Quality of Manufacturer?

Hi everyone,

i am looking for some advice. I have been researching which starter kit to purchase. Long-term goal is to automate a greenhouse. I know there are several projects on this subject and plan to look for best practices of all that I can find.

My question though, is how much does it matter what manufacturer I get the Arduino board from? I have seen kits from Funduino, shipping from China for as little as $12.99 and as high as $99.00 from this site. I realize that these kits have different parts/componets, but what I am wondering if anyone has experience with this manufactures. Are their componets cheaply made? Do they fail at a higher rate? Or are they just so cheap because they are being made by someone that works for a bowl of rice.

Here are some of the other names that I seen: Freenove, Gikfun, DCC Duino

Thanks for any advice you can give me.


The problem with the really chap eBay deals is you don't really know who manufactured them. They could be a reasonable Chinese manufacturer using their vast manufacturing capabilities and buying power to run off arduino clones to eat up spare capacity and reel-ends, or they could be the janitors sweeping up parts off the floors and putting them on boards in their garages (for that bowl of rice.) I prefer to find a manufacturer/seller with actual names and some history. Funduino.biz might be one of them (but it looks like they're a wholesaler, so I can't vouch for the intermediaries.) dx.com is somewhat reputable. I like "baite electronics" who sells on Aliexpress... That said, the arduino boards are not hugely complex things where a lot can go wrong...

I don't like buying things cheaply if they are only cheap because of exchange rate or living standard differences. That sort of "saving" will come back to bite us when the exchange rate etc. re-balances (as it surely will) and the local manufacturers have gone out of business.


I bought a couple of Nano clones and almost every single one of them eventually blew the diode just under the USB port. I had to replace that with a bigger unit and it works perfectly.

With that, for playing around while you are a noob, the Chinese versions are dirt cheap and you won't get hurt when the smoke comes out.

BUT, the smoke comes out quite easily. My original Uno's took severe hammering and I lost a single processor which I could replace.

So, from my perspective: The original Arduino products are worth it when you need to learn. One do make many mistakes in the beginning. IMO, school fees are lower with the genuine product.

For production use: Well it is easy to to build your own Arduino compatible processor by flashing an Atmel chip with the Arduino bootloader. This enables you to develop the code on an Arduino and push it over to a production board - where you in any case wants to find a supplier of original Atmel chips..

HI I have very little experience with different Arduino boards. As to the beginner kit from this site. All of the experiments work as advertise. All of the experiments are now included with the Arduino IDE. Under Examples. I like the way the Arduino board and bread board are mated. Lots of parts to play with. As to the book that comes with it. There are some electrical errors in the explanation of how things work. I would find some different push buttons to use as theirs is bent and has a problem with popping out of the bread board.

As to to Arduino boards, I burn the atm chip in mine, replace chip with the spare that came with the board. 6 months later and it is still working.

If this is a one time buy, go for the real thing.

When it comes to price and quality, you rarely get the best of both. For hobby work where there is no safety or production issues, the cheapies will do in most cases.


I started with an Infiduino named clone Ultimate Starter Kit and I have had 0 problems. I didn't even know about the clone thing until much later., I would still prefer it over the Arduino simply because it uses a mini-B USB port.

The quality of the accessories are identical. These parts are made in China. You can pay extra since they were shipped to Italy first or whatever, I see no reason to.