Help me get started in the world of arduino's

Ok so I am 15 enjoy working with computers but have never programmed a microcontroller before however i do know the basics of c++. So i am thinking about getting a arduino. I think i want the Duemilanove and i am thinking that i should get a starter pack becuase i do not no very much about various components and it just seems easier to have it all come at once but, i have a few questions and i also do not want to start off spending a whole lot of money. I was looking at this starter kit  www.adafruit.com/index.php or maybe i could just get the budget pack on that website. In the future i might want to get a better soldering iron for this kind of stuff i usually just use a piece of crap from radioshack what iron do you recomend for a slightly better iron but maybe around $30.
1. Is that a good starter kit? or do u know of a better one?
2. What is the proto shield good for?
3. If i made something with my arduino and i wanted to keep it what do i do do i have to buy a whole nother duamillanova?
4. honestly will I be able to make this work or is it going to be a waste of money?


aarone8 years ago
I've written two articles on Arduino Starter kits, giving a review of 7 total. Some from the states, some from Europe.<br />They are here: <br /><a href="http://aaroneiche.com/2009/06/29/arduino-starter-rundown/">http://aaroneiche.com/2009/06/29/arduino-starter-rundown/</a><br />and here:<br /><a href="http://aaroneiche.com/2009/07/16/arduino-starter-rundown-part-2/">http://aaroneiche.com/2009/07/16/arduino-starter-rundown-part-2/</a><br /><br /><br />Re #3: I would recommend going with a cheaper alternative to the arduino. Because it's open source, lots of folks have made cheap boards that have different features. For a permanent option, I'd go with the dorkboard. I got my kit + controller for less than $15. I didn't buy the programmer cable, and instead just program the chip on my arduino, and move it over to the dorkboard.<br /><br />This is where I bought mine: <br /><a href="http://www.surplusgizmos.com/Dorkboard-Kit-Arduino-Compatible_p_1790.html">http://www.surplusgizmos.com/Dorkboard-Kit-Arduino-Compatible_p_1790.html</a><br /><br />Re #4: You shouldn't have any trouble getting it to work. The Arduino is exceptionally user friendly, and should get you well on your way to being an electrical engineer (whether you like it or not!)<br />
Tanners (author)  aarone8 years ago
thanks for the help i decided to get a adafruit budget pack and then i added a few componets from the experiment pack and starter pack ive alrdy made a few simple pregects
Tanners (author) 8 years ago
ok so i think i will go with the kit you suggested your review was very helpful and convincing. It's just to bad that the kit is back orderd rite now and is a litle pricy (i guess ill be saving my lunch mony for a while). Thanks for the help
Grathio8 years ago
1) I'd go with <a href="http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=170&zenid=0a2abc654b46e052f4922f19577bb09f">this kit</a>. It's $20 more but it will really kick start you. Printed stuff, and a lot more useful and interesting components.<br /><sub>(self link: I wrote a detailed review </sub><a href="http://grathio.com/2009/09/review-of-the-arduino-expermentation-kit.html"><sub>here</sub></a><sub>.)<br /></sub><br />2) In Arduino speak a "shield" is somethign that plugs easily into the top of an Arduino. The protoshield makes it easy to prototype stuff that you can just plug on to the top of most Arduino boards. <br /><br />3) Nope. In general you shouldn't ever permanently attach anything to most Arduino boards. They have header pins (plugs) that you can just plug stuff into with jumpers (wires.) If you want to change projects you jsut unplug one set of wires and plug in another. If you go with the kit you linked you just pull the protoshield off and plug somethign else in to the Arduino. <br /><br />IMHO protoshields are not the greatest solution. The breadboards thye use are <em>tiny </em>which limits what you can do with them. And they're expensive. I use larger breadboards and buy a few<a href="http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9280"> 6 pin</a> and<a href="http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9279"> 8 pin</a> headers, which if labeled correctly are almost as easy to (dis)connect as a shield.<br /><br />Of course if you ever finish a project (you make something you want to use all the time) then you'll need to keep the Arduino part of that project and have to buy a new one.<br /><br />4) I would bet you'll almost certainly get it to work. I knew nothing about electrnics when I started and had the first Ardunio sample application running within 15 minutes of getting the package. Some of the more advance proejcts take a little patience but I think if you're interested you'll be able to power through it.<br /><br />