LaDjA
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Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 9:24 am

Hi!
I'm trying to figure out if there's any sure-fire way to make sure that a Pi that I get is an original, UK made piece. Is there any way of ensuring that?

One that I was thinking of getting and seems quite legit is this one: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/In-stock ... 86032.html
The seller has high ratings, and claims the product is what genuine.
I want to make sure that when it arrives, I can check for sure, and if not original - demand a refund. AliExpress gives this option, but for this I have to be able to check if the product is as described or not.

Thoughts?

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mahjongg
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 1:52 pm

there are no fake PI's..

klricks
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 2:13 pm

All RPi's are original.... made in UK or China..... What is your reason for insisting on getting the UK made RPi?
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 3:42 pm

The *original* (that is, the early mass produced versions that went on sale) were *all* made in China. The UK made Pis came later. If you want to know if a newly made Pi (such as a Pi2B) is made in the UK, just look for the "Made in the UK" marking on the PCB.

Not sure why that would be important to you, though. I have Pis made in China and Pis made in the UK. They work the same.

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 6:16 pm

Hmmm.
I somehow taught there were fake ones or generally a difference in quality.
So your guys are saying that if I buy a piece from a seemingly OK seller on eBay or AliBaba, there's really nothing to worry about?

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joan
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 6:21 pm

LaDjA wrote:Hmmm.
I somehow taught there were fake ones or generally a difference in quality.
So your guys are saying that if I buy a piece from a seemingly OK seller on eBay or AliBaba, there's really nothing to worry about?
If you buy a clone (if such a device exists) its novelty value will be more than a cost of a true Pi.

If you buy a photo of a Pi you are just the victim of a scam.

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 6:35 pm

So I'll go ahead and buy.
Thanks!

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sat May 23, 2015 11:18 pm

There has only been one board that was close enough to a Pi to be considered a "clone". That was the Odroid-W. Since the manufacturer (Hardkernel) couldn't secure an ongoing supply of BC2835 SoCs in small enough quantities for their plans, they withdrew the product. I don't know if all of the original 5K of them sold, but no more were ever made.

So far as I know, no SBC maker other than the two licensed to make Pi2B boards has gotten a supply of BCM2836 SoCs, so there are no clones of the Pi2B.

All other boards with "Pi" in the name (I know of one existing and one doing a fund raiser) use some other SoC and--therefore--aren't actually clones of the Raspberry Pi.

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 12:28 pm

And how do I make sure I have the right SoC?

ghans
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 12:38 pm

You can check the imprint on the chip when you get the device. Which is useless since you still would need to buy the thing first.

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LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 12:49 pm

Not useless, because all these websites like AliExpress and eBay usually provide some kind of buyer protection, for "not as described".
But can't anyone just print anything they want on their chip, to make it seem like the real deal?

troombatzia
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 1:33 pm

Hello LaDjA. Is it possible to know where do you live?
English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 4:48 pm

I think the problem here is one of perception. In order for fakes to get to market, there has to be enough profit in the effort for the people making the fakes to think it is worthwhile. Now, obviously enough, the market for the Pi is very large...as small SBCs go. The problem is that the profit margins are very low. It's not like you can make a knock-off Pi and attract people with money to spend, but not able to afford the real thing. If a fake is made that doesn't actually work, word will get out pretty fast and limit the number that can be sold.

Notice that even attempts to compete in the hobbyist space (which is not the main target of the RPF), there are very few products that meet the price of the Pi, and even fewer that--nominally, at least--undercut the Pi. And, indeed, the one that is currently seeking crowd funding (and pretty successfully, at that) really doesn't undercut the Pis price when you add on the bits needed to match the functionality of the closest version of the Pi. To fulfill that crowd funding effort, the company (so far) will only have to deliver the equivalent of 2 to 3 days worth of Pi production, which really puts the effort in perspective.

So, in short, it just isn't worth the effort to try to make a fake Pi. Making fake Pis is NOT a "get rich quick" scheme.

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 5:05 pm

This explanation is very clear and makes a ton of sense.
Thank you very much!

Heater
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 7:38 pm

Well, I think it's much simpler than that.

The System On A Chip (SoC) that the Raspberry Pi is built out of is made by Broadcom.

Broadcom does not sell that particular chip to anyone else other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Ergo, making a fake Raspi is not easy.

Now, someone could make a fake Pi with a similar chip but it would soon be detected as not working as it should. End of business.

On the other hand, technology moves on and building a "Pi like" computer becomes cheaper and cheaper. Like this for example: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15 ... 9-computer

It's not a Pi but if you know your way around micro-controllers and Linux it may fulfil your needs.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 9:02 pm

Heater wrote:Well, I think it's much simpler than that.

