Announcing APM 2.5!


I’m pleased to announce the new APM 2.0 revision, better known as APM2.5!

But before you start screaming that you just got an APM 2.0, let me explain that there’s NO difference in performance at all between the two, the board is still the same in terms of functionally and it runs exactly the same code as APM 2.0. We just took the liberty of throwing in a few new universal connectors in there (so accessories can be cross compatible with the new PX4 and protect the user from connecting the cable in the wrong direction), some production improvements that will allows to manufacture it faster and finally we added some protection features to protect it from those reverse polarity/short circuit lovers.

Here goes the full list of changes (you already know all its features):

  • No more shield/daughterboard: magnetometer and dataflash were moved to the main board, making it easier to assemble, repair and hack. 
  • No more on-board GPS, but we added a new 6-pins DF13 connector for our new GPS cable standard (PX4) and kept the old but reliable Molex (EM-406) connector for old GPS compatibility. 
  • The old radio-modem connector is gone and now is being replaced by our new 6-pins DF13 connector (like the GPS, because both are UART’s. Got it?), this will make it compatible with PX4 and prevents users from blowing up the UART mux. 
  • We added a second protection fuse and diode (you are no longer required to solder it yourself) for extra reverse polarity and short circuit protection. 
  • The old I2C connector is gone and has been replaced by our new 4-pins DF13 connector (yeah PX4 compatible. Oh wait correction… None of both (PX4 & APM2.5) are compatible with each other, we created this standard together as a team, but I have to give the average of the credits to PX4). 
  • Added a “mystery” 6-pin DF13 Connector that will be used later. I know you like surprises so please stay tuned. No big deal but is really cool and will save you some soldering here and there. 
  • Added “Magnetometer Jumper” that allows you to disable the on-board magnetometer, so you can attach an external one. 
  • Added extra LED attached to the PPM encoder (Atmega32-U2) on pin PC7. This will allows us later to use it as PPM status indication and leave those poor TX/RX LED’s do their intended job.


Those who ordered the APM2.0 and are still waiting for it (only if is not shipped yet) will have the option to upgrade to the new APM2.5, but you will be required to wait an extra couple of weeks for production to begin. For upgrades please send us an email to 

If you want to order one now you can get the assembled version here and the unassembled version here (for those who want their choice of RC connector: straight or right-angled). They will begin shipping in a week or so, but if there is a huge flood of orders, the backlog for any individual order may grow to 2-4 weeks. We're making them at the new Tijuana facility, so we hope that we'll be able to keep up with demand much better than we have in the past. We're committed to shrinking all delays, and our investment in the Tijuana facility is just one sign of this.

The APM 2.0 enclosures will not fit this new board, so new enclosures are on their way. If you buy an APM 2.5 now, you will get a $4.99 credit for a free enclosure with your next order (the enclosures should be in in about a month).  Also, APM 2.5 will ship with an adapter cable for the 3DR/Xbee radios, converting from the APM 2.5 DF13 connector to the radios' conventional 6-pin connectors.  Eagle files for the boards will be posted in the next few days.

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  • Quick question,

    Does the 2.5 board have the same ability to change the UART for telemetry as the 2.0 board?

  • Hopefully they are reading mail now, Im probably not the only one not wanting an "upgrade" after waiting so long :)

    But I agree on that evolution is allways a good coming, but not if forced upon us, which I hope it isnt. :P

  • 3D Robotics

    George: Yes, we've said it many times, but I'll say it again: we're on 12-month product cycle, with six month incremental releases.

    So you get a unitary release (legacy, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0) towards the end of each year and incremental releases (legacy shield, APM 1.4/2560, 2.5, etc) in mid-year. We've been on more-or-less the same cycle for years, dating back to the original legacy Ardupilot. and APM 2.5 is almost to day on the six-month roadmap. 

    If that's too fast for people, we encourage them to skip generations. We aim to officially support retired product lines with the latest code for at least one year, and the community normally takes over support after that to extend their life even further. 

    So, to be clear, APM 3.0 will probably come out around the end of the year. Some people may choose to wait for that, but since it's a radical platform shift (to the ARM processor), full code support may not come until later. Other people would rather just fly with a stable platform now, and for them APM 2.5 is a better choice. 

  • Gee wiz......... Just had to check me avatar and make sure I was on DIYD forum and not RCG.

    I'm sure I read a product timeline statement (sorry the fancy names escapes me) around the the time of release of the APM2.0 which described pretty much what is happening now. Or did I just dream that?

  • Just to say congrats for the rapid business development of 3dr and all new products coming in the near future.

  • DC: Same thing for me, after 7 weeks of waiting (showing over 80 untis in stock when i payed). I received the already outdated APM2 the 27th  and ordered the ublox GPS last week for this outdated APM2. I'm not happy about that! Same thing appended for the APM1 1280 and APM 2556 and now the APM2. An history of outdate products.

    The story, Jordi is that i wait over seven weeks to receive an outdated product, again!

  • Last I will say to you ever!

    "Adding little bits to try to insult others isn't going to win you any friends for the next time you have a question for the community that is simply here to try to help others."

