Looking to buy an arduino UNO, are replicas the same? I'm confused

Hey guys so I am about to do my second Arduino project, and I am looking to buy the parts needed. However after browsing ebay I have found many different variations.

I guess since Arduino is open source many have designed replica Unos and for really low prices to. So my question is, will the replicas do the same thing? Or are they trouble?

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/NEW-ATmega328P-CH340G-UNO-R3-Board-USB-Cable-7-Gilded-Pin-for-Arduino-DIY-hg-/281516417820?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418bafa31c

that is the one I was looking at. Should I get it or will it break/not work after a few days?

If I should get an official arduino Uno Where is the best/cheapest place to get them?

http://www.amazon.ca/UNAVAILABLE-Arduino-UNO-Rev-3/dp/B008GODBQW/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1426698015&sr=8-9&keywords=arduino+uno

is this an official arduino?

The one on ebay is not recommended. The microcontroller is surface mount (small black square). If you damage it, you can't replace it. I recommend boards with thru-hole microcontrollers, like the second link (amazon). It has a long black part , which is thru-hole. If you damage it, you can remove the chip and replace it. You can also remove the chip and create a stand-alone project with the removed chip and minimal parts. I recommend the one on amazon. It's NOT official. Official board costs $30. So it is a counterfeit using the good Arduino name. If you are not ok with this, purchase one from sparkfun.com or adafruit.com

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11021

http://www.adafruit.com/product/50

But in all honesty, the amazon one would perform the same job, just maybe with a bit less guarantee?

Some might say you have a hell of a cheek asking on a forum funded by the sales of a product if a rip off of that product is reliable.

But in all honesty, the amazon one would perform the same job, just maybe with a bit less guarantee?

For $4.50 with a USB cable shipped, not a bad price. Note that the board apparently uses a CH340G USB to serial interface chip, so you may need to look for a driver (could be included in current windows versions). I always check the seller rating and negative feedback to see if there are reported issues with the item. As to replacing chips on the arduino, much easier/cheaper to throw the broken one away and buy an new clone.

you have a few things going on here.

most of us recommend you buy and official UNO. two reasons.

1) quality

2) to give back something to the crew

and third for the FTDi chip.

as for the clones and options....

there are a LOT of clones. considder that the SMT chip on an uno-clone is less than $5, you can just toss it if if fails.

but there is more. the USB interface on the official is an FTDI chip. drivers abound.

the clone uses the 340 and you have to get the chineese software driver if you use windows linix has the driver built in.

banggood offers an uno clone with the 340 driver for under $5 including shipping.

once you get the correct driver, you need to switch them around between the FTDI and the 340 chip when you up-load the program.

but, if you opt for the 340, that opens the door for all the clones, the pro-mini (under $3) and Nano (under $5) etc.

another reason for the UNO with the DIP chip, is that you can remvoe that and use the USB driver to program the pro-mini.

of course, many would offer that for 99 cents, you can buy a dedicated board for that.

once you get the correct driver, you need to switch them around between the FTDI and the 340 chip when you up-load the program.

I've not had that problem, as I usually use the comport that is assigned for the particular USB/serial chip.