Attack of the (PCB) Clones

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by wermy » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:39 pm

Yahmez wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:23 pm
I can understand where you are coming from. At the same time, literally no one is selling an aio board except for ckliang. From what I have read, when they do go on sale here, they are sold out immediately. So for someone new here like me, the only way to build a Gameboy zero with an aio is wait until the next 'pre-sale' then another month or two. It seems the only reason this issue even exists is because of lack of stock... Simple supply and demand.

As far as whether the board is a clone? That is more of a grey area in my opinion. Since the board is fitting into an existing gb shell, the basic location of components and shape seems to be predetermined. The components used being the same you would order if you had no aio.

But that's just my opinion, I'd gladly support the original creator but I'm not waiting half a year. If ckliang's aio was not available I would have just bought the individual components.
Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. Demand without sufficient supply is definitely driving the creation of clones. And as I said there is a lot of gray area here. If you're making a simple button PCB there is only one shape it can be, and only one placement for the buttons that works... But in some cases, like the AIO you mentioned, you hold the two boards up side by side and it's nearly an exact copy - so much so that it becomes hard to defend. In those cases it just doesn't feel right to give those a platform with equal footing alongside the original creator.

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by dryja123 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:06 pm

Just a question out of curiosity, was it verified that he stole the files? Or did he do the work on his own but copied what helder did?

Maybe the issue isn't that he copied Helder's board. Maybe the issue is that he didn't ask if he could do so and sell the board making a disclaimer of the inferior audio issues and saying it wasn't his design.

I'm only making the arguement because of the supply and demand issue. There's only 2 makers of AIO boards at the moment. Kite opens preorders but you can't get an order in for a few months. Since I found SudoMod I've never seen a preorder opened for Helder. Like the other guy said, there's not enough people making them.

Maybe helder can sell his file and ask for a fee for every board sold? Idk. I think there are several issues here and definitely one of them are theives and another is availability.

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by YaYa » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:11 pm

These are small quantity batches because behind the scene, it is people like me and you, not companies, so you cannot afford to order 1000 pieces and then pray to sell them.

Even if you know you will sell them, you cannot take the risk because it is your money !
And the real inventors are always willing to make a better product. Each mew batch is almost everytime better than the last one.

So let’s say you have made 1000 pieces and then realise that you have a sound problem (like cliang has done by cloning a model that have a sound problem but was corrected by the creator, Helder) what are you going to say to buyers... errr sorry, my board is bad but come on buy it ?
Certainly not. Instead, you will try to improve and sell a better board. And you will be thankful for not having ordered thousands of it.

I am proud to say that i’ve been waiting for 82 days to get my SAIO. I feel i deserved it. Meanwhile, i’ve been able to help people here, meet cool people also...

This is not a simple consumerism market, we are talking about hobby, passion, DIY, people, friendship, handcrafting...

It is not as simple as going to an Apple store and buy the latest IPhone...

No. This one, you must deserve it. And patience is your best friend. All things come to those who wait.
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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by dryja123 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:22 pm

YaYa this is an odd argument for me because I agree with both parties. I understand the risk of shelling out money for 1000 kits and there's the possibility that you may not be able to sell them. I also understand and agree with Helder about not releasing crap and putting out a clean product.

Once again, I think the issue is the communication issues with the guy who was selling the board. If he stole the schematics or copied the design he should of said "Hey, I want to take the trouble of selling these things with your permission. I will make everyone aware of the audio issues and it's buyer beware."

That's the issue in my book. It wasn't done. Helder could of said screw off or he could said "well, I've abandoned the design so I'll sell you the file or i want a cut of your sales."

Idk I'm in such a weird situation because I support wermy, helder, kite and all the original makers 200% and with too much of my money lol.

Edit: clarification, if he stole the board that's not cool. If he took the time to create the board on his own but copying helder my argument is made above. It sucks that this happened and is even an issue. I think a dialog needs to be opened between the impacted parties. Maybe no sales threads until cleared by a creator or a mod.

Edit 2: Sorry for the ramble but I'll keep it in one post. I thin the other big issue is people thinking this is a retail product. It's not. It's a hobby project and this is a maker / tinker community. Supply constraint is a real thing because this is a hobby. There are going to be issues and flaws, because it's a hobby. This is not a polished retail product.

/rant for now.

