Review of the Official Arduino Starter Kit
Introducing the Arduino Starter Kit! Let me tell you, I have been after one of these for weeks, finally I have one! So who’s this kit for? Primarily it’s aimed at beginners, those people who have little, or no experience of creating wiring circuits and bread-board projects. It should appeal to most age groups, making this an ideal gift idea!
When you open the box, you’ll see that the kit equips you with all the necessary components to develop simple projects, from making your first simple circuit right through to controlling your computer with the Arduino board!
First thing you’ll notice is the big Arduino Projects Book. A highly informative manual that makes even the most complex of circuits look easy, with a fairly comprehensive guide to each step you need to take. I found it to be of great use when I went to code the Arduino for one of the projects.
Believe me when I say it’s a straight-forward task once you have read the guide! I found this out the hard way, I spent half-an-hour trying to get my head around the coding process, which at first glance looks a bit daunting, when I should of read the guide book first! There’s a lesson to be learnt I suppose!
The number of components is impressive too. The kit includes a DC Motor, Diodes, a H-bridge, jumper wires, LED’s, and LCD Display as well as Octocoupler’s, a Piezo, some photoresistors, a few potentiometers, a handful of push buttons, an array of resistors, a servo motor, temp sensors, tilt sensors, transistors, a breadboard and of course, the all-important genuine Arduino Uno board.
Before you get stuck into the book and all the components though, there’s the small matter of placing the Arduino board and the breadboard somewhere convenient. Fortunately, Arduino thought of this and provided a wooden base to attach them to, then it’s on to the first project.
The ever-informative Arduino Projects Book goes into some detail about the ins-and-outs of electronics before you reach the wiring instructions. It’s just a simple circuit to light up an LED but it’s a nice way to ease you into things.
The 2nd project is where the coding begins. Other projects you can do with this kit include a digital hourglass, a ‘crystal ball’, a light theremin, a small keyboard instrument and a host more. The projects increase in difficulty the further you progress through the book. I certainly wouldn’t recommend jumping straight into any one of the last 3 if you’re a beginner. The 15th and last project involves hacking buttons to create a master control for all your devices!
But this kit isn’t just for beginners, for a lot of experienced people this kit would make a welcome addition to their collection and at £80, for what you get in the box, it’s definitely worth it.
Here are the projects included within the kit :
- Get to know your tools
- Spaceship Interface
- Colour mixing Lamp
- Mood Cue
- Light Theremin
- Keyboard Instrument
- Digital Hourglass
- Motorised Pin-wheel
- Crystal Ball
- Knock Lock
- Touchy-Feel Lamp
- Tweak the Arduino Logo
- Hacking Buttons
Of course many more projects can be made from this kit and the limit is your imagination.
I think this is a great kit, Arduino have done really well with this one, they’ve obviously put a considerate amount of time into picking out the projects to do and which components to include. The book that accompanies it is well produced, it doesn’t drown you in a sea of information, however, it does give you enough information without ‘babying’ you through it.
Arduino, I salute you on a job well done. My advice to those who are thinking of buying this kit? Do it. Remember, by buying the genuine Arduino Starter kit, you help to support Arduino, which in turns helps it continue to be open source. See our guide on how to spot a fake one!