Anyone tried $3-5 Arduino clones / fakes?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Atkers, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Atkers

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    I've got a couple boards, one original toasted and one clone in use.
    So I started looking into getting a couple more.

    On eBay (also on Aliexpress) I saw these UNO clones / fakes that are selling for $3-5 range.
    They come with a SMD controller unlike the removable one and ch340g (which apparently works fine).

    There are still clones for around $8-10 with removable controllers but I was wondering..

    Have you tried these cheaper ones?
    Any recommendations?

    Thank you.
     
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Same thing as arduino,should work fine.Just dont buy anything with FTDI chip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  3. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    Did you find anyting bad for FTDI chip?
     
  4. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    In case they managed to use counterfeit chips they could get bricked.
     
  5. Atkers

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    ISB123 do you know how can an Arduino clone / fake can be so so so cheap and be "the same thing"?

    I mean.. It's selling for less than $5 including international shipping. Crazy!
     
  6. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    By not spending money on research and development and by simply taking open source schematics shared by arduino company.Labor in China is cheap and those are mass produced which means stuff gets cheaper.Arduino honestly is overpriced simply because its made in Europe and has Arduino logo slapped on.I have one Uno clone for 10$ works same as my [word removed my moderator] overpriced original which I payed 40€.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2015
  7. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Which in a vicious circle means that the original price is higher. The knock-offs reduce the sales of the real thing, meaning it must be priced higher to recoup the costs of the intellectual property that's being stolen.
     
  8. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Arduino is not being stolen as long as they don't use Arduino logo and that wouldn't be stealing the product but trademark infringement. Ardunio boards are open source.
     
  9. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Ok, my argument stands. Just substitute "used by others" for "stolen".
     
  10. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    Do you have any link?
    I can buy a smd type about us$5 in Taiwan, but not including the shipping.
     
  11. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    Welcome to AAC.

    I don't know much about the Arduino, but I have heard you can buy standard ATmega IC's and load the Arduino bootloader yourself to save money. Assuming you're not looking for a whole shield and just need the IC, you can a genuine ATmega328 from a reliable source and buy a programmer, then you can make as many Arduino's for yourself as you want. All without worrying about how genuine a fake is.

    Some info which may be helpful:

    Installing an Arduino Bootloader (Sparkfun)

    Omega-328U - An Arduino programmer I think. The seller can tell you for sure, just drop him an e-mail (he's a member here on AAC as well).

    ATmega328P-PU (from same seller as the programmer) or ATmega328-PU (from Digikey, a reliable U.S. seller)

    Good luck.
     
  12. MMcLaren

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2010
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    Oscar used a Pro-Mini clone ($2.58, including shipping) for his KIM-UNO project that looks pretty nice. Incredible pricing, isn't it?

    Good luck. Happy Holidays. Mike
     
    absf likes this.
  13. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    The Pro-Mini clone was wierd, they labeled the NT$, it means that New Taiwan dollar, but they didn't ship to Taiwan?
     
  14. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    OMG. Its just a SMD chip on a breakout board, with some capacitors. Intellectual property, took years to research and costed Millions, sure.

    Its like LINUX- you can download + copy as much as you want.

    You can make a clone and sell it for whatever price you want.

    Microchip PICKIT also arent "fakes" or "counterfeit". Its allowed.
     
  15. Atkers

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    Hi Scott.

    I never lived over there so do not for sure but from what I know, China Post does not seem to be an option for cheap shipment to Taiwan for online shopping?
    Maybe due to customs and stuff?

    AFAIK, all the world gets best prices shopping online from China, but Chaina (Taiwan, mainlaind, republic.. the lot) :)

    The prices I found were from Aliexpress (and partially eBay) FYI.

     
  16. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    I buy them in bulk, and overwrite the Arduino boot loaders. Equal quality in every respect.
     
  17. Atkers

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    Do you get the SMD Atmel ones? How do you overwrite them, and why? Could you explain please?

     
  18. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    I bought some small instruments from China through Group buying, and that way was cheaper and easier, this kind of buying was depends on someone doing the things but not for money or just earn a little, this kind of things will continuing the whole year.
     
  19. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    yes, smd. There are a few with smaller footprints that I will purchase as well. Using an spi programmer, I have no need to maintain boot allocated memory, which is often at a premium.
     
  20. Atkers

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    12
    0
    Excellent information, thanks GetDeviceInfo!

     
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