Electronics kit for beginners

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 11, 2020

I am currently a high school student and I would like to learn more about electronics. I have been working with the Raspberry Pi Zero WH the past year but I have mainly focused on programming with Python. Now, I would like to expand my knowledge of electronics.

I know the basics (which I need to review): Ohm's law, Kirchoff's laws, Thevenin's theorem, RLC circuits... After doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that the books which suit me the most are Practical Electronics for Inventors and Make: Electronics but I have several questions regarding the components I need to use to practise. In Amazon, I have seen a kit which includes everything I need for Make but it is quite pricey (+250$) and costs even more if I have to ship it to Europe. Are there any affordable kits that I can buy here? If not, should I buy the parts separately?

I already own the most essential components: resistors, LEDs, jumper wires, breadboard, multimeter, resistors, buttons... I lack transistors, ICs, potentiometers, diodes...

Thanks in advance,


Joined Jul 1, 2009
Title: Understanding Basic Electronics, 1st Ed.
Publisher: The American Radio Relay League
ISBN: 0-87259-398-3

One of the reasons there is no 'basic kit' is because no one kit could possibly satisfy whatever it is you might try to get into. One of the things you learn first in electronics is the pervasive fact that no matter what project it is, you almost invariably find one or more components are needed- that you do not possess! :)

Wish I could help more of you in the EU. Wish more people in the USA were as interested in electronics as folks in the EU.


Joined Aug 7, 2008
Mouser Electronics carries the full line of SparkFun kits & parts.
Might pick a logic family like 74HCXX which also includes chips like 74HC4017.
And of course you will need 555 & C555's.


Joined Mar 30, 2015
Welcome to AAC!
Are there any affordable kits that I can buy here? If not, should I buy the parts separately?
In general, kits are overpriced.

I lack transistors, ICs, potentiometers, diodes...
For transistors, I'd recommend 2N3904/2N3906. You'll probably use them frequently, so buying 100 of each would probably be a good idea. If you're in Europe, you'll want BC547/BC557.

N channel MOSFET: 2N7000. Unfortunately, there are no inexpensive P channel MOSFETs (through hole). I took a chance and bought some AO3400/1 on Ali Express for a couple cents each and they seem to be real (i.e. not counterfeit). But they're surface mount. I install them on SOT-23 to SIP adapters for breadboarding.

For diodes, I'd get 1N4148 (1N914) and some 1A rectifiers (1N4007).

For pots, 1K, 10K, 100K, 1M.

IMO, you'd be better off coming up with projects that interest you and buy any components needed for that project. If you think you'll need that part for future projects, order extras.

For resistors, I generally buy 100 or more of each value if the supplier offers a price break. I do the same for most components, but your budget and storage constraints might limit you. In any case, if you think you'll use that component in future projects, buy at least 10.

Here's an example of price breaks for resistors at Jameco.com (located in San Carlos; south of San Francisco):
If you have space for storage, you can get good deals on liquidation stock. I've bought full reels of 5000 through hole resistors for $5-10, or boxes of 1000 for $1.


Some standard output LEDs:

A caveat if you buy in bulk. The prices of some parts will go down in the future, and some will go up.

BTW, Jameco will price match as long as they don't sell for a loss.
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Joined Jan 6, 2004
Where in Europe do you live?

The many times I been to many countries there, found where to buy on the counter.

You are buying mostly basic components.

Leave the kit idea for the future. Buy for one or two projects and start. Wasted time is what counts.


Joined Feb 20, 2016
For a start, I would recommend..
Some side cutters.

A breadboard.

This series of multimeters are very good value for the money. You can get cheaper but they compare quite favorably with those costing 10 time the price.

Also, wearing safety specs is a good practice to get into. Cutting leads off can launch them. And it protects your eyes from solder splashes when soldering.

The first project can be a power supply. If you have an old laptop 19V plugpack, that will be a good starting point. Feed a variable regulator from that. This way you do not need to play with any mains voltage.
A 1.25 to 13.8V variable supply using an LM317 is sort off the "Hello World" of electronics.

Soldering iron.png
A temperature controlled soldering iron is a must.
These are available for well under $50. I have a Cheeeepie one and it has worked ok. My main irons are genuine Hako brands, not the copies. But they do cost a LOT more.
Try to do your soldering in a well ventilated area. And wash your hands after soldering. Lead can be nasty.

All these above were sourced from Ebay, and the total cost would be maybe $60 US.

Ebay also has bulk packs of resistors, caps and transistors. Along with other parts.

Here, for example, is a pack of proto boards.
This will be less that $10 US. Not bad for 20 boards!

Then, there is the fertile field of salvaged parts from old electronics. When I started (many years ago) it was old TV sets. Long before surface mount.

Echoing an earlier comment, pick a project and buy the parts to build that.
And a power supply is a great first one.

Happy "electrinicing" :)

For an example, this Ebay kit is ridiculously cheap...

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Joined Jan 21, 2019
I have had many kits in the past. They are tempting because it seems like an easy button to get all you ever need to make whatever you want but I didn’t like any of them after I got them. Many had only a couple things I needed and the rest just got forgotten, Get a set of assorted 1/4 watt resistor and set of capacitors then get small quantities of whatever components you need (transistors, mosfets, regulators, CMOS... etc). Jumpers and breadboards are a must, sometimes you will want to keep the project on the breadboard so get more than one Otherwise you have to pull it apart to do the next circuit. Get some prototyping boards and start soldering. The Issue with the kits is that they’re expensive and when find a project you want to build chances are its not in the kit. Have fun and go make something. Take things apart and see if you can figure it out and find what you can salvage is a good thing when you’re starting out. But most of all have fun. We all figure out how to collect components and before long you will have a lot floating around, trick is to have what you need...

do you have a multimeter, soldering iron, power supply? Collect wall warts with 5v, 9v, 12v dc as power supplies. simulators are great there are a number of starter ones like TinkerCad that has a limited circuit sim with an Arduino simulator.

Its a great time to be into electronics