APM 2.5 from hobbyking

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Hmmm Now hobbyking is selling:

ArduPilot Mega V2.5 Flight Controller USB/GYRO/ACC/MAG/BARO



72 USD for the hobbyking APM 2.5 board






Are hobbyking selling this under license or is it a CN clone?

Can hobbyking use the name Ardupilot 2.5?

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  • The spirit and power of Open Source is that you can quickly get a design working and to market if you choose.  The key is that any innovations you make must be posted if they include or use (with some exceptions) any other Open Source projects.  This allows for great innovation and development in the industry.  

    If HK had taken the APM design / code and *improved* upon it.  Doing anything to inject their own investment back to the community, then I believe nobody would have any qualms with them.  The problem comes from them taking an open design, *purely copying* it and selling it a very tight margins.  

    Zero engineering investment for them.  All profit.  And in the meantime, the people who put the actual work into designing the APM receive no reward for their efforts.  This can force competition, push down price and increase availability, which is good for the consumer.  However, usually there is some work needed to clone a product.  Here it's just copy-paste.  

    TL;DR: Hobbyking is pushing down prices, which is good for the customer.  However, it contributes no intellectual return to the industry.  Most of the time though, they have to at least work a little to copy a design. 

  • Would that be profiteering from other peoples effort.  Can't help feeling that DIYD and 3DR is tasting some of it's own medicine here.  Did the profits from ArduThing ever reach the hands of the original innovators and hard working open source developers?  I wonder.....

  • Developer

    @Dionh: The chip on 3DR is a 16MBit device, which means it is 16,000,000bits /8 = 2MByte see

    The HK post says 4MP so it could mean anything

  • I agree with jo buying from 3dr if you live in south africa is very expensive. The only deference is the HK apm has only got 4mb ram instead of the 16mb the 3dr board has Where the rctimer apm is a exacted copy

  • +1 jo

    apm is a open source software and there are some bugs which could create  crash so we are many to prefer to pay less and no fear if we break something...

  • Guys, no offence, but HK and Rctimer for the win. I also live in South Africa and invested alot of money in my planes and drones. I have 2 clones now, and 2 originals. The clones work just as good as the real thing. I wish I could buy original all the time, as I give credit and respect to the dev's of the apm and its software, but here is the facts in my life. Apm 2.5 with 433mhz data radio and ublox $140 with FREE shipping! (Delivered in 2 weeks)
    HK Apm $71 + 3$ shipping!! (Also 2 week delivery time)
    3dr apm with 433 mhz data radio and ublox $305 + $50 shipping
    I would not be as far with my fpv skills if I had to pay these prices all the time.
    Everyone always want to knock HK down because of these facts, but 60% of people reading this thread would not be able to play along if it was not for hobbyking.
    However Apm2= best FC in the world!!!
  • It is not even half the price.

    Summarize unworkable GPS LEA-6H with reversed contacts, power module, case, wires, soldered pinounts and you will find a little profit of 3RD behind APM.

  • Completely agree as usual John.  I would not be participating in this hobby if it wasn't for Hobby King.  For too long, the big hobby distributors set prices much too high, for items with very little innovation.  Too much of the price of hobby hardware was going towards supporting 2-3 levels of distribution, and advertising costs.  I do, or did, support the local hobby shop.  But it wasn't those guys getting rich.  You just have to look at the market for RC Transmitters, even today, to see how little effort the big guys were putting into product development.

    When HK can develop the 9XR, and pay for all the tooling for the shells, etc, and sell it for $50, when Futaba sells something equivalent for $400, that tells you how much Futaba and all the middle-men are making.

    However, this clone is different.  If Hobby King can only manage to cut the price in half, and not even having spent *anything* to develop it, that tells me that 3DR's price is already pretty fair.

    But in this case, there is zero tooling, and no development?  Just copy the design, and rent pick-and-place machine time...  And it's only half price?  I don't mind buying from the originator.

  • Developer

    HobbyKing is a bit of a dilemma. On the one side they have more or less single handedly reduced R/C prices to sane levels compared to what stuff used to cost earlier. Much of this by removing all the costly middlemen and insane brand markups. But on the other side they are also making shameless copies of other peoples work.

  • As a newbie to all this, I saw these products with the same naming and at first glance thought they were the same products. The naming and lack of credit to the designers is my biggest beef with this. I could have easily bought these HK products expecting 3DR build quality. Disaster averted.

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