During the 1970s, the term hacker merely referred to an individual who liked to program for the sheer joy of it. In those days, software was available for free. Plus, hardware was pretty cheap and targeted toward hobbyists passionate about assembling computers. What followed was a period of innovation steered by great minds like Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. The electronics world, as we know it today, would not have been possible if these young hackers had not gotten their hands on the cheap motherboards.
This is the same concept behind the creation of the Arduino project, which is, fostering innovation by providing hardware and software at decent prices. More specifically, Arduino starter kits are open-sourced platforms that can be used in building and programming electronic projects. The best Arduino starter kits can be used for any kind of project whether it’s simple or sophisticated.
What are The Best Arduino Starter Kits?
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping for an Arduino starter kit. Advisably, the best one is one that will include some Arduino starter kit assembly
Manual or instructions. For beginners, using Arduino platform can be a tad intimidating, so a tutorial can teach you a thing or two about how to get started. Also, the ideal kit ought to provide an Arduino control board and enough elements for several of your projects.
The Official K000007 kit is the most recommended for beginners. It offers all the bells and whistles of Arduino starter kits at an affordable price. More specifically, the kit includes the Arduino UNO, which is the latest Arduino control board. Other components you’ll find inside the package are lights, buttons, switches, a DC motor, tilt sensor, LEDs just to mention a few.
The manufacturer claims that you can use this kit for up to 15 projects. Some of the projects where you can use this Arduino starter kit include a knock lock, which enables users to open doors using secret codes, a lamp fitted with touch controls or a musical keyboard. And the good thing is that it comes with 170 pages of detailed instructions to guide you every step of the way.
Do you have friends, family members or colleagues who are obsessed about electronics? If so, the Elegoo EL-Kit is the perfect Thanksgiving gift! This Arduino starter kit is ideal for both novices and advanced users like lab engineers and electronic major students. With the provided tutorial, you’ll realize that learning electronics is one of the greatest pleasures of life.
Elegoo EL-Kit provides a ton of components to work with, the most important of which are the MEGA 2560 controller board and expansion board. These boards are the perfect clone of Arduino and they boast the best product finish.
The manufacturer has also provided about 60 different components and sensors, ranging from a potentiometer to RFID module, resistors and LED diodes. But what makes Elegoo stand out is the fact that all their products are well-built. They’re made using quality materials to guarantee durability.
For those who are not looking to spend too much on this affair, Vilros Arduino Uno Starter Kit is a budget-friendly option. It’s a basic kit but with enough components to get you started on your Arduino-based projects.
The kit also comes with a 72-page colored instruction book, which highlights everything you need to know regarding Arduino programming. In fact, this manual explains how each component can be used. Vilros has also provided the Arduino Uno Rev3 board, which is great for doing effective coding.
Another plus of this starter kit is that it provides a 16*2 LCD display that enables you to come up with different Arduino LCD projects. And even though a potentiometer is not included, this kit gives you more than 190 parts to use.
If you like building smart home systems, the UCTRONICS Arduino starter kit is designed for you. With more than 150 pieces in total, this kit is great for home automation projects. And the best part is that is that each component is packed in a plastic bag with a label, so you never confuse one piece for another.
But the key highlight of this starter kit is the inclusion of the Mega2560 R3 board. Learning how to program with Arduino IDE couldn’t have been any easier. Like most kits in our review, this one also includes a tutorial containing 33 different lessons. Some of the topics covered in this tutorial are code library, dedicated wiring diagram and a basic introduction to the different components.
The only drawback is that it does not come with battery, meaning that you have to purchase this separately.
If you can think of it, it’s likely that you’ll find it in the Seesii ultimate starter kit. As its name suggests, this is the most comprehensive Arduino starter kit on the market, providing 230 pieces. These include the Mega 2560 R3, sensors, resistors, a passive and active buzzer, ball switch, diodes, capacitors and lots more. The Mega 2560 board is a handy feature because it provides you with various interfaces to complete sophisticated tests.
Another area where this Arduino starter kit really shines is in providing instructions. It comes with a 36-lesson tutorial, which outlines everything there is to know about the components. With this manual, you’ll not only be able to master the basics of Arduino programming but also learn how to develop SCM system.
What is Arduino?
As mentioned earlier, this is simply an open-source platform, which comes in handy if you want to create an electronic project. Arduino has two main parts: the physical programmable circuit board and a software. Usually, the software is the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) running on your computer and one that’s used in writing and uploading computer code on the board.
Arduino has become particularly common among enthusiasts of electronics, and for valid reasons. One, the Arduino does not require a programmer- the separate piece of hardware needed to load new code. All you need is a USB cable to use with this platform. Secondly, the Arduino IDE utilizes the simplest version of C++, which makes it incredibly easy to learn programming. Thirdly, the platform offers a standard form factor for breaking down the roles of the micro-controller into a readily accessible package.
Why Would You Use An Arduino Board?
If you want to learn how a microcontroller hardware and software work, the Arduino board is the perfect platform. This board gives you a chance to learn everything from the basics to the complex details involved in the compilation and interpretation of programming software. Even if you have never set foot to an electronics class, the Arduino board can help you learn fundamental electronic principles as well as the skills you’d need to become a hardware hacker. With such knowledge, you’ll be in a position to make computers and computer-driven robotic machinery. However, for such an application, we recommend going for Arduino starter kit robotics, which come equipped with accessories for this project.
