems to have some quality control or design issues: quality control can be a huge cost.

As Ive said before,  I think it's priced pretty reasonably.....And has come down almost $50 from the APM 2, and another $50 from the APM1.

Now compare that to the Naza, which is $399 W/ GPS and does not even do waypoints.

But a more fair compairson would be to the Wookong M $1159

with 900mhz Telemetry your looking at                           $1679

Now if you want that system, only with 5 waypoints you have to add $900 to the total cost.

If that's not enough, you can move to the 50 Waypoint system. But that will cost you an extra $1100 on top of the $1679 for the hardware.

You can check it out for yourself here:

Or you can go for an APM 2.5 for $144.99 (unlimited waypoints)

Adding a GPS and Power module will bring it up to $179.99

Or for all of the above plus telemetry your looking at $259.99

You can check that out here:

Given the price of it's nearest competitor, and the trend of every dropping prices that we have seen so far. I think it's priced quite reasonably.

I posted a link to Joe's discussion about the Manufacturing Defect on page 1 of this discussion here.

Apparently it got missed.


Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

Waypoints are not unlimited on the APM.  The number is large but not unlimited.  The APM is, in my opinion, the best autopilot for the money.  The best I've flown for sure.



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