I'm new to the arduino, currently an owner of the arduino duemilanove, and I've made my way through the "Getting Started" projects, and I'm looking forward to taking on bigger and better things. However, I don't know where to start in terms of parts. What are good things to pick up? And, considering I'm a broke college student, where could I find the best deal? The breadboard that came with my pack is miniscule (170 tie points, no power buses or the like) so I'm looking to pick up a new one. I've looked through amazon originally, then found www.sparkfun.com, but I have yet to make any purchases. I've briefly looked through the various starting projects listed on the Arduino website, but I feel like the parts lists get kind of random, and I want something I can pull from for random LED projects, etc. It should be mentioned that this is my first experience with physical electronics. I'm a freshman computer engineer and we have yet to start circuitry or anything of that nature, just E&M. Where should I start?
If your not in a hurry, this place has great prices and selection . . .
Take a look at dipmicro.com also, they seem to have really low prices.
Get some LED, 220 ohm current limit resistors, maybe browse mpja.com for some interesting parts like matrix displays, get a sample driver or two from maxim-ic.com to control it.
Hard to suggest more without a more concrete project idea.
pololu.com has good prices too for breadboards
Update your profile with a location, where are you going to school?
Thanks for the fast replies! I'm working on browsing through both sites.
CrossRoads, I updated my profile, and I'm attending the University of Pittsburgh. I can't really think of any concrete ideas to propose though. Earlier today I was trying to modify the sample project in the "Getting Started" book that has you fade in an LED while holding a pushbutton, attempting to make it both fade out an LED while fading in a second, but I couldn't think of a way to get the programming to work.
I never looked at any of the getting started books, I graduated with BSEE 25 years ago and just jumped right into my project. Started with picking bits out of a serial data stream (5 bytes that repeated, 6 of the bits represented lights on/off info) and just kept expanding from there. Has been fun.
Why not come up with an interesting clock idea? Stopwatch or something, see how long it really takes your girlfriend to get ready, or how long the washing machines in the dorm basement run. Get some 7-segment displays, scroll a text message across them on your hat (BEAT PENN!). Make a soothing 3D cube and mesmerize your friends with the soothing patterns of LEDs trailing after each other.
Have some fun with it.
Haha those are great ideas. Also, my girlfriend goes to Penn State, so I could probably have some fun with that. But after taking a brief look at some sample code and schematics of LED cubes and scrolling displays, I feel like that would be too much of an undertaking. To get more experience, should I focus on the projects on the Arduino Playground?
My first project after understanding how the initial projects worked was a line of 10 or so LEDs flashing back and forth in sequence, then I charlieplex'd (you can google or search for it) 6 together and did the same thing again, and after that charlieplex'd 30 together, this time it wasn't in sequence because they weren't very straight or sequential, just crammed in there..
And, considering I’m a broke college student, where could I find the best deal?
The trash can. Seriously.
Go out, and start trashin’ - you’ll find a ton of stuff people throw away; sure, maybe it doesn’t work as it originally was intended, but most of the parts should be OK - get out your desoldering braid and go to town! Ask you friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc - if they have any old junk that they want to get rid of. Old VCRs, old tape decks, junked R/C cars and other electronic toys, printers, scanners, etc - all are a great source of parts. Scrounge around the dumpsters in business/industrial parks - you’re sure to find something worth taking home (provided you can carry it - I’ve seen old 1970’s minicomputers sitting by dumpsters - you’d need a forklift to move those).
Another thing - go scrounging by the dumpsters at your school/uni before “summer break” - ton’s of junk that kids don’t want to cart home, much of it in great working condition - becomes magically available…
I'm new to the arduino, currently an owner of the arduino duemilanove, and I've made my way through the "Getting Started" projects, and I'm looking forward to taking on bigger and better things. However, I don't know where to start in terms of parts. What are good things to pick up? And, considering I'm a broke college student, where could I find the best deal?
I think what you need to do is have a plan before you buy unnecessary things.
Another site you might want to check out for cheap products is:
There is also an Ebay store called Asia Engineer and you would have to know what you are looking at to tell if it is a good price or not so compare prices:
You might want to check Futurlec for value packs (requires searching website):
You might want to check Futurlec online because they have specials and value packs whereas sparkfun will charge you .35 cents for a single LED and you can get 100 for 4.95 from Futurlec. Futurlec isn't the only cheap online store:
1/4W 300pc's for only $2.45
1/2W 300pc's for $4.95
Ceramic 200pc's for $2.95
100 Electro's only $3.95
LED's R,G,Y 100 only $4.95
Assort. Signal 100 for $2.95
50 Assorted IC's for $5.95
100 assorted only $5.95
If it is Arduino and general electronics based products and development boards you can also refer
the Development boards are available at a cheaper cost to you there!