With the ever increasing popularity of the Arduino platform, we have more people looking to try them for themselves. As soon as you start shopping, you discover that there are original Arduinos and a whole slew of clones on the market. With everyone trying to save a buck or two, many of us have invested in the clones only to find they won’t work on our current Arduino IDE.
The problem probably lies in the fact that many of the clones take advantage of the cheaper CH340 USB to Serial chip. That in itself is OK however you may not have the correct driver necessary to use these boards. Don’t panic as it is a simple process to download the appropriate driver, unzip it and then install it.
Once that is done, restart the Arduino IDE and your board should show up in the port settings.
You can find the driver at -http://www.wch.cn/download/CH341SER_EXE.html
If you still are having problems after loading the right driver, you may be missing the bootloader. This is a much rarer occurrence but you can find instructions on how to solve that issue at - https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-fix-bad-Chinese-Arduino-clones/
Have no fear of using these clones but just be prepared that you may have to take an extra step or two to use them. If you would rather avoid these issues, feel free to stick with the originals. You can find them at this affiliate link - https://amzn.to/2WK4Djj In fact, if these if your first attempt at using an Arduino, I would suggest you start with the original. Experiment with the others once you have success with the original.