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by erik_gee » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:48 pm

It's shameful when people try to profit off of other's work. The way I see it: support those who do the original work. Because it not only helps them, but it helps us. When there is a monetary incentive , it helps promote new products and ideas. This project is super fun, but obviously for someone who has a job and a family, things like this will always be on back burner. But when you buy their products, it gives them motivation to work more on the project, and to innovate. Which is better for the community as a whole. Just my 2 cents
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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by Helder » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:02 am

As I said in his thread I didn't make too much of a fuss about the AIO because I wasn't selling it at the time and likely have no time for it now so I let it be since people would be able to get something comparable to mine.

What pissed me off was him denying he didn't copy my board when it's all my ideas and setup with the same components even the ones used for audio which have inherent problems but again I let it go until I found out he is blatantly doing the same for the mintyPi.

I'm still selling the mintyPi and am actively working on improving and implementing things for it and from what I saw it's a direct rip of my shape/size/components and even placement. Had he done something similar maybe I can overlook it but like my AIO it's a ripoff of my work along with my cohorts Wermy and HoolyHoo who do alot of the software and design that my boards are based around.

Just like the 8 Bit Oldies guy who is a member here by another name used the common ground pcb sold all over ebay and amazon he did NOTHING to improve on the design or board EXCEPT take my name and logo off the board and put his, another one who cashed out on my work along with others who contributed to that board.
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Don't contact me about obtaining my board files (as you will not get them). Don't contact me about any of my boards if they are sold out, they will be restocked as soon as I can get them.

Don't support thieves like ckliang who copied my AIO to resell and is now cloning the mintyPi, support the original creators and not the thieves!

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by shesaysidontlisten » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:21 pm

Helder wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:02 am
Just like the 8 Bit Oldies guy who is a member here by another name used the common ground pcb sold all over ebay and amazon he did NOTHING to improve on the design or board EXCEPT take my name and logo off the board and put his, another one who cashed out on my work along with others who contributed to that board.
Oh no! I desperately wanted an AIO but all were unavailable and I bought two of these on Amazon instead. Lame...

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by Fredl » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:29 am

There's a super interesting documentation about 'the other side' of this story, basically a must watch for any maker:

The bottom line is, they don't care about IPs. If someone can improve on your product it's a good thing. If you want to keep pace, always develop something better and thereby make yourself a name in that field.
(Although it's more of a market situation than a maker niche, like we are.)

And tbh, I think everybody here has seen the profit of cheap stuff coming from the east...
I'm not trying to justify rip-offs though, just trying to give a different perspective! :-)

I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took an arrow in the knee :-O

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by rankar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:07 am

As a newbie here, I started doing my build the old school way, just cobbling components together. Recently, I was able to purchase a Helder aio from someone who just simply lost interest in their build. So now I'm working on a few builds at once because I know some family will be interested in having one.

But yes, there definitely was some initial frustration my end just wanting to get in to do the build, and an aio like helder's or kite's would have been awesome.

Maybe there's a way to still support our creators and fill the supply gap (which is why clones are appearing) by having our creators officially license the designs and manufacturing. That way, we can keep our creators creating while off-loading all the administrative, shipping, etc. side work to someone else. They might lose 30% on top line revenue, but may have a limitless supply to ease demand while curbing clones.

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Re: Attack of the (PCB) Clones

Post by coinend » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:09 am


I found this community and I become a member for almost a year now, as I was motivated by my endless passion for this hobby. I am an enthusiast, like all of us, but I also believe we are patients too. Patients enough to wait every next pre-order coming out by all of those great minds who are feeding our passion with stuff made by Excellency. These guys are putting a lot of effort, commitment and a bunch of countless night-hours of a work spending here.

My activity on this forum wasn’ t adequate enough, something that am a shame of. Never share my builds - I made two using Kite’ s and Helder’ s boards (among other people’s cool stuff, who never actually gave thanks for), never share my problems, never share my solutions not even my support to help others.

I am aware of this topic, among others and i m feeling the necessity to speak up against of those who are abusing all the ideas I mentioned above. It seems not right not to respecting an intellectual property of someone else for use it and resell it back to the public, just to make money. I’m against of all of those profiteers.

By this post am supporting Wermy’s decisions and it is also by us to banned and eliminate those actions by keeping them aside. We are open minders, lovers of new ideas with all the cost combined, even if it is well known that originality came up from another’s idea. The issue is how you imitate this.

Greetings from Greece!

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