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1  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Is this UNO counterfeit? (last one of these, I promise) on: January 31, 2013, 11:56:24 am
Clones are in a whole separate class from counterfeits that infringe the trademark. Clones that don't pretend to have been made under the Arduino trademark serve a useful function in the marketplace, and if you don't come here for forum help, using them is legit. It's a matter of personal choice whether paying extra to get the original article is worthwhile. Infringing the trademark is stealing.

Shpaget, if I can ask, where are you shipping to that it costs $100? That sounds horrible!
2  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Is this UNO counterfeit? (last one of these, I promise) on: January 26, 2013, 10:45:08 am
>document the differences and let your audience decide for themselves

What I mean is, if Amazon is substituting counterfeits for genuine products, I want to try to convince them not to. If they knowingly keep doing so, I want to try to convince those in my extended audience to stop buying anything from Amazon. But I absolutely don't want to do this if these things I bought aren't counterfeits. NONE of these people are going to care where a RESET label is per se, especially if they have never even heard of Arduino, they would only care what it means. That's why I want to pin down what it means. If it's really difficult to do that once for myself, they sure aren't going to all do it independently.

I think the Arduino product line (plus legitimate derivative products from vendors who support these forums) is the neatest and most lovable to have come along in a while, and counterfeiting should not discourage new users, who should just buy them direct from Arduino or from some trustworthy US vendor like SparkFun, which is what I'm doing now. And I guess mere clones have their place, especially for users who don't come for support to this forum, though to me the originals are attractively priced anyway. Pushing back against trademark infringing counterfeits feels worthwhile. Wouldn't it be great if trademarked Arduinos from Amazon were always the real article? If I'm beating a dead horse asking about it here, just clue me in. That said, any help proving things one way or the other would really be appreciated.
3  General Category / General Discussion / Re: How to tell if my Ethernet Shield is counterfeit on: January 25, 2013, 03:41:35 pm
They didn't post my review.
4  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Is this UNO counterfeit? (last one of these, I promise) on: January 25, 2013, 03:38:11 pm
Stonent, how do you really know if it was real? And how can I really tell mine was counterfeit? It came in a pretty Arduino box too.

I put mine on a flatbed scanner and got an image of each side, and downloaded the detailed photos from this site, and fiddled with photos from both sources until they were the same size and location on my computer screen, and flipped back and forth between the two with my photo software using my arrow keys while I looked all around the two images. And many many details looked the same as far as I can tell, but that RESET label was in two different places and two different orientations. It took me a while to spot it, but no doubt it was printed from a different silk screen (or whatever the method was).

It can take a bit of work to prove one's different from another, and I am not even sure how you can ever prove two things are the same. Nonetheless, once I find the labels are different (or find differences like in my other "counterfeit" postings), can people confirm that that is proof positive of a counterfeit? Or do genuine Arduino boards ever have label placement, fonts, additional pin numbers, or bad Italy maps, that differ from the photos on this site?

I want to complain vigorously if I am certain they sold me counterfeits, but I want to be certain! Intellectual property and trademark rights are important - for one thing, they feed my family.
5  General Category / General Discussion / Is this UNO counterfeit? (last one of these, I promise) on: January 23, 2013, 09:05:05 pm
OK, sorry, this is a trend, but I think counterfeiting is a big deal. I just want to make sure here if I can.

I have an UNO R3 that is quite a close match for the one photographed on this site. Silk screens, circuit board runs, vias, pretty nearly everything looks the same. But I notice two significant differences:

On my UNO, the "RESET" label next to the reset button is printed vertically. That is, it is oriented like the "AREF" and "GND" and "13" labels nearby. It is located between the button and the short edge of the board. In the photo on this site, the "RESET" label is oriented horizontally like "TX" and "RX" and "DIGITAL" and "ARDUINO", and it is located between the button and the USB connector.

Also, on my UNO, there are pronounced serrations on short segments of the short ends of the board. They are under the USB and power connectors. They look like rows of holes drilled to provide break points for a board that goes through manufacturing as a double and then broken in half for actual use, though this is only a guess.

Can anybody tell me if the "RESET" label placement or the serrated break-like edges prove this is counterfeit?

Thanks! This is the last of the things I have bought through Amazon and not on this site, so I completely hope I'm not going to post another of these.
6  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Is this Arduino MEGA 2560 R3 a counterfeit? on: January 23, 2013, 08:54:13 pm
I found the following sentence on www.massimobanzi.com, near the top of the page: "Arduino users should beware of Amazon.com, they list Arduinos as provided by CanaKit (a legitimate distributor that does a great job) but when they ship they will send anything other “sellers” have listed as Arduino." Therefore, it IS Amazon that we should blame, right? The seller listed has no control over it.

I'd sure like to know who is at fault and who isn't. I live by intellectual property rights and don't want to support Amazon if - IF - they are trampling those rights. But it would be terrible to blame them for the faults of others.
7  General Category / General Discussion / Is this Arduino MEGA 2560 R3 a counterfeit? on: January 23, 2013, 12:11:15 pm
Now that I am checking, I fear this "Arduino MEGA 2560 R3 by Arduino " from Amazon and CanaKit is also a counterfeit. It looks very similar to the photograph here, says MADE IN ITALY and has the ARDUINO TM MEGA logo. But I found some differences in the component side silk screen and circuit board, relative to the photograph here.
Differences compared to the photo here:
On the board I received, the voltage regulator pins are labeled 1 2 3.
The USB converter chip has a 1 next to the first pin.
The four holes between the USB chip and the six pin header near AREF are not tinned.
The zeros in some but not all of the header label numbers such as "A0" or "A10" or "SDA20" do not have diagonal bars through them.

