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Author Topic: How to tell if my Ethernet Shield is counterfeit  (Read 950 times)
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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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If they were to change any of the pcb traces, that would be a new revision. So each revision of each board is identical.

Then again, the board name should change if you make functional changes, and the uno r3 definitely made those
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How do you tell if a board is a counterfeit?

Sold on Amazon?  Very likely.  Lacks the phrase "Manufactured in Italy"?  Yes.

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I suspect it wasn't made by Arduino.

Certainly sounds like a bogus board.

"Manufactured in Italy" printed anywhere?

Was it shipped / sold by "CanaKit"?
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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).
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Yep, Amazon. Yep, CanaKit. Damn.

What about "Manufactured in Italy?"  Is that printed on the board?

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...so I threw the board away instead of the additional money.

That's unfortunate.  Had I been in your shoes, I would have threatened to "turn in" both the vendor and Amazon for violating Arduino's trademark.  That may not have given you leverage over CanaKit but it may have over Amazon.

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...I always assumed Amazon was a legitimate vendor...

They are not.

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So - who are the vendors that sell genuine Arduino products?

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Buy

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Should I buy from the Arduino store itself?

If the shipping isn't too painful that is certainly a reasonable choice.  The last package I received from Arduino took less than 7 days to arrive at my doorstep.

I've done business with http://adafruit.com/ and do not hesitate to continue.


I guess it's time...
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I want to blast the seller if because they are selling a counterfeit...
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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.
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They didn't post my review.
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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.

Same problem. Amazon, Canakit, non-functioning, andI see those same characters
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Same problem. Amazon, Canakit, non-functioning, andI see those same characters

Please let Amazon know... http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/
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Is this set of 8 relays OK (as in not counterfit)?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-8-Channel-5V-Relay-Module-Shield-for-Arduino-Uno-1280-2560-ARM-PIC-AVR-DSP-/271038195134?

It seems very cheap at £5.59

A Leonardo would need an additional 5v power supply to to run the 8 relays, right?
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Is this set of 8 relays OK (as in not counterfit)?

This is the Arduino relay board... http://store.arduino.cc/ww/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16_20&products_id=113

The phrase "for Arduino Uno" is a good indication the vendor is playing by the (very simple) rules.

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A Leonardo would need an additional 5v power supply to to run the 8 relays, right?

Can't help with that one.
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