Help getting Started

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by freedomdude0, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. freedomdude0

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I'm a first year EE student and I want to do some hands on work with embedded systems. I only learned some basic theories in school. So could someone point out what I should do to start out? Like if I get a kit, what should it contain ? What different flavour of micro controller are there out there ( Audrino , PIC ) ? Where can I find resources to finding these things? I am also looking into doing some soldering skills as well.

    Any advice would be helpful !
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    There is way too much out there to start making a list.
    The best part is a lot is available at no cost as free samples or for very low price.

    For starters, go get the MSP430 Launch Pad for $4.30

    Available also from Digi-Key:


    (Newark site is down)

    In general, you should get with any development kit:

    1) a development board with a target MCU and a prototyping area.
    2) software to get you programming in ASM and C.
    3) Quick Start instructions and sample programs to get you started.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  3. takao21203

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 28, 2012
    I would second that, electronics can become quite expensive. Think of some $1000 to $2000 at least.

    For the start I would recommend to get some basic components, like:

    -resistors assortment, capacitors assortment
    -transistors like 2n3904
    -LEDs, character LCDs
    -some electronic transformers
    -small proto PCBs, many of them
    -SMD adapters
    -some 20 PICs for instance

    The MPS430 is also good but it's a small MCU, quite limited in terms of memory.

    For soldering at best get a 50W soldering station, and 1mm solder wire.
    And 2 multimeters or also LED panel meters.

    eBay is very good and prices are low, as well Farnell, Radionics, Mouser, Digikey.

    Myself I never really bought any developement kits, started to build circuits with off-the shelf standard components. Often I did not even use schematics. But yes of course I have browsed 1000s of webpages with electronic circuits.

    Breadboards and standard wall adapters I had around very early but quickly abandoned them.