Beware of recent batches of fake 2N3055!

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 22, 2015
Hi folks,
I bought 2N3055 that strongly smell like counterfeits. On, of all places. Here is the video I made on how they "performed" and what tests they failed:
. Here is a direct link to the product, still active on 12/23/2015:

Unfortunately, Amazon has rejected my video review, twice. Thus, I had to post a simple text only review with not much detail. In all likelihood, though, this product will be de-listed, to cancel my review, then re-listed under a new link... Counterfeit electronic components are like a Black Plague, spreading fast... :(


Joined Mar 30, 2015
Thanks for the heads up. You should complain to ST about counterfeit product with their logo. It's not their fault, but they have a reputation to protect.

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 22, 2015
Thanks for the heads up. You should complain to ST about counterfeit product with their logo. It's not their fault, but they have a reputation to protect.
Good idea, thank you. I have just sent such an e-mail to a California representative of ST.
Do you know of other hobbyist forums where I could post my warning?

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 22, 2015
Did you report it to Amazon as counterfeit parts?
Yes, I did. Twice. Here is my original video review:

Don't buy - these are likely fake 2N3055!

Buyer beware! These supposed "2N3055 transistors" are suspected fakes! See the video for justification. If video does not work, then you can use this link:
. It's even confusing who sells these items: one line says "Omega Power", the other "TTL Components". Either way, if the counterfeit nature of these "components" is confirmed, then shame on whoever sells these and shame on Amazon for doing business with these people. :(

And here is Amazon's response:

Your review could not be posted.

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

So. I was forced to post a mundane text-only review instead...
Its hard to get original 2n3055's.
I bought a 1980's Maplin 225WRMS amplifier with the 2n3055's missing.
I bought in two from RS Components (excellent vendor) and my amplifier oscillated badly.
I had to increase the VAS capacitance to stop it oscillating.
I put one of the 2n3055's on a semiconductor analyser and its gain was very high compared to original datasheet.
This is probably why I had oscillation.

On my travels I see loads of forum threads about fake components.
Personally I don't buy off Ebay or not well known vendors.
I stick to the likes of RS Components and Farnell and I have very few problems.

In the distant past I have bought irfp4227 mosfets off ebay and regretted it, they just blew well before they reached a high current.

Roderick Young

Joined Feb 22, 2015
Thanks for posting such an informative video. I feel your pain, brother. I just got some bad LM35 temperature sensors from China, which another member here analyzed and found to be NPN transistors. At least your transistor kinda sorta worked as a transistor. Has this forum done an article on counterfeit parts? I would read that with great interest, now.


Joined Jul 23, 2011
A few points from someone who used to work in the semi industry.

You're right, I would expect a chip used for a 2N3055 to be bigger, 3.5 mm square or so. It's unlikely that chip would meet the spec. And the marking is a give away too.

I would not expect to see anything other that it "just stuck down to the case".
That wiki image is many years old, nobody builds them like that anymore.
You can put any chip that meets the minimum specifications in a TO3 case and call it a 2N3055. There's no defined design or expectation of exactly what it will look like when you open the case.


Joined May 19, 2014
It must be a strange world in China when they can purposely put a 1 amp transistor into a TO-3 case and sell it as a 2N3055 (15 amp) transistor and make a profit? What elements in China make this possible?? There is a lot of metal in a TO-3 case. The case must be worth more then the fake die they put into it. One Ebay listing sold five 2N3055 for $1.88 free shipping from China. Are their semiconductor houses so under used that it makes economic sense to make fraudulent parts?? Do the laborers pay the companies to let them work there?? I don't see how a country can continue down this path and survive.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
Been there, done that. I had my transformer man build a 70 volts (rectified) transformer good for 10 amps. Alligator the transistor at collector and emitter, drop an amp through the base, and then disconnect. We were having problems called, "Isb" Current, second breakdown. The transistors would not turn off after you turned them on. My cheap Mexican boss learned not to buy in Tijuana unless he was willing to accept a 35% failure rate and pay the labor to hand test each transistor.:mad:

(They cost a lot more labor to replace after they were built into a machine so we tested them before installing them.)

The transistors that passed the 70 volt test worked just fine in the 35 volt power supplies. Yay! My test weeded out the clunkers!


Joined Apr 24, 2011
I don't see why these are so rare: right now (12/24/15 6:11 AM EST) DigiKey has some 2,875 2N3055's on their shelf for sale, and that is just one distributor.

I used to work for a place that made military grade 2N3055's. Folks, let me tell you the wonders of getting on the qualified parts list (QPL) maintained for the government. If you get listed and the competition drops out you can charge whatever you wish for parts. They would sell these things for hundreds of bucks a piece to companies forced to buy them per archaic military specifications.

Edit to add: Oh great, now the counterfeit 3055's of post 1 are appearing in my sponsored adds on every other web page I visit.
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Joined Nov 30, 2010
I could make a list of eBay sellers that I use for ordering components.
We already have that Thread in the Electronics Resources forum.

Wait, not the eBay sellers. You could be helpful with that part, just put them where we know where to find them (in the E-Resources forum, 'where to buy' thread.).;)