Long shot /diy/
Where could one possibly go to acquire proprietary grade schematics?
Is my only option to have a "spy" on the side?
Please fuck off with "le google".
umm. you know how you can watch someone make a paper airoplane and then copy that and make one the same way? basically that.
you learn how to work the materials and then you just make the same cuts in the same kinds of materials. basically make a copy. electrical stuff can be a bit harder. but there are videos about delidding and code extraction of chips and stuff like that on youtube.
Depends on what your cloning.
If its something simple you can usually finds schematics for most old electronic gear. You'd get a little booklet explaining what each part of your device was for and how to fix it.
Even up to the 70-80 you could find repair manuals bootlegged on the streets. Now most of this stuff can be found online. You have to go through a ton of datasheets and schematics to get to the good stuff. Most things that exist have been well documented. Chinese stuff sometimes have "scratched" chips. These chips are Chinese knockoffs of a decent chip and than they just sand off any markings.
Also sometimes you'll find smd chips held down by the black glue of cheap china. This is how they just hold down ships for cheap and this is sometimes a bit of a challenge for reverse engineering. Since you cant read off the chip. But with a heat gun you can melt off the plastic and than inspect the chip. most times you wont tho.
Best tip I can give you is to get familiar with what your cloning. Check what parts of the circuit do what. Find similar devices. Most things in electronics can be traced back all the way to the vacuum tube if your tenacious enough.
And once you do all this you can pretty much make your own anything.