Simple control of linear actuator

I’m a programmer but complete novice when it comes to the electronics side of things so please speak slowly and use small words.

Here is my actuator:

http://www.eco-worthy.com/catalog/worthy-16400mm-stoke-linear-actuator-1500n-57mms-p-458.html

It is 12V DC and has built-in limit switches. It would typically be switched via a DPDT relay.

All I want to do is be able to tell the actuator when to extend and when to retract, that’s it.

So assuming I have the arduino and the actuator and that’s it…what do I need to add to my shopping list to make this work? (looking for everything, including the basics like wire, or breadboards etc, I want to get everything together first so I can hit the ground running). Much obliged!

PS: I haven’t bought the arduino yet, but if there is a better option than the default UNO one let me know…I saw one with relays built in for higher voltage and current that might be what I need?

The "data sheet" is very discreet about the actuator control. At least it should work with a H-bridge (ordinary DC motor driver) instead of the DPDT switch, so that it can be stopped as well as a third "throw". The position can be estimated from the 5.7mm/s movement speed. If you only need to fully expand and retract it, the limit switches can disconnect power, for that direction, when reached.

Do you already have an idea (circuit diagram) for controlling the actuator with a SPDT switch?

If you are going to be prototyping on breadboards, get an Arduino which is breadboard compatible. Uno, Mega and Due are not. They are designed to be connected to shields, and using them with breadboards results in a rat's nest of wires that's difficult to figure out when you make an error, not to mention how fragile and unweildy the thing quickly becomes. Nano, Pro Micro, Pro Mini are examples of Arduino you can plug into your breadboard, making for a more manageable and robust prototype. And there are others. Tell us more about the context of your project and we can better advise.

I'm no expert on H-bridges, but this one looks good to me because it exceeds the max current of your actuator, and is small and breadboard compatible.