Best first electronics kit?

For Christmas I want to give my brother a kit to teach him to solder. The kit doesn't have to be that complex, and would ideally be made of parts that I could easily find myself (rather than buying in kit form). I was thinking a pummer, or a simple light following robot.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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A "first" electronics kit wouldn't usually involve soldering. What's his skill level ?
I_bike (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
He has some understanding of basic electronic components, and is fairly good with tools. The main purpose of the kit (besides building something neat) is to teach him to solder.
I highly recommend Velleman's kits for him then. They are comprehensive and low cost.

Its an expensive way to learn to solder. Desoldering a load of components on a dead circuit board, cleaning it, and giving him an iron and reel of solder to remake all the joints would be practice, and non damaging.

Buy him a decent iron - I'd recommend something around 40 W.

I used to employ an old man who served his time in the RAF, as a radar mechanic, he was taught to solder by being given a reel of tinned copper wire and told to build a model of the Eiffel tower - all the joints had to be soldered.

And did the radar mech also have to calculate the resistance of the tower from first principles?
Funnily enough, no. He always struggled with math, a fantastic craftsman - a perfect 'ibler, but with a mortal fear of computers.
lemonie7 years ago
parts that you could easily find I'm not sure about when I look at that - you'd have to buy some of them.

A small kit should be a good start for learning to solder, it's nice to have a clean PCB and fresh components.

I_bike (author)  lemonie7 years ago
I guess my question wasn't very clear.

By "find" I meant buy separately. I took a look at some electronics kits, and decided that it would cost way less just to buy the components myself. What I was looking for was a good, easy project to assemble a kit for.
lemonie I_bike7 years ago
Yes, but having a PCB helps in teaching people how to solder. Like steve
 recommends Velleman's kits - if teach him to solder is what you want, kits are good.

Jayefuu lemonie7 years ago

Depending on where you are in the world, try Oomlout, RS-Electronics, Adafruit, Sparkfun, Farnell, Digikey, Mouser. These websites all sell kits as well as components.