Intro to Arduino Class
This beginner’s class will cover Arduino Uno hardware and the Arduino software environment and structured C (and some C++) programming
- Digital outputs and LED interfacing
- Driving digital outputs in an analog manner
- Digital inputs and button switches
- Analog inputs and potentiometers
- Structured programming techniques
- Variables and constants
- Program control structures
- Serial communication with a host computer
Micro-controller Programming Techniques
- Debouncing digital inputs
- Filtering analog inputs
- Mapping sensor values to actuator values
Getting an Arduino
This class is meant to be a hands-on experience. You’ll learn much more by doing than by just listening. The good news is you can get started with Arduino for about $50
(I’m not affiliated with any of these suppliers and I receive nothing from them when you order.)
Arduino Starter Kits
Here’s a rundown of various Arduino starter kits. All of them include an Arduino Uno (the latest R3 version with a full-size, removable microcontroller chip), some kind of breadboard, basic electronic components, and hookup wires
The more expensive kits here will add other nice-to-have items such as AC power supplies, prototyping shields, and more exotic electronic components like flex sensors, but the least expensive basic kits are all you really need to get started
Adafruit Budget Pack for Arduino ($49.50)
In my opinion the best of the starter kits. This one features a larger breadboard and all the basic components you’ll need to get started including LEDs, Button Switches, Potentiometers, and even a Light Sensor. Plus nice extras like a USB cable and rubber feet for the bottom of the Arduino board.
The main problem with this kit is it’s been in and out of stock recently. If it’s back ordered keep an eye on it and buy when they’re available.
SparkFun Starter Kit for Arduino – Flex ($59.95)
Roughly the same as the Adafruit kit above but with a smaller mini-breadboard and a couple of extra components like a flex sensor, a “soft pot”, and a piezo buzzer. While these are fun to play with they don’t add that much to learning the ins and outs of the Arduino and they do add a bit to the price.
These may be easier to find in stock that the Adafruit kit.
Maker Shed Getting Started with Arduino Kit ($64.99)
This one is a bit overpriced for the contents, basically the same as the Adafruit kit, with the larger sized breadboard, a 9v battery power option, and some slight variation in the basic electronic components. Really not much to recommend it over the competition.
Adafruit Starter Pack for Arduino ($65.00)
A much better use of your money would be this kit once again from Adafruit. It features a smaller mini-breadboard, but instead of sitting next to the arduino it mounts on top of a prototyping “shield” (basically a daughter board designed to plug into the Arduino to expand it’s capabilities). This kit also has both 9v battery and 9v AC powering options and the same electronic components from Adafruit’s beginner’s kit above