Recommendations for own Arduino Kit

I am asking for an Arduino starter kit for Christmas - but I don’t really want the existing kits offered. They often contain items I don’t really want, so I thought I would just assemble my own list of parts (and call it a kit).

I’m looking for recommendations on soldering - currently I do not have anything the right size, and I have no experience doing very small scale soldering.

Parts that I have already added to the list are genuine Arduino UNO R3, NRF24L01, breadboard jumper cables - Male to Male, Female to Male and Female to Female, ESP8266 Module, Step Down and Step Up voltage converters, resistors (variety), and electrolytic and ceramic capacitors, breadboard, power supply, and battery pack power supply. That’s what I have so far. The rest would be some sensor shields. I am interested in the ultrasonic sensor, PIR, camera, leds, and temp and humidity.

I know very little about this stuff. I just know what I have gleaned from reading online. I have perceive that some of you are very experienced. I was hoping that maybe someone might have the time to maybe help me by suggesting what they would get starting out… It can even be a pre-existing kit if that is what you think is the best idea. I just didn’t want a kit with parts that are not going to be used.

Arduino is not set in stone either. But upon comparison to similar offerings, Arduino seems to be the most affordable. Plus, I know that Home Assistant supports it.

Oh, I have one other question. I’ve noticed that often people will build their device and then either kind of leave it as is, put it in tupperware, or rarely put it into a nice enclosure. I realize that by assembling something custom, a ‘case’ won’t necessarily already exist. But is there a good, cheapish way to enclose/protect the end product rather than having a little circuit board and wires hooked to the wall :slight_smile:

Thank you,

I suggest the use of grove sensors. You connect a shield on the arduino then connect sensors to the shield without soldering. A lot of sensors and actuators are available.

Thank you. I appreciate the suggestion. I have poor vision (for up close) that cannot be corrected so this would really help me. Thanks again. tobias.

Make sure you get some LEDs so you can test your program on your breadboard.

My wife also really appreciated it when I got ‘Solder Helping Hand’ (link) because she used to be the one holding my gadgets while I soldered :smiley:

“Helping Hands” should be considered part of any soldering kit IMHO… I can’t imagine soldering without one!

A good rule of thumb when working with Arduino is to consider the “Uno”-style boards as temporary prototyping tools to go along with breadboards etc… Once you’ve settled on a configuration you plan to use semi-permanently then its best to go with a “Pro Mini” style board since they are far cheaper, smaller and more oriented towards hard-soldered perf boards etc… Adafruit sells a “perma-proto breadboard” that works great for these purposes. However, the cheaper modules (e.g Pro Mini, ESP8266 etc…) generally require an FTDI/USB-TTL adapter so I would definitely include that in my list!
While I’ve found the best FTDI adapter tool to be the UartSBee by Seeed Studio I’d normally consider Adafruit to be the gold standard of DIY electronics, as they always use top quality materials and most importantly, offer extensive documentation and support. They do tend to be pricier then others however and depending on where your ordering from their shipping rates can be outrageous.

Another consideration in selecting an Arduino board should be whether or not you really need a solid hardware serial port. The older type Uno’s and Pro Mini’s are based on the ATMega328 which basically converts an analog serial signal to a USB connection. The newer “Leonardo” type boards are based on an ATMega32u4 chip which creates a “virtual” serial port which some consider more efficient while others consider overly complex. The Leonardo-type boards are great for some things like mimicing HID inputs, but don’t work so well with things like the nr24 radios I’ve found.

I’m a big fan of the nodeMCU board. It has built in wifi, a USB port for super-easy flashing, plenty of pins, and 3.3 + 5V. Its also about $6.

To all,

Thank you all for your suggestions and information. Your advice will surely save me time and money. I really appreciate it!

Thank you,