Minimal equipment for Arduino newbies

As a long-time member of the Arduino forum, I often find it frustrating to help some newbies get their feet wet with DIY electronics. Partially it is because that the newbies don’t have the basic tools and parts to proceed with simple projects. So I thought to myself, after a few members’ discussion, that I should put together a list of minimal equipment for an Arduino newbie to start their journey with Arduino so when they need help, they have basic parts and tools to get the help. Here is a list:

  1. Arduino UNO with USB cable – Highly recommend newbies to purchase genuine Arduino UNO to avoid potential problems of a clone
  2. One small breadboard at least 30 rows prefer with buses – sooner or later you will need to set up a circuit on this breadboard, not everything can be simply plugged into Arduino
  3. One bag of random resistors a few small tactile push buttons and LEDs – you should have some 10Kohm, 300 ohm, 150 ohm, etc for various circuits
  4. One set of jumpers, at least include 5 colors and 30 pieces – this ensures when you are seeking help, the circuit is connected not with all same color wires, a horrible scene for any helper
  5. One simple multimeter – This ensures if you are instructed to check voltage or continuity you can do so with it
  6. One or two 10K potentiometers that can be plugged into breadboards – This ensures you can make some voltage divider to play with analog inputs in absence of any actual sensors and to hook up an LCD contrast circuit

A lot of newbies ask what kits to buy but the above should get anyone a good starting point. Your future project relies on your own interest so you can pick your own sensors or actuators when you have a project in mind.

As I was finishing this post I searched some well-known Arduino distributors and the following from Adafruit doesn’t look too bad for beginners:

Starter kit:

http://www.adafruit.com/products/193

Adafruit budget kit

 

Multimeter:

https://www.adafruit.com/products/71

Adafruit basic multimeter

I just asked Adafruit for permission to use their pictures on my blog and they replied within 10 second with a yes 🙂

2 Responses to Minimal equipment for Arduino newbies

  1. cdslashetc says:

    Thanks, from an Arduino newbie 😀 looks like I’m on the right track.

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