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Topic: Arduino vs. Freeduino.. What is the difference? (Read 8 times) previous topic - next topic

jondecker76

What is the difference between the Arduino Decimilia and the Freeduino board? I understand that they are pin compatible, etc, but from http://www.nuelectronics.com/estore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=14&zenid=b206fe39509c5de3e63b4254fd168033:
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Freeduino is a collaborative open-source project to replicate and publish a completely open version of the Arduino project's closed PCB design. The resulting Freeduino Eagle SCH, BRD and Gerber production files will allow users to create boards that are 100% functionally, electrically and physically compatible with Arduino Decimilia board.


I was under the assumption that Arduino projects PCB design was already open??

PaulS

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I was under the assumption that Arduino projects PCB design was already open??

They are. Otherwise, the Freeduino people would be thieves.

mowcius

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Otherwise, the Freeduino people would be thieves.

;D

westfw

At the time the Freeduino boards were developed, there was a bit of a "glitch" in the degree of open-sourceness of Arduino.  Diecimila CAD files were not appearing, the Arduino team was beginning their examination of trademark vs open source issues, and (I gather) there were some issues with would-be Arduino dsitributors being able to get "real" Arduinos.

Freeduino was created with the idea of addressing all that.  Open source should really mean "open", right?

I think most of the issues that prompted Freeduino are now resolved to most people's satisfaction, and with some degree of "mutual understanding" having been developed.  (Like, with the lack of any restrictions on the use of the name "Freeduino", WHICH ONE IS SOMEONE TALKING ABOUT!)  Now, Freeduinos are pretty much "just another arduino compatible board."  I like to think that the freeduino distributors are on the "good" side of things; they're the ones that have actually done somewhat different designs, rather than straight copies of the reference design...  (But since there are no restrictions on the name, who can tell for sure...)

mowcius

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But since there are no restrictions on the name, who can tell for sure...

Has been a trademark for a while now.

Mowcius

westfw

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But since there are no restrictions on the name, who can tell for sure...

Has been a trademark for a while now.

I was talking about the "Freeduino" name, not "Arduino"...

mowcius

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I was talking about the "Freeduino" name, not "Arduino"...

Ahh, I see, yes.

Mowcius

Daniel2

#7
Sep 09, 2010, 06:12 pm Last Edit: Sep 09, 2010, 06:13 pm by Daniel2 Reason: 1
Westfw gives exactly the right answer as always :)

When I registered the Freeduino domain name, I was also thinking that it would be a good example for those who were nervous about copying the Arduino design- i.e. was it was "OK to make your own" derivative and sell it, or call it Arduino etc.? (Note that this is all historical- that information is now clearly available). At the time there had only been  a Portugese derivative, followed by the Boarduino (a team-authorized derivative). So, personally, at least , I thought this might give some impetutus to those who wanted to make their own derivative- to make a multitude of designs come about rather than one central board with no derivatives. I always thought the hardware derivatives was going to be the interesting part. The Arduino team had not gotten to the point of releasing the PCB production files, as they did 6 months or so later (to the team's credit!), so several of us were wondering if the hardware derivatives side was going to happen or not.

Westfw, NKcelectronics and Oliver K were kind enough to jump in and quickly reverse engineer the Deicimilia so that we could manufacture a few hundred demonstration copies and release the PCB files. that was pretty interesting- we had a Germany-Florida-California-Vancouver team that had never met, but every couple of weeks these prototype boards that we had designed would show up by Fedex!

The Freeduino anti-trademark (without a trademark or any restrictions since 2007!) was also a nice hack to dilute the uniqueness of the Arduino name/trademark, in line with the above thoughts on diversity in hardware. Even though Arduino is currently trademarked, it's not really a very strong or particularly enforceable trademark, considering all the long-standing derivative product names that have been allowed:  http://www.freeduino.org/duino.html

The whole effort  did seem to help make people feel comfortable about their implied right to rip the Arduino design into their own hardware derivative, as the license allows. While that right might seem clear now, it wasn't art all clear back in September 2007 when we launched the Freeduino derivative.

Anyway this is all ancient history, and even though I am sure we were a royal pain in the ass for the Arduino team ;) ,  everything seems to have worked out for the best. There isn't really a need for Freeduino now, as there are so many other duino's :)

D


Daniel2

I neglected to mention that if you look on the bottom of some of the Freeduino boards you will see "Westfw", which is the same Westfw as above. He was the router/ PCB layout person extraordinaire. He did 0603, 0804, 1206 and throug-hole designs in a matter of days!


cr0sh

I was under the impression that the name "Arduino" was denied trademark status (something about it being a common first name or something?) - has this changed (recently)?

:-?
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

Daniel2

#10
Sep 09, 2010, 06:28 pm Last Edit: Sep 09, 2010, 06:33 pm by Daniel2 Reason: 1
it's all registered in the US and Europe as far as I know.

D

mowcius

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I was under the impression that the name "Arduino" was denied trademark status (something about it being a common first name or something?) - has this changed (recently)?

Yeah, was accepted as a trade mark in the US a few months back after re-applying.

Mowcius

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