I began by purchasing a decent Arduino kit, which I’ll say more about later. However If basic electronics is where you want to start (and I recommend you do) then just buy the basic bits.
Here I’ll list my recommendations in what I consider to be order of importance. Keep in mind I’m just a beginner too but I’ve already learned some important lessons. I’ll also show you where I got them if I can, but you can buy them very cheaply online. If you need something really quickly, visit a Jaycar store.
The Absolute Basics (click on images for full size – click on name to source)
Keep in mind that ordering locally is generally faster. Ordering overseas is usually cheaper but will take 30+ days to arrive.
|Breadboards||Buy at least 2 of these. They clip into each other (most types) for expansion and help you build circuits without soldering. Everything just presses in place.|
|Jumper Cables||These plug into your breadboard to make electrical connection. An absolute must.|
|LED’s||Light Emitting Diodes (LED). You will use these over & over in hundreds of projects.Make sure you know the voltage and amp ratings. 5mm are easier to handle but sometimes only 3mm will fit so buy a kit.|
|Resistors||You will need these for nearly every circuit. Never run a LED without a suitable resistor.|
|Battery Holder 9V||Clips to a single 9v battery to supply 9V power to your circuit.|
|Battery Holder 3V||Holds 2x AA batteries to supply 3V power to your circuit.|
|Variable potentiometers rated to 5000 ohms. Basically just like the volume dial on a radio.|
|Trim Pots 10k ohms||Variable potentiometers rated to 10000 ohms. Basically just like the volume dial on a radio.|
|NE555P||NE555 DIP-8 Single Bipolar Timers. The 555 timer is an integrated circuit (chip) used in a variety of timer, pulse generation, and oscillator applications. The 555 can be used to provide time delays, as an oscillator, and as a flip-flop element.|
|Assorted Capacitors||Capacitors hold and help regulate charge. Start with an assortment for under $5.|
|Relays||Assorted 5V relays.|
|Buttons & Switches||You can buy them separately but you end up paying more. This kit gives you some good button options, swirches, bigger and easier potentiometers, some spare LEDs and a bunch of extra resistors for well under $5.|
|Storage||Lots of options but it’s important to keep your bits and pieces sorted and labelled at all times. Transistors, integrated circuits and assorted chips should not be stored in plastic bags as static electricity may damage them.|
|Anti Static Bags||While not strictly necessary, I store sensitive components in these.|
Fun To Have & Make It More Interesting
|Colour Changing LEDs – Rainbow||Emitted Colour: Red / Yellow / Blue / Green / White / Purple / Pink. 5mm Led. Flash rate about 3-5 seconds.|
LEDs – RGB
|Automatically change colour, red, green & blue.|
|Active Buzzer||Frequency: 300-2300Hz. Sound intensity: 85dB at 10cm.|
|Buzzer Beep Alarm|