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Counterfeit Arduino: How to spot

Common indicators

How to spot a counterfeit Arduino? For a regular Arduino user, the differences may look apparent, but what about a first time user?

Like every clone that ever existed, we need to look for more than one marking. Take for example an Arduino UNO to look for all these indicators of an authentic board. We have more than 500 DIY projects at Acoptex.com.

Update!

The Arduino updating the color and the graphics of all Arduino boards: the new silk color is the classic Arduino teal ( read the blogpost ‎). This means that right now original Arduino boards are either blue or teal. The Arduino also updated the graphics of the back of the board.

New board color and graphic - Arduino Uno
New board color and graphic – Arduino Uno

Color

The authentic Arduino’s color is either a mix of green and blue, or the classic Arduino teal. The counterfeits usually are blue to deep blue color.

NEW Original board (Front)Counterfeit (Front)
NEW Original board (Front)Counterfeit (Front)
Original board (Front)Counterfeit (Front)
Original board (Front)Counterfeit (Front)
Original board (SMD)Counterfeit (SMD)
Original board (SMD)Counterfeit (SMD)
NEW Original board (Back)Counterfeit (Back)
NEW Original board (Back)Counterfeit (Back)
Original board (Back)Counterfeit (Back)
Original board (Back)Counterfeit (Back)

Font/silk

When you carefully observe the font in which the word ‘Uno’ or ‘Arduino’ is written we can find a difference. Arduino font is custom designed and cloners tend to overlook or not be able to reproduce the same.

Observe the ‘O’!

Original board Counterfeit
Original board Counterfeit

There is only one Arduino logo, which looks like this.

Original board
Original board

Look for the sharp edges and the hole inside the ‘A’ as compared to the following fakes:

CounterfeitCounterfeit
Counterfeit 

The fake, has ’rounded’ edges and the print is not sharp.

Made in Italy

Turn your Arduino board around to see the map of Italy, saluting the place of its birth.

Original boardCounterfeitCounterfeitCounterfeit
Original boardCounterfeitCounterfeitCounterfeit

Connections and connectors

In every original Arduino the connections between components look ‘woven’ and beautiful, not ‘pasted’ and ugly.

Here’s what we mean:

Original board Counterfeit
Original board Counterfeit

Keywords

Please look for keywords like ‘Arduino compatible’ or ‘Uno for Arduino’ while buying online, because if the boards look like original Arduino, they are mostly fake.

Components

Here’s a major fake-alert! The component 501 K located next to the voltage regulator is generally green on fake boards. The green one has similar properties as the original Arduino golden-black component and is available off the shelf.

The Arfduino have got it specially made for Arduino to make it look different:

Original board Counterfeit
Original board Counterfeit

Pricing

If an Arduino is being sold online for less than the stated price in the market, it may indicate a counterfeit.

The current price of Arduino, even if a few euros more than clones, help us fund and create

  • developing new open source hardware
  • the documentation
  • CE/FCC certification
  • carbon offsetting
  • quality control
  • community management
  • publishing tutorials
  • make donations to other open source projects
  • hosting/maintanance website and forum (millions of users!)

In case you catch any of your sellers selling such counterfeit boards, do report them to us at: trademark [at] arduino.cc.

Official distributors

For information on Arduino official distributors around the world, check this page. If you want to become a distributor of Arduino boards contact: distribution@arduino.cc

Article is based on information from adruino.cc. The text of the Arduino getting started guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Code samples in the guide are released into the public domain.

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