Author Topic: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point  (Read 5306 times)

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Offline RissViss

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Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« on: February 16, 2017, 07:22:23 pm »
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and electronics, and I am wondering if this is a good place to start. I would like to learn about electronics and programing.
I am on permanent disability, so not a lot of money and lots and lots of time.
For projects and equipment I have about $200 CAD to spend.
I do not know if I want to spend more then that because, I do not know if I will like it.
Would like to stick to starter kits so there will be less looking an purchasing many different things     
Looking at a few ardiuno starter kits and this is I think the best for what I would like to do.
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M9CHF1J?psc=1
This starter kit looks like it has a lot of things to do/ different projects. Do not know for sure people who have the kit will know better. Cost to ship to Canada with duty and other Canadian taxes.
If there are Canadians who know or can suggest better kits would be great.
The other thing to get would be two multi meters.
This is what I came up with.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digitek-DT-4000ZC-TekPower-TP4000ZC-Data-Logging-Multimeter-with-Temperature/200912705694?_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D41375%26meid%3D7ec4a8f1cce94719bcdb4cea512ba549%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D200922627340
again do not know what the cost will be to have two of these shipped to Canada, shipping if free Canadian tax and duty is not. Anyone who has these shipped in and knows extra related costs would be great to know.
My other choose would be to get two from Canadian tire. There has been discussion on the forum about this meter.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/autoranging-digital-multimeter-0520052p.html#srp
This was on sale for $30 CAD yesterday and canadian tire sales happen often.

My question to the forum is this a good way to get into electronics and programing for fun?
Is there better kits for ardiuno?
Is using the internet to get the projects and buying the parts needed not in a kit form going to be lets say 30% cheaper in the end?
Is there a better choose of meter to be purchased and imported to Canada (I would like new nothing used)?
I have lots of tools like screw drivers wrenches wire cutters drills and so one.
These will be projects that I can learn about programing and electronics, I have no specific project to build, just setup a project use the meters to measure all the parts learn as much from it as I can then go on to a new project.
Was wondering is there a book that describes electrical parts what they do how to measure them and so on? The best example would be like a dictionary for electronic parts. Example this is a resister they look like this, you can measure them like this, something along this line.
Another book on the ardiuno with a break down of the ardiuno and how to program it.

This my thoughts on this, is my low budget a problem?   If I like this and these parts and books get me into electronics and programing, over time I would put more money into it and get  better meters and equipment to use and learn from.


Thanks for reading this, I hope it makes sense. Sorry for spelling an grammar.
Have a day

 

Offline mdijkens

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 07:58:40 pm »
Some thoughts from my side...

I think starter-kits are a great, easy and fast way to start but you pay for it.
If, as you say, you're on a budget (like me) but have plenty of time, then I would say, finding all the bits and pieces on eBay, watching youtube-videos and learn on your way is much more fun and a lot cheaper. You also learn in your own pace and on the topics you are interested in ....

I started more or less the same as you, looking for the combination of electronics and programming and ended up with the ESP8266 chips; arduino compatibel but way cheaper  :)
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 04:51:50 pm »
There's a lot of education in that starter kit.  You can spend quite a long time learning to play with all the bits and pieces.  It seems to me to be worth the money simply because there is nothing else to go shopping for.  You can kick back and spend months learning all the ins and outs of embedded systems and programming.  That's just my view...  I do not have the kit but if I were just starting out, I'm pretty sure I would go for it.

As to the multimeter, I feel more comfortable with your first choice and less so with the Canadian Tire unit.  One thing that isn't mentioned for the CT unit is how high the frequency measurement can be.  The other thing it doesn't mention is Duty Cycle - you may find that measurement handy when looking at Pulse Width Modulation for driving DC motors.  The % on-time is somehow related to how fast the motor will spin.  So, I would buy the cheapest one first and see how it goes.  Unless I could find a review that recommends otherwise...  And, of course, the cost of importing from Hong Kong.  That's not a consideration in the US but it might have a substantial cost in Canada.  In the end, you can go a long way with either meter.

