Picture of Arduino Beginner and Basic Electronics Kit Primer
I learned that one of my nieces had an interest in programming.  She was working with robotics at high school and has a summer internship where they had  Arduinos.  I think she was able to borrow an Arduino to experiment with at home but every Maker knows that is not the same as having a piece of kit that is yours to own...and possibly destroy, well, not intentionally, maybe, in some cases, never mind.

So according to the Good Book of Ibles and "The Unwritten Uncle Rules of Spoiling Your Nieces and Nephews Unless They are Brats", I should be putting together a kit to give to her to further her aspirations as a Powerpuff Engineer or Engineer Minion.  Really, it doesn't matter who you are, especially young ladies, the world needs more thinkers and engineers to keep it running.

Putting together a beginner kit fror programming an Arduino is also putting together an intro kit to electronics.  The programming of the Arduino allows it to interface with the real world by using electronic sensors or switches for input.  It provides feedback by causing motors to move, sounds to emit from speakers, or causes LEDs to blink or turn on.  Practical application of theory is always better to learn from.

This Primer will explain what it takes to put an Arduino Beginner and Basic Electronics kit together to get someone going. It may not be inclusive of everything but essentials to get started.  Actually, this is all the extra stuff I had laying around to share. If you take a look at all of those beginner sets, they are kinda pricey and will probably be paying more just for the convenience.

DISCLAIMER: I will probably drop a lot of brand names in this ible.  Any recommendation or opinion is based on my personal experience so YMMV.  I don't get any kickbacks or anything...but it would be nice ;-)

I am not an electronics expert, but I do play one on Instructables. I know enough to be dangerous, the rest I google.

DizzyIzzi8 months ago

I am getting my first engineering degree and I love to play with microprocessors and microcontrollers at home. I just read your whole post and it was very helpful and entertaining! Thanks

caitlinsdad (author)  DizzyIzzi8 months ago

Thanks. Good luck on your studies and career. It helps to read up on whatever your interests are and stock up on tips or trivia that will help you in the future.

creasty1 year ago
hey,friend it's look like u have a great knowlage on arduino i need ur help,i m new to arduino..i want to run arduino programme which i'hv (made for leonardo board only) and check whether there is any error in programme or not..and than i want to upload this programme in programme board and acorrding to programme it'll run 2 gear motor,so how can i check it and load it..can u please tell me step wise instruction or put instructable type vedio..i'll be thankfull,thank you
caitlinsdad (author)  creasty1 year ago
Welcome to instructables.
I haven't seen any arduino simulator programs, there might be something out there though. If you run the "compile program" option in the IDE where you are loading the program, it will run through a syntax check for errors and watch the messages. I do not know what kind of motor you are using but usually you shouldn't directly connect a motor to the output pins on the Arduino. The initial startup power surge or kick required to turn the motor could burn out your board and hence the need for those H-bridge transistor circuits. But if you think you have it physically connected correctly, loading a wonky program onto an arduino will not hurt it. It may lock it up into not responding. Worse case, hit the reset button while your reload the basic blink sketch to get things back to normal. Load the basic blink sketch and change some things around in the program so you get familiar with the compile and upload and run process. Good luck.
https://github.com/satr/Robot-vacuum-cleaner-controlled-by-Arduino/blob/master/Robot_vacuum_cleaner_controlled_by_Arduino/Robot_vacuum_cleaner_controlled_by_Arduino.inothanks a lot for guiding me,i'hv checked program as per your instruction..this are my steps...>open arduino IDE software > write program > save it > tool menu>verify/compile>and in bottom of the page it shows result 'done compiling' and message 'Binary sketch size: 5,304 bytes (of a 28,672 byte maximum)' what it simply means/ my whole programme syntcs is correct and there isn't any error like that !! or not?this is d screen shot of that program. and secondly i'm putting a link of that program only,can u please check it in your arduino software and tell me,programme is ok or not..
i'll be thankful.
caitlinsdad (author)  creasty1 year ago
Sorry, but I am not into analyzing or debugging programs but the best thing I could tell you is to load it up and see how it runs. From there figure out what is not running right and adjust or correct it. The compile is a basic syntax check but what happens physically is the result of your logic flow. If things don't work as expected is it your electronic circuit setup? Motors, power drain, startup response, capacitance and microcontrollers are all things you learn about when delving into the "robotics: world which are not apparent to the end user.
caitlinsdad (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago
Oh, servo motor units are connected directly to power and the data output pin.
anasdad1 year ago
Thanks for putting this together. It made it easier for me to (Frugally...lol) part with the money for a good starter kit.
caitlinsdad (author)  anasdad1 year ago
Getting everything from scratch is not for everybody. If you are willing to pay for the convenience and need everything right away or things are difficult to source and ship, purchasing a kit may be the way to go. Good luck.
step 9, sometimes its better for men just to send the ladies in their life to the experts at Victoria Secret for bras instead of designing them themselves.

