There’s no shortage of Arduino starter kits around. Most companies who sell electronics will sell a kit in some form. Even eBay users have created kits with various common components. Now it’s the turn of Arduino themselves, who have created the Arduino Starter Kit.
The Arduino Starter Kit includes an Arduino UNO R3, USB Cable, breadboard, jumper cables and enough components to make quite a few projects. It also includes a 170-page book detailing how to make 15 great projects. The kit is very neatly arranged, with the various contents separated into different compartments – a far cry from the ‘bag-in-a-box’ approach you get from some online retailers.
The 15 projects you get in the book are:
- GET TO KNOW YOUR TOOLS an introduction to the concepts you’ll need to use this kit
- SPACESHIP INTERFACE design to control panel for your startship
- LOVE-O-METER measure how hot-blooded you are
- COLOR MIXING LAMP produce any color with a lamp that uses light as an input
MOOD CUE clue people in to how you’re doing
- LIGHT THEREMIN create a musical instrument you play by waving your hands
- KEYBOARD INSTRUMENT play music and make some noise with this keyboard
- DIGITAL HOURGLASS a light-up hourglass that can stop you from working too much
- MOTORIZED PINWHEEL a color wheel that will have your head spinning
- ZOETROPE create a mechanical animation you can play forward or reverse
- CRYSTAL BALL a mystical tour to answer all your tough question
- KNOCK LOCK tap out the secret code to open the door
- TOUCHY-FEEL LAMP a lamp that responds to your touch
- TWEAK THE ARDUINO LOGO control your personal computer from your Arduino
- HACKING BUTTONS create a master control for all your devices!
As a little extra, you get some cardboard accessories to go with the projects, so you don’t have to go finding bits of paper to finish up (such as the motorised pinwheel tutorial). The projects aren’t exactly tough for someone who has played with Arduino and electronics before, but they are a good introduction to various ideas and components that a beginner would come across.
The Arduino Starter kit features one of the best collection of components you will find in any kit. It features the usual LEDs, resistors, transistors, capacitors and diodes, potentiometers and buttons etc., but you also get quite a comprehensive set of extras: photo-resistors, a temperature sensor, a tilt sensor, a DC motor, a servo motor, a RGB LED, and an alphanumeric LCD.
It really is a nice set of components – most 3rd-party kits don’t offer the same range for such an inexpensive price. The inclusion of the breadboard, jumper cables, USB cable and book means you need not buy anything else until you are onto bigger projects. You can read the whole kit list at the Arduino product page.
The Arduino starter kit is an all-round, well thought-out collection, ideal for any beginner to get to grips with. The fact it comes with everything you need is a big bonus – you can’t really go wrong. Another attractive point is that it’s an official Arduino product. This means you’re going to get the high-quality you would expect from Arduino. Buying official Arduino products also helps the maker community as the money Arduino makes from selling the kit goes back into the Arduino development.