Cheap vs Sparkfun 9dof boards, difference?

What is the difference between a cheap 9dof board and a Sparkfun one?


Sparkfun 9dof board $60


Stkertools 9dof board for $8


UNIK MPU-9250 9DOF $16


Well, the Sparkfun one is probably made here in the U.S., and the cheap ones somewhere in Asia. The Sparkfun unit probably goes trough a lot better quality control than the Asian ones. That being said, I usually opt for the cheap Asian parts, because after all, at $8 a pop, you can buy 7 Asian boards for the price of one Sparkfun board. Buy three of the Asian ones, and burn them in for a few weeks.

Actually, my experience is that the failure rate of the cheap Asian stuff might be 1 in a hundred. That more than justifies buying the cheap boards, so long as there is no large penalty for maybe haveing to change a part out once in a long while.

In this case the price of the Sparkfun board is ten times too high. The ITG-3200 is outdated since years. The MPU-6050 + HMC5883L is a good combination, but the MPU-6050 is outdated as well.

The MPU-9250 is a new sensor, but you need to find a good library.

This is a normal 9DOF sensor board : This is a awesome sensor board :

Bits and pieces have been arriving over the last week, everything is here now. Just a sampler of the cheap boards from China. In addition to the above, I have a ESP8266 ($3), and a HCSR04 range finder for $2. Tomorrow I'll board them up and see if there is any difference.

We all have a budget and 2 - 5x cheaper is hard to resist. However, something has to be said for buying locally and supporting your local hard working businesses. If these boards work out, I guess the reality is a combination of local and distant purchasing.