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Thread: Fake ICs

  1. #1
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    Default Fake ICs

    Hey guys,

    So I found a supplier, finally, for CRT8021-003 chips. I bought 10 of them at $4.00 per. But I'm leery because I recall reading in here, some years ago about 'fake' ICs, particularly from China, which is where this and probably most suppliers operate from. I'm wondering if there's a reliable way to spot fakes, what exactly is being faked, and what the faker is trying to achieve by duping people... ie just simple money ripoff? Or is about faking vintage, etc for more money?

  2. #2

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    Never buy an IC without seeing the photos of the parts they are going to send. Confirm that the parts you are buying are the exact ones in to photo, or at least one of them is in the photo.

    There are many ways IC's are faked , the common way is to re-label a part in a similar package.

    Plastic cased IC's are more commonly faked than ceramic body ones.

    Since most of the types of IC's for vintage computers are decades old, its possible to see surface spots of corrosion and the writing/markings should not look fresh and even the pins would be expected to have a light tarnish.

    Gold is rarely used by Fakers, so if you see a gold topped ceramic IC, its probably genuine unless its another part re-labelled, and the writing would then look too fresh and the gold too shiny where the original numbers were polished off. Also genuine IC's look genuine, complete with signs of age and a vintage date code to match.

    If its a black plastic body IC be very wary of ones with a satin looking surface and fresh writing and very shiny pins. Likely is a re-labelled fake. Early plastic cased IC's often had a very shiny (not a flat or matte) surface finish and were made out of a more brittle resin than modern ones.

    If you post a good picture of the IC's you have bought, I could hazard a guess, if they look genuine or fake and suggest the reasons why. It takes a good quality photo to see give away signs of a fake, so de-focused images are suspicious too.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Hugo.

    Here is the photo they gave me: http://www.pro-electr.net/image/2019...2473097882.png

  4. #4

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    Not a great photo, but it has some favorable things. The writing is a bit patchy and faded in places. From what I can see from the tops of the IC pins visible entering the case, there is some age appropriate corrosion, probably it is genuine, but better photos of it would help. Worth the risk most likely if not too expensive.

  5. #5

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    It's just about the money. If there's more money in duping a certain group, that's who they target.

  6. #6
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    Are you trying to fix a Tandy 2000? Can't remember exact part numbers, but the Tandy 2000 was very nearly the only computer who's video subsystem was based on SMC ic's.
    Last edited by tipc; August 21st, 2019 at 11:27 PM.

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    No, a Dynalogic Hyperion. I've sort of probed around with my logic probe and scope, and it seems like things are functioning up to this video attributes controller, and then something goes wrong at the other end. I could be wrong, but I had seen a few vague references in old posts online about a 'chip' that was commonly causing the same sorts of symptoms I have. When I was testing, I clipped the VID leg of the chip, and then resoldered when nothing really changed. But that's when I got a cursor. My theory is that maybe the heat from my solder iron woke the chip up enough to some functionality.

  8. #8
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    Well, I got ten of these today:

    20190910_204811.jpg

    So.. I'm a little suspicious. They don't look like the ones in the picture, which to me look legit. These are all brand new looking, font is slight different.. I don't know. I tried one last night but it didn't resolve my issue. So I don't know if my problem is something else.. or if these aren't what they purport to be.

  9. #9

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    They have a 2003 date code and I doubt SMC was still making the CRT8021 in 2003. The problem with Chinese ICs that that they can be literally anything. They could be knockoffs (that may or may not actually work), re-marked genuine parts, low-end parts marked as higher-spec ones, random chips marked with whatever the seller asked for, or even empty blocks of black plastic.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Well, I got ten of these today:

    20190910_204811.jpg

    So.. I'm a little suspicious. They don't look like the ones in the picture, which to me look legit. These are all brand new looking, font is slight different.. I don't know. I tried one last night but it didn't resolve my issue. So I don't know if my problem is something else.. or if these aren't what they purport to be.
    These have a few hallmarks of being fakes I'm afraid. Many of the fakers appear to have laser machines that re-surface the IC to a flat surface finish and laser engrave a new label. I think they do it in bulk to make 100's of fakes in a batch. The only way to help with this issue is to make sure (by emailing the seller first) that they will send you the exact item in the auction photo (that you have screened for hallmarks of fakery). Of course your seller may have been duped by their suppliers, its all difficult to prove.

    There was another clue here too, about a likely fake scenario "I got 10 of these today". Those sorts of numbers for a rare IC are very suspicious. Occasionally a batch of NOS rare IC's comes up, but when they do, the seller will make a big deal about the new old stock nature of them, and carry on like somebody stumbled across a Porsche Spyder in an old disused farmhouse in the midwest hiding under some bales of hay.

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