Which Arduino parts and items?

Hello all,

only recently have I found out about Arduino. It looks very interesting and I’m very excited to toy around with it. However, I’m a complete electrical engineering noob. I was wondering what I need to start playing around with the Arduino board. Obviously the Arduino board itself and a USB cable to connect it to my PC. Are there any other things I need? (Please, also state the obvious as I truly have no idea).

Any help would be much appreciated.

B

It depends. :slight_smile:

PCB Europe sells a workshop kit, which, even if you don’t want to buy, might give some idea of where to get started: http://pcb-europe.net/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=29&products_id=51

Or look through the tutorials and find something you’d like to try to do yourself. Or go to SparkFun http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php and find something you’d like to try to get working with the Arduino.

It’s a good question and probably something we should try to do a better job of addressing on the website. I hope these suggestions help.

Thank you for your quick reply.
The first link is definetly helpful, however when I look at the items included in that kit I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the different items. Connectors, resistors, transistors, breadboard, are they all needed (for simply playing around)? And can I break the Arduino if I don’t use a specific resistor or something?

B

Again, it depends.

You will usually need resistors for connecting components (e.g. 220 ohm for LEDs, 10 K ohm for pushbuttons). It’s possible to damage the Arduino board (most like the replaceable ATmega8 chip) by doing something wrong, but it’s not too easy. The breadboard you’ll probably want, as otherwise it’s difficult to connect things. Transistors you need if you want to use high-power things like motors.

What would you like to do?

I’m not having any particular project in mind just yet. Later this year I’m graduating in Artificial Intelligence and I was thinking of using the Arduino for a project in wearables. So bluetooth connections, touch-sensors, and probably leds are things (I think) I will be using.

But, like I said, I have never worked with electrical engeneering things, I’m mostly an AI programmer who wishes to explore and implement some theory into practical applications :).

B

Being in a similar situation as you are, I found todbot’s spooky arduino class very helpful. Have a look at the class notes 1-4 on this page.

http://todbot.com/blog/spookyarduino/

Of course there are more tutorials out there, but this one will get you started.