Review of the Arduino Starter Kit

This post reviews the Arduino Starter Kit. This is an ideal kit for a beginner in electronics and embedded systems or for someone wanting to learn how work with an Arduino. Here I look over what you get in the kit and the projects it provides.

Arduino/Genuino Starter Kit

The Arduino/Genuino Starter kit includes all you need to start a basic Arduino project. The core of the kit is an Arduino Uno with the associated cable required to connect it to your computer.

In addition to this, there are a number of components included that allow you to start learning the basics of electronics. This resolves one of the big issues of starting to work with electronics, knowing what to buy!

By including a variety of useful components this kit gives you the flexibility to try different projects. Not to mention the range of components inside means you get experience with a good set standard electronic components.

This kit also comes with a 160 page book with code and examples. This goes through the basics of installing the software to a variety of projects you can work on. This allows you to quickly and easily start using your Arduino kit.

The starter book requires no pre-requisite knowledge and is useful for both beginners and those with a little more experience. Even with some knowledge of electronics its useful to introduce how the Arduino works and how to program and use it.

Full details of whats in the kit

  • 1 Arduino Uno
  • 1 LCD panel, 16 x 2 characters
  • 1 DC Motor
  • 1 Servo with Servo Arms
  • 1 prototyping breadboard
  • Jumper wires for prototyping breadboard
  • 1 USB cable to connect Arduino to computer
  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • H-Bridges
  • Various light emitting diodes (LED’s)
  • A row of male headers
  • Ocotocoupler
  • 1 Piezo
  • Photoresistors
  • Potentiometers
  • Pushbutton switches
  • Various resistance resistors
  • Temperature sensor
  • Tilt sensor
  • Some Transistors

This provides all the basic electronics required to make all projects in the book and experiment yourself.

Whats in the Arduino Projects book

In the Arduino Projects book there are a number of projects which lead you through creating a variety of circuits. These go from the quite simple, turning LED’s on and off, to the more complex process of controlling an LCD panel.

The first section of the book goes through a number electronics basics such as parallel vs series circuits, Ohms Law, and programming the Arduino. This works as a handy guide to practical electronics that will help for beginners and those more experienced who need a reference from time to time.

Each project in the kit shows you what you need to use for the project. Then goes through how to assemble the circuit and finally the code required. All code is commented and details what is happening alongside to get you used to programming the Arduino.

The kit has the following projects:

  1. Spaceship Interface – Learning to use digital output and input
  2. Love-O-Meter – Learning to use analogue input and the serial monitor
  3. Color Mixing Lamp – Changing a tri-colour LED based on the output of photoresistors
  4. Mood Cue – Initial basics of using a servo motor
  5. Light Theremin – Using the output of a photoresistor to create a sound with a piezo element
  6. Keyboard Instrument – Constructing a resistor ladder to change the sound of a piezo element
  7. Digital Hourglass – Creating a timer to turn on LED’s as time passes
  8. Motorized Pinwheel – Using transistors to power a motor
  9. Zoetrope – Using a H-bridge to power a motor forwards and backwards
  10. Crystal Ball – Learning to use the LCD library with the 16×2 LCD panel
  11. Knock Lock – Using a piezo element for sound input
  12. Touchy-Feely Lamp – Turning on a LED using your bodies capacitance
  13. Tweak the Arduino Logo – Using the serial connection and Processing to control a program on your computer
  14. Hacking Buttons – Using an Optocoupler to trigger a button

The first couple tutorials run you through the basics of the Arduino. The later tutorials cover much more complex circuits and software such as using the Processing language.

Final Review

Overall this Kit is very good value for money for the price of the Arduino, components and book. For someone wanting to learn electronics this is a very good product.

The book is written well and includes lots of project ideas and code. Since the kit includes all the required electronic components you don’t need to buy anything else.

Definitely recommended for someone starting out electronics. This can also be useful for someone who wants some project ideas and does not already have an Arduino.


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