Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
Author Topic: Chinese clones  (Read 11020 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Brisbane Australia
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 7
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Newbie question:

Can someone tell me what is exactly wrong with the Chinese arduino clones?

They seem to be far lower in price than the originals.

What's the issue?  Do they burn out or need to be treated with kid gloves?
Logged

Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 212
Posts: 8966
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

If you are lucky they will work fine.  If you aren't, they will have a bad board or component.

Is the genuine board really that much more expensive?   Perhaps you could buy one to help support the Arduino community and get cheaper bare-bones boards if you need them in large quantity.
Logged

Send Bitcoin tips to: 1L3CTDoTgrXNA5WyF77uWqt4gUdye9mezN
Send Litecoin tips to : LVtpaq6JgJAZwvnVq3ftVeHafWkcpmuR1e

Left Coast, CA (USA)
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 361
Posts: 17301
Measurement changes behavior
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I bought a Asian 'clone' mega1280 board for like $28 with free shipping on E-bay last year. Works fine, quality is fine. I picked this one because the seller didn't call it an Arduino, just stated that it was compatible, and no trademark issues printed on the board. I also own a 'real' Arduino board, as well as a $20 RS-232 based kit board (my first 'arduino' purchase). Lots of choices out there. You probably do take more of a chance with possible quality problems with the cheap Asian knock-offs compared to the 'real deal' boards, but as long as you understand the the trade-offs, it's you the consumer that has more choices, always a good thing in my opinion.

Lefty
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 10:13:08 am by retrolefty » Logged

Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 66
Posts: 2572
Now, More Than Ever
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Often, the clone I/O headers aren't soldered on right - they'll be pitched, askew, crooked.
Logged

"Hello, I must be going..."
"You gotta fight -- for your right -- to party!"
Don't react - Read.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

0
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 19
Arduino rocks
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I have a gen-u-whine arduino board for most of my prototyping, shields, etc. It's great. But when I want to do a permanent install of a project, I use a pro-mini from ebay. They cost less than $10, shipped, which is almost ridiculous. I've only used 2 so far, and one of them had a bad voltage regulator. Still, for that price, it's hard to complain.
Logged

Belgium
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 1
Posts: 283
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

The first Arduino that I bought was a genuine Arduino from the official shop. I bought it for a friend that uses it to log the data of his solar panels. I now have an Uno and Mega2560 that I bought from Arduino-direct (Chinese webshop). Quality looks the same, I've had no trouble with the pin headers or anything else.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 12:32:33 pm by Bajdi » Logged


Upstate NY
Offline Offline
Full Member
***
Karma: 2
Posts: 184
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

When you buy an original Arduino, you pay to support this website, the website where you get to discuss Chinese clones.

Logged

SF Bay Area (USA)
Offline Offline
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 135
Posts: 6783
Strongly opinionated, but not official!
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Can someone tell me what is exactly wrong with the Chinese arduino clones?
They don't contribute back to the community.  The community is a pretty fundamental component of open-source designs, and includes both the official Arduino team and the extended user/development community.

(I should say that the examples here are made-up; I have no idea who does and doesn't kick back to the Original Team, for instance.)

So if Sparkfun makes their "pro" or Adafruit makes their BoArduino Arduino clones and sends some royalties back to the Arduino team, they've done spectacularly well.  An "enhanced" product that offers additional features (or less features, as the case may be), complementing the official product line.  Plus cheaper.  Plus additional support from their development teams.  Plus additional distribution power (Sparkfun at Microcenter!)

Now, if I make a "Freeduino" clone, or Seeed does their Seeeduino, and start selling it without sending any royalties to the original team, then we've done "pretty well."  There's a differentiated product with some features that some people will find useful, and participation in the community, and things learned during the publication, and new channels.

And if someone takes the reference design, changes the name to XYZDuino on the silkscreen, and starts selling it at a lower price as "XYZDuino Arduino-compatible" on eBay, well...  that's about the the minimum required to be "behaving."  They haven't contributed very much, other than a lower price (which may help some people buy them) and maybe an sales channel that prevented Arduino from being unavailable in a particular country/etc.

------- Here is the line. --------  (IMNSHO) --------

On the wrong side of the line are clone vendors who simply take the reference design as-is (or modify it to be MORE official-looking), manufacture it and sell it as an Arduino.  They haven't contributed anything, they don't participate, and they're lying about the origin.  Still, nice and cheap.

And then some vendors will do it badly, shipping product that doesn't work right, requires additional support by the "real" community and/or frustrates would-be users and/or gives the official products a bad reputation.
Logged

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 13
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

In my opinion, the line is crossed with the "counterfeit" clones.  Those made and sold to fool people into thinking they are getting an "Official board made in Italy"  (a direct quote from Amazon's web site right now (http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-A000046-UNO-board/dp/B004CG4CN4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326489594&sr=8-1), but which when ordered will deliver you a counterfeit).  When you get the board (as I did last week) it will not say made in Italy, but cleverly says "designed in Italy".  But the silkscreening, colors, everything is an attempt to copy the official boards.  Yes, the board may work like the official ones, but you will never quite know if that latest glitch is something that is subtly different about it, or whether it is something you did.
Logged

'round the world...
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 42
Posts: 3288
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Often, the clone I/O headers aren't soldered on right - they'll be pitched, askew, crooked.


Strange, I have that on my official Arduino board too.
Logged

Eu não sou o teu criado. Se respondo no fórum é para ajudar todos mediante a minha disponibilidade e disposição. Responder por mensagem pessoal iria contra o propósito do fórum e por isso evito-o.
Se realmente pretendes que eu te ajude por mensagem pessoal, então podemos chegar a um acordo e contrato onde me pagas pela ajuda que eu fornecer e poderás então definir os termos de confidencialidade do meu serviço. De forma contrária toda e qualquer ajuda que eu der tem de ser visível a todos os participantes do fórum (será boa ideia, veres o significado da palavra fórum).
Nota também que eu não me responsabilizo por parvoíces escritas neste espaço pelo que se vais seguir algo dito por mim, entende que o farás por tua conta e risco.

Dito isto, mensagens pessoais só se forem pessoais, ou seja, se já interagimos de alguma forma no passado ou se me pretendes convidar para uma churrascada com cerveja (paga por ti, obviamente).

field road, jupiter creek
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 6
Posts: 354
Arduino rocks
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

where this discussion falls down is the SeeedStudio Mega clone is the bestest Mega1280 board!
It brings out every pin of the 1280, you can even us the Nootropic video experimenter shield with it.

I haven't seen a SeeedStudio Mega prototyping shield yet, but for my genuine Mega's I use the DFRobot prototyping shield, which is freakin great.
The Sparkfun Mega Prototyping shield is useless for anything other than putting a breadboard on.

The Australian Arduino's from Freetronics are excellent quality and their prototyping board is an excellent product.
Logged

'round the world...
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 42
Posts: 3288
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

where this discussion falls down is the SeeedStudio Mega clone is the bestest Mega1280 board!
It brings out every pin of the 1280, you can even us the Nootropic video experimenter shield with it.

I haven't seen a SeeedStudio Mega prototyping shield yet, but for my genuine Mega's I use the DFRobot prototyping shield, which is freakin great.
The Sparkfun Mega Prototyping shield is useless for anything other than putting a breadboard on.

The Australian Arduino's from Freetronics are excellent quality and their prototyping board is an excellent product.


All these have supported the Arduino. Either by changing and mixing the original arduino design with some shields or board formats. Others have contributed by making it more available than they were.
Logged

Eu não sou o teu criado. Se respondo no fórum é para ajudar todos mediante a minha disponibilidade e disposição. Responder por mensagem pessoal iria contra o propósito do fórum e por isso evito-o.
Se realmente pretendes que eu te ajude por mensagem pessoal, então podemos chegar a um acordo e contrato onde me pagas pela ajuda que eu fornecer e poderás então definir os termos de confidencialidade do meu serviço. De forma contrária toda e qualquer ajuda que eu der tem de ser visível a todos os participantes do fórum (será boa ideia, veres o significado da palavra fórum).
Nota também que eu não me responsabilizo por parvoíces escritas neste espaço pelo que se vais seguir algo dito por mim, entende que o farás por tua conta e risco.

