ArduPilot Mega 2.5

by FliteTest | December 18, 2012 | (52) Posted in Reviews


The ArduPilot Mega 2.5 (APM 2.5) is a complete open source autopilot system that allows you to turn any radio controlled fixed, rotary wing or multirotor vehicle (even cars and boats) into a fully autonomous vehicle; capable of performing programmed GPS missions with waypoints and more! 





The ArduPilot Mega 2.5 has 3-axis gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer, along with a high-performance barometer.  The GPS unit is an option off-board Mediatek MT3329 unit.



You'll notice the barometer has a cotton swap on it, this is important to do if your board is exposed to light or wind. Keeping your barometer protected will keep it from causing drastic pitch changes in during your flight.





The Mission Planner Software is free, open source software that will allow you to setup all of your radio and board controls.


The GPS triangulates your location and the software's robust interface details all kinds of great technical information. Showing you your location on the map, artificial horizon line and much more!



When you take your RC multirotor out to fly, you'll want to be sure you've read all the setup instruction and make sure you have your board setup correctly. Wait for the blue light on the board, and you're ready to fly!






The return to launch mode will return your RC vehicle back to the location where the motors were armed. So be sure to arm your motors away from the location you will be standing especially if you're flying FPV and don't want your multirotor to land on you.




The APM 2.5 that's setup on our H-quad is the very basic setup, with no PID's installed, and it handles great! The board give new pilots more confidence with autopilot features.  Experiences pilots will enjoy features of the APM 2.5 as well as the information and setups available with the Mission Planner Software!



We're excited to spend some more time with the ArduPilot Mega 2.5!  Stay tuned for more information and articles detailing the setup and features of the APM 2.5.

Thanks again to DIY Drones for sending this APM 2.5!  
To learn more about DIY Drones check out:
http://store.diydrones.com/APM_2_5_Kit_p/br-ardupilotmega-05.htm


APM 2.5 board links available here
Board Details:
http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/APM25board

Mission Planner Software
http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/APM2RCSetup







COMMENTS

hragterzian on December 19, 2012
does this have telemtry?
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Capri82 on December 24, 2012
You can buy a telemetry set add-on, one connects to the board and one plugs into USB on your laptop. They're great, can see the copter on google maps in real-time and update the board inflight (not really recommended) or on the ground.
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UndCon on December 19, 2012
It has if you add the Xbee or diydrones own modules
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Funjet on May 31, 2013
Yes
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bmsweb on December 18, 2012
Now that was an awesome episode. Really Would love to see some more of this sort of stuff :)
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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
I would also like to see some more indepth how to vids with Pixhawk. I am building a Tarot 960 with Pixhawk. Not many good videos out there. Sometimes I read and dont quite understand. This is such a versitile flight control. Why spend thousands on a Naza or A2.
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musty on December 18, 2012
Thanks for the review guys.
I saw Josh Scott flying the quad and was on DiyDrones checkout page before the video ended.

Sweet!
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ni8av8r on December 18, 2012
Great review! I think I need one!
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leucadian on January 24, 2013
I have built the H-Quad with exactly the same components as shown in the video. Has anyone tweaked the PIDs for better performance?

