Advice needed

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
Hello, I'm an Electrical and Electronic Engineering student in Ireland. I enjoy programming and working with circuits. I was wondering what type of Electronics kit I could get to work with so I can progress my education in electronics and programming. When I was in college we used a Sparkfun inventors kit and it was great so something like that. Also i have a budget of about 100 Euros.
Thank you,
Sean.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
Your message is in the wrong forum.
I was wondering what type of Electronics kit I could get to work with so I can progress my education in electronics and programming.
I'm not a big fan of kits. I might have considered a resistor kit if I was just starting out, but that's about it. I buy components I use in a design in quantities of 100 (10 if I don't think I'll use them much). After decades of doing that, I have a relatively large stock of parts that I use commonly.

What types of circuits do you plan to build?
When I was in college we used a Sparkfun inventors kit and it was great so something like that. Also i have a budget of about 100 Euros.
I've found everything from Sparkfun to be overpriced. Don't buy components from Amazon, eBay, Ali Express, Banggood, etc. Only trust authorized resellers and distributors (Mouser, Newark, Jameco, Digikey, etc). You pay more for authentic parts, but you don't spend any time questioning whether your parts work (or work correctly).

Where are you located? Maybe members who are local to you might sell components at good price or donate parts. I tried helping someone out by gathering up about $100 worth of components and selling them to him for $20; half of that was for shipping. He didn't even acknowledge receipt of the parts, so my time and effort were wasted on him.
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
Your message is in the wrong forum.
I'm not a big fan of kits. I might have considered a resistor kit if I was just starting out, but that's about it. I buy components I use in a design in quantities of 100 (10 if I don't think I'll use them much). After decades of doing that, I have a relatively large stock of parts that I use commonly.

What types of circuits do you plan to build?
I've found everything from Sparkfun to be overpriced. Don't buy components from Amazon, eBay, Ali Express, Banggood, etc. Only trust authorized resellers and distributors (Mouser, Newark, Jameco, Digikey, etc). You pay more for authentic parts, but you don't spend any time questioning whether your parts work (or work correctly).

Where are you located? Maybe members who are local to you might sell components at good price or donate parts. I tried helping someone out by gathering up about $100 worth of components and selling them to him for $20; half of that was for shipping. He didn't even acknowledge receipt of the parts, so my time and effort were wasted on him.
Thank you for your reply. Which forum would be the best for this question? Anyways, I primarily plan on building simple circuits (LEDS, servo motors, motors, switches). I basically want to improve my programming and circuit building skills as I really enjoy it and want to learn more. I based in Cork, Ireland by the way. What sort of parts would you recommend?
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
2,281
Radio shack used to have some interesting learning kits which included parts, breadboards of sorts and books. I'm sure there's something like that out there to get started with... I still have one or two laying around here somewhere. Again you'll find that unless you follow their examples exactly you'll find that you might need to supplement.

Sounds like you need an Arduino, Raspberry Pi kit or something similar.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
Which forum would be the best for this question?
I'd've put it in General. More members are likely to visit that forum.
I primarily plan on building simple circuits (LEDS, servo motors, motors, switches).
I'd get some transistors, MOSFETs, LEDs, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and switches. Assuming you already have tools, wires, boards.
What sort of parts would you recommend?
Here's a list posted by one of the moderators. It isn't what I'd recommend, but if you don't have any better ideas, it's a start.

The "kit" recommends 2 signal diodes: 1N4148 and 1N914. But those diodes are equivalent. It recommends 2 types of NPN transistors (2N2222 and 2N3904), but the PNP's don't include the 2N2907 complement for 2N2222. No power transistors or MOSFETs; which you'll need for motors. It recommended dual and quad single supply opamps, but only a quad comparator; I'd just get dual opamps and comparators. It recommended a 5V regulator, but I'd substitute LM317 which is adjustable from 1.2-37V. It didn't list any potentiometers.

Personally, I'd build up stock by buying quantity 10-100 of any part you use. More if you use them often. Before eBay became such a magnet for counterfeiters, I used to buy components by the reel. Now I have hundreds of thousands of parts and can build most things from parts on hand.
 
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Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
Radio shack used to have some interesting learning kits which included parts, breadboards of sorts and books. I'm sure there's something like that out there to get started with... I still have one or two laying around here somewhere. Again you'll find that unless you follow their examples exactly you'll find that you might need to supplement.

