Saturday, August 31, 2013

Arduino? or not Arduino...

Alright, Some of you might know about Arduino, some of you might not.

All it is is a microcontroller on a board with sockets so it makes your life easier: nothing fancy.
They have a voltage regulator, a built in programmer, and all the nice peripherals in one board to make it a beautiful prototyping tool.
The IDE is easy to use too!

Well, I'm not going to explain what Arduino is on this blog. You can find that on

I'm going to talk about authenticity.

Recently I bought an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 on ebay, from China. Why?

  • It costs $15
  • I burnt out my Revision 2 board
  • I don't really care about authenticity of an Arduino
It shouldn't really matter whether an Arduino is supplied by Arduino or not. In fact, Arduino open sources their boards, so anyone can make an exact replica of the real Arduino boards.
If its fake, it will still work; because it's an exact copy.

How do I tell if it's fake?

This is fake
This is real

Notice the different LED colors.

This is fake

This is real

How did THAT happen?

This is fake

This is real

Notice that the fake Arduino has shiny solder, which means it contains lead, which means it is not RoHS, which means that it is probably not authentic.

Lastly, A single component comparison:

You might notice some color differences.

It's not that important, but if you want to sue someone, here is the evidence.