How to Fix Bad Chinese Arduino Clones

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Introduction: How to Fix Bad Chinese Arduino Clones

Have you ever wondered if a cheap Chinese Arduino clone will actually work?
You pay only a few bucks and get the same product. Sounds to good to be true right?

The truth is that some work and some won't. Follow the rest of this instructable and I'll explain you how to make them all work in no time.

Here is where I got my Cheap Arduino clone

Step 1: Genuine Arduino and Chinese Clone - the CH340 Chip Problem

I use an Arduino Uno for this example but it is the same process for most Arduino models.
So here we have a genuine Arduino and a Chinese clone. Let's do the test.

My Arduino environment has been installed and is working properly. First I plug in the genuine Arduino. Everything works just fine. Now I use my cheap Chinese copy and.... the computer does not recognise the hardware.

The problem is that the clone does not use the standard serial to usb chip but a chip marked CH340. Your computer will not recognize these CH340 chips on your computer. To fix this is very easy.

Step 2: Download Software

Download the manufacturer software and istall it on your computer. This software will work for all versions of windows.
Here is the link:

http://www.wch.cn/download/CH341SER_EXE.html

This instructable is based on pc but here is a link for a solution for Mac users:

http://0xcf.com/2015/03/13/chinese-arduinos-with-...

Now plug in your Chinese clone and try again. It should work just fine.

The board should be visible now in the Arduino IDE and ready to use.

I upload the blink sketch to the board and it all works.

In some cases the board might still not work. This is because there is no bootloader installed on the Atmel microcontroller ship. To solve this problem we need a working Arduino and the clone Arduino we want to fix.

Step 3: Make an ISP Programmer From Your Working Arduino

First we connect the working Arduino to our computer and open the Arduino IDE.


We go to File -> Examples and click ArduinoISP and upload this to the Arduino. Ones uploaded disconnect the Arduino.

Step 4: Connecting the Wires

Next we connect the wires from the working Arduino to the clone as follows.


Pin 10 goes to reset pin 11 goes to 11,

pin 12 to 12,

pin 13 to pin 13.

5v to 5v and ground to ground.

Connect a 10 uF capacitor between reset and ground on the working Arduino.

Step 5: Burn the Bootloader

Next we connect the working Arduino with a usb to the computer.


Go to Tools -> Board and select the chinese board that is not working. in my case it's an Arduino Uno.

Next we go to Tools again -> Programmer and select Arduino as ISP.

Go to Tools again and select "Burn Bootloader".

Go back to Tools -> Programmer and set back to ArduinoISP.

Your clone should work just fine now.

Step 6: Contribute

Arduino is great software an completely free to use.

If you are buying Chinese copies of the Arduino controller, consider making a donation to support the Arduino software. Here is a link.
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Donate

Step 7: Final

If this instructable was helpfull for you, please click the favorite button.


Comments and suggestions below.

Also check out my 2$ ARDUINO INSTRUCTABLE here.

See you in the next instructable.

Tom Heylen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTomHeylen

Donate to help me keep doing this work: https://www.paypal.me/TomHeylen/2usd

2 People Made This Project!

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user

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

Tips

2 Questions

Has anyone gotten the CH430's to run on FreeBSD?

Thx for the great tutorial.

Hello, I purchase Leonardo clones from Ebay. I need your help to make it work. The board is not recognized when connected to PC. I installed CH341SER and still I cannot find the board in Device manager. Please help me.

134 Comments

These are the direct words of Mazzimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino in his book, page 1: "Getting Started with Arduino, 2nd Edition":

"Arduino is different from other platforms on the market because of these

features:

>> It is open source hardware and software—if you wish, you can

download the circuit diagram, buy all the components, and make your

own, without paying anything to the makers of Arduino."

I do not need to say anything further.

You are correct that one need not pay them anything. The suggestion to contribute to them was that in supporting them in their open source will hopefully insure that they will be able continue to give such great quality projects in the future.

Thanks for your post. This should make things clear.

For those who want to support The Arduino software.
Step 6 in this instructable contains a link to make a donation to the Arduino software.

Tom - a BIG thanks for this info. I got a 5-pack, none are working. Will use you procedure and should be up in no time!

Best Regard - Alan R.

Thanks

I bought several clones on AliExpress. Installing
CH341SER.EXE fixed my problems with COM port uploading.
Win 10 Pro x64

Simply download CH341SER.EXE, install, enjoy.

I tried both instructions and neither worked - is ther a particular polarity that should be used with the capacitor?

Since capacitors are polarized, yes, there is a mounting side. Anyway, if you don't use it, it should work.

Thank you for the valuable article. I figured out that the CH340 seems to be very sensitive to distortions caused by bad USB cables or USB cables that are too long. It should be the first step to check your cable before you dig deeper with the advises above. After I changed the cable I didn't even need the extra drivers from the manufacturer - the sketches load up without any problems. Happy hacking.

Hello. Where can I find driver for my clone Arduino Uno R3 with mega16u2 USB controller? ID: USB\VID_2341&PID_0043&REV_0001