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Topic: Which to buy? Arduino vs. Sainsmart (Read 27195 times) previous topic - next topic


Aug 01, 2013, 08:04 pm Last Edit: Aug 01, 2013, 08:06 pm by falcon74 Reason: 1
If you are really a beginner with Arduino (and microcontrollers, embedded systems etc.) then buying the genuine Arduino is ideal. It works out-of-the-box with Arduino IDE (and rest of the software).

Once you gain some experience and confidence with Arduino, get to know all the basics, learn some more about the guts of Arduino board, you can definitely switch to boards that cost much less. Heck, you might even switch to an ATtiny85 microcontroller with few discrete components thrown together on a breadboard, that can take you far, for a tiny fraction of a full board cost. Or you could look at alternative boards -- Teensy, Jeenode etc.

Have no experience with sain, but have used a lot of east-asian goods (shipped from China, HK), and not once have I encountered problems. I buy off ebay, dx.com, seeedstudio and some not so famous places ! Of all of those, I prefer ebay for convenience, buyer-protection and low price. Seeedstudio stuff is actually reasonably good quality (better than a lot of what you can buy on ebay). However, as others (the gurus here) say, buying from someone who claims a board to be genuine Arduino, but actually isn't (i.e. are counterfeits) can leave you pretty frustrated.

Having said that, I am not sure if this discussion belongs in "Installation & Troubleshooting" sub-forum !!


I've been using a sainsmart, Has a dodgy chip that doesn't work with the Utouch class.

Here's an example I wrote with modified demo code of how to deal with the Touchscreen chip on the Sainsmart.

Allows the user to scroll between bmp images on a SD card using SD Class and Custom event handlers to suit the non genuine chip on the Sainsonic Screen.



I have a SainSmart Mega 2560... Works fine... Yes, they may be fake, but i don't have wads of cash to throw at a board, so.... Plus, they don't really lie, you are buying a SAINSMART MEGA 2560, not an ARDUINO MEGA 2560.... Which is, in retrospect, the same thing, have several Arduino shields and they all have worked out without a hitch...I say it's worth it...

Overall, you get what you pay for...
And I paid for a SAINSMART MEGA 2560...

(I'm don't work for SainSmart [I'm only 16])


I don't understand why you guys are using words like "fake" and "counterfeit". As per this YouTube video, it is my understanding, that Arduino technology is open source.


As others have stated, these 3rd party clones are not infringing the Arduino trademarks as they use their own markings. That said, I am a complete newbie to Arduino and haven't even bought my first kit yet, but what sparked my interest was that video above founder said Arduino it was open source and I thought that was really cool.


I don't understand why you guys are using words like "fake" and "counterfeit".
Says the newb on his FIRST post!!! Really? You want to go down that path with your FIRST post??

Welcome to Arduino, and good luck.

UTFT_SdRaw now included in library manager!! ;)


I've been using a sainsmart, Has a dodgy chip that doesn't work with the Utouch class.
As of yesterday, I would have said ah bol**cks, they are all the same under the covers.....

But an interesting point to note here. I have Sainshit MEGA2560, TFT shield, TFT_320QVT. Bought them cheap as my first venture into Arduino, since was cheap and didn't know what I was getting in to..... Yeah yeah I know now!!!! Waste of money, cheap shit, with crap support and supplying illegal libraries which are not correctly licensed.......... I KNOW that now!!!!

I have helped many people out with Sainsmuck hardware related problems, since I spent half a lifetime struggling on my own for weeks trying to get something to work when I received my new toys from China.

I can see the benefits of ordering cheap rip-off crap, I can see the pitfalls too!! If you are reading this you clearly understand the pitfalls now??!!  ;)

As of a few weeks ago, I thought I had a problem with my hardware, this evening, I have irrefutably proven  that Henning's latest UTFT_Buttons has issues under AVR boards under IDE V1.5.x. So until it is resolved, I would suggest you use IDE V1.0.x as this works fine!

Merry christmas all,

UTFT_SdRaw now included in library manager!! ;)

Coding Badly

I don't understand why you guys are using words like "fake" and "counterfeit".
They have knowingly sold a counterfeit board for years.

I use the word "counterfeit" because the board in question meets the dictionary definition of the word "counterfeit"...

1:  made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive

...these 3rd party clones are not infringing the Arduino trademarks...
They are selling a board that is manufactured to look identical to a genuine Arduino.  Doing that violates the Arduino trademark.


I agree with Coding badly.

A board which is functionally either the same or similar to a given Arduino board, and claims compatibility is legitimate but one which aims to look like an Arduino board without not being made by Arduino is clearly a fake.

Another way to look at it is this:

Manufacturer A makes an Arduino compatible board, they are proud of their work, and they put their name on it.

Manufacturer B claims their boards are made thousands of miles away by manufacturer Z.

Who do you trust to buy a board from?
Do not send technical questions as PM's they will be ignored.


Dec 20, 2014, 03:34 am Last Edit: Dec 20, 2014, 03:41 am by Monaco
SAINSMART IS A "CLONE". They don't write "Ardiono" and use their own logo.

Did anyone even watch that video I linked?

Coding Badly


I'm curious.  Do the Sainsmart boards use the Arduino USB VID?

Coding Badly

Excellent question.  I have no idea.  Hopefully someone who has one will report.


I have not experience with Saintsmart products and after brief look at their page I cannot say they sell fakes but clones. If we are talking about HW, especially UNO R3 which looks the most close to original Arduino design. They are not use Arduino's trademarks and since this moment for me it is O.K.
SW is open source also except Arduino USB VID which is paid but I have no idea if they use own or what.

@Coding Badly

They are selling a board that is manufactured to look identical to a genuine Arduino.  Doing that violates the Arduino trademark.
Sorry, I cannot agree. Identical look but with their own logo. It does not violates the Arduino trademark. Provide some evidence.
Arduino clone with 1284P

Coding Badly



Dec 20, 2014, 09:24 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2014, 09:24 pm by Budvar10
@Coding Badly
Ahh OK, this one yes, looks like a fake. You are right. I missed it at first time. Now I agree with you.

I don't understand why they have this in offer. Another 4 UNOs are clones and okay.
Arduino clone with 1284P

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