Many of you have asked for a side-by-side comparison of ArduPilot Mega and basic ArduPilot, so here it is. Note that with Mega, we moved the servo and GPS connectors to horizontal rather than vertical placement, to make them more robust in the case of a crash.

As you can see, the main processor in ArduPilot, an Atmega328, is just handling RC input and the failsafe function on Mega, while the main CPU has been upgraded to an Atmega1280, with more than twice as many I/O pins. In a sense, every chip has been upgraded to their big brother on Mega to handle more channels, sensors and communications paths. Basic ArduPilot, especially with the Turn-Rate Limiter Shield, will continue to be sold and will be the best plug-and-play solution for newcomers, while Mega will offer more capability for more advanced users.

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Comment by Patrick Mccabe on January 24, 2010 at 8:34am
Dave, they sell them on this website. Go to the store. http://store.diydrones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PR-0001-04

Developer
Comment by Doug Weibel on January 24, 2010 at 8:37pm
I'm curious why you guys like the horizontal servo header. It adds to the overall space required and I don't see why it would be "more robust".....

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 24, 2010 at 8:43pm
It's parallel with the force vector in a crash. When your connectors are perpendicular to the direction of motion, things get ripped off. I speak from WAY too much experience!
Comment by David Ankers on January 25, 2010 at 9:34am
Well done gents, very nice work!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 25, 2010 at 9:45am
BTW, it goes without saying that the the users can choose whether to use horizontal or vertical servo headers. The connector that's really fragile is the GPS one, which is why we made that horizontal by default.

Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on January 25, 2010 at 10:10am
I have the same horizontal fittings on my Atto's and it works very well, l have tested it to its limits honest!

Such a large unit Chris I see in other places that it will probably not be able to defy gravity ;-) In some places size is everything.
Comment by John C. on January 25, 2010 at 10:12am
+1 on fragile GPS connectors. I'm glad there was two on the ardupilot+shield. I needed the second one.

definitely some evolution going on here! live and learn.

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