In today’s world, there are always alternatives to everything. In the Arduino world, if budget is not a constraint, you can always buy the official Arduino Development Boards. Of course, they are all expensive. For students, it is not practical to buy them. There are cheaper alternatives and one of them is the board that use CH340 USB to serial converter. The alternative for Arduino Uno R3 is the UNO R3 (CH340). Our price for the later is just P 350.00 compared to P 1,100.00 for the original one.
You may ask what are their differences?
- UNO R3s are made in China while the original one is made in Italy.
- UNO R3 uses the CH340 chip for the USB to TTL serial converter while the other is using Atmega 16u2.
- UNO R3 needs the driver of CH340 to be installed first before you can program it while the original one is most of the time plug and play.
- The layout of the board is different, attach here are their pictures
5. Functionality wise, both are the same. Both are using the same micro processor, the atmega328.
6. Of course, the Price, P 350.00 vs P 1,100.00. For students, that’s a lot of money 🙂 …
In my own opinion, I would choose CH340. It’s really up to you which one to buy. Before buying, you can always check google first for reviews on each product. Try also to consider the technical support specially if you’re just starting to learn microcontroller programming.