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Thread: $200 Wasted on Chinese Counterfeit ICs

  1. #11
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    Have the counterfeiters finally stopped selling fake or faulty Commodore SID chips?

  2. #12

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    There are a number of outcomes from the "Parts Recycling & cloning" industry when it comes to semiconductors:

    1) Cloned new manufactured parts. Might or might not reach spec of original part.

    2) Pulled parts, original or compatible parts . Passed off as new. The extent some go to here is astonishing, including welding longer leads onto a device, re-electroplating them, and the device body, and re-labeling. These parts often look brand new, suspiciously so. Its very easy to clean off original markings and re-label a part.

    One could argue the above two examples are a form of good intentions gone awry, recycling "saving the planet", but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and many of these sorts of parts are not up to spec, the transistors have smaller physical dies. In demanding applications failure is not uncommon.

    3) NOS parts that are identical looking on the exterior, but are not the same part and not compatible with the original part and re-labelled deliberately to resemble the original part and this is deliberate fraud, criminal activity, but worse than that; downright immoral and definitely not playing Cricket in the field of electronics engineering. And the seller most likely knows full well who did it .The OP has been a victim of this and if ebay cannot see this, they need to revise their policies.

    Of course, in a supply chain, the seller may have been a victim of the deception themselves. Then it really muddies the water as to who is responsible for the fraud.

    To avoid fake devices I try to buy vintage stock from known major manufacturers that looks NOS and a little aged with older date codes. Some devices are very hard to fake due to subtleties, for example Hitachi brand TTL IC's and Motorola brand tend to have a unique epoxy package with rounded corners/edges, easy to spot. Also the Fakers generally never use Gold, so vintage parts with gold plated pins are generally ok, and also mil spec parts are less likely(but sometimes) faked. Early Signetics TTL's have a unique light grey package. After a while you can recognize fakes, I have not been caught out for a while now. A lot of fake re-labeled IC's have a satin looking and not shiny surface and the ink looks too fresh and and the date codes often make no sense. Plus the ink cleans off really easily with most mild solvents.

    If you are suspicious and you want to place a big order, buy a few parts first for analysis, before buying a big lot.

  3. #13
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    To be clear, I almost never buy mystery meat silicon from China and expect 100% accurate results. I just didn't expect it to be this terrible, usually the parts are at least somewhat pinout-compatible!

    I usually do the "buy two or three, then the whole lot" but it's quite common for sellers to send good ones for the test lot. At a previous job we had to burst test aerosol can bodies for a local company. They'd ordered a sample run of 1000 from China which performed extremely well, surpassing every spec they'd supplied. Then they ordered a run of 50,000 can bodies. Many of them burst during the fill stage, and on analysis we were surprised they even came from the same company. Maybe they didn't, who knows.

    Anyway, this is why all of my "goes in kits" parts come from Mouser, Digi-Key, and a few local suppliers I know, trust, and have used for years.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    This isn't even considered immoral in some cultures.
    I know what you mean. In the 80's, we were visited by a Taiwanese distributor of ours. They gave us our business cards with their photos on them (photographic paper), which was very unusual at the time. We asked, and they told us that it was very common for people to misrepresent themselves as someone else when selling products. So, let's say I was selling screws as a rep of company X, but when the deal was done, you would discover that they were from company Y. We asked if that would make customers angry. Not at all, they said, as long as the price was right, the product was good and deliveries were prompt. They simply did not understand why we would find this in any way objectionable. "It's business".

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    Last time I talked to eBay phone support, I wasted two hours of my life to basically get told, "too bad, we don't want your business." This was on their decision to ban links to your own projects' manuals. I'll take the $200 loss and avoid sitting on the phone with them
    I know your pain, I had to argue for a promo I was supposed to be getting worth $250.00. You know the emails your get from eBay that say "no listing fees if you sell in this category" Well I didn't get mine so I had to call twice (3.5 hours worth on two calls) to get it. They were call centers in India and they were patronizing as hell. eBay Doesn't care about your or anyone's business as long as revenue keeps coming in. I agree you should do something Glitch; but if I were you I wouldn't want to waste time on a phone call either.

  6. #16
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    If it's a tossup for something between eBay and Amazon (and it often is the case), I'll go for Amazon.

    Similarly, I'll take Aliexpress over eBay. Mostly, eBay has turned into a den of thieves.

  7. #17

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    One really good place to buy beautiful quality vintage parts from is Japan. Japanese versions of devices and their own versions always seem to be very well made and the Japanese conduct themselves in a very honorable manner in business I have found (in this respect they appear to put most other cultures to shame). It is really easy shopping if you are actually there, such as some of the stores in Akihabara Tokyo, but some suppliers are also online:

    http://www.kashinoki.co.jp/page010_0.shtml

    Also, even for something simple, like a switch, if its Japanese made and says 10A rated, you can guarantee it is ok with 10A. Some switches coming out of the far east rated at 10A can barely handle 3A. In fact most Japanese made electronic parts for consumer use are as good as mil spec ones from other countries. There seems to be a fad now to over-rate many components from China.

    I think this is largely because Japanese people take great pride in their work, no matter what they do and they pay a lot of attention to detail and I really admire those qualities.

  8. #18

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    Sorry for your trouble. And I agree with earlier comment that this is just business in some cultures.

    I just received an advertised "brand new" NVRAM chip for my Sun Ultra Sparc last week from Chinese eBay seller. It looks *very* much like the chips in your picture. Not even close to brand new looking, and lot# marking missing. I messaged the seller that it doesn't look brand new, and I suspected a fake. They responded "go ahead and try it and see if it works". I replied: If it's brand new as advertised, then "try it" isn't the right answer. And, I'm not going to risk a suspect chip on an otherwise good motherboard."

    Fortunately, they refunded me the $11. Hardly an amount worth worrying about like your $200 investment. That said, many kudos for trying to create some retrofits for the rest of us. Hope this doesn't put you completely off of that mission.
    “The Bex religious impulse does have its collective side. As in, collect everything and hold on to it whether you remember where it came from or not.”
    —Alberto Fossa, Privateer 2

  9. #19
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    "ZERPOWER" ? Now there's a big clue...

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by normanator View Post
    Fortunately, they refunded me the $11. Hardly an amount worth worrying about like your $200 investment. That said, many kudos for trying to create some retrofits for the rest of us. Hope this doesn't put you completely off of that mission.
    Glad you got your money back! I think they're more willing to refund when it's a small item. And no, it hasn't put me off retrofits, just sort of put me off the idea of being able to buy mystery meat NVRAMs, maybe have half of them be usable, and being able to keep a ready-to-go stock of them for other hobbyists. So I'll stick to the "you have to send me your dead NVRAMs" approach for now!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    "ZERPOWER" ? Now there's a big clue...
    Heh, maybe

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