Sounds like you need an Arduino, Raspberry Pi kit or something similar.
Thanks for your reply. Yes I have some experience with arduino and I really enjoyed it. I will look at radio shack. Thank you again
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
I'd've put it in General. More members are likely to visit that forum.
I'd get some transistors, MOSFETs, LEDs, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and switches. Assuming you already have tools, wires, boards.
Here's a list posted by one of the moderators. It isn't what I'd recommend, but if you don't have any better ideas, it's a start.

The "kit" recommends 2 signal diodes: 1N4148 and 1N914. But those diodes are equivalent. It recommends 2 types of NPN transistors (2N2222 and 2N3904), but the PNP's don't include the 2N2907 complement for 2N2222. No power transistors or MOSFETs; which you'll need for motors. It recommended dual and quad single supply opamps, but only a quad comparator; I'd just get dual opamps and comparators. It recommended a 5V regulator, but I'd substitute LM317 which is adjustable from 1.2-37V. It didn't list any potentiometers.

Personally, I'd build up stock by buying quantity 10-100 of any part you use. More if you use them often. Before eBay became such a magnet for counterfeiters, I used to buy components by the reel. Now I have hundreds of thousands of parts and can build most things from parts on hand.
Thank you for your reply. Greatly appreciated
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
21,367

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
Hello,

It depends on what and how you want to program.
If you want to use assembly or C, you could use pics or AVR chips.

If you want to program by USB , then the arduino or one of the alternatives:
https://all3dp.com/2/best-arduino-alternatives/

If you want to program from a linux enviroment, the rapsberry pi has a lot of options:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/

If you want to experiment with RF, the red pitaya is a good platform:
https://www.redpitaya.com/

Bertus
Hello Bertie, thanks for the reply. I believe the Sparkfun Artemis looks good for me. I will do more research on it. Thank you for supplying me with the links. For the arduino alternatives, will those allow me to write simple programs such as making and LED flash 3 times a second?
Thank you again
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,693
For the arduino alternatives, will those allow me to write simple programs such as making and LED flash 3 times a second?
Yes, and so much more!

The Arduino platform has a large selection of add-ons, called “shields” in Arduino slang. Shields can give the Arduino many capabilities. Such as connecting to the Internet, sense it’s surroundings, measure volts, current and distance, keep very accurate time, control DC, stepper and RC servos, play sounds and music, read and write to files on SD cards, and many other things. All under the control of a C program.

But you don’t need any add-ons to flash an LED three times a second, other than an LED, a resistor and a program. In fact, it comes with sample programs including one to simply flash an LED from which you can learn.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,398
There is a great guy on YT by the name of Paul McWhorter that does a great job of teaching Arduino from A-Z and pushes a kit that is found on Amazon for under $50. Great experience for beginners like me.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,693
Thank you, and where can I download the program for C for arduino?
Go to the official Arduino web site, Arduino.cc, and download the “IDE” for your laptop/desktop and operating system. It’s free!

You write the programs on your computer using the IDE program and then upload them to the Arduino via a USB cable (provided with the Arduino).

This process is similar for most microcomputers. But others may require additional hardware and may require additional efforts/steps.

Arduino tutorials are available on the Arduino website, Arduino.cc, as well as reference material.
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
68
Go to the official Arduino web site, Arduino.cc, and download the “IDE” for your laptop/desktop and operating system. It’s free!

You write the programs on your computer using the IDE program and then upload them to the Arduino via a USB cable (provided with the Arduino).

This process is similar for most microcomputers. But others may require additional hardware and may require additional efforts/steps.

Arduino tutorials are available on the Arduino website, Arduino.cc, as well as reference material.
Thank you, I only started going on these forums today and I've received a wealth of help and advice. I am truly grateful. Stay safe everyone! Go raibh míle maith agaibh
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
I will look at radio shack.
Radio Shack in the US was a high priced option - only to be used as a last resort for most components. I'd buy ferric chloride, transformers, and wire from them, but not much else. I don't think they have any brick and mortar stores now and are mostly online.

If you value your time, don't buy parts just because they're cheap. These days, that probably means they're counterfeit. Newbie + counterfeit = frustration. Save up for what you need/want and buy authentic components.

For assembled things like Arduino Uno, I only buy knock-offs. They're a tenth of the price, but there's a risk with that too.
 
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