Have fun with your new hobby.


 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 06:04:38 pm »
Thanks for the info.
The first meter is what I prefer, was hoping to hear from a Canadian who did the import and see what the cost difference is. The first meter is I think a better starter meter.

I am not sure how forums work for the most part, will have to find a thread for that meter and see if someone has imported it.
 

Offline kosine

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 06:09:14 pm »
A cheap Arduino kit is certainly a very good starting point.

I'd also highly recommend downloading LTspice for playing around with analogue circuits, or possibly have a look at Processing if you want to get more into the programming side. (http://www.linear.com/solutions/ltspice and https://processing.org/ Both are free.)

Once you're got an Arduino sending data back over the serial link, Processing opens up a whole new world. (You can actually do stuff with those data!)

Another tip is to invest in some secondhand electronics books (or get some from the local library). Try ebay, Amazon and Abebooks. Not much has changed in basic electronics since the 1970/80s, and you can pick up old textbooks for little more than the cost of postage.
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 06:51:23 pm »
Do you know of a list or website or forum post for good books to get.
Thanks
Have a day
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 06:58:51 pm »
I am not sure how forums work for the most part, will have to find a thread for that meter and see if someone has imported it.

Welcome to the forum! When searching for info here, it's best to use the Search link in the menu (between Help and Profile), rather than the search box in the upper right corner.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/search/
I TEA.
 

Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 07:04:27 pm »
I did the search using that button and did not find the info. Sent a PM to the person who sells the meter to find out if he has info.
Thanks
Have a day
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 08:19:16 pm »
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and electronics, and I am wondering if this is a good place to start. I would like to learn about electronics and programing.
I am on permanent disability, so not a lot of money and lots and lots of time.
For projects and equipment I have about $200 CAD to spend.
I do not know if I want to spend more then that because, I do not know if I will like it.
Would like to stick to starter kits so there will be less looking an purchasing many different things     
Looking at a few ardiuno starter kits and this is I think the best for what I would like to do.
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M9CHF1J?psc=1
This starter kit looks like it has a lot of things to do/ different projects. Do not know for sure people who have the kit will know better. Cost to ship to Canada with duty and other Canadian taxes.

Kit looks ok. I just got one similar a couple of weeks ago for 1300 rubles ($30 CAD), but that's without the Arduino.

I'm not sure if there are enough resistors there. I see some in photos, but didn't see them listed in the parts list. With all those LEDs, 7 segment display etc you'll need a lot of 220 ohm or so resistors to limit the current to the LEDs.

Also, if you want to run many of those LEDs at one time you'll want a few more "595" shift register ICs. One is stingy! The idea of those is they have eight outputs each and you can chain a few of them together, using only three pins on the Arduino (data + clock + latch). Every output on a 595 can drive a LED or LED segment, or relay or whatever. Suppose you have three of them linked together, you can have three "byte" variables in your program, with each bit in each variable controlling which outputs from the 595 you want to be on and which off. Then you just do...

digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW);
shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, byte1);
shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, byte2);
shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, byte3);

This sends all 24 bits to the three shift registers, taking a few microseconds in total. Then:

digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);

This loads all the new values you just set up to the outputs at one time.

This technique lets you expand the number of outputs from the Arduino as much as you want (as long as you don't need to change them tooooo quickly), and maybe more importantly, makes most of the wiring short connections from one part of the breadboard to another, not from the Arduino itself to the breadboard.
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 08:52:34 pm »
For me the kit is a starting point to see if it what i would like to do with my time.
If it is what I would like to do then, I will look at expanding it with a purchase of more parts, not in kit  form.
From other threads it looks like you can get packages of (ex resisters ) may types, and that would be what I would do find the best parts at the best price. I am sure someone on the forum knows where to get the best deals.
For now I am just looking for info, do you think there is enough product in the kit to make it worth while in the short term to learn from.
Was looking at this thread to see what is possible
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/from-no-parts-to-decent-stockpile-best-approach/
 
Thanks
Have a day
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 08:55:35 pm by RissViss »
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 09:25:29 pm »
I bought two assortments of capacitors, one assortment of resistors and an assortment of transistors.  These are relatively high cost because they include the storage cabinets.

http://www.jameco.com/z/81859-520-PIECE-CERAMIC-DISC-CAPACITOR-COMPONENT-KIT_81859.html
http://www.jameco.com/z/TRANSISTOR-KIT-560-Piece-Transistor-Component-Kit_82595.html

and so on...

