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I realize Arduino is open source, but I wonder how wary i should be about imitations found online, like this mega for $25 http://www.ebay.com/itm/MEGA-2560-16AU-ATmega8U2-Board-compatible-Arduino-IDE-WITH-Free-USB-Cable-/140785942800?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c77f0110#ht_977wt_952.
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How are your SMD soldering skills... http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,112615.0.html

At least the return policy is favourable: "Refund will be given as ... Money back or item exchange (buyer's choice)".  Except that you are on the hook for the return shipment if the board is defective: "Return shipping ... Buyer pays return shipping".
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I realize Arduino is open source, but I wonder how wary i should be about imitations found online, like this mega for $25 http://www.ebay.com/itm/MEGA-2560-16AU-ATmega8U2-Board-compatible-Arduino-IDE-WITH-Free-USB-Cable-/140785942800?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c77f0110#ht_977wt_952.
They may be perfectly fine or they may have manufacturing faults.  It's a risk.  If you can afford a genuine Arduino it carries a much lower risk AND it supports the community.

At least that vendor doesn't put the Arduino trademark on their board (at least not on the side they show).  Many do their best to duplicate all the markings, including trademarks.

I find most amusing the ones that only change the "Made In Italy" text to "Designed In Italy".  smiley
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SO FAR . . .   I've had no problems buying Chinese equivalents apart from having to download drivers for cheap USB chips they use, they may say they're 20pu chips but when they arrive, they're different
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When I want a pre-made board, I purchase a Genuine board to support the community and to reduce my hassle time.  If I'm going to risk troubleshooting something to save a few bucks, I rather make my own board.  At least I learn something in the process.
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I find most amusing the ones that only change the "Made In Italy" text to "Designed In Italy".  smiley

Probably to get through U.S. Customs.  Lying about the country of origin can get your stuff confiscated.
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If you use paypal you have some power to get the board replaced if defective. That vendor appears to be located in the US.
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Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   smiley-cool

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arduindo, from Indonesia!
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arduino, from Indonesia!

Is that bad news or good news? Ever own an Italian car?  smiley
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Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   smiley-cool

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I bought a couple of Arduino clones from GoodLuckBuy for $19. The boards were pretty awesome... had both mail and female headers, BRIGHT! LED's same footprint... Looked better than the real thing.

All went well till I tried to download a script with the 1.0 IDE. NO GO! It worked fine with 2.1.

I'm not sure what changed between the revs but the clone was not recognized by 1.0.

I Changed chips and everything, but it would not download. Maybe the UART??? I decided to keep them, since my code doesn't require 1.0.

So Watch out.

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@zoomcat -What kind of quote is that? I said arduindo, not arduino. That's for indo.
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@zoomcat -What kind of quote is that? I said arduindo, not arduino. That's for indo.

Oh, like ardubutto!
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Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   smiley-cool

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