The System On A Chip (SoC) that the Raspberry Pi is built out of is made by Broadcom.

Broadcom does not sell that particular chip to anyone else other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
We don't know that. Indeed, I would take it as a given that Broadcom has (or would be happy to have) other customers for the BCM2836. There were certainly other customers for the BCM2835.
Ergo, making a fake Raspi is not easy.
Depending on how you define "fake Pi". I know of two chips (related to each other) made by another company, and put on boards by at least two other companies that will run Raspbian just fine. In that sense, those are functionally "fake Pis".
Now, someone could make a fake Pi with a similar chip but it would soon be detected as not working as it should. End of business.
See above. The Allwinner A10 (discontinued, I'm told) and A20 will both run Raspbian. Granted, there are some things that the Pi has that boards made with those chips don't have, but the available boards have features the Pi lacks. One company that makes such boards sticks to its own naming convention. Another company is clearly attempting to trade on the "Pi" name.
On the other hand, technology moves on and building a "Pi like" computer becomes cheaper and cheaper. Like this for example: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15 ... 9-computer
Yeah....that one is an interesting case. Sure...it's a $9 computer. As soon as you add the HDMI interface board, it's a $24 computer. The closest comparison is the A+. Don't forget that it won't be on the market until at least May of *next*year*, by which time there might be a Pi2A avaialble.
It's not a Pi but if you know your way around micro-controllers and Linux it may fulfil your needs.
Correct. One should suit ones choices to the task at hand, since no one board is going to be optimal for all projects. There are many things the Pi brings to the table, though, starting with very strong community and RPF support. The ability to get beginner and low level questions answered (and without being sneered at) is a tremendous benefit.

Heater
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 9:53 pm

W. H. Heydt,
We don't know that. Indeed, I would take it as a given that Broadcom has (or would be happy to have) other customers for the BCM2836. There were certainly other customers for the BCM2835.
No. There is at least one case of a company basing a "Pi like" design on the same Broadcom chip as the Pi. Their product was sabotaged when Broadcom refused to sell them any more chips. Sorry I don't have any links to that story now.
I know of two chips (related to each other) made by another company, and put on boards by at least two other companies that will run Raspbian just fine. In that sense, those are functionally "fake Pis".
I find this hard to believe. Do you have any links to such products? Do they run Debian or Raspbian? Does the software required for GLES or the camera module work? Do they have the same boot-loader even?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Sun May 24, 2015 11:42 pm

Heater wrote:W. H. Heydt,
We don't know that. Indeed, I would take it as a given that Broadcom has (or would be happy to have) other customers for the BCM2836. There were certainly other customers for the BCM2835.
No. There is at least one case of a company basing a "Pi like" design on the same Broadcom chip as the Pi. Their product was sabotaged when Broadcom refused to sell them any more chips. Sorry I don't have any links to that story now.
The Hardkernel Odroid-W. At last report, some 5000 of them were made. I don't know if they all sold, but the product was scrapped when they couldn't get another small batch of SoCs. It wasn't that Broadcom wouldn't sell them the chips. so far as i know, but that Broadcom wouldn't sell them what Broadcom considered to be miniscule quantities at a time. Had they asked to buy, say, 300K SoCs per quarter, Broadcom would probably have been very happy to do business with them. But 5K at a time? Not interested...

The big problem for anyone attempting to truly clone the Pi is getting the SoCs, since Broadcom really only wants to sell is large quantities. When you consider that the second best selling SBC series (that I know of) is the Beagleboard, with sales at last check under 250K, you can see why no one would be willing to commit to a big enough order to interest Broadcom in selling.

Even the C.H.I.P. board (the "$9 computer") currently doing a Kickstarter campaign has only gotten commitments for 40K boards, and they're way beyond their initial goal even at that number. Last we were told, Pis were being made at a rate of 20k per *day*, so what appears to be a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign only has commitments for 2 days or so of Pi production. *And* if they go into production beyond the Kickstarter commitment (NOT a sure thing), that's a year away. What sort of competing hardware will be on the market a year from now, and and at what price? (This is said not to run down the CHIP board, but only to put the numbers involved in perspective. Next Thing--the people behind CHIP--are doing some clever stuff. There just isn't an guarantee that there is an ongoing market there.)
I know of two chips (related to each other) made by another company, and put on boards by at least two other companies that will run Raspbian just fine. In that sense, those are functionally "fake Pis".
I find this hard to believe. Do you have any links to such products? Do they run Debian or Raspbian? Does the software required for GLES or the camera module work? Do they have the same boot-loader even?
[/quote]
I'm running Raspbian on 2 Cubieboard 1 SBCs (A10, one is loaned out at the moment) and 1 Cubieboard 2 (A20). They don't have the CSI connector and I don't have a Pi camera. Nothing that I'm running relies on Open GLES. But Raspbian *does* run. What I am running is MySQL and some C code that I wrote myself, plus (of course) the usual Linux utities. The other board that I know of that uses the A20 is the Banana Pi. I would expect Raspbian to run on that, since it's the same chip as the Cubieboard 2 with the same general specs.