I don't necessarily recommend this approach but it works for me.  I have to admit, 560 transistors is a lot considering how few I have used over the last 30 years or so.  Part of the reason for buying these assortments is to be able to breadboard example circuits.  I am hoping to show my grandson how circuits, and the math behind them, work in real life.  No particular circuit, just something to bash together and splash a waveform on the scope.  Math, circuit, display - that's the way to tutor math...

My assortment of chips is a result of overbuying when I actually build something.  I have perhaps a hundred ICs of various types, mostly uCs.  Don't know why...  Just stuff I bought at the time.  Don't get carried away with this stuff.  Buy resistors and ceramic capacitors in multiple of hundreds (because they are cheap and you need a lot of different values) but even there, some values are more important.  0.1 ufd ceramic will be the most used ceramic capacitor followed by 0.01 ufd.  10 ufd, 100 ufd 50V electrolytics will be handy.  Resistors like 220, 330 470,1k,2.2k,4.7k 10k,100k will be most useful.  1/4W will usually be more than sufficient.

You will find that you need some precision hand tools (Xcellite works)

http://www.jameco.com/shop/keyword=xcellite

I still have my diagonal cutters and a couple of other Xcellite tools I bought in college back in the very early '70s.  Good tools last a long time.

You will eventually want a decent soldering station.  I bought the Hakko FX888D for my grandson while I have an obsolete Hakko 936 on my bench.  I also have a hot air rework tool and a Hakko desoldering tool but there are rarely used.

Take your time with all this.  That starter kit will be sufficient for a very long time.
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 09:37:24 pm »
Thanks for the info.
Have a day
 

Offline imidis

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 09:54:26 pm »
Hi RissViss,

I definitely can understand that situation. It seems multimeters here in canada are overpriced for what they are. I would say at 30 is what that meter should normally sell for, the normal price is ridiculous. In my opinion anyways. If you want to play with battery powered projects µA readings are quite helpful! Of course there is burden voltage to keep in mind. I'm really curious on how Daves new meter will be priced, but I am guessing it might eat up a fair bit of the budget.

I purchase a lot of my stuff through aliexpress, it can take a bit of time to get here but it's all pretty cheap. I think it's much cheaper than buying kits. My first fun project is a weatherstation I've been working on for a while. Using arduino pro mini x2, esp8266, bmp280,dht11 I'm adding things as I go, I've found it quite a fun project.

If you need any help or suggestions or anything I will help the best I can. Also, glad to do any videos I can for you as well if it's helpful. :)

Gone for good
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 10:22:17 pm »
Thanks for the info.
Most likely will be going with this meter Digitek DT-4000ZC sent a PM to the seller find out more info.

Just need to find out info on some good starting books for practical information.

Have a day

What is your youtube channel
 

Offline imidis

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 11:13:21 pm »
Gone for good
 

Offline Caio Negri

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 11:28:57 pm »
Your budget is enough, hobby electronics can be very cheap. That arduino kit is very complete and all but I'd suggest a different approach:

"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." - Arthur Ashe
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 11:35:10 pm »
I'll second the recommendation to choose a project that will be of interest or use to you. I recommend the same thing when learning a programming language.
I TEA.
 

Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2017, 12:05:51 am »
Thanks for the info.
Problem is the project I have in mind would be complicated to start with.

Take your HDMI with 5.1audio.
Pass the video straight through and take the 5.1 and separate the audio and give the Front L+R lets say a 1w amp and volume control, do the same for Rear L+R, Center and Sub.
This way you can control the volume on all the channels then bring them all into one 1/4inch stereo plug.

