Let's get started
OK, so you have decided you want to get involved in the world of DIY electronics but how, what..... First of all I would recommend getting started with the Arduinos and put the Raspberry Pi's to one side (for now anyway), the main reason for this because it is a LOT EASIER to get going with Arduino. We are going to make a list of items we believe is essential to get started and we will list according to how important they are (3 - Very Important, 2 - Good to have but can get away without it, 1 - Important but if there is a place you want to save money save money here). We will also break it down in 2 categories;
Basics (Arduino , Sensors etc)
1 X Arduino Uno R3 with USB cable (3) - Probably the most important item to acquire, you can't get started with Arduino without an Arduino and by the country mile the best value for money and the Arduino with the most resources is the Arduino Uno R3.
1 X RGB LED (3) - These are cheap and they are very rewarding to get going, remember to grab some resistors for these.
1 X 1/4 Watt Resistor Kit (3) - Sooner rather than later you will need them, get a kit with various resistors.
1 X Arduino Learning Shield (2) - This shield is supper handy to get yourself going in the world of DIY electronics, it's a plug and play shield and the complications of wiring is removed for a start and you can focus on getting yourself fimiliarised with the Arduino IDE and the coding. There is a lot of tutorials and do check out the user manual in the product page.
1 X Temperature and Relative Humidity Sensor (3) - Given the price it's actually a no brainer, get yourself one of these and get used to talking to sensors from your Arduino.
1 X PIR Sensor (3) - Much the same story as the Temerature sensor.....
1 X Light Sensor (3) - Yup another sensor, if you are really tight on budget choose 1 of the 3 in the list.
It's debatable if you should invest in tools this early in the process, personally I believe you should but use your own discretion.
1 X Side cutters (2) - Get yourself a decent pair of fine side cutters..... trust me!
1 X Breadboard and wires (3) - YES!!! These are an absolute MUST and at JvZ we give you a mind blowing combo deal that makes it an ABSOLUTE MUST!!!
1 X USB Soldering Iron (1) - This one is probably the most debatable item in the tool list since they have made DIY electronics SO simple with jumper wires (to be discussed) and should you take a USB one??? There are some other cheaper options but I personally believe the USB version gives a lot of freedom but does lack temperature control.
1 X Jumper Cable Male to Male (3) - These cables really makes your life easy, make sure you get one of each of the mating types.
1 X Jumper Cable Male to Female (3)
1 X Jumper Cable Female to Female (3)
1 X Breadboard Power Supply (1) - I find these very handy and they don't break the bank but once again you might consider this a luxury and not a necessity.
Please do give us a shout if you think our list needs a bit of an update.
OK, I have all these what now???
Step 1 - The most important step, prep your PC for the adventure.
Step 2 - After prepping your PC it's time to get coding with your new Arduino learner shield, please check out the manual.
Step 3 - Now it's time to hook up some of your sensors for your adventures (I'm a poet and I don't even know it).