In addition, on the white noncomponent side, the map of Italy looks different from the photo here. The northern border is a smooth arc with no indentations in Lombardy or other features, and the Apulia peninsula is wider than Sicily.

Can I conclude this is counterfeit? Meaning, not open source clone, but flat-out trademark infringing counterfeit?

Can I do anything about it other than yell at Amazon and write a nasty review that they won't print? Maybe donate the damn thing to a lawsuit for evidence or something?

Note I stopped buying from Amazon and just placed an order on this web site yesterday. I am only now making discoveries about things I ordered before my education happened.
8  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Can only log into forum on smartphone I used to confirm registration on: January 22, 2013, 01:03:54 pm
Niiiiiice.
9  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Can only log into forum on smartphone I used to confirm registration on: January 22, 2013, 09:17:21 am
Yes, sorry, I was pretty frustrated. However, IT WORKS now. Sort of.

The problem was that when I entered my info into the login boxes, it just looped me back to empty login boxes, with an empty "Logged in as | Profile |..." message.

The solution is not to use Internet Explorer. I'm using Chrome now.

That said, hey, thank you for helping an irritable new member. It was kind of you, and I'm sorry for being grumpy.
10  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Can only log into forum on smartphone I used to confirm registration on: January 22, 2013, 08:56:04 am
This is really frustrating. I can log into the Arduino web site from my phone, my iPad, and my home computer, and it has worked every single time - but the PC I use at work just cannot get in! It DID work one time yesterday, and I posted a couple of times and read a bunch of things, but it took several tries, and later I tried several more times to no avail. It might be easier to imagine what is going wrong if it worked zero times, but the fact that it worked ONE time is inexpressibly tantalizing. I have tried different combinations of using the mouse or the tab key and enter key to go between the Username and Password boxes and initiate the Login action at the end, and have tried typing versus copying and pasting to put my password in. I just now tried ten times in a row. I am posting now by typing text on the PC, transferring it to the phone, and logging into the site on the phone and pasting the text. I seriously want to be able to log into this site, to post on the forum and to be able to order from the store to steer clear of counterfeits. This is just nuts. What in the world is going wrong?
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: How to tell if my Ethernet Shield is counterfeit on: January 21, 2013, 10:33:27 pm
Well, great. Now I am wondering if my UNO R3 is legitimate, too. It came from Amazon but a different seller, Silverstone LLC. Looking closely at the web site photo versus a scanned image of the back of my board, things mostly look the same, but I see a string of characters on my board on the "upper right" (as seen to make the back text readable, IOW on the surface behind the reset button). The characters on my board, which are not on the arduino.cc photo, are respectively:
A circle with T.E. inside it,
A funny stylized S shape,
Three parallel lines like a triple equal sign or "defined as" sign,
011,
A reversed run-together UR,
94V-0.
Is this string of characters supposed to appear on the noncomponent side of a UNO R3, behind the reset button?

BTW I wrote a review about "Counterfeit, NOT an Arduino" on Amazon, we'll see if they post it.
12  General Category / General Discussion / Re: How to tell if my Ethernet Shield is counterfeit on: January 21, 2013, 09:41:20 pm
Yep, Amazon. Yep, CanaKit. Damn.

I was trying to return it to China to have them refund my money, as it arrived insufficiently packaged and damaged beyond repair. But the cost to send it back was $22 and I realized I was proposing to spend a further $22 on a company I already thought was cheating, to try to recover $44, so I threw the board away instead of the additional money.

This thing cost $44 and I always assumed Amazon was a legitimate vendor - I wasn't trying to get a good deal.

What a disappointment.

So - who are the vendors that sell genuine Arduino products? Should I buy from the Arduino store itself? Humorously enough, for some reason I can't log into this website from work unless I use my phone (but that's another thread).
13  Community / Website and Forum / Can only log into forum on smartphone I used to confirm registration on: January 21, 2013, 03:56:27 pm
I used a phone to go to the link provided during the registration process (so I could access my home email here at the office). Now I mostly can't login from my desktop computer. It worked once out of a dozen tries. What should I do? This whole keyboard is about the size of a UNO!
14  General Category / General Discussion / How to tell if my Ethernet Shield is counterfeit on: January 21, 2013, 10:59:06 am
How do you tell if a board is a counterfeit? I bought an "Arduino Ethernet Shield R3 made by Arduino", on Amazon, and it arrived damaged, but now that I am looking more closely I suspect it wasn't made by Arduino. Comparing the physical board assembly with the excellent detailed R3 photograph on arduino.cc, I find various differences, not only in the markings on some of the components, but in the board itself. One of the larger holes around the voltage regulator shown in the photograph is not in my board. I'm not sure what those holes are for, big vias or whatever. Many of the ordinary vias are relocated. Some of the pcb traces follow slightly different routes. The insulative bluish coating on my board leaves exposed more tinned regions than the one in the photo. One of the headers is very obviously crooked. And many of the solder joints look reworked to me and the blueish coating looks different around them.

How similar should my board be to the one pictured? More specifically, does "R3" mean the traces and coating and drill patterns should all match? Or does that legitimately vary within the "Arduino Ethernet Shield R3"? I want to blast the seller if they are selling a counterfeit, but I certainly want to be confident before I accuse them of it!

Thanks!
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