I watch movies for the story and what is being said not the explosions this devise would give I think control over the volume on all channels. Turn down Front Rear and Sub turn up Center to the levels I like and sit back and watch a movie without having to turn up the sound then down then up and so on.

And this project most likely does not need an ardiuno

I would like to learn enough about electronics to open things up see if they can be fixed try to fix them, and learn about programing. Hopefully taking up lots of time trouble shooting problems. For me trouble shooting is the best fun seeing what is broken and fixing it.
Sad thing is the job of tv repair man is kind of obsolete. I did CNC work for 25 years good job but the company did not like it when you took machines apart to see how they worked. Now that I do not work I would like to see how things work so I can take them apart fix them or if it is to expensive to fix just to see what is broke and learn from it.

Thanks for the suggestion about finding a project and working on that. Only problem is I have one project and that is it. For me I just do not know enough to come up with projects. With the kit I am hopping to learn a few things and that will show me that there is more to build.
Thanks
Have a day
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 01:25:23 am »
It sounds like you have lots to start with there, actually.

For repairs, you can do the following:

1. See if a friend, relative, neighbor, etc. has a product that uses electronics that's broken or otherwise not behaving quite right. If no such thing, then check eBay or a local classified site, newspaper, etc. for something (see #2 regarding what that something might be) being sold for parts or repair. Price, of course, depends on your budget.

2. Search online and on YouTube for information about repairing the device. If it's something you intend to buy, check for repair info before you buy it, at least when starting out.

3. Dive in. Get stuck. Start a thread about it on the forum. Keep at it until it's either fixed or deemed a lost cause.

4. Rinse, repeat, enjoy.


For your audio project, you could start by learning about amplifier circuits and how to generate signals. That will enable you to create a tone and boost it to drive a small speaker, for example, with volume control.

Next, make it multi-channel and add the appropriate analog connectors so that you can control the output from a surround sound processor. The processor will take care of breaking out the channels so you don't have to, yet. If you only have a surround amplifier with speaker outputs, then you'll want to learn how to convert that to an appropriate level for use with your volume control circuit.

Once all that is working, you can explore digital audio, HDMI, surround decoding, etc., if you're so inclined.

This is just to give you some rough ideas. There will be many details to discover and dig into as you go.
I TEA.
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 01:30:03 am »
Oh, and if you want to bring the Arduino into the audio project, you can so something like the following:

1. Use rotary encoders to signal when the volume of a channel should go up or down, which the Arduino will read
2. Have the Arduino control digital potentiometers in place of the analog ones that change the volume in your analog circuit.
3. Add some memory functions so that you can have preset configurations for the volume levels of the five channels.
4. Add an IR or radio receiver to the Arduino so that you can use a remote control for all the functions. Of course, build the transmitter too.

You're only limited by your imagination. ;D
I TEA.
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2017, 02:40:03 am »
Thanks for all the information. I was thinking after doing all the projects in the kit to start working on the audio part and see how far I can take it.
Doing a project like I do not know if it will need a scope or not, and if so will have to hunt one down where I live. This project would be a lot of fun, will have to build up my knowledge and when I think I have enough dive in start a thread and see how far it will go.
I do really appreciate your input and info Thanks.
Have a day
 

Offline daybyter

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2017, 03:21:52 am »
Take a look at those 10$ logic analyzers (salae clones). Or the hantek 6022be scope (long thread in this forum here on it).

Do you have another hobby, like RC models, model railroad, or so? Old computers?
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 03:51:54 am »
Thanks for all the information. I was thinking after doing all the projects in the kit to start working on the audio part and see how far I can take it.

Sounds good. Have fun!
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Offline SkyMaster

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 05:04:11 am »

This is what I came up with.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digitek-DT-4000ZC-TekPower-TP4000ZC-Data-Logging-Multimeter-with-Temperature/200912705694?_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D41375%26meid%3D7ec4a8f1cce94719bcdb4cea512ba549%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D200922627340
again do not know what the cost will be to have two of these shipped to Canada, shipping if free Canadian tax and duty is not. Anyone who has these shipped in and knows extra related costs would be great to know.
My other choose would be to get two from Canadian tire. There has been discussion on the forum about this meter.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/autoranging-digital-multimeter-0520052p.html#srp
This was on sale for $30 CAD yesterday and canadian tire sales happen often.


