Help buying Arduino Board


I'm kind of new to Arduino, but tried some at school. Since I like Arduino, me any my friend are planning on buying a board. At school we use "Arduino Uno", but would like to have a bigger board, but a little unsure which one we should buy as beginners?

Any suggestions for us?

(Didn't really figure out where to post this, so hopefully this is the right place.)

Best regards, DanVass

Hi, I would still suggest and 'UNO'. The one advantage I see of the smaller UNO board is that there are lots of low cost, well tried and supported methods of making your projects permanent.

So if you have the money I would suggest get a single UNO and with any money you have left over buy a few component packs for 'bread board arduinos' or 'standalone arduinos' you will learn a lot more this way and will be able to keep anything really cool that you make without using up your one and only UNO.

Duane B

I don't mind using money on these things, since I like it :) I got a budget on $150 to spend on Arduino gear. Are the uno bords better than the Mega 2560?

Hi, Are there other boards more powerful than an UNO ? Yes, but with a UNO and a set of component kits to build more Arduinos you can do something really clever like have distributed Arduinos managing different functions of your projects, you can also make any of your projects permanent just by leaving a component Arduino in them at a cost of less than 10 dollars. The best part is that if in the course of doing something very clever you damage an Arduino you still have ten more.

It is all just my opinion, but I haven't been limited by an UNO yet, it might be that I am just not that imaginative or that I enjoy the occasional challenge of making a project fit what I have.

Duane B

Thanks a lot DuaneB! The reason I'm asking for a bigger bord is because we did some traffic lights in class - and felt like we used quite a few outputs. I'll take your advise by going for Arduino Uno :) BTW Arduino Uno is the newest Arduino out there?

Hi, This is a good example of what I mean by fitting projects to what you have, you can use shift registers (look up 74595) to massively expand Arduino outputs. You can chain a few of these chips together to get 8,16,24,32 etc etc outputs from three or four Arduino pins - with a little coding.

Duane B

Figure out what you're going to do with the Arduino - that'll tell you which one you need. If you don't know yet, or you're planning to do a lot of learning projects, get an Uno and save your money to buy sensors and other hardware.

If you are concerned that you don't have enough pins, try looking here:

This guy is controlling 768 LED’s at 32 brightness levels using just 3 pins of an Arduino - an Uno would be fine for this. Even a 'Mega doesn't have quite that many pins - you just need to learn what's out there and how to use it.

Unless you know that what you want to do can't be easily achieved with external driver/shift-register type chips then I would start with an Uno. And as DuaneB says, once I have something I like, I build it with a dedicated '328 chip on a bit of circuit board so that I can keep it forever. The controller actually only costs £3-4 so you can trial a project with your 'Uno and then once you have what you like you can make a permanent version. You can't do that easily with a 'Mega because the 2560 controller is a 100-pin surface mount package only.

For $150 you could do loads of fun things with an Uno and a bunch of peripheral items, especially if you work up enough understanding to build a few $10 boards of your own - it's really not hard.


This is really good advice - 'get an Uno and save your money to buy sensors and other hardware' - the Uno is cool but on its own there really isn't very much to do, but follow wildbills advice and get a load of inputs and outputs and who knows what you will end up building.

Duane B

Thanks a lot guys! I'll take the advice and go for the Uno board! :) Any suggestions on which "beginner kits" i should buy? Also where can i get the controller? "The controller actually only costs £3-4"

Thanks a lot guys for all help, really appreciate it!