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Recently I purchased a very cheap Chinese 10A 12/24v PWM solar charge controller to experiment with.

From what I understand the PCB inside these devices are changing often and I've included more pictures of the full board and plastic case.

Most of the components are easily identifiable however what seems to be the main IC has markings for the life of me I can't seem to find searching the internet.

I could not find any datasheet but was able to find vague references:

https://www.yic-electronics.com/pdf/CR8F103K3.html

https://www.ariat-tech.com/parts/CR8F103K3

https://www.ic-components.com/products/390704341/CR8F103K3.pdf

The IC is marked CR8F103k3 2117W4 CHN and is a surface mount component in the LQFP32L package (32 PINS)

CR8F103k3 seems oddly similar to STM32F103 (both have F103) so perhaps it's a copy?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Close up of IC CR8F103k3 2117W4 CHN located under the display

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Front of the case.

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Front PCB

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Back PCB

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's probably a STM32F103 clone. I couldn't find hard evidence, but this site lists the chip for sale and calls the brand "ST". There seem to be quite a few clones around for this particular MCU, see here. \$\endgroup\$
    – nanash1
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could also be a clone of the STM8S103K3. \$\endgroup\$
    – nanash1
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @nanash1 will take a look. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jonas
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah more likely a STM8S103K3 clone with the 32 pins. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jonas
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 14:23

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It's very likely a STM8S clone probably of the STM8S103K3. I found a number of clues that lead to this conclusion:

The name is very similar to the STM8S103K3, only the STM8S is replaced with CR8F. On the Q&A section of the Chinese site Baidu, there is a question about a chip called "CR8F6122". The answer says it's a ST part and links to a datasheet. The linked datasheet is a (often poorly) edited version of the datasheet for the STM8S903K3 MCU. If we look at the first page, we can see that it was poorly edited because the spacing of the sentence "16 MHz advanced CR8F core with Harvard architecture and 3-stage pipeline" doesn't look right:

enter image description here

On further comparison, both datasheets are nearly identical (down to the document ID) except a few key changes:

  • All instances of STM8S are replaced with CR8F
  • The pinout picture was edited and pins were changed around
  • The pinout description table was completely replaced with a poorly drawn version with crooked lines to reflect the pinout changes enter image description here
  • Additonal figures were added below the table that show different package pinouts for a SOP-28, SOP-24 SOP-14 and SOP-20 version. None of these packages are in the original datasheet. enter image description here

With all this slopiness it's very clear the this is not an official datasheet from ST. I think a (probably Chinese) company cloned the STM8S architecture and copied the datasheet. They just made changes to reflect the changes they made to the pinout of their clones and the different packages. I think the OP has a clone by the same manufacterer that just uses a different ST model as base, namely the STM8S103K3 due to the similar name.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks... yeah it was extremely frustrating since some pins are located in different areas (like the TX and RX pins) for example. The CR8F6122 datasheet has helped \$\endgroup\$
    – Jonas
    Commented Jul 22, 2023 at 17:43

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