Introduction: READ THIS BEFORE BUYING AN ARDUINO!!

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Over the years Arduino has become more and more famous. mainly due to its very easy and user friendly software, its extremely large and ever growing community, and finally its modularity.

Nowadays, nearly every electronics hobbyist owns atleast 1 type of Arduino. and if you don't, then it is past time for you to get one !!

and if you are planning on buying one. you might be wondering why is there so many Arduino clones that are way less than half the price of an original Arduino, and are they any good!!

The answer is yes. these clones perform exactly like an original arduino, they support all of its accessories, and they can be programmed using the Arduino IDE !!

Step 1: THEN WHY ARE THEY SOO CHEAP ?!

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an Arduino clone uses almost the same components as a real Arduino and since Arduino is an open source platform and all its schematics are out for the public, most of these clones have the same component layout as an actual arduino.

You can see in the photo how the 2 Arduinos are almost the same.

which brings us back to the question. why are they much cheaper. firstly we have to pay attention to the fact that the Arduino company needs money for research and improvement of its products. and so when you buy an original Arduino you make a donation to the company.

when you buy an Arduino you are also paying money for the brand name, unlike when you are buying an arduino clone from some unknown chinese company.

Step 2: How to Spot a Fake Arduino

Picture of How to Spot a Fake Arduino

spotting a fake arduino is usually very easy since the companies that make the clones usually write their name on the board as you can see in the photo above. but sometimes companies try to disguise their arduinos as an original arduino to make more money. But don't worry you can easily find out!!

as you can see in the photos above there is a component that is either green or gold. the gold one was specially made for the Arduino company and therefore any Arduino clone will not have a gold component but rather a green one.

if you are buying one online then you should look for keywords like 'Arduino compatible' or 'Uno for Arduino' these mean that it is a fake arduino

Step 3: What Should I Look Out for When Buying a Clone

Picture of What Should I Look Out for When Buying a Clone

The arduino you see in the photos above is an funduino Mega 2560 that i got from Gearbest. and when I used it I found out that it is just as good as an actual Arduino and i have not faced any problems when using get. But watch out not all clones are that good !!!

unfortunately some clones are made from very bad quality components and may either work ver bad or maybe not work at all, and that is why you need to pay attention when buying a clone.

- avoid buying a clone that is too cheap!!
- avoid buying unbranded clones
- look for reviews on the product / Brand

Step 4: Where to Buy a Good Clone + Conclusion

A very good place to buy high quality clones at low prices you can click here

Also don't forget to subscribe to me on instructables and youtube i post very cool videos related to electronics and Arduinos there.

also do not forget to favorite this instructable if you found it helpful and see you guys later

Comments

JoeB95 (author)2015-12-08

I have been using "cheap" clones for years with 100% success. An UNO (with USB cable) cost me $3.75. . Same for shields, way cheaper from China and all have worked flawlessly. H bridge uses L289N, well built PCB. Buy what you want,however I don't respond to fear mongering.

Treker2 (author)2015-09-02

This is great if you can't afford an authentic Arduino but I think of Arduino like the Ferrari of micro controllers... Would you buy a cheap Chinese knockoff of a Ferrari? I sure wouldn't

Gadget93 (author)Treker22015-10-11

It's use a knock off any day. It's all I could afford plus I don't need a Ferrari.

AY Electronics (author)Treker22015-09-02

I totally agree with you, but not all people can afford to leave an arduino in every project they build. what i personally do though is build my own arduino for a much lower price

Treker2 (author)2015-09-03

Ah, good point! I totaly agree! Definatly the solution for putting in projects!

ChrisAu (author)2015-09-02

good points. I use a genuine uno with a breadboard for experiments etc.. but clones are more cost-effective for leaving in a project.

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Bio: just another electronics hobbiest trying to help you out
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