Anyone had experience with the tri-props?
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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
Use auto tune
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MIDNCOCO on December 19, 2012
Like what you guys did with this but you only scratched the surface of its capabilities. For the capabilities you shown and the price, the multiwii system with a GPS is significantly a cheaper option(crius v2.0 or all-in-one pro), but there are many out there. I hope this is a future show idea.
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chrisc3998 on January 3, 2013
I think that Josh ans Josh should do a review with this system in a fixed wing plane.
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flyboymaxwell on December 18, 2012
I came across the ArduPilot Mega a while ago and I liked it, but I could not find many solid review videos about it. NOW I HAVE!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks flitetest!!!!!!!!!! And thanks DIY drones!!!!!!!!
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apache64 on December 19, 2012
Hi, awesome, we need more details now like you did with the kk2 board, as we all have a fear of such complexity, but are attracted by its benifits. So if we could get up and running in a basic mode that would be great, and your video would give us this confidence.. keep it coming.. !
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SeanJuan73 on December 18, 2012
Looks awesome! Looking into getting one, you guys should ask them to give you a discount code that we can use during purchase. :)
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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
Its already only $299. Thats cheap.
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Jake Wells on December 18, 2012
Oh yeah...What do you guys think about the three bladed props?
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Jake Wells on December 18, 2012
This was my next purchase. I had read about a couple fly aways. Which made me nervous. Do you think a fly away may be because the people didn't upgrade their GPS like you guys did? I know you didn't do the way point stuff on this episode but I'm sure you've played with it. So the question I'm asking....Do you think it's reliable as long as I get the better GPS?
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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
I have heard and witnessed more fly aways on DJI components. Dont let this scare you. I have 2. One in a plane and a large hex. Hex is being built but as far as the fixed wing it was seamless to get in the air. RTL and other GPS modes worked great after accidentally selecting RTL. I was not ready t test RTL I felt but it came right back. Just make slow changes after solid research and you will be fine. Follow all recommendations and don't take shortcuts.
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Jake Wells on August 20, 2014
2012?
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bear3103 on January 7, 2013
Arghhhh you guys are gunna get me divorced,dammit after seeing your review on the ardupilot and how awesome it worked I couldn't help but to order one....
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SeanJuan73 on December 20, 2012
Been looking at this system for some time now. After seeing your review, I bit the bullet and decided to buy one of there boards. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks guys for publishing the review!
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dammuozz on December 20, 2012
Can you please tell me which propeller are you using on the quad?? Are tri-blade more performing?? I have an H-Quad with DT750 too
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flyboymaxwell on December 21, 2012
flitetest: are you or can you do a review of this on a fixed wing aircraft?
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rchacker on December 25, 2012
Great show guys, I have one of these along with an FPV Raptor sitting on my desk. I reckon they will go well together. I bet FliteTest will beat me to it though.
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UndCon on December 19, 2012
As I said so many times before - I am very happy with my Arduplane (APM1) It is installed in my Bixler1 and I did a few runs with waypoints. I'll do some more testing when weather gets better (no winter) to find out an optimum RPM /Ampere usage to get long flight time - then Ill fly over a strait with a roundtrip of ~15km.

//UndCon
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casehatter on December 18, 2012
So Glad you are covering this we need more Play with it and educate us with all this knowledge you've learned.
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liveyourdreamsRC on December 18, 2012
Cool another board! And re-living the h-quad Awesome.
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sky_hawk on January 11, 2013
you guys just got me really excited about this product. its cheep when considering the technology it uses and the fact that it's expandable is great for my designs. but can i link it up as an OSD?
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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
It has an OSD called Minimum osd. Did you get one yet? I love mine.
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trobi81 on December 20, 2012
I can't thank you guys enough for posting this review. I'm going to order one of these as soon as the Christmas holidays are over...
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cloud9photos on February 5, 2013
I really hope to see more videos of this system to show what it is fully capable of doing.

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Jeremiah on August 20, 2014
More Pixhawk vids please. It is putting USA back into the game.
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DanE80 on February 20, 2013
What is the recommended setup to power the ESC's/Motors and ardupilot? I plan to use the DJI F550 frame board and DJI ESC's.
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Dontarose on May 30, 2013
My question is if you buy their telemetry module can you control the whole thing from your laptop instead of buying a transceiver. If possible could you go in depth on how to set this up for the ardupilot in maybe a tutorial?
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Funjet on May 31, 2013
Can you post a video on your YouTube channel on how to set it up on a Tricopter.
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Jesse44 on December 14, 2013
Is this board the same as or similar to the HKPilot Mega V2.5 Flight Controller USB/GYRO/ACC/MAG/BARO
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Figwig on January 26, 2014
What's the landing gear you've added to this? Cheers :)
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Bdilks27 on June 4, 2014
doe this board need to have the programming added or flashed? I am new to this and i am more looking for a plug and play board.
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Rsanderhoff on July 31, 2014
how about you created a video with the ardupilot in a plane?
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sven.almgren on January 23, 2015
What FPV gear did you use in this episode? And what gear would you recommend at present date?
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david5310 on February 17, 2016
Why all of the links aren't not working??
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Bdilks27 on October 17, 2016
did you find the working links?
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K4HSD on November 11, 2016
Can this be setup to return to home if the receiver loses the tx signal? and were can I purchase it?
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ArduPilot Mega 2.5