Re: Real or Clone - Nano survivability, any real difference?

Jack, W8TEE

Hi Jerry:

There's no doubt that "real" Arduino boards rarely have any problems when used and are of better quality than the clones. I used nothing but the real thing for years. Somewhere along the line I started trying the clones...

I've been pretty lucky with the clones. The biggest problem I've had is the non-standard drivers. However, in most cases, downloading/installing the CH340 device driver fixes that problem. More recently, I thought I was seeing the driver problem again, but even installing the CH340 didn't fix it. Turns out some of the clone manufacturers are using an ancient bootloader that is confused by the recent versions of the IDE. Fortunately, it's easily solved. Use the menu sequence Tools --> Processor: "ATmega328p" --> ATmega328P (Old Bootloader) and do another compile/upload sequence and that should take care of it.

At times, I do feel guilty that I'm no longer using the "real" Arduino controllers. I try to make up for this by making a small donation every time I download a new release of the IDE. I think that probably more than makes up for the small profit they might have made had I purchased the real thing. I hope so. I also hope everyone else does make some kind of donation from time-to-time. Now, if they want to integrate a full symbolic debugger....

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, April 4, 2019, 7:00:31 PM EDT, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io <jgaffke@...> wrote:

Some of the Nano failures reported here can be attributed to not enough protection on the IO pins.
For example, a couple pins going out to a keyer may as well be protected from static discharge with series 1k resistors.
Raduino should have protection against reverse power.
RF could conceivably get into some of these wires and zap an IO pin, though I tend to doubt that unless very long.

I had one of my stock Nano's go south, though it could well have been something I said.
Several reports in the forum of stock Nano's working out of the box, but sucking far more power than they should.
Suggests to me a Nano clone manufacturer with a quick go/no-go test, but not much more in the way of quality control.

When mine blew I then bought three from Elegoo at over $4 each, no troubles with them.
Expensive!  Well not really, but there are Nano's on Ebay for down around $2.
Those $2 ebay boards have little pressure to maintain quality control,
all they need to do is get their board a nickle cheaper and ship something that vaguely works.
Seems likely that some would be built using somebody else's reject parts. 
Elegoo has a name to defend, they get good reviews, and likely monitor their sources closely for trouble.
At least, that's my theory. 
Seems worth a few bucks to (slightly?) reduce my odds of spending a day tearing at my hair.
What little hair (and time) I have is well worth $5. 

I have yet to spend big bucks on a genuine Arduino Nano.
Jack Purdum, W8TEE has bought far more Nano clones than I, from a variety of sources.
And apparently has mostly good luck with them, as I recall.
Maybe he will speak up here.


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