Not all Arduino [clones] are created equal

This is in the nature of a warning, I guess. I bought an Arduino 1280 Mega clone on eBay from a seller/manufacturer in China. It seemed to work pretty well, but with some problems. For example, 2x16 LCD displays would only work with the LCD4Bit_mod library, and not with the LiquidCrystal one (even when modifying the sketches for RS, Enable, and data pins). And the serial monitor examples didn't work at all.

Well, then. I got another Arduino clone via eBay from China (when will I ever learn?). This one is a duemilanove clone. And this one seems to be 100% compatible, as far as I can tell so far. Everything that didn't work with the other clone works fine with this one.

The moral of the story is to buy official Arduinos when possible, or otherwise be aware that there may be hardware/software compatibility problems. Hey, don't know if anyone has posted about this before, but it's an issue people here should be aware of.

Well this is the issue with 'fake' boards vs other open source products.

There are many other boards made by other manufacturers which are of a decent quality and people appear to have no more issues than with official arduino boards but then there are clone boards, manufactured out of cheap poor-quality components in China which are made to try and fool consumers into thinking they are official boards. These boards are often cheaper but the seller is still making profit from it due to how cheap they will have purchased the components.

Did you buy from emaker.hk?

Got the same thing

Bought a mega, it works but all the connections are soldered crooked so i cant fit any shields

Well, the only problem I had was with a "genuine" arduino UNO smd included in an inventor's kit from Sparkfun, from which the bootloader was not properly burned and wouldn't keep its program after power off. As this was my first Aduino (well, my first introduction to the ┬ÁC world) I had to figure out and build a parallel programmer to be able to use it.

On the other hand I got plenty of chinese clones from eBay ( duemilanove, Mega2560/ftdi, pro mini, bare ATMEGA328 chips) and they've all worked flawlessly out of the box !

My 2cts...

The moral of the story is to buy official Arduinos when possible, or otherwise be aware that there may be hardware/software compatibility problems.

You needed a practical experience to realize knock-offs might not be reliable?

be aware that there may be hardware/software compatibility problems.

I seriously doubt that the 'clone' problem has anything to do with hardware/software compatibility, but rather just issues with material and build quality. The fact that the arduino platform is a total software and hardware open source means the 'cloners' don't have to design anything, just copy the existing published designs. There can be compatibility problems with designs that are not direct copies for the arduino boards, but that is a whole other subject.

Lefty