UNO - Original, Clone or Counterfeit?

I wasn’t sure where to post this. There isn’t really an appropriate section.

I blew up one of my UNO R3 clones a few weeks ago, (reverse-polarity to 5V rail), and ordered another from eBay. (These are the 16U2 versions, not CH340G.)
Cost was AU$8.47, delivered, (USD$5.85).

When it arrived, I was surprised to see that although it was identical to my old clone in all other respects, it has the Arduino logo on the top and bottom, is labelled “Arduino” top and bottom, and claims to have been made in Italy. Surely it’s not really an original at that price?

As I understand it, clones are allowed to use the name “UNO”, but not “Arduino”.
So, is this new one technically a counterfeit?

The older clone is at the top in these pics, (minus the '328P chip), and the new one is at the bottom:-
(They look different colours in the pic, but that’s just the lighting - they’re identical in colour.)

Top.JPG

Bottom.JPG

Right-click and “View Image” or similar for full-sized pics.

Counterfeit, you can tell by the Italy image. Interesting the counterfeiter obtained gold colored polyfuses.

And also you can tell by the source (not official distributor) and price.

dmjlambert:
Counterfeit, you can tell by the Italy image. Interesting the counterfeiter obtained gold colored polyfuses.
Send in the clones | Arduino Blog
And also you can tell by the source (not official distributor) and price.

Right, thanks for that. I thought that it had to be a counterfeit at that price. Also, the seller is in China, I’m in Australia, yet it’s labelled “Arduino”, not “Genuino”.

I see what you mean about the Italy image - the one on my board is a very crude copy, with less accurate detail, shorter heel, and the island to the left is just a rectangle.

It works exactly as it should, and the price was good, needless to say, but I’m not happy to have bought a counterfeit. It’s not fair that they’re ripping off Arduino, and I wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known.
I just double-checked the original eBay listing, and the Arduino logo and name aren’t present in their pics. (I would have noticed.)

I guess the right thing to do would be to report the seller to eBay.
This is the eBay listing. Not an Arduino logo in sight:-
(Only on the board that actually arrived, so at least they’re not directly trying to sell them as originals.)
Precision UNO R3 Board ATmega328P ATmega16U2 For Arduino ATAU

It does not make much sense to counterfeit something that is open source, but it seems there are some. Since the listing did not try to deceive you into thinking it was an Arduino, the seller is apparently not out to do harm. During the sale would have been the time for them to swindle you, by charging more than what they could get for a no-name clone, and they didn't do that. So to me it is a grey area.

dmjlambert:
It does not make much sense to counterfeit something that is open source, but it seems there are some. Since the listing did not try to deceive you into thinking it was an Arduino, the seller is apparently not out to do harm. During the sale would have been the time for them to swindle you, by charging more than what they could get for a no-name clone, and they didn’t do that. So to me it is a grey area.

Yes, I agree. (I just edited my last post and said a similar thing as you were typing. I won’t report them to eBay, on the strength of that.)

This seller probably doesn't even know what an Arduino is. They are selling all kinds of stuff and not specializing in electronics. It is interesting the listing shows 3 pictures of the board, and they are pictures of 3 different boards with different features (polyfuse colors and logos).

dmjlambert:
It is interesting the listing shows 3 pictures of the board, and they are pictures of 3 different boards with different features (polyfuse colors and logos).

Ha, yeah, I noticed that - three pics and none of them are of the board they're actually selling.
They work perfectly though, just like the real thing, including 16U2 chip, and don't need specialised USB to TTL drivers like those other clones with a CH340G or other chip.

I don’t know what the official price of an Uno is; locally they go for around ZAR300 (around US$20). So a price that is significantly lower should be an indication that something is wrong. I can buy a clone from the same dealer for ZAR160 (US$10).

sterretje:
I don't know what the official price of an Uno is; locally they go for around ZAR300 (around US$20). So a price that is significantly lower should be an indication that something is wrong. I can buy a clone from the same dealer for ZAR160 (US$10).

I know. I never intended to buy an original, just a plain ordinary clone (legitimate). I usually pay $8 for them, so the price wasn't a warning of anything, and neither were the pics in the listing.
I just didn't expect to get an illegitimate counterfeit. It's open source - clones are OK but "Arduino"-labelled counterfeits are not.