I don't consider any of them to be "Pi clones", but they are similar in several respects. On the other hand, I do consider the Banana Pi to be a Cubieboard 2 clone. They are, for all intents and purposes, identical.

Heater
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 12:33 am

So you agree, there are no fake Pi because Broadcom does not sell the chips to anyone other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Similar SoCs cannot use the same software. Yes know many machines can run Debian or even Rasbpian.

I rest my case.

Yes of course the world is increasingly full of ARM based SBC's. I'm looking forward to getting this one: https://www.96boards.org/products/hikey/
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 3:22 am

Heater wrote:So you agree, there are no fake Pi because Broadcom does not sell the chips to anyone other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
With the added condition, "in small quantities", yes. If a company came along and committed to enough BCM2835s or BCM2836s, I have no doubt that Broadcom would be perfectly willing to sell the chips to another organization that wanted to make an SBC. The key issue is the number wanted, NOT the purpose to which they would be put.
Similar SoCs cannot use the same software. Yes know many machines can run Debian or even Rasbpian.
And yet...there are two Cubieboards sitting next to me running Raspbian. Since I've recently updated/upgraded them, they are running the very same version of Raspbian that the two Pis next to me are running. Sure acts like they're running the same software, at least those bits of software that I'm using.
I rest my case.
Foundations of sand...

Heater
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 7:48 am

W. H. Heydt,
...there are two Cubieboards sitting next to me running Raspbian.
This is interesting. Sadly I do not have any Cubieboards to try this.

Are you saying that you can take an SD card out of a Raspberry Pi, put it into a Cubie and boot it?

The reason I ask is that I have been led to believe that the Raspberry Pi is booted up by it's GPU, which reads some boot code from the DOS partition at start up. That GPU code then loads and starts Raspbian.

Further, I have understood that the Pi GPU is not available in other boards/SoCs.

Therefore I am surprised to hear what you are saying. Can you conform this?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 8:27 am

Hey guys,
Thanks for all your answers. It's been an interesting read.
Since I see that this discussion now has a life of it's own, I just want to ask one more question, to try to be sure I have the answers I was looking for:
You were referring to matching the board to the needs. So, my needs are quite "boring", I guess. I'm not really a maker. I just want something that will run OpenELEC (or any other system, on which I can run Kodi) WELL (and by that - I mean - be able to stream 1080p content from the web with no hiccups).
From what I gathered here and in other forums, it seems like RPi2 is what I need, and that I can just buy anything that really looks like that from a seller with sufficiently positive feedback on eBay, without a care.
Did I get that right? Anything I missed?

Thanks!

Heater
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 8:41 am

LaDja,

Why go to ebay? Why not get your Pi from the upstream suppliers, Element14 and RS:

http://www.element14.com/community/comm ... spberry-pi

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisp ... aspberrypi
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

LaDjA
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 8:55 am

Well, prices, mainly. Admittedly, they are just a tiny bit cheaper on Aliexpress and the likes, but that's compared to UK prices. In Israel, they cost even more, and if I buy from the UK, and have it shipped to Israel - even more.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Any way of verifying Pi is original?

Mon May 25, 2015 4:15 pm

LaDjA wrote:Hey guys,
Thanks for all your answers. It's been an interesting read.
Since I see that this discussion now has a life of it's own, I just want to ask one more question, to try to be sure I have the answers I was looking for:
You were referring to matching the board to the needs. So, my needs are quite "boring", I guess. I'm not really a maker. I just want something that will run OpenELEC (or any other system, on which I can run Kodi) WELL (and by that - I mean - be able to stream 1080p content from the web with no hiccups).
From what I gathered here and in other forums, it seems like RPi2 is what I need, and that I can just buy anything that really looks like that from a seller with sufficiently positive feedback on eBay, without a care.
Did I get that right? Anything I missed?
Yes. Use the Pi2B. Then, if you have any issues, come back to these Fora (probably "Beginners" or "Troubleshooting") if you need help.

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