Arduino nano clone with CH340G

Today when I came home from work and sat down at my desk I was quite sure I’d spend the whole evening with getting these new Arduino clones working.  Actually, I finished in 10 minutes.

Let me introduce the cheapest Arduino Nano clone you could probably get which is actually a really good choice for beginners.

Why is it so cheap?

This is what comes in a bubble wrapped envelope:

IMG_20151116_163750

So what makes this clone cheaper than the others? Well, most probably two things:

  1. The headers are not installed.
  2. It uses a different chip (CH340G) for serial-USB communication than the others.

Soldering the headers in their place is actually not a big deal, and it also makes the PCB more robust during shipping.

IMG_20151116_164041

The different serial chip on the other hand was something I was a little bit worried about but I’ve found my fears to be baseless. When I connected the board to the computer with a miniUSB cable it was instantly recognised by Windows as a virtual serial port. I’m currently using Windows 10 on this machine but I guess it goes the same with Windows 7 as well.

device_manager

So this was the first surprise and the second came when I loaded up the Arduino software and tried to upload the blinky sample to the board. To my greatest surprise it succeeded. I was absolutely sure that these devices were sold without the arduino bootloader installed since the more expensive versions are like that.

But I was wrong. Basically the device was 100% ready for use after unpacking and this is a huge advantage over other clones. You don’t need extra tools for uploading a bootloader. You don’t need to struggle with the FTDI drivers. It just works “out-of-the-box”. And for around 3 USD that’s a great deal.

Get it from DX.com:

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • i have this clone exactly as mentioned
    but i have issue with pwm pins and pwm functions
    it doesnt work well with l298N motor driver

    if you have any suggestion let me know

    thanks

    regards

  • Hello: I have had success with this clone. As you say boot loader installed. One issue I have is that although the Arduino IDE does upload sketches correctly, it does not identify which com port the Nano is communicating on. I checked Device manager were the device is shown. I select Nano for board in the IDE and then check the Com port identified in Device manager and all seems to work well.

  • I’ve been tinkering with these CH340 clones for a couple of years now and have around ten of them. None of them have failed or have been DOA. I’ve had no problems with my LCD/LED, sensor, etc projects at all.
    You can easily find pre-soldered versions if you’re willing to pay a few (dozen) cents more. You can even choose between mini USB and micro USB (those yellow circuit boards) these days.
    Most of my developing is done under Ubuntu, which has never had any kind of “driver” problem like I had with early samples on Windows (ie. required a no-brainer driver installation).
    These things are simply awesome!

  • I have one of these.
    I wanted to use it with some Sharp IR range sensors. But it didn’t work. The code and sensors work on my UNO board, but not my NANO board.
    The Sharp IR is listed as consuming 30 mA.
    Someone mentioned on the Arduino forum, that the clones can only deliver about 15 mA current. Can you verify this?

    • Hello hzd,
      This is interesting. I guess the clones should be able to output the same current as the originals, since the microcontroller is the same. But 30 mA is definitely too much for a single pin. You can try to drive the IR with a MOSFET.
      Adam

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