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Topic: Ordering basic stuff - what should I get? (Read 6964 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi everybody,

As most of you first learned about electronics and then started with Arduino, I may be strange as I started with Arduino first. Now I'm going to order some basic stuff and I want to know what you guys would suggest me.

I bought a resistor set (and 80 LEDs and a diode set) some months ago, so I won't have to order any.

What values of capacitors should I get and how much of each? What IC's (logic, amplifiers, ...)? And what transistors?

The site I'm going to order from is http://taydaelectronics.com. They seem very cheap.


Do you own a digital multimeter? If not that should be your first purchase before or at the same time as any components.



Have you ordered from that website? Prices seem very cheap to me. I would suggest you order small amounts from them to see how the quality and shipping go.

I suggest shift registers to use your LEDs


They don't have RGB LEDs  :(
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Jan 08, 2011, 06:12 pm Last Edit: Jan 08, 2011, 06:13 pm by doublet Reason: 1
I have a multimeter - although I think I burned the fuse of the ampere-measering. I had a thing like this for christmas 2 years ago:

But then I met Arduino, and you can't pull out the transistors to pull them in a breadboard - that's why I want to order some. But with all those current, voltage, and amplification ratings... it's just a bit confusing :)

That shop seems to have a good rating, btw. Shift registers are on my list :)


You should have the 74HC595 Shift Registers too.

Ran Talbott

I have a multimeter - although I think I burned the fuse of the ampere-measering.

You should definitely give a high priority to replacing the fuse,  and making sure it's really the fuse that got burned up.  You don't want to find out that the meter is ruined after you've spent your whole budget on parts.

Which raises the question of how big your budget is:  if you let us know that you just want to spend,  say,  $50 or so to see whether you want to get serious about the hobby,  it will keep people from suggesting that you buy $30 temperature sensors or lots of expensive servos.

You will probably find that there aren't enough resistors in that assortment to go with all the LEDs,  and you'll want to buy a few dozen of the values you need for them.  Check the specs on the LEDs,  to find out what their operating voltages are,  and pick resistors that will limit them to 10-15mA or so.  E.g.,  if it's a typical red LED that's spec'ed for 1.7V,  you'll want a resistor in the 220-330 Ohm range to run it off 5V.

For transistors,  get a couple dozen low-power NPN and PNP switches like 2N2222 and 2N3906,  and a few beefier ones like the TIP120 for experimenting with motors and other big loads.

You'll want some 5K pots for analog inputs.  Mostly linear,  but grab one or two log pots just so you can learn about the difference,   and will have one on hand if you ever do a project where you want non-linear control.


Jan 09, 2011, 10:56 am Last Edit: Jan 09, 2011, 11:16 am by doublet Reason: 1
Thank for the replies!
They don't have 0.47 uF ceramic capacitors, but they do have them in 'mylar' form. Would that work too?

And I opened the multimeter - it is the fuse. On the side it says F200mAL250V. On Tayda, they only have a 'ceramic fuse time delay' of 200mA. Could I use that one, or should I buy a 160mA or 250mA fast acting?


You should really give some consideration to what kinds of projects you want to work on first and perhaps stock up on parts based off those projects.  

Other than that I recommend loading up 0.1uF ceramic capacitors, you can never have too many bypass caps. :)

Ran Talbott

you can never have too many bypass caps.

Oh, yes, you can  :(

I've got over a thousand .1 axial monos I bought years ago,  for a product idea that didn't take off as expected.  They're on strips cut from tape-and-reel.  Now the adhesive has dried out,  so every time I go to grab a few,  they spill all over the place.

So I can't ebay them,  even at a loss,  and,  barring an earth-shaking medical breakthrough,  it's highly unlikely I'll live long enough to use them all.


So I can't ebay them,  even at a loss,  and,  barring an earth-shaking medical breakthrough,  it's highly unlikely I'll live long enough to use them all.

Ah, but like possessing gold, just knowing you have them available gives one that warm fuzzy feeling all over.  ;)



eBay is your friend for resistors, capacitors, leds, and transistors. They will be much cheaper in bulk on eBay...

Places like Tayda and Jameco are your friends for IC's, switches, ect.

Get Some:
2n2222a Transistors


74HC595's - already on my list
ULN2803A's - check
RGB LED's - not available at Tayda
2n2222a Transistors - already on my list

Those guys at Tayda are great! I asked them why they don't sell 32.768KHz but DO sell a real time clock chip that needs an external 32.768kHz crystal. Today, I got an e-mail back with a 'sorry for the late reply' (I mailed on saturday in the evening but I didn't expect an answer so fast, I mean, who works on sunday?), and a message that there's now a 32.768kHz crystal available! In 2 days! I'm starting to love them!

My cart is currently about $81 (with the $11 shipping included). That's ?62, of which I currently have ?40. One month of waiting left...

And I managed to get three $6 samples (a I2C seven segment driver). Samples are awesome!


Like I said, eBay is your fried for leds... I got a bag of 100 RGB leds on ebay for $8 shipped... I know that tayda is great. I just don't think it's smart to limit yourself to 1 seller just because "there service is great."


2n2222a Transistors - already on my list

If you plan on doing anything with DC motors, or anything else that might need an h-bridge (or you want to learn about h-bridges), get the complement (PNP) of the 2n2222 as Ran mentioned (2n3906) as well.

Also - you might want to buy one or two L293 or L298 h-bridge ICs (note that the L298 can -not- be plugged into a breadboard or perfboard as-is - but it does have a higher current rating than the L293 and can be bridged as well - there are people and places online that sell adaptor PCBs). Once again (and especially with these parts, as they can eat into your budget) only buy these if you think you will be doing projects with DC motors (and even then, you might want to wait); I don't consider them expensive parts, but I don't know your budget, either.

Finally - you might want to think about (and perhaps purchase) something for storage of your parts. I always reccommend Stack-On multi-drawer bins, but they are fairly expensive, and you need the room for them, and they may not be ideal for your "workbench".

Another idea, though, that is fairly cheap and great for someone starting out (or someone needing portability), is a multi-tray fishing tackle box. The multiple fold/fan out trays are perfect for holding a multitude of small, easily scrambled-up parts (since that is what they are designed to help prevent), and there are generally compartments to allow you enough room for a small multimeter, a soldering iron, and some solder (and other "larger" items).

Just something to keep in mind...

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


There's e-bay for standard DC-motor parts.
two L293 or L298 h-bridge ICs seems fairly cheap at e-bay,


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