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  • The old I2C connector is gone and has been replaced by our new 4-pins DF13 connector (yeah PX4 compatible.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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  • Need a quick 101 on where to land the Optical flow sensor now, just can't figure it out and I'm trying to get swapped over from my 2.0 to my 2.5 this weekend.

    Anybody accomplish this yet?

    P.s. I also put a thread in the APM 2.0 hardware section asking the same question.

    The thread.

  • Robert :-)

    My *intention* is to make an adjustable plate capable of about 15 degrees of roll and 5 degrees of pitch. Then velcro the APM to it and mount the assembly on the underside of the top of the battery tray (Align 600efl with the quick release slide in trays). I will precisely level the APM and zero it before installing in the heli, then adjust the tray to mechanically obtain a drift free hover, no auto_trim. I just think that the MPU-6000 will be happier that way, and I think there may be issues with the auto_trim not being applied in all modes properly I.e. hovers well after auto_trim in stabilize but wants to drift back and left in loiter. I know the conventional wisdom is weighted plates with various grades of futuristic BeastX super vibration isolating adhesive foams... but I just don't think the mass of the 600 is THAT prone to transmitting the vibes in an amount that will hinder the APM. Time very well prove me wrong :-)

    If you think THAT is bad, I also intend on mounting the sonar and optical flow sensors on a camera gimbal style 3-micro-servo-in-120-dergee-format stabilized platform to keep them pointed straight down all the time (barring acro mode if we get that working of course). I'm working on making/modding the ArduIMU V3 for the task. I know the software is supposed to calculate the offset by angle vs altitude and all that, but I think just keeping the sensors pointed STRAIGHT down is a better way to go. Again time may very well prove me wrong LOL

    I'll post up the carnage if it doesn't work out :-)

  • Hey Jeff, how are you mounting that thing?

  • @Chris,

    Thanks to whoever decided to NOT hold the 2.5's another week! Mine is not on the workbench and being prepared for installation :-)

    I'm really excited  to finally be able to place the MPU-6000 at center mass, the compass far from the motor, and the GPS up high where it belongs. Awesome improvement to the APM 2.0 :-)

  • 3D Robotics

    Tony: As I said, this only affected orders shipped last week. The cables are in now and shipping with the boards. 

  • Chris,  I was only talking about the cable and the wording of "included" in the announcement. 

    I see that a tweet from 3DR: "@bekit we have an adapter cable. It will ship for free to you soon if you already purchased the APM 2.5. Sorry for the inconvenience!"

    Is this the same for all affected customers?

  • 3D Robotics

    Tony: we chose to ship last week's boards without the cable (and give people a coupon for a free cable with their next order) rather than delay them another week. All boards shipped this week have the cable included, so this is not an issue going forward. 

    As we've said all along the enclosures will be available a month, and once again anybody who orders a board before then will get a coupon for a free enclosure with their next order. 

  • I agree with Tony, I could finally wait some more time to get these 6$ items, when I know that I paid 35$ shipping and 35$ customs taxes on the APM order :/ I paid because I was impatient and that my french DIYDrones distibutor had the same problem of stock on APM, but it will have the case and the cable easely...So I will use the code for the APM 4...;)

  • From the APM 2.5 announcement: "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."

    From Chris Anderson's comment:  All of the first batch (last week) APM 2.5 customers will be getting an email over the next day or two with a code for a free adapter cable and enclosure with their next order. (They won't be sent separately.)

    Adapter cable advertised to ship with APM 2.5.  In actuality, customers must make another order and, I assume pay more for shipping for that order, to get the advertised product.  But wait, you get a code to get that supposedly included cable for free.  I'm just trying to understand what "included" and "free" mean.

  • Whoa! The APM 2.5 assembled is no longer a Unicorn. Mine shipped today. Oh, FedEx can't come fast enough. I was begining to become comfortable with waiting. Now, back to impatience. :)

    Original order #27054, upgrade uBlox #28413

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