    You say this right after I show where you added little bits to try to insult.  Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    Every time I've ever participated in a customer service survey by a "fixer," the company reps always say.  "We didn't know all these problems existed.  Why?  People won't say anything.  They'll pay their hard earned money and then just put up with anything that comes there way.  That's fine, it's their business.  That does not mean everyone must be a sheeple.  If people are defending poor customer service with excuses of "grass roots" or "over-whelmed" then they are not even close to being on the same side of the fence I am.  Stating an fact is not picking a fight.  It is a fact that customer service at 3DR is poor.  It is not an opinion.  You can disagree with an opinion but you can't disagree with a fact.  You might have a different tolerance for poor customer service but that doesn't change the fact.  Your posts on rants and raves at the time of mine were pretty much the same as mine.  I'm more forceful in what I say but we were saying the same thing.

    Ellison showed a lack of ethics.  That sucks a hundred times worse than my 3DR customer service experience.  I won't be quiet.  I will call anyone out on any similar statement. If you want to ban me for that then ban me but don't tell me what I may say as long as I'm here!!  I would hope that if I promoted unethical or illegal behavior, someone would call be out on it too.  Otherwise, we've become nothing but cowards!

    In closing, whistle, whistle, whistle, kum ba yah, whistle, whistle, whistle.

    I've now said something "just for the heck of it."

  • I post to try to get help with a problem, not to simply complain with no idea of a common sense solution to be found from within my posts - as I'm sure many here try to accomplish when they post as well.

    There aren't many complaints about the way 2.5 is coming out posted here for a reason - people are understanding.

    Was I misinformed? You bet. Did I get my shipments when they were set to be shipped overnight, but the ship notification came a day earlier than the package left - yep, a day later than expected.. Did you see me complain about every little thing I could think of? nope. Why? Because out there in the big bad world, things happen. We can only control what we have our hands on, and what is our responsibility - if someone makes a mistake, be it an individual, or a company when they are overwhelmed by orders for a product that they thought would sell well, but not THIS well - it doesn't help to come over to the forums and pick and argument with anyone that simply disagrees with you.. Adding little bits to try to insult others isn't going to win you any friends for the next time you have a question for the community that is simply here to try to help others.

    While you're frustrated at a company for not doing something as you've decided should be the way to do it, showing that same attitude towards the other people here that are on the same side of the fence as you helps no one, and doesn't help your cause.

    Perhaps this might be a good time for you to take the high road, and discontinue the rudeness shown to other forum members - if you still have issues with something dealing with 3DR, keep it focused on them, and not us.

    Thank you.

  • Mike,

    See my post directly above yours about the GPS.

    The response I received from Jobs about an Apple II was not insulting in any way.  Maybe he did insult people and maybe without reason, but I didn't see it first hand. The education system really sucks these days!!  The Apple comparison was to compare shitty customer service to even shittier customer service.  I did not compare Apple products to 3DR products.  I did not compare Apple CEO to Chris.  I just compared Apple to Apples, no pun intended.  Owners at an early stage in the company will respond to customers.  Later, they may not.

    I have posted nothing here that was dishonest in anyway.  I don't believe I've said anything that should insult anyone either.  To be insulted, the underlying premise must be false.  For instance, if I see a large woman on the street and ask her when she is due, she would be insulted if she were not pregnant but would not be insulted if she were. 

    If you read my post, you'll see nothing but positives about the APM 2.0 hardware and arducopter software.  The negatives I've mentioned are based on facts and not conjecture so I don't see the problem.  I've made no remarks just "for the heck of it."  May be I missed the memo.  Should I just sing kum ba yah or better yet, whistle passed the graveyard?

    Here is an excerpt from just one of your posts from "rants and raves" on July 22, 2012 at 8:05pm."So here I am, confused and pretty much done with 3DR after all this.  I'm not asking for gold here.  I'm simply trying to get through multiple hoops that have been set up by 3DR to get an oilpan replacement that never worked properly from day 1.......... and am now getting misinformation from someone who was supposed to be helping......"   By your definition that is insulting to the "someone who was supposed to be helping."  Change of attitude?  Seems to have happened about 10 hours ago?  Snarky?  Maybe.  Honest?  I believe so but other can decide for themselves.

  • Tony - The GPS that comes standard with the new 2.5 board does not increase the price by one cent.

    Furthermore, should you decide that you don't want any GPS with the 2.5 order, you can subtract $20 ($5 more than the 2.0, which let you subtract $15 from the price)

    So you're getting a better deal with 2.5 likely due to the fact that they don't need to include any daughter board with mag on it at all when you don't want to get a GPS.

    As for comparing Apple - When the former CEO *DID* personally reply to customers, more often than not it was so he could insult them (Please feel free to google the subject - it's well documented) - So the head of the company that you're comparing 3DR to in your example would insult customers whenever he didn't agree with them (of which he generally did not..)

    The vast majority of us on the forums are customers, and users of 3DR provided media, hardware, software contributions, etc.. Let's try to keep the conversation here civil and avoid making insulting remarks to others for the heck of it - it's beneath most of us, and benefits no one - especially on a site designed specifically to let people help one another.

    Another interesting Apple observation that has been well documented, since you brought it up - Apple regularly deletes negative comments and problem reports on their forums so others can't see them.

    Has that happened to any of your posts here?

    Something to think about while you're rattling off negatives.

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