My first Arduino

I've bought an Arduino UNO so I can learn about microcontrollers and hopefully build some interesting projects.  In this post I shall briefly show what you get with the kit and then end with some advice from Douglas Adams.

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.
What's in the book?

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.

First steps.

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.

Next steps.

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.

Anything else?

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.