The main purpose of the Arduino board is serving as a microcontroller system. If you plan to pursue a career in electronics, gaining the basic knowledge about Arduino coding will be invaluable. Arduino boards offer several benefits, the greatest of which is being cost-effective. This platform is made of hardware that is readily available, which is why it’s priced so decently. This way, you don’t have to break your bank exploring the electronics world or in case you decide to teach your kids basic electronics principles.
Another boon to using Arduino platforms is the fact that they’re expandable. You can always purchase more cables, resistors or sensors depending on your needs. Advisably, you should start with a small kit and then purchase more comprehensive kits as you work on more advanced projects.
To some extent, the field of digital electronics seems daunting. In actual sense, this field is all about logical rules and voltage levels. Grasping a basic understanding of these principles will go a long way in making the interconnected world around you seem less daunting. With Arduino hardware, you don’t even need specific goals or reasons for using these pieces of electronics. Just spare a few minutes every day to assemble circuits and try different combinations. With time, you’ll figure out the innumerable tasks that you can perform using this circuitry and software. Some Arduino starter kits can even be used to assemble Bluetooth peripheral devices.
What Is The Value Of An Arduino Kit?
Are you the kind of individual who would memorize the entire inventory of your local electric shop? If so, you are probably capable of making a complete Arduino hardware from scratch. To do this, you’d need the perfect Arduino kit so that you have access to the right components and instructions for the assembly. Sadly, a majority of electronic kits available on the market are low-quality, so they’re prone to breakage.
So what kind of components are you likely to find in an Arduino kit? Firstly, you’ll find a breadboard, which is essential in assembling circuitry. Other items you wouldn’t miss in this kit are a power source, servo-motors, a ton of sensors, connectors and USB cables. Some kits also come with instruction books or tutorials in video clips.
If you browse the internet, you can get the Arduino software. We recommend going through their website first so that you can get a feel of the software applications. Arduino kits are useful not just to electronic enthusiasts but also artists, programmers and any other individual who find this hardware beneficial.
Even though the legendary inventors of electronics passed on, their passion and innovation lives on. And although an Arduino kit won’t turn you into the next Steve Jobs, it lays out a strong foundation for a career in advanced electronics.
The 5 Major Benefits of Using Arduino Starter Kits
As already mentioned, Arduino starter kits are way more affordable compared to other microcontroller platforms. If you have a very small budget, you should consider purchasing the Arduino modules that can be assembled by hand. Still, you’re likely to find pre-assembled Arduino modules that go for less than $50.
Another advantage of Arduino starter kits is that they are compatible with different interfaces. They can run on Linux, Macintosh OSX or Windows operating systems. This is a plus since the majority of microcontroller systems can only work with Windows.
Simple, clear programming environment
If you’re looking for a microcontroller system that can be used by a novice programmer, the Arduino Starter kit is your best bet. It is user-friendly but also flexible enough to be used by advanced programmers. Teachers will be pleased to know that Arduino starter kits are based on processing programming environment, which makes it easy to teach programming.
Open source and extensible software
Another admirable feature regarding Arduino starter kit is that its software is published as an open-source tool. It means that more advanced programmers can extend it via the C++ libraries. And, if you want to learn the more sophisticated details, you can switch from Arduino to AVR C programming language, which is the main underlying technology of this starter kit. Alternatively, you can incorporate AVR-C codes directly into your Arduino software.
Open source and extensible hardware
There are two main microcontroller systems upon which the Arduino platform is based. These are Atmel’s ATMEGA8 and ATMEGA168. Luckily, the plans for both modules have been published under a public copyright known as the Creative Commons License. This gives skilled circuit designers the freedom to create their own versions of the modules with the aim of extending or improving on them.
Common Components of Arduino Starter Kits
Arduino starter kits can be likened to Lego tables. Like these toys, these kits come with tons of pieces, which when assembled correctly, serve a particular function. Considering how they’re designed, Arduino starter kits are great even for toddlers or teens who are interested in the electronics world. If you plan to purchase an Arduino starter kit, there are a couple of components you should check.
Every Arduino kit will have a breadboard. Put simply; this is the platform where all the other pieces are mounted. Breadboards will have tiny holes where you can connect lines. With breadboards, there’s no need for users to solder since they can easily push the different pieces through these holes.
Another basic component that should be present in Arduino starter kit is a jumper wire(s). These are the cables that you’ll need to make connections on your breadboard.
Resistors are other components which you’ll need in nearly all your Arduino-based projects. They help in controlling the flow of current to the different parts; hence protecting them from damage.
Apart from jumper wires, resistors and breadboards, you will find a host of other components. However, you should keep in mind that not every Arduino starter kit will have these other parts. These could be LEDs, buttons, potentiometer and Piezo buzzer.
How to Pick a Fantastic Arduino Board
Consider what your kid wants to create
Before rushing to the electronic shop to get your toddler an Arduino starter kit, first establish what kind of projects he plans to undertake. Does he intend to create an electronic sensor or a robotic clock? Different Arduino kits are tailored for different projects. So, unless you’re specific about what you’re looking for, you might get overwhelmed by the range of options.
Check if you have unused components
If you have purchased multiple Arduino or electric kits before, you should first evaluate the items you have. It’s likely that you have all the components you need for your current project. If not, ensure you go for an Arduino kit that offers the missing components.
Invented back in 2005, the Arduino platform was created for the sole purpose of providing an inexpensive way to create electronic applications using sensors, motors, and other rudimentary items. Arduino starter kits consist of a simple IDE and hardware essential for an array of electronics and building projects. The good thing is that these kits are user-friendly and scalable. Depending on your project needs, you can buy Arduino kits with as many components as you need.
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