Pyboard clone

Discussion and questions about boards that can run MicroPython but don't have a dedicated forum.
Target audience: Everyone interested in running MicroPython on other hardware.
loboris
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Pyboard clone

Post by loboris » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:22 pm

The new pyboard clone apeared on ebay: MicroPython PyBoard v1.1 this time identical to the original pyboard, but at only 35% of the original's price (15.5 US$ - free shipping vs 44.17 US$ including shipping from UK).
At least MicroPython by Damien George is printed on the bottom.
The quality looks good
I think we should all support Damien buying the original pyboard, but the price difference is huge...

fpp
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:08 pm

Re: Pyboard clone

Post by fpp » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:06 am

In a recent conference Damien said that Pyboard 2.0 had suffered setbacks and delays (supplier problems), but it was coming soon...
Any news about that ?

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mcauser
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by mcauser » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:53 am


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pythoncoder
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by pythoncoder » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:05 am

With ripoff cloners about I imagine Damien is playing his cards close to his chest on that one...
Peter Hinch

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deshipu
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by deshipu » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:37 am

Personally I'm very happy to see 3rd party shields (skins) for the PyBoard. That means that an ecosystem starts to grow around that project, which is usually a good thing for the project itself. As for clones, well, that's inevitable. They have the capacity to do it cheaper and faster, so they capitalize on it. I don't think there is much that can be done about it, except for creating a strong brand and keeping innovating, so that the cloners are always a step behind. Many projects seem to be doing quite fine despite cloning, but of course we don't hear anymore about the ones that died because of it, so this is a bit biased...

mwm
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Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Pyboard clone

Post by mwm » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:14 am

The PyBoard is open source hardware, released under a CCbyA license. So it's perfectly legal for someone to take the design, fabricate boards from it and sell them provided proper attribution is made. It's also within the creators wishes as expressed by picking that license, so the are no ethical issues either. There's no clear guidance in the text files on what proper attribution is, or a copyright notice, in the text files I looked at. It that's true for the design files and PDFs as well, then any legitimate effort to provide attribution is probably acceptable.

If they were attempting to convince the buyer that this was an original PyBoard, that would make it a counterfeit, which has a host of legal issues. It would replicate the artwork and logos (which may not be open source), and if those or the PyBoard name are trademarked, they'd be in violation of the trademark laws as well. And of course it's fraud. But the one I found (the linked version is gone) appeared to be perfectly legal.

I don't know if there are any parents involved, and that's always a minefield

Personally, I tend to check with the owners before doing something like this, because they are doing good, and I'd prefer to follow their wishes where possible. But if the license doesn't correctly express those wishes, it's their problem to fix.

loboris
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:19 pm

Re: Pyboard clone

Post by loboris » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:49 am

mcauser wrote:Found an 128x32 oled skin
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222600318809
And this ESP8266 skin
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322629257534
It is interesting that the price of the pyboard (from the same seller) is 15.5 US$ and the Skin boards are sold for ~17 US$ and the cost of the componnents on the skin boards is less than 3 US$ :o

mwm
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by mwm » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:26 pm

I actually had a blog post on this topic (legal issues around open source hardware) almost finished. Just published it.

lbattraw
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by lbattraw » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:45 pm

loboris wrote:
mcauser wrote:Found an 128x32 oled skin
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222600318809
And this ESP8266 skin
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322629257534
It is interesting that the price of the pyboard (from the same seller) is 15.5 US$ and the Skin boards are sold for ~17 US$ and the cost of the componnents on the skin boards is less than 3 US$ :o
Unfortunately that seems to be pretty common these days, with add-on boards clocking in well over the (admittedly) reasonable price of your average single-board computer/SBC. For example, I bought a bunch of the $9 C.H.I.P. boards when they came out, which included a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of flash, and Wifi/BT. However unless you wanted to stick with composite video they sold the display adapter boards for $15 for the VGA version, which after ordering a couple I found that it was 100% passives (Resistor dividers to approximate the RGB color levels) aside from a tiny EEPROM to let the main board know it was plugged in. Kind of crazy, but I guess they're trying to use the "sell cheap/give away the razor and sell the blades for a lot" model, and assume you'll buy the various add-on boards to enhance the usefulness of the SBC (And in the case of the C.H.I.P. they charge $25 for the HDMI board at which point you've essentially paid for a single-processor RPi 3). Kind of like how it's so hard to get your hands on more than one RPi Zero/Zero+ from vendors assuming they even have stock, since they love to bundle tons of low-cost trash as "starter kits" with a "$5" Rpi Zero/$10 Rpi Zero+ for $30 and up.

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pythoncoder
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Re: Pyboard clone

Post by pythoncoder » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:31 pm

@deshipu I agree entirely about skins/shields. My point about keeping cards close to chests is that, with a 6 month lead time for processors, the cloners will be >6 months behind when the board is finally released.
Peter Hinch

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