crazypj1 year ago
I saved a few old cassette players, printers and similar stuff
There are various components that are easy to re-purpose various caps, MOSFETS, (usually with heat-sink) mini transformers and chokes, motors, gears etc
As you say resistors are too much of a PITA to remove and re-use (plus are pretty cheap new)
I ordered an Arduino this evening :) hoping to build a fully programmable ignition unit for my 1974 Honda motorcycle (they are available but I can't afford $500.00+)
caitlinsdad (author)  crazypj1 year ago
I thought a screwdriver was a fully programmable ignition unit for a motorcycle...wait, that's only in New York. Good luck with your projects and be sure to post an instructable.
crazypj1 year ago
Well, I learned something.
I've heard side cutters called dykes for years but never knew why until now
Thanks :)
profpat2 years ago
great intro to arduino uno! will have my students read this! thanks for sharing!
caitlinsdad (author)  profpat2 years ago
It's not really a guide to using arduino per se but really to give everyone an ideal of what to expect when your passion grows and want to explore using the arduino, it's only a circuit board, what do you do with it. By the way, if you are a teacher, email service@instructables.com for a free pro membership as ibles supports educators and hackerspaces. Thanks.
davijordan2 years ago
We like to get old things from Goodwill. Supports a worthwhile charity and we get goodies dirt cheap.
caitlinsdad (author)  davijordan2 years ago
I guess the opposite end of the spectrum is checking out the pawn shops. Most of the electronics in both places are usually obsolete or stuff they could not get rid of on ebay. You may be lucky and find what you need though.
Magnet wire can sometimes be had,dirt cheap from motors and stuff. Seen rc cars for a buck or two, but the controllers were not there. Five dollar vcrs make good rf modulators, If if not that the motors,,future project case and parts can be had, people at goodwill sometimes do not see that, but they are getting smarter. Prices have come up a bit on some of that stuff. The Goodwill computer store is a bit pricy unless you really need a part. I want to go back and get another linksys router or two to try hmmmesh (spelling?).
coda8762 years ago
I know, im working on something
caitlinsdad (author)  coda8762 years ago
Please check your ibles YOU inbox at the top for a message.
Raphango2 years ago
Excellent instructable. Had minor difficulties understanding the slangs (cos' i'm brazilian) but i pretty much figured it out from the context. ;)
And yes, your daughter should be very proud of her dad. Today is the "fathers day" in Brazil, so i hope you are having a good time with your daughter too.
About the chinese things, i do think that you may find something both cheap and reliable. I'm about to buy an Ardunio Rev 3 clone for about 9 bucks. Maybe it is worth the try.
Congratulations, again.
caitlinsdad (author)  Raphango2 years ago
Haha, what better place to learn English than on the internet? Welcome.

I do not dismiss "import goods" at all. I think as long as you are prepared to troubleshoot what might come along and have an initial expectation of the quality of the product, it is good gamble if you have a few dollars to spend. Having been on the help desk/customer support at the vendor side, I understand how frustrating it would be to provide support for things that are just faulty and what if the product isn't even made by your company but you are expecting answers? You see those kind of requests/questions through all the forums of beginners that jump right in. Good luck.
kcharb302 years ago
Thank you. That was well worth reading.
caitlinsdad (author)  kcharb302 years ago
Thanks. It was well worth doing.
coda8762 years ago
Amazing ible, im looking forward to more from you
caitlinsdad (author)  coda8762 years ago
Kind Sir, I'm looking forward to more from you. Time to get your first instructable done.
Eric_LeFort2 years ago
You sir... are an awesome uncle. Great work
caitlinsdad (author)  Eric_LeFort2 years ago

Cost of putting together the kit: A couple of bucks.
Seeing the grin on the kid's face when they get the gift: Priceless.
husamwadi2 years ago
Great instructable, i like the whole cheapo/hoarding thing, deep down inside, no one want's to throw old parts away because....because sometime in 10 years I know I'm going to NEED it lol!

Also, I don't like using lead free solder, I never found lead free solder that flows correctly, most of the time it doesn't stick to the tip and takes longer to heat up (unless you're using a variable temp).

I'll take my 60/40 and suffer the side effects of cancer and depresssion. Just kidding, but if you know where to buy 1/2 decent lead free, I'll definitely take a look.

Thanks! subscribed and stuff.
caitlinsdad (author)  husamwadi2 years ago
I am down to using up most of my big roll of leaded solder. They don't seem to go as fast as glue sticks but I will use every little bit to where you have to hold the last little piece left with a pair of pliers. I'll have to really check out that leadfree stuff, it does cost a tiny bit more though. Thanks.
and voted, that was the word!