# Fake components - have you been caught?

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
I have

Once I was sold a reel of components that, when they arrived, were marked as dummy components! (the person gave me a full refund).

Another time I purchased some surface mount links that turned out to be TopLine components -- for those of you that are unaware, these are test components. In this case, whilst I again got a refund, it's a bit of a toss-up for me as to whether or not to use them as jumpers.

A nastier case was a couple of tubes of LM337 TO-220 negative regulators. On receipt of these I pulled one out and tested it for basic operation. It worked as I expected. This component actually got used almost straight away and is still in use.

The next one I pulled out gave me a lot of trouble. I looked at my circuit a bazzillion times (337's are polarity-wise upside-down and have a different pinout to 317's, so I really needed to check). I considered the unlikely option that I may have damaged it, so I pulled out another. Same result. They turned out to be something that kinda worked like an LM337, but did weird things at low voltages.

One of them was good, but all the rest I've tested have been... fake? Whilst I've not looked at them recently (yeah, I kept them) I seem to recall that some had the printing not quite straight -- a dead giveaway.

I really should pull out the good one sometime and compare what it looks like to the others.

Last edited:

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
Speaking of Futurlec...

I ordered some smt CMOS chips from them. From memory they were magnitude comparators. I think I ordered 100 (or thereabouts) because the price break was good.

I expected to get a strip from a reel, and indeed I did. But the strip contained only sixty-something chips. The other thirty-something (the number 37 seems to ring a bell) arrived with each chip individually packed on a small square of cardboard, wrapped in a piece of anti-static bag, and then a layer of adhesive tape.

That particular project didn't go ahead, and I didn't even test the parts.

This was the only obviously dodgy thing I have ever received from Futurlec.

I now have a couple of sockets for surface mount chips, so I really should test a couple just to be sure. (and probably just for fun)

#### Steve Johnson

Feb 10, 2012
19
64 Gig thumb drive. Looked just like the real one from the manufacturer but it had no serial number and was only a 2 Gig. Got a refund and then blew them in to the Attorney General since they kept right on selling them.

#### CocaCola

Apr 7, 2012
3,635
64 Gig thumb drive. Looked just like the real one from the manufacturer but it had no serial number and was only a 2 Gig. Got a refund and then blew them in to the Attorney General since they kept right on selling them.

This is VERY common with cheap Mp3 players, there are entire websites dedicated to this, they hack the bios so that it says whatever gigs and then put in a small memory chip... Anything you write past that small memory chip is written into thin air...

BTW I took advantage of this once to get a hands on look at what they were doing, so I won't call it a being scammed.. I picked an Ebay seller that was on the black list of one of the fake MP3 sites ordered a cheap video MP3 / MP4 player knowing full well the memory claim was false... After receiving it shot a letter to the seller about the issue, his reply was "Give me positive feedback, and I will refund you the entire amount" This is the scam they play, to keep selling... My reply was "Give me a refund in the next 24 hour or else I will leave negative feedback and file a Paypal dispute and get my money back as well, and I linked him to a website that had him blacklisted with internal pictures to prove he was a fraud" Needless to say they immediately refunded me the full amount, and I gave a neutral review explaining that the memory claims were false...

The player I received had 4 places on the PC board for 2G memory chips, only one was populated the other three were left empty and it was a claimed 8G model, and the device reported 8G of memory... BTW the device works fine as long as you only load up 2G of stuff on it, load any more and it simply vanishes...

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