Sometimes it’s hard to get started (and for a tenner) when you are unsure where to begin. Things can sometimes look more difficult than they actually are only because we are at a learning phase. I can tell you that I started with Arduino and knew nothing about it at all, and I’m so glad I made the effort to get to know it.
Since that time though, I’ve learnt a lot about how to get components for a little cheaper and some basic time saving things. This post will help you to get started with Arduino by listing the basic components you’ll need and where you can get them for cheap!
Note that you can also avoid looking for and ordering items separately by getting a kit. I’ve looked at a few different kits so you may want to decide if that’s a better way forward for you.
So these are my 10 hardware items to get started!
1 Arduino You’ll need a board to start this all off. Arduino Uno is the best way to begin. It’s a great board with a lot of capacity. There are several options where to get one from.
- AliExpress Uno (Clone, note this is not the official Uno board) £3.62
or Arduino Official Board from any of these:
2 Jumper Wires
- AliExpress: 40 Male to Male £2.53 or 65 Flexible with different sizes £0.85 There is a lot of choice and these 2 styles are the main ones you might use.
- SKPang 65 piece flexible £4.79
- Proto-Pic from Seeedstudio 4 different lengths, flexible 65 pieces £1.58
3 USB Cable A to B (note some of the Uno boards mentioned already come with the USB cable, or you may already have one so you may not need to buy this)
- AliExpress have so many that you may need to do your own searches, I found a 250 pack of 5mm with a mix of Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and White LEDs for £2.80 you won’t need that many LEDs for sure to start with but it’s a great price!
- SKPang Red LED pack 5mm and 10 in a pack, you can buy the packs of the colours you’d like £1.44
- Proto-Pic there is huge choice around £0.24
- Bