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Topic: Use Arduino IDE with non-Arduino board. (Read 4741 times) previous topic - next topic



Boards of this sort fall into 3 categories:
  • Derivative - Similar to an Arduino board but with hardware differences.
  • Clone - Same hardware design but not labeled as an official Arduino board.
  • Counterfeit - Unauthorized use of the Arduino trademark to fool the customer into thinking it's an official board.

That board is of the first category because it uses the CH340 USB-serial chip rather than the ATmega16U2 used on the official Uno boards and also has extra through holes for each pin.

Derivatives and clones are both completely legal and acceptable to sell. Derivatives have the added benefit to the community of offering a new configuration option that might be superior to the official board for certain applications. For example, I've actually seen projects where people tack wires to the leads on the bottom of the female headers of the Uno board. If I had a project where that sort of thing was necessary I would much rather have the extra through holes of this derivative.

You should be aware that, depending on your operating system (I think the driver is pre-installed on Linux) you may need to install the CH340 driver to use that board as the Arduino IDE does not come with the driver. You can download the driver from the manufacturer's website:

Counterfeit boards are illegal to sell but I don't think there's any wording in the Arduino IDE license about using one with the IDE. However it's best to not support the unscrupulous people who sell counterfeits. The clones work just as well as the counterfeits for the same low price while respecting the rights of the Arduino organization.

More information: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ#toc3

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