What kind of experience should you have before getting involved in the Arduino world? And which is the best starter kit for the greenest of newbie?
There have been all sorts of skill levels that have taken up the Arduino.
School students to electronics engineers have taken it up.
Read the posts and you will see that all sorts of people use the arduino.
The Arduino starter kit has been popular.
mceut: What kind of experience should you have before getting involved in the Arduino world? And which is the best starter kit for the greenest of newbie?
Once you have an idea of what interests you, then look around on Adafruit.com and Sparkfun.com (or eBay) for the parts you would need. Does this fit into your budget? A $40 GPS on Adafruit may be compared to a $15 Chinese unit but you need to realize there is no support for the Chinese module and tha Adafruit has a help-line and forum and tested software libraries and often training videos. This is critical.
Take you interests to YouTube and see if anyone else has built a project similar... is this still interesting?
Make a mental note of where you want to be in a year. Do you have the time (money) to invest in your education. Can you afford necessary tools like soldering equipment and a decent Digital Volt Meter (yes, $25+ but for some this is a barrier when added to the Arduino and sensors.)
Arduino is a good hobby but expect to be frustrated a bit... forever. No matter how knowledgeable one is, there are many, many things to annoy one... from foolish mistakes to undocumented features of the language :o
mceut: What kind of experience should you have before getting involved in the Arduino world?
You don't need to have any particular experience.
What you do need to have is an interest to learn and the patience not to be put off by silly mistakes which even experienced programmers make - such as wasting half a day with a problem because of a missing comma that you do not notice.
You can download the Arduino IDE without spending any money of hardware and you can study the example programs that come with it. You can also write and compile (verify) your own program - but of course you do need an Arduino board to test the programs.
The Uno is the best board for a beginner because most things are designed to work with it. Add to that a few LEDs, a few 470ohm resistors (to limit the current in the LEDs) and you can try a lot of programs.
I suggest you don't buy in a lot of stuff for a larger project until you have some experience.
The Thread planning and implementing a program may be of interest, although it was not written for the complete beginner.