I never had to pay any taxes or duty fees when I bought stuff from f-t-2000 on ebay.

If you are just starting out, and on a budget, you should buy only one DMM. Later on, if you want/need another DMM; then buy a different model, just to have something different.

 :)
 
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Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 05:31:09 am »
Only hobby now is pc gaming.
Have a day
 


Offline NottheDan

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2017, 08:03:16 am »
If it helps, here's a review of the Digitec: http://www.mjlorton.com/tekpower-tp4000zc-digitek-dt-4000zc-multimeter-with-data-logging-review-and-buyers-guide/
He's quite enthusiastic about it.
 

Offline forrestc

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2017, 09:08:27 am »
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M9CHF1J?psc=1
This starter kit looks like it has a lot of things to do/ different projects. Do not know for sure people who have the kit will know better. Cost to ship to Canada with duty and other Canadian taxes.
If there are Canadians who know or can suggest better kits would be great.

Honestly, that kit looks awesome.  Makes me wish I had more time to play with this type of stuff.   It *might* be cheaper to go get everything on ebay, but the real advantage of this kit is that it has a lot of stuff in it so you can experiment.  Plus... one thing you may have missed is that this kit has a learning manual, so you probably don't need a book for right now.   Once you get a basic understanding, you'll find the internet is often a far better resource than any book.   

In relation to the DMM and/or other stuff you think you might need:  I'd just get the kit, play with it, and wait on everything else.   One thing about starting with an arduino is that it generally hides the electronics itself from you.  A DMM can be helpful, but for most of the projects you probably aren't going to miss not having one, at least initially.

 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2017, 10:31:17 am »
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M9CHF1J?psc=1
This starter kit looks like it has a lot of things to do/ different projects. Do not know for sure people who have the kit will know better. Cost to ship to Canada with duty and other Canadian taxes.
If there are Canadians who know or can suggest better kits would be great.

Honestly, that kit looks awesome.  Makes me wish I had more time to play with this type of stuff.   It *might* be cheaper to go get everything on ebay, but the real advantage of this kit is that it has a lot of stuff in it so you can experiment.  Plus... one thing you may have missed is that this kit has a learning manual, so you probably don't need a book for right now.   Once you get a basic understanding, you'll find the internet is often a far better resource than any book.   

In relation to the DMM and/or other stuff you think you might need:  I'd just get the kit, play with it, and wait on everything else.   One thing about starting with an arduino is that it generally hides the electronics itself from you.  A DMM can be helpful, but for most of the projects you probably aren't going to miss not having one, at least initially.

I disagree with that. You need *some* kind of DMM. But I think the cheapest one you can find that has continuity test (preferably with a buzzer) is very useful. Just the other day I bought a $2 pack of five leads with alligator clips. I used a couple of them to hook my breadboard to a 3.5mm jack. I was puzzled why it wasn't working very well until I found that one of the leads didn't actually have continuity between the clips!

Being able to verify resistances and voltages and (to a lesser extent) currents is super useful. You don't need huge accuracy. A lot of the time 10% or 20% would probably be fine, but in fact even an aliexpress $10 DMM does far better than that. There's absolutely no reason not to have one.

I'm using an MAS830, which can be found on eBay, aliexpress etc as low as $10.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 10:53:33 am by brucehoult »
 

Offline daybyter

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2017, 01:55:53 pm »
Aliexpress has discounts most of the time. Bought me one of those 830b DMMs with continuity buzzer for Euro 2,74 including shipping. Works just fine after cleaning the tips of the probes. Already found a shortcut in a sd2iec with it. Should be ok for measuring on breadboards.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 01:58:09 pm by daybyter »
 

Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2017, 05:19:45 pm »
I have watched that video a few time it is the reason I am looking at it. Looks like a solid meter to learn from.
Even if I get two and this hobby is not for me, I will have one meter and a friend that uses a meter for testing small things could use the other.
Have a day
 

Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2017, 05:29:22 pm »
Thanks for the input.
The problem I would have with a cheap meter and accuracy would be that in my job that I use to do accuracy was a key thing when you measure steal parts with accuracy of + / - .001, so my starting meter would have to be lets say + / - .01 or .1 these are in inches. Even in metric + / - .01 mm.
Getting a inexpensive meter for me, where I would always be wondering how far off is this measurement is would drive me a little crazy. :(
Have a day

 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2017, 10:12:33 pm »
Thanks for the input.
The problem I would have with a cheap meter and accuracy would be that in my job that I use to do accuracy was a key thing when you measure steal parts with accuracy of + / - .001, so my starting meter would have to be lets say + / - .01 or .1 these are in inches. Even in metric + / - .01 mm.
Getting a inexpensive meter for me, where I would always be wondering how far off is this measurement is would drive me a little crazy. :(
Have a day

Meter accuracy is often difficult to compare.  Let's assume that the specs are correct...  First you have the % of reading error, and then there is the digits error.  On some meters, the % of reading seems very good until you find out that 10 digits (an entire decade) of the reading is nonsense.

Take your cheap meter specs and compare to a high end Fluke or even the EEVblog Brymen meter.  Make up a little spreadsheet.  Look at DC Volts, DC uA or mA, AC V, Ohms (all ranges) in about that order.

Real accuracy, just like in hand tools, tends to cost money.  None of the $50 meters will come anywhere near the accuracy of a high end Fluke.
 

Offline daybyter

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2017, 11:39:57 pm »
I checked the 830 against my voltage reference (like the rest of my meters) and I was surprised how well it performed.

But the point is, that you can do a lot even with a quite inaccurate meter. If you want to know, if your arduino has power supply, any voltage between 4.x and 5.x V means, that it has power. And even any 3$ meter will give you such info. So the 3$ meter is much better than no meter at all.

I wouldn't buy 2 good meters now if you are that short on money. A good meter and a disposable meter should be ok. A cheap logic analyzer or cheap scope give you much more measuring options than 2 good meters.

 

Offline forrestc

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2017, 11:58:33 pm »
I disagree with that. You need *some* kind of DMM. But I think the cheapest one you can find that has continuity test (preferably with a buzzer) is very useful. Just the other day I bought a $2 pack of five leads with alligator clips. I used a couple of them to hook my breadboard to a 3.5mm jack. I was puzzled why it wasn't working very well until I found that one of the leads didn't actually have continuity between the clips!

Let me try to clarify what I was saying:

With the arduino kit he was looking at, his first few projects are going to consist of installing the arduino IDE, Hooking the arduino up with a usb cable, blinking a led, learning about I/O.  And so on.   I know quite a few people who do arduino projects and they seem to rarely if ever use a DMM. 

For a large part, he's going to be dealing with *computer programming* and basic hookup type stuff and not much actual electronic design at least initially.   He's going to know pretty quickly if this agrees with him.   And before he needs to buy a DMM.   

My recommendation was this:  Buy the arduino starter kit.  Work through the first few exercises.  And then the *second* purchase should be a DMM.  And fairly quickly if this agrees with him.  But he shouldn't need a DMM to get started and at least get a feel for whether or not this is interesting to him.

When he finally needs a DMM, chances are the cheapest crap DMM he could buy would be good for quite a while - "Is there continuity here", "Is the voltage near 5V", "is this a 10K resistor".   Your recommendation of a cheap $10 DMM off of alibaba is not unreasonable.   Or, he could invest a bit in the future and buy something nicer and more accurate. 

One other DMM note which one might consider is that there is something to be said for just having a general purpose DMM around the house to check plug voltages, etc..  In which case any DMM recommendation I would make would likely focus on safety when measuring the mains and not something cheap to be used only for low voltage electronics.   Any reasonable "electrician" meter should be sufficient for starting out electronics.

