Well...it looks exactly like the ones I got from China that certainly didn't work very well..
- the end pins are "half pins" - shown as "full-pins" on the Maxim datasheet
- the two moulding marks on the top
- the lack of a dimple by pin one
- underneath perhaps - two moulding marks with two alphanumerics in each and no extra printing?
- end to end 1.171 inches
- the vertical bar on the top somewhat inboard and full width
...compared with my Farnell MAX7219s that look exactly like the picture at
They were 2 for a fiver, including p&p, from a UK eBay supplier.
I have tested both on breadboard, and they seem to work perfectly. One has been running continuously for weeks now.
You can understand why people buy them on eBay, if a small company like Techsupplies can sell a single picaxe 20m2 for £2.28, then £10, for what feels like should be a cheaper chip, doesn't give the impression of good value from a point of view. For another comparison, you could buy a raspberry pi for not much more than 2 max7219s from one of the big suppliers. Think of the difference in technology levels there!
Concur on the quality aspect.
However, when asking someone to post a photos for the purpose of circuit fault finding I try asking for a clear photo taken straight on (perpendicular and not at an oblique) to make it easier to align a wire with a component pin/lead, make the photo clear enough so others can trace the wires from point A to point B, and with a plain background (such as on a sheet of white paper and not on the floral AXEminster carpet) where the background design/pattern can make wire tracing more difficult.
Well I guess I fallen for the fakes myself.. I originally bought 3 Max7219's from Digikey.. at 13.00 each!.. I could not resist the ones on ebay.. I bought 100 of them for 50.00 shipped.. Well i wasn't very surprised when I got them that some features would not work. I have learned my lesson.. Any one need any "max 7219's" in Canada..
Personally I find the prices of components at Futurlec typically better than some other major component suppliers and certainly have never suffered problems with operation/functionality of components purchased from that supplier. The MAX7219 is available for AUD$8-50 / US$8-50 through both the Australian and US Futurlec websites.
Post & Packing for a good handul of components by standard mail is $4-00 from Futurlec wheras some other component suppliers will only send by courier or other means that incurs costs of around $20 and sometimes far more.
Yeah well, the funny thing is I sent the guy a message before I bought them.. Asking him to be honest about the chips... and of course he told me all the great things I wanted to hear.. I found away to change the code so they are usable.. Mainly the internal "DECODE" mode will not work on digit "1" but will work on all others.. So I have to send to Binary (00010123) I think that's the terminology.. I'm a newbie so please forgive me if I am wrong.. on digits 2-8 I can just send the number "6" on walla it works.. I did get my hands on some other fakes from another guy with a different date stamp and they seem to work fine (E-bay again).. Yes I tried the fakes Twice! but I did get a good bunch this time.. although I don't know how long they will work for.. I should bench test a couple for 24-48 hours and see what happens..
$9 AUS makes them cheaper than Farnell/Element 14 Australia. $12 to $15 each.
They may be perfectly fine as the MI direct price difference isn't so suspicious as the previous example.
All I can say is that if you get them from a real supplier then you will know they are the real-deal and you will have an honourable warranty and support.
Up to you. Ebay wouldn't be my choice as I am a distrusting old bugger.