Need Christmas Present Advice

hello! my name is carol and i know this is not the place for me to post it, but i need help with arduino. actually i don't even know what arduino is, but i know my boyfriend has bought a beginner's kit and now he's in love with it. i wish i could buy something he can use with it. the only thing he bought apart from this kit is a presence detector. i saw a lcd monitor, but i don't know what's the use of it. so please, could somebody help me with ideas! thanks a lot and merry christmas to u all :)

buy a copy of the Arduino Cookbook to get you going as its too big a topic as your a beginner ,you look it up on amazon at your present state of knowledge its like asking a brain surgeon how to perform a full frontal lobotomy ,he would reply GRTFM

well, i was more like asking u what would be a good tool for me to buy to a beginner, i have no interest in programming it or anything :P

caroldake,
You might consider buying your boyfriend a cordless soldering iron…it can come in handy when doing electronics.
You can find one here : http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-40420L-Tooluxe-Cordless-Soldering/dp/B002GQCYUK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355956859&sr=8-1&keywords=cold+heat+soldering+iron

What he really wants is a girlfriend who knows what an Arduino is...

Hi Carol, here are some suggestions:

Dexter7: caroldake, You might consider buying your boyfriend a cordless soldering iron...it can come in handy when doing electronics. You can find one here : http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-40420L-Tooluxe-Cordless-Soldering/dp/B002GQCYUK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355956859&sr=8-1&keywords=cold+heat+soldering+iron

Ohhh please do NOT buy this. This is bad advice. This "cold/heat" soldering iron generates lots of current/spikes/arcing/sparking, that could fry electronics.

Now, if your boyfriend wants to solder and make you jewelry... go ahead.

Adafruit sells lots of kits he can use with Arduino. https://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=adasearch&q=kit

first of all, thank u so much for your help!!! i'm totally lost when it comes to arduino. and jealous too, as it gets more gifts than i do.. dexter7 and vasquo, i'll look for a safe kit then. my boyfriend is kinda clumsy, it's better not to give him a chance to burn his own apartment. the adafruit website is great! i'll spend the afternoon searching it. and dc42! i saw the lcd u suggested and i think it's a very good choice! i'll try to buy the lcd and the safe soldering kit. well, lots of work to do!! thanks to u guys ^^ wish u all a merry christmas!!!

You've been given good suggestions. One thing to consider, especially now, is shipping time. You are listed as living in Brasil, and Adafruit is a USA (New York) company. I suspect that even with the expensive next day shipping it may not get there in time for the 25th. So you need to decide whether you want to find something from a Brazilian source that you won't have to worry about customs delays, etc. or print up a picture of the item, and let it get there whenever.

Also, in the discussion you mentioned your boyfriend does not have a soldering iron. Note, that a lot of the products at Adafruit (and Sparkfun which is a similar company, though I tend to prefer Adafruit myself) assume you will be able to solder the components together. It might make sense to check whether soldering is needed before buying a particular item (or buy the soldering kit).

edit: Newark/element14/farnell has a Brasil site: http://www.farnellnewark.com.br/?ICID=brazillink. However, the problem with Newark is often too much choice, particularly if you are ordering for somebody else. I do see they are a distributor for some Adafruit products, so you might first locate the item via the adafruit site, and then see if the Brasil site carries it.

Yes, go with a nice "temperature-controlled" soldering iron [about $50 US], much better than anything else. Get an iron with the beveled tip, as they apply heat much better than the round tips.

If you were in the US, I'd say go to Barnes&Noble, since they have a lot of books on Arduino, especially useful for beginners. Also, Radio Shack is now carrying Arduino stuff, so at least in the US, you can run over there. In Brasil, acquisition before christmas may be a problem.

A bit late but still - An often used tool for electronic hobbyist is a multimeter. - http://adafruit.com/products/71 - or - http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-multimeter-98025.html -

Even an inexpensive one is of great help when checking a system build for failures.

hello guys!! once again thank u all for your ideias! yesterday i went to a info shop to buy the lcd and soldering kit. for my surprise no one knew what arduino was, so my original idea of giving him a gift with red ribbon and everything just failed... but thanks to michael's idea "...or print up a picture of the item, and let it get there whenever" i won't buy him socks and underware instead, i'll stick to the original plan :P

oric_dan, do u think this one is good? http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Temperature-Controlled-Soldering-Iron-GOOT-PX-201/657303215.html

robtillaart, i loved that multimeter! i have no clue of what manuel (my boyfriend) is gonna do with it but since he is an electrical engineer i know it has everything to do with him!! i guess i'll buy the lcd, the multimeter and the soldering iron. good present, uhn? i'll buy at aliexpress, but not today, cause i didn't know arduino had so many models.. i learnt today that there's uno, mega, duemilanove and others. i'll have to go to his house and check what model he bought. things are so much cheaper in the u.s.! michael, thanx for the tip, but here everything is so expensive!

well, when i get it all i'll tell u about it. and telecommando! this is the least i can do to a person who cooks me dinner when i arrive tired from work. and i guess it's a good hobby u guys have! think of it, at least it's useful! i bet your wife loves it much better than having u playing football and getting home with dirty clothes lol

It doesn't matter which Arduino he has, the items that folks here have suggested will work with all of them.

really? .................. ow :blush:

The shields are the main things that are linked to specific Arduinos, since they have pins that fit in the sockets in the boards. Though the Arduino team has made it so some shields are compatible across multiple Arduinos. The newest Arduino (Due) uses a different voltage and processor than the previous Arduinos, and tends to have more compatibility issues. If you are buying one of these, it is best to know the exact model that he has (and whether it is an official Arduino, or a clone, and if a clone what brand is the clone), and people can help on compatibility.

Even an inexpensive one is of great help when checking a system build for failures.

I was testing an analog meter today from a home center store ($9), and thought I would let folks know how the Harbor Freight meter did: on a 2.5v voltage reference (0.05%, worst case), the Harbor Freight meter read 2.49v (the $9 analog meter read 2.50v).

Pretty good, if you ask me.