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Topic: In China now, materials are inexpensive here, what should I get before leaving?  (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

spirits

Hello there, I've just begun exploring into Arduino in China and bought an Arduino Uno R3 kit. 

When browsing sites back home (Canada), I realized the prices are fairly expensive there compared to here.

I will be playing around with Arduino in the years to come and am looking also to branch out into ARM and other boards once I'm educated enough about circuit board and how to program @ lower levels.

I won't be staying in China for long, and am heading back to Canada in a month or so.  What sort of parts and quantity of it should I get (including wires) in order to have a comprehensive package?


What I currently do know is I'll be grabbing a ton of sensors.  It seems like I'll need soldering equipment.    Quality & non quality LCD.

Generally speaking, if you can get anything, what would you get? 

For example, if suddenly I have an idea few months later back home.  I will already have all the parts for it and not need to purchase in Canada.  If I follow Arduino educational books and it needed me to have certain equipment, I will already have them.  Budget around $500CAD, which will get me a ton of stuff here. 

Anything I should be aware of? (Ie. today i figured out that MEMs chip don't fit into arduino and needed solutions. / Yesterday I figured out I can avoid soldering for most parts.)

Mainly for my own education purposes to later branch out into boards more tiny than Arduino.  It is then I'll make the switch.

Thanks for your time in advance.  Pretty exciting these days that we can make stuff by ourselves. 

By the way, if you felt like this question is too vast, it's because I'm not well educated in electronics.  It'll help if you can break down the categories of stuff I needed to get.  Ie. Sensor, types of parts etc...

zoomkat

I can't speak to Canadian import policies, but in the US ordering on ebay from China maybe easier than buying in China and bringing home.
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keeper63@cox.net

Thanks for your time in advance.  Pretty exciting these days that we can make stuff by ourselves.
I'm not sure where you've been - but we've always been able to "make things by ourselves". To be honest, I'm not sure how you could believe otherwise.

If you're implying, instead, that the whole "DIY electronics" culture is something new, I can guarantee you it isn't. I can show you old magazines from the early part of the 20th century detailing how to build radios and other such early electronic devices. Prior to that, it was a common thing (and many books were written) to DIY a large variety of objects for the house and play.

Post-WW2 is where things really sped up - tons of magazines appeared (or got a boost - like in the case of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, for instance) that appealed to the DIY'er. Everything from building model train sets, radios, alarms, other such things - to an entire house, boat, or car (yes - build your own car - including the engine) - all of these things were very popular, starting in the mid to late 1940s.

Early microcomputers were almost exclusively projects that appeared in the pages of magazines (the Altair 8800 being the most famous). There were also plenty of early robotics projects and experimenters back then as well (TAB Books were the most famous of the publishers back then, catering to such electronics and DIY project builders - they were eventually absorbed into McGraw-Hill).

Electronics parts and supplies were very easy to get back then, and not really too expensive (test equipment, though - beyond a multimeter - stayed expensive for a long time).

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

spirits

I can't speak to Canadian import policies, but in the US ordering on ebay from China maybe easier than buying in China and bringing home.
I'll be willing to guess $500 worth of stuff equals the size of a shoe box at most.  I want to get it done whenever I have the chance.

I'm not sure where you've been - but we've always been able to "make things by ourselves". To be honest, I'm not sure how you could believe otherwise.
...
Maybe you mean something else, though?
In the old days, professionals are typically the guys with the know hows.  Nowadays, it's accessible to your average joe.  Although I must say, that there is still a large barrier between what companies like Intel can do vs people with Arduino can.  So my guess is that standards are so high that what we're able to make now isn't competitive enough for the market.

It depends on what your professional field is.  I'm not in the electronics industry, nor related to it. 

It's not accessible cause you don't even know the logic behind circuit board, and when things will short circuit and electrocute you.  I'd say 99% of the population wouldn't understand it.  Even if I wanted to understand it in this day and age, I'd have to work hard at it to figure it out cause nowadays, you can't just go into a forum, ask a question, and get yourself a straight answer.

zoomkat

Quote
I'll be willing to guess $500 worth of stuff equals the size of a shoe box at most.  I want to get it done whenever I have the chance.
When you decide on something to buy, look on ebay to see what the current prices are. I can get an arduino on ebay for $4 shipped to the house, including the USB cable.
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

larryd

Yes, wait till you get home then order what you need when you need from eBay China, free shipping.
No technical PMs.
The last thing you did is where you should start looking.

TomGeorge

Hi,
I agree with LarryD.
Also consider the problems of coming in through customs with a shoebox full of electronics and coloured wires.

Tom..... :)
Everything runs on smoke, let the smoke out, it stops running....

Henry_Best

Hi,
I agree with LarryD.
Also consider the problems of coming in through customs with a shoebox full of electronics and coloured wires.

Tom..... :)
In the current climate, attempting to board a plane with a shoebox full of electronics and wires in your luggage will be your first problem. I understand that Chinese prisons aren't too comfortable.

spirits

I'll check with the airline prior to coming, but the post prior ought to consider your claim that it will somehow land me in prison.  Disinformation lands you in jail here, not electronics.

Can you guys list some categories of equipment I should purchase if I wanted to be comprehensive?

Logistics is not my question to begin with.  Nor was whether DIY exists.

aarg

I've carried experimenter stuff both ways between Canada and China several times. There was never any problem in customs. Arduino related stuff is not much cheaper in China than mail order from China, maybe about half price for the cheaper modules and close to the same price for some things. Soldering equipment there is 220V, so you won't be able to use it in North America. It's not really worth it.

However, if you have access to a parts market, now is the time to stock up on small parts. You can go to an SMD booth and they will be happy to fill a written list of different values of SMD resistors, caps, transistors, pots, connectors, and so on. Order 100 of each. For about $50 you can assemble a kit of all the basic stuff you will ever need. If you have to get that stuff from the big North American online suppliers, you will pay through the nose for it.
  ... with a transistor and a large sum of money to spend ...
Please don't PM me with technical questions. Post them in the forum.

bill2009

I won't get you near 500 but I would say a couple of good uno clones, several proto-shields, a wifi and an Ethernet shield, a motor shield, a couple of ultrasonic rangers, several full size solderless breadboards and a half-dozen mini-ones, a couple of dozen good jumpers, several atmega328p chips and a couple of attiny85s, an Icsp programmer. I would not bother with small components generally but an assortment of LEDs, some 1k and 10k resistors, and some.1uf caps.

Two of my favourite things are my saleae logic analyzer and my weller wes51 soldering station but I don't know if you would benefit from buying there. There are cheap saleae clones but mine was iffy.

Oh, some kind of accelerometer setup would be fun and you'll need at least a character LCD. Maybe a touch shield if they're cheap.

Really you should think of two concrete things you want to make and go from there but I sure understand the impulse

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