[time-nuts] Prologix USB-GPIB Controller

Dr. David Kirkby (Kirkby Microwave Ltd) drkirkby at kirkbymicrowave.co.uk
Mon Oct 10 13:13:45 EDT 2016

On 10 October 2016 at 09:35, Charles Steinmetz <csteinmetz at yandex.com>

> Poul-Henning wrote:
> And for voltage references, "pre-owned" is likely to mean "better".
> Perhaps, but third-world recyclers are not known for gentle treatment
> during the parts removal process.

I had some cheap ($10) GPS receiver boards shipped to me in a plastic
kitchen bag from yikunhk on eBay. 4 boards in the same bag, all scratching
each other. The bag was not anti-static.

There are all number of possible explanations of why boards can be made so
cheaply, when the ICs appear to cost more than the boards.

* The chips are counterfeit
* The chips are similar to what they are supposed to be, but have been
* They are made at the same factory as the real devices, on what I've heard
described as the "ghost shift", where they are not officially made, but are
the same devices.
* They are recycled.
* They are stolen.

It is anyone's guess once you start buying semiconductor devices from eBay.
Maybe you are lucky, maybe you are not.

You dramatically increase the probability a part is good if sourced from a
reputable source (e.g. RS or Farnell in the UK). That is not to say that
the parts are not counterfeits, as even the best suppliers can get caught,
but they are more likely to be ok.

I recently bought a supposedly original Samsung battery for my Samsung
Galazy S3 phone from a local shop. The phone had all sorts of issues with
this battery, so I concluded it was a poor counterfeit.  I thought I'd be
safe buying directory from Amazon (not a 3rd party), but on reading reviews
on Amazon, I was not convinced those were genuine Samsung batteries either,
so I did not buy from Amazon.

Eventually I bought a battery from the Samsung website. The phone now works
ok.  I don't know if  Samsung actually make the batteries themselves, but I
think I have a better chance of buying from the Samsung website than from
anywhere else.

I've had "Duracell" batteries leak. At one time I used to blame Duracell,
but now it has cross my mind whether they might have been bought on eBay
and were counterfeits. I can't recall where they were purchased, but now I
will only purchase batteries from sources I consider reputable.


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