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New to the forum: thanks for having me...
I'm a "dabbler" - never been down the Arduino road before - but have experience running solar power panels charging 2 x 150aH AGM batteries to supply 12v power to my caravan appliances, eg lights, compressor fridge, water pump,12v TV and set-top box, radio, the Duchesses hair dryer and my electric blanket (I'm a cold bugger...) The solar system has some expensive big-boy's-toys integrated - MPPT controller, DC/DC charger, etc... so I'm not a novice to schematics or the physical installation of DC wiring and systems... and I do have a working knowledge of Ohm's Law...
At this stage, I'm not contemplating any Arduino/Solar interfacing (though I'm sure there are many applications) - just interested in Arduino as a concept of systems electronics... learning more about it... expanding my interests...   
Would this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Starter-Kit-UNO-R3-Step-Motor-Servo-1602-LCD-Breadboard-Jumper-cable-For-Arduino-/281148524291?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4175c20703 be suitable as a starter kit??

The listing doesn't specify the chip (Atmega 328, 2560 etc) just says UNO R3 - but does say it's a 2012 model...
Would the Chip type/ID/specs make that much difference to a 'dabbler' like me..??
It seems to have enough "projects" to keep me occupied for many a night... and learn a thing-or-two more...
Appreciate any advice from those who already know... smiley


 


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Sure why not?.....
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Thanks for responding:
My view is that the CHIP specs/efficiency isn't important at my level of knowledge...
Who learns to drive in a Porsche or a Lamborghini..??
I'll go ahead and order...
Thanks again...



Sure why not?.....
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Who learns to drive in a Porsche or a Lamborghini..??

Someone whose dad buys him one.

The Uno by definition uses the ATMega328 - which is the "baseline" Arduino chip.  Perfect for what you want.

That kit looks good.
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Thanks Paul...
I've ordered that kit...
Seems it might take up to 3 weeks to arrive...
Gives me time to stuck into the reading and theory...
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I've ordered that Starter Kit - and trying to learn-in-advance and get my head around things while I wait for it to arrive...
Obviously, eventually... I want to do something "practical" with the Arduino
So... If I wanted to "experiment" with the Arduino >> something like this:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/400519660038?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
That is a "Soil Hygrometer Humidity Detection Module Soil Moisture Water Sensor For Arduino"
(I'm thinking... have the hygrometer prongs inserted in the soil of one of my bonsai pots and when the soil gets on the dry side the arduino detects this and then throws a relay that starts the watering/misting system - and then shuts off when the soil gets wet...)
My question: do I need an interface between said Hygrometer Module and Arduino...??
I know I will need some kind of a module/interface to throw the relay to start the sprinklers...
Just learning - appreciate your knowledge... 
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(I'm thinking... have the hygrometer prongs inserted in the soil of one of my bonsai pots and when the soil gets on the dry side the arduino detects this and then throws a relay that starts the watering/misting system - and then shuts off when the soil gets wet...)
My question: do I need an interface between said Hygrometer Module and Arduino...??
Firstly, I think the soil hygrometer probe may be bigger than your Bonsai.  smiley-grin

Take a look at the link you cited.  See the little PCB?  That is the interface to the Arduino; that's the reason it is advertised with the "Arduino" tag.  (The pot sets the conductivity level at which the digital output switches.)
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Ha-Ha... Thanks Paul...
My 30 yr old's are quite a robust size...
Well... That's good news about the Hygrometer - being directly compatible with the R3...
I'll play with the Blinking LED's and "Good Morning World" features, et al, before I start plugging my $2 hygrometer in though... smiley-wink
Cheers...
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