Should I Learn Arduino First or Buy a Starter Kit

Hello, I'm a student from India. I am interested in electronics but have a limited budget. There are many companies in my locality which offer arduino training and also give a arduino clone with some other accessories. But at the same cost I get the arduino official starter kit. I am a complete beginner with hardware but I already have C and C++ training. I want to learn hardware part and use arduino with shields like Ethernet shield and XBEE shields for my projects. So what should I go for-

1) Arduino Training (Worth $100) + Arduino clone local Kit (Worth $20) 2) Only Arduino Official Starter Kit (worth $135)

My parents told me buy a arduino if you have a good idea about it. So please tell me which should I prefer.

Regards, Sarthak Sethi

Welcome.

I would ask the school for references of students who have taken the course. find someone who has a similar programming background and find out if the school teaches more about programming or more about electronics.

that will give you more information on what is being taught, and will answer your question better than we can.

If you can buy an Arduino clone for about $20 you could probably buy a lot of the parts in the starter kit for a further $20. A solderless breadboard, a few leds with resistors, a cheap digital multimeter and some wire to connect everything would allow you to do a lot of exploring.

The costly items that you mention are the Ethernet and Xbee shields.

Whether you should take the course is a slightly different question.

If you already know C/C++ then a programming course would be a waste of money in my view.

If you are unsure about your ability to learn about hardware on your own - resistors, transistors, capacitors, LEDs etc - and unsure about wiring things then up a course that focuses on that aspect of things could be a great boost to your confidence. Being able to solder things is also a great benefit but can seem difficult until you get a little experience.

...R

Buy a starter kit or make your own starter kit with: 1 Uno or clone 1 USB cable solderless breadboard (also called protoboard) solid core wire (for jumpers) LEDs resistors (10 K ohms, 1 K ohms, and 220 ohms) push button or toggle switch buzzer or speaker wire stripper (to cut and strip wire for jumpers) pliers (helpful but not required)

Then work through the online tutorials available from anywhere that sells a starter kit. If you still don't feel comfortable, then take a course. Or post a question.

but I already have C and C++ training. I want to learn hardware part and use arduino with shields like Ethernet shield and XBEE shields for my projects.

Roll-your-own!!!

Look over Adafruit.com or Sparkfun.com & the Internet for projects you want to construct. Start simple, buy the parts, program and learn. Modify and add stuff... Make them your own.

UNO is a good start. The uC is replaceable. Also, Adafruit sells nice (supported clones) as does Sparkfun and others... That is, they both have active forums and guarantees you will not get from most Chinese vendors of clones.

Arduino is C/C++ dilect, so you just need to understand that there is no Arduino language, just libraries and macro and headers... Everything is compiled into standard GCC.

Ray

mrburnette: but I already have C and C++ training. I want to learn hardware part and use arduino with shields like Ethernet shield and XBEE shields for my projects.

Roll-your-own!!!

Look over Adafruit.com or Sparkfun.com & the Internet for projects you want to construct. Start simple, buy the parts, program and learn. Modify and add stuff... Make them your own.

UNO is a good start. The uC is replaceable. Also, Adafruit sells nice (supported clones) as does Sparkfun and others... That is, they both have active forums and guarantees you will not get from most Chinese vendors of clones.

Where do you suppose they get their clones from? Is this forum not active enough?

Henry_Best: Where do you suppose they get their clones from? Is this forum not active enough?

Adafruit stuffs their own clones, Ladyada has a pick-N-place machine. Sparkfun has a reflow furnace and many breakout units are assembled there. But manufacturing is secondary to support, libraries, and known working examples and schematics. Take a Chinese mini-Pro 328 vs a Sparkfun Pro-mini: I have seen at least 3 different Chinese versions and none exactly match the Sparkfun one.

The main thing is that they both offer return & replacement & active forums. There is nothing "wrong" with this forum and there is great experience here, but when an Op thinks they have a defective piece of h/w, it is good that they can contact someone that can definitively say ask for an RMA. Also, Adafruit is a licensed Arduino vendor and proceeds help support this forum.

In my view, it is smart to drive newbies to supported hardware. I usually recommend newbies start with an UNO but will generally refer then to both Adafruit and Spoarkfun to "window shop" for sensors and such. There is ample demand for recommending more than one provider.

But, for experienced builders and for myself, I feel the direct from China route is fine. But when I design for profit, I only work with OEM hardware. Most of us senior members will not create a drain on forum resources by asking non-reasonable questions about cheap hardware implementations.

Ray

I agree with the others. Buy a Arduino Uno board (or clone) and start using it. Arduino is about fast prototyping and learning by using it. Start to make a led blink, and soon you want to rotate a servo motor, or connect a sensor.

The clones are sometimes not fully compatible and have often bad quality components. You might waste a lot a time and effort if you happen to buy such a clone. That won't happen if you buy an official Arduino board.