Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

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arpruss
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:06 pm

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by arpruss »

As for AliExpress rejecting a claim due to lack of evidence, maybe we should put together some instructions for proving there is a fake.
The easiest is the relabeled c6: the STM Demonstrator says it's got 32k flash and I assume one can just send a screenshot of that.
I suspect the other fakes can be identified via processor timings. E.g., here: https://github.com/rogerclarkmelbourne/ ... -569760423
I also noticed that my last fake reported 128k flash in the Demonstrator, instead of the 64k that the genuine parts so (even when they have 128k), but we shouldn't use that as evidence as AliExpress will think "why are you complaining that it has more memory?!"

ag123
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

my thoughts are that if one receive and test say a first few and it turns out defective
first file a return, this may help to lessen the financial impact for those who made large orders.
as for myself, i seldom order more than 5 pieces at a go (literally never yet), hence i don't normally do that except to complain to the vendor if i do receive defective ones
one main trouble is that the boards are normally wrapped in anti-static plastics and i don't usually open say the first 1 or 2 or so.
but that the risk is that the pieces are randomly bad and good

for those that they sand off the markings and laser engrave it. one could test using openocd etc to get the actual ram, flash etc
if they swap c8 for c6 for instance, openocd checks should be able to reveal them and that can be used as evidence
for the fake memory reports, my guess is one could show evidence by means of capturing the errors if the occur e.g. when flashing it
or verifying it

then referencing articles like
https://embeddedtronicsblog.wordpress.c ... ll-boards/
or even discussions here giving the thread would likely help

as you could literally hint that it would make a bad name if after all we get fakes from them and that this is a public forum
but do not threaten, but just say that one is disappointed to have receive this and want a return etc
i think that may be enough to get them to react

but i'd guess to save one all the trouble, is perhaps to avoid unscrupulous vendors, but it seemed that the problem now is at the manufacturing end
so i'm unsure how much influence can we have, i.e. we'd still receive random defective or fake boards if after all the vendors order them from say a same manufacturer

Squonk42
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:35 am

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by Squonk42 »

madias wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:31 pm
Squonk42 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:37 am

When you ask for cheap boards, you get cheap boards.
Meanwhile I'm asking for a working board, not a cheap board, but I do not get it (especially "bluepill" factor) :)
Everybody is asking for cheaper board ;-) Most of them are working, just not as you would expect.
madias wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:31 pm
BTW: Are there any "plain" Bluepills available? (So without chip). This would be a temporary workaround for me - just buying a "real" STM32F103CB (not C8) and solder them - this is a fast job for me, even with dozens of Bluepills.
AFAICT no, but you can always cut the STM32 pins with an X-Acto knife, unsolder the remains and solder a new part in place.

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

Evidence is a funny game on aliexpress:
counterfeit goods
Please provide high-quality photographic evidence of:
1. The difference(s) between the received product and what was displayed or described by the seller.
2. The difference(s) between the fake and original items.
3. The official inspection or statement from the brand owner.
Does not work properly
Please provide pictures of the prodcuts and Close-up of the defective parts
Or video to show that you try to install the product to the right position on the vehicle to prove it is not sticky.
if the seller make a counterclaim againse your claim/evidence in the dispute,you may need to show in your evidence
that you are testing the product according to the seller's instructions/advice in order to help us to confirm the problems.
I'll should try to install a bluepill into my Peugeot 3008, while doing a video.

To be serious: I try "counterfeit goods" Point number 3. I'm waiting for an official statement of ST

Squonk42
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:35 am

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by Squonk42 »

ag123 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:58 pm
but i'd guess to save one all the trouble, is perhaps to avoid unscrupulous vendors, but it seemed that the problem now is at the manufacturing end
so i'm unsure how much influence can we have, i.e. we'd still receive random defective or fake boards if after all the vendors order them from say a same manufacturer
Exactly, the problem is not necessarily the vendors, but the manufacturerS. Please note I used a plural here: there is not a single Bluepill manufacturer, but many. The original manufacturer was VCC-GND (!!!) :
http://www.vcc-gnd.com/rtd/html/STM32/q ... ml#stm32f1
https://world.taobao.com/item/22097803050.htm

Since then, the STM32F103C8T6 board known as "Bluepill" has been reversed-engineered by several other people (as stated in Chinese on their Taobao page), and produced with cheaper parts, etc. They are probably manufactured during "grey shifts" and sold on parallel markets.

So you can always complain to the vendors, it will not change the facts that these manufacturers will still produce the cheapest possible stuff.

I am not affiliated in any way with them, but if you want to be safe, don't be so cheap and put a little more money and/or try to group your purchases and buy from a real manufacturer like Robotdyn.

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

My guess is that there was a large stock of STM32F103C8, which meant that the Bluepill prices could be realized for a while. These stocks may be exhausted and manufacturers must use alternatives that are in the gray area.
It is striking that the number of "bad" chips is increasing.
Too bad that the GD103xxx was not 100% compatible, the chip was a really interesting ARM development by the Chinese and not a "fake". (There was a very long thread in the old forum, Roger started to buy some devices).

ag123
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

i'm actually thinking in terms of starting with the kicad footprints
https://mcu.selfip.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=157
https://github.com/yet-another-average-joe/Kicad-STM32
and perhaps we can get from there towards a real bp schematic and board layout, it doesn't seem all that complicated
but i'd guess it'd take some effort

in fact it seemed someone has literally done just that, but not kicad
https://easyeda.com/search?wd=STM32%2BBlue%2BPill

with that it may possible perhaps be possible to order pcbs from the likes of the various pcb manufacturers etc
https://jlcpcb.com/
https://www.pcbway.com/
https://www.allpcb.com/
https://www.elecrow.com/
some of them i think literally offers pcb assembly services as well, so you could literally made-to-order, but i'd guess it'd be costlier
as for myself i'd probably try to pickup some soldering skills on the smd side, i think i really need to try them out, just about all the spi flash and etc are mainly shipped sop8, but i still find the qfn close spacing for stm32 intimidating, but i'd guess i'd just need to try

in that sense we'd have custom pill boards and you can literally add peripherals onboard if you want as well, or move the components around

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

I ordered many PCB done with EasyEDA from JIlPCB. There was no single complain about the quality.
Since a while JilPCB advertising full PCB manufacturing - even with soldered parts. In the past this was only available for chinese customers - maybe they changed it? I don't know, but it should/could be from interest.

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

Ok, I was wrong and this is great! (Trump speak mode on)
The Robotdyn "Blackpill" is a pin-to-pin replacement for the "Bluepill"
https://robotdyn.com/stm32f103-stm32-ar ... mware.html

So it's only black, but the form factor of a bluepill

I was irritated, because I have some "blackpills" (not from Robodyn) at home.

.rpv
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:19 pm

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by .rpv »

The bare IC are still OK to buy on ali, I've bought flavors of the STM8, F030, F103, F405, F407 and so far so good even when I pick for the cheapest price :lol: . Also, dismiss a dispute for the bare IC should be way more difficult for the seller or ali.

When I was looking for the F030C8 IC I saw a lot of "bluepill" boards with this IC, if a buyer got one of those thinking that he is getting a typical BP will be very mad. Examples:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000335642341.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000155923759.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000156123081.html

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