 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2017, 12:13:30 am »
http://store.digilentinc.com/analog-discovery-2-100msps-usb-oscilloscope-logic-analyzer-and-variable-power-supply/

The Analog Discovery is amazing.  If that was all the test equipment I could have, I could get a lot of electronics working.

A dual channel scope, a dual channel arbitrary waveform generator, a network analyzer, a dual power supply,, two DMMs that take over the scope inputs, 16 bits of digital IO including, the capability of using them for a logic analyzer, and a host of other things including serial stream decoding (I2C, SPI, UART)

It might be worth downloading the software and playing with the virtual demo device.

Realistically, it's probably the best $279 I have spent on this hobby.
 

Offline RissViss

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2017, 12:21:59 am »
Thanks this was the kind of info, I was looking for.

This is what I will be ordering then.
https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Project-Complete-Starter-Tutorial/dp/B01M9CHF1J/ref=pd_cp_147_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=58BV8NE84S1FYPVCHCK3
This will be my starter kit for ardiuno.

And if I like this hobby then I will have more money to put into tools.
This is a little over $80 CAD and if I like it my all in would be another $320 CAD, better then spending the $200 and finding out it is not for me, I have a habit of spending more then I should just to find out I got the wrong thing or I did not like what I was doing.
Then I can see what else I will need.

Thanks everyone for all the info and help.


I disagree with that. You need *some* kind of DMM. But I think the cheapest one you can find that has continuity test (preferably with a buzzer) is very useful. Just the other day I bought a $2 pack of five leads with alligator clips. I used a couple of them to hook my breadboard to a 3.5mm jack. I was puzzled why it wasn't working very well until I found that one of the leads didn't actually have continuity between the clips!

Let me try to clarify what I was saying:

With the arduino kit he was looking at, his first few projects are going to consist of installing the arduino IDE, Hooking the arduino up with a usb cable, blinking a led, learning about I/O.  And so on.   I know quite a few people who do arduino projects and they seem to rarely if ever use a DMM. 

For a large part, he's going to be dealing with *computer programming* and basic hookup type stuff and not much actual electronic design at least initially.   He's going to know pretty quickly if this agrees with him.   And before he needs to buy a DMM.   

My recommendation was this:  Buy the arduino starter kit.  Work through the first few exercises.  And then the *second* purchase should be a DMM.  And fairly quickly if this agrees with him.  But he shouldn't need a DMM to get started and at least get a feel for whether or not this is interesting to him.

When he finally needs a DMM, chances are the cheapest crap DMM he could buy would be good for quite a while - "Is there continuity here", "Is the voltage near 5V", "is this a 10K resistor".   Your recommendation of a cheap $10 DMM off of alibaba is not unreasonable.   Or, he could invest a bit in the future and buy something nicer and more accurate. 

One other DMM note which one might consider is that there is something to be said for just having a general purpose DMM around the house to check plug voltages, etc..  In which case any DMM recommendation I would make would likely focus on safety when measuring the mains and not something cheap to be used only for low voltage electronics.   Any reasonable "electrician" meter should be sufficient for starting out electronics.






 




 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ardiuno Starter kits as a starting point
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2017, 12:29:20 am »

With the arduino kit he was looking at, his first few projects are going to consist of installing the arduino IDE, Hooking the arduino up with a usb cable, blinking a led, learning about I/O.  And so on.   I know quite a few people who do arduino projects and they seem to rarely if ever use a DMM. 

For a large part, he's going to be dealing with *computer programming* and basic hookup type stuff and not much actual electronic design at least initially.   He's going to know pretty quickly if this agrees with him.   And before he needs to buy a DMM.   


Absolutely correct.  I would imagine that the project instructions include some way to identify the proper resistors but, at my age and with my defective color vision, I use a meter on every resistor or capacitor I install.  I'm torn between "don't need a meter at all" or "buy the cheapest thing around", or maybe "one step up".  I have a Fluke 189 and it is supremely accurate against my calibrator.  The Brymen is pretty good and the others, not so much.  But, realistically, +- 2% is fine but I would hope for better than that.

There's something to be said for "buy stuff when you need it!".

 


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