Dito isto, mensagens pessoais só se forem pessoais, ou seja, se já interagimos de alguma forma no passado ou se me pretendes convidar para uma churrascada com cerveja (paga por ti, obviamente).

Durham UK
Offline Offline
Full Member
***
Karma: 1
Posts: 169
aka Craig Turner
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Hi,

When I was a newbie, I bought a couple of Arduino Uno clones from HK, but I asked the seller where they are made etc.. He was straight up and told me all the boards were made up in China, however I have no gurantee that the components are of quality. The boards work fine (so far) and were about 2/3 the cost of  "genuine" ones. However they look like almost perfect copies right down to the lettering and markings, and could easily fool the untrained eye into believing they are genuine. It would only be one step further to put them in looky-likey packages too, with a made in Italy sticker on! (he didn't do that - they came in plain anti-static bags).

Eight months on, I now regret not supporting the community, because they have been so helpful with my learning and I will not buy "counterfeit" arduino boards in future.

Of course if I can't get a genuine "special-type" I may need to source one elsewhere.
Logged

Craig Turner, blog: http://gampageek.blogspot.co.uk/ It helps with my learning if I write things down, esp. for others to follow (constructive comments welcomed to improve)

Peoples Republic of Cantabrigia
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 6
Posts: 722
Arduino happiness
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I agree that the purpose of the Arduino trademark, etc. is to ensure that some royalties go back to support the project now that it's a commercial venture as opposed to a grant-funded entity. I have boards from Arduino, sparkfun, Modern Devices, Jeelabs, and Iteadstudio. I have not had any issues with any of them. For me, it comes down less to where the board was manufactured and more down to the support that the manufacturer is giving the community.

However, another consideration is the innovation that some of the 'clone' manufacturers are pushing forward. For example, can you name a Arduino board that has a on-board Wiznet Ethernet, Xbee header, micro-SD receptacle, and NRF+ header while maintaining the original Arduino footprint? I can't, and for $29, this complete board costs about 50% less than just the Ethernet shield (!!!) So as I see it, sometimes these 'clone' companies are just as much pushing the hardware envelope as the folk over in Italy.

I have no idea if Iteadstudio is supporting the Arduino efforts or not financially. As such, the Arduino team might do a better job of highlighting which sources of Arduino-compatible hardware are doing their fair share of supporting the project. For example, this may be a great opportunity to install some banner ads in the forums to drive business to supporters, which in turn can support the cost of maintaining, upgrading, etc. the web site. This site is a free resource, but something besides hardware sales should be supporting its upkeep.
Logged

Durham UK
Offline Offline
Full Member
***
Karma: 1
Posts: 169
aka Craig Turner
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset



Quote
As such, the Arduino team might do a better job of highlighting which sources of Arduino-compatible hardware are doing their fair share of supporting the project.

I like this idea, but it might also work the other way around.

The sources of Arduino-compatible hardware ie the developers and vendors could explicitly state "We support the Arduino community" and a statment of how and where etc... with an official exclusive supporters logo. With attached terms and conditions of use, which links back to a page with names of regisered users of said logo. This is so buyers can check. Ok it could be counterfeited, but those guys would have to be real criminals to go that far.

I wouldn't advocate a complicated scheme that needs lot's of policing. Just forcing the sellers to make a positive assertive claim to support the Aduino community might be a step in the right direction. And as others have said there are many ways to support the community. The community just needs to decide which ways are accepatable and which are just cheeky marketing ploys.


Logged

Craig Turner, blog: http://gampageek.blogspot.co.uk/ It helps with my learning if I write things down, esp. for others to follow (constructive comments welcomed to improve)

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
Jump to: