FTDI chip real of fake ? How to spot a fake RT232R / RT232RL and others ?

Here is a 5 minute test:

1) purchase your boards in pairs this helps detect same serial number in case of fakes. Any board you buy under $5 is probably a fake, since the bare chip costs ~$4.

2) get your chip serial number, this can be done either by downloading the FT_PROG software or even easier from Device Manager > Ports > USB Serial Port (COMx) > (Right Click) >  Properties > Details > Device Instance Path , the Serial Number is in the value after the “+” sign following the PID . For example in screenshot below it is A704DEPPA.

3) google your serial number, those faking the chip are on a tight budget so they have no time to change it, although it is quite possible that some will change it

4) if you find your serial number for example A50285BI is a popular fake, chances are you got a fake

5) Most important: do a favor to the next person and post your serial number in the comments below, in case it is a fake it will appear in Google results for next person getting a fake with same serial #.

Why it is important to spot a fake FTDI fake  and why I am posting it ? Because it can ruin your day like it did for me ! Fake FTDI chips are unreliable especially at higher baud rates and you may be pulling your hair troubleshooting your project while the problem is in fact a cheap fake chip.

Hope this helps someone,

How do you test your chips ? Comments are welcome below .




11-7-2015 12-22-37 PM

11-7-2015 12-23-11 PM

17 thoughts on “FTDI chip real of fake ? How to spot a fake RT232R / RT232RL and others ?

  1. Fake-FTDI Reply

    Another fake (barely functions with a lot of errors): FTB6SPL3


  2. Peter Reply

    Got a fake,
    here’s the ID: FTDIBUS\VID_0403+PID_6001+9&37553076&0&2\0000

    Serial number is 37553076, right?

    Works surprisingly well with 1MBd, but DTR, RTS pins have insufficient drive capability.

  3. John Reply

    Another one: FTDIBUS\VID_0403+PID_6010+6&32A5DFEC&3&1&1\0000. Problems detecting on first connect.

  4. L Reply

    bought a couple of them one was fake, the other A400DE3U most probably fake too

  5. jon Reply



    Works OK, but I’m not even pushing it.

  6. Conundrum Reply

    Same here. Alas this one not only is fake but botched some very complicated code.

    Note: symptoms are really strange, if you program some PICs it overwrites specific bits requiring you to put a generic jump instruction at location 0 for the code to run correctly.
    Wish I’d known before as it really does suck.

  7. jhmrsk Reply

    Got a batch of 10 from China, all with serial A5XK3RJT.
    Chips are not labeled on the top, but on the bottom “59j17”. PCB labled with “HW-417-V1.2”.
    AliExpress refunded cause these are fakes obviously.

  8. Chris Swan Reply

    A5XK3RJTA on an adaptor I got from eBay in the UK, also found in a review for an adaptor on Amazon in Germany

  9. Bertrand Reply

    The serial number of my fake FT232RL is 00000000.It seeems to work well, even at speed higher than 115200 bauds.I didn’t try to use the bit-bang mode, so I don’t know if it is a good clone or not.

  10. mcmedd Reply

    Fake chip 00000000, bought via Aliexpress company name: Shenzhen EB-LINK Technologies. Please don’t buy from this seller.

  11. Mikael L. Reply

    I just bought 20 modules ( https://i.imgur.com/rssuYYl.jpg ) and I found this article when I realized that all of the working ones had the same serial number and searched for it online, it was the very same mentioned by the author. Thanks for sharing!

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