I have no issue buying clones (I have some genuine Arduino's from before the trademark bs) but I wouldn't buy a counterfeit that copies (or mimicks) the silkscreens and logo's.
Why would you do this, and then still sell at a low price? (Not promoting seeling counterfeits for normal retail prices, just wondering why you would go at lengths to copy so much of the original and then not sell it at a higher price)

Benji:
I have no issue buying clones (I have some genuine Arduino's from before the trademark bs) but I wouldn't buy a counterfeit that copies (or mimicks) the silkscreens and logo's.
Why would you do this, and then still sell at a low price? (Not promoting seeling counterfeits for normal retail prices, just wondering why you would go at lengths to copy so much of the original and then not sell it at a higher price)

As mentioned earlier, I don't think they're actually trying to con anyone, or as you say, the price would be higher.
They're a high-volume seller of many other items, not just Arduino-related, and those boards are probably just what their supplier sent them. As dmjlambert said, "This seller probably doesn't even know what an Arduino is."

I was 99.99% sure it was a counterfeit as soon as it arrived, for the reasons I stated earlier. I was really just double-checking on the rules with regard to the "Arduino" name and logo.

Still, just because it is technically a counterfeit, I won't buy another from this supplier. It shouldn't have the Arduino name and logo on it.

Your last sentence says it all.
I won't buy stuff from someone that sells counterfeits. Whether they know it or not, they are responsible for what they sell.
Also, I recently got addicted to Aliexpress, where you pay around 2 euro's for a cloned nano. Didn't check for Uno's yet, but bought a Mega clone for around €5. Awesome prices :slight_smile:

Benji:
Your last sentence says it all.
I won't buy stuff from someone that sells counterfeits. Whether they know it or not, they are responsible for what they sell.
Also, I recently got addicted to Aliexpress, where you pay around 2 euro's for a cloned nano. Didn't check for Uno's yet, but bought a Mega clone for around €5. Awesome prices :slight_smile:

I always buy UNO clones, in preference to the 'real deal'. I do make sure that they have the 16U2 chip for the USB interface though, not the CH340G. They perform just like the real thing, and don't need specialised drivers.

That's a good price for a Mega clone, by the way. It works out to about AU$8.00 - the same as I pay for a UNO clone on eBay. Perhaps I should check out AliExpress for them too - I bought a new 36V 16Ah battery for my electric bike from AliExpress, for about AU$100 less than I could get one elsewhere. (I had to wait 2 months for delivery though. :frowning: )

I have bought 2 genuine Uno's like 6 years back, didn't want clones then. Now I found these Nano's on Ali, they are cheaper than standalone Atmega chips and bring a lot of convenience for just a little bit more space. So, I went with those and ordered a whole bunch of other stuff. 3 out of 5 packages arrived within 2 weeks, 2 are pending and underway.
Ordering from China may take a while, but I'm not in a hurry when it is concerning hobby stuff, the price makes it all good for me!

The Mega is a CH340G, which works fine. I use Linux for my development efforts (simply because my 'I don't care if it fries' laptop is too old to run Windows 7 and I refuse to use Windows XP anymore) so no driver issues. It works GREAT! The only thing I don't really like is that the LED's are BRIGHT! But seriously... BRIGHT!! I think I need to cover them with something because if you look directly at them (which happens quite often when tinkering) it hurts the eyes. The 'pin 13' LED is blue, but a real sharp blue, the 'on' LED is green, in a shade that I have never seen a green LED. I'll think of something, and when I'm "done" it will be inside a robot chassis, so it'll be fine. But wow...

Since two weeks ago it is my mission to find cheap clones of Arduino stuff, when I need another board for active developing I'll get a genuin(o)e board again, but right now all that is available down here are Arduino.org boards and I refuse to get those. #teamarduinocc and such :slight_smile:

Benji:
...It works GREAT! The only thing I don't really like is that the LED's are BRIGHT! But seriously... BRIGHT!! I think I need to cover them with something because if you look directly at them (which happens quite often when tinkering) it hurts the eyes. The 'pin 13' LED is blue, but a real sharp blue, the 'on' LED is green, in a shade that I have never seen a green LED. I'll think of something, and when I'm "done" it will be inside a robot chassis, so it'll be fine. But wow...

I know what you mean about the bright ones. They are so bright they are annoying. I solved it by dipping a toothpick in some latex wall paint, and used to to put a dab on top of the LEDs that were too bright and that was enough to make them normal brightness. The paint is a very light grey, almost a white. I think you could probably use Wite-Out typing correction fluid the same way.

dmjlambert:
I know what you mean about the bright ones. They are so bright they are annoying. I solved it by dipping a toothpick in some latex wall paint, and used to to put a dab on top of the LEDs that were too bright and that was enough to make them normal brightness. The paint is a very light grey, almost a white. I think you could probably use Wite-Out typing correction fluid the same way.

That's a good idea. Even a permanent marker might help.

The LEDs on my UNOs don't bother me, but the LED on my I2C LCD module was driving me crazy, so I removed it altogether.