Products > Dodgy Technology

Probable counterfeit Dallas Semi DS1230 NVRAM on eBay

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I see plenty of signs of bad intent on this and thought I'd share it.

A couple weeks ago I needed a DS1230Y NVRAM for an HP scope. Prices for these things on eBay are all over the map. I wrote several sellers, asking if the date code in their product photos (usually 1990's or 2000's) were what I would receive. All but one said yes. One seller "tube_buyer" said he could send me a more recent one, so I ordered one.
He created a shipping label the next day, but didn't actually hand the parcel over to USPS until 5 days later. Bad business from the get-go.

12 days after ordering, I received the NVRAM, opened it, and noticed that half of the printing on the top of the case had adhered to the plastic wrap it was packaged in. Suspicion arose immediately that the ink had not dried completely before it was packed. "Sure I can send you a more recent date code". Just print it up.

I desoldered the old one and installed a socket and then the new NVRAM. The scope hung on powerup. Reinstalled the old one again, the scope booted. So the SRAM in the one tube_buyer sent me was defective.

I sent him an email explaining the situation, and asked for a refund. He asked if he could replace it and send me another one instead. I replied, yes, but only under two conditions: 1. You test the one you're sending to verify it is good, and 2. You ship it immediately and don't just generate the label several days before shipping it. He immediately responded that he would send me a refund (which he has not yet sent).

I'm pretty convinced that these supposedly "new" and supposedly "Dallas" NVRAMs are fakes. It looks like he buys them without top labels from an unknown source and prints them up. Want one from 2017? Sure, no problem.

The first photo is of two genuine DS1230's, Notice the "1" moulded in the circle identifying pin 1.
Second photo is the unit I received. See all the ink that came off during shipping.
Last photo is the two genuine 1230s on either end and the fake in the middle. There is no "1" moulded in the circle for pin 1.

At a very minimum, the product is bad and the seller is deceptive. I also think the product is a knock-off. Caution advised.

Does the alleged fake unit even have a battery?  If you use a very small magnet, you can trace the outline of the battery.  In the ones I've been able to test, the battery is under the logo.  You can even measure the battery voltage.  Note where the battery is closest to an edge.  Use the magnet to find the point on the side where the battery is closest to the surface.  Drill a tiny hole in the side at that point.  Drill by hand, not with a power drill!  That gives you access to the positive side of the battery.  Negative is the chip's ground pin.

Done carefully, this test has no effect on the operation of the chip.


Since the SRAM is defective, there's no point in looking into the battery...


--- Quote from: precaud on April 26, 2018, 08:25:03 pm ---Since the SRAM is defective, there's no point in looking into the battery...

--- End quote ---

Well, other than documenting the anatomy of a fake which is always useful.

I mean if someone bothered to document your particular SRAM then you would have found it on google and not wasted your time, surely?

I'll wait until I actually receive the refund to do any tearing into it...


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