I chose the Arduino original starter kit available to buy here:
What is Arduino UNO?
The Arduino is a microcontroller board intended for novices to create their own devices. The Arduino UNO board processes various inputs that can then trigger actuators. In other words you can build a device where when this thing happens then that thing happens.
What's in the box?
A very generous selection of bits and bobs. You get the Arduino UNO microcontroller intself plus a breadboard and wooden base (this is easy to assembly, however if you follow the instructions that come with it, you might end up assembling back-to-front as I did. This is easy to fix).
The kit also contains various components including DC motor, LED display, servo motor, potentiometer, temperature sensor, and a very generous length of USB power cable; in addition to various diodes, resistors, filters, LED etc. You also get some cool stickers to promote your love of Arduino and open source.
|Bits and pieces. I suggest that you invest in a component box for these.|
The starter kit comes with a projects book. This contains the set-up instructions; how to install the software and connect to your Arduino; a primer in electronics and fifteen projects to try. The projects include a light theremin, digital hourglass, Arduino clock, Zoetrope, secret knock detector and more.
The book is well-written, clearly set-out and easy to follow instructions.
I am looking forward to learning how to build my own projects by trying some of these out first.
|The excellent Arduino project book which comes with your kit.|
The very first project is to make sure your system works by compiling a 'blink' program onto the device. All this does is to make the on board LED blink on and off at a rate you specify. This is to get you used to the software and make sure that all is in working order.
The next steps are to make something interesting. I am not sure where I am going with this, but I do know that it is for another day.
I also bought the book Arduino Projects for Dummies by B Craft.
This book contains some more 'out there' projects, including automated gardens; RFID detectors; GPS dataloggers and much more. How about a project where everytime your cat leaves you house it updates its Twitter profile? Well that is covered in this book. It is almost worth getting a cat for. If you need some advice from Douglas Adams, remember: if you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.
The opposite is true of Arduino projects.
Come back for more geeky stuff soon...
Still with us? Still awake? Then you might like my post on the micro:bit moisture sensor, or a whole load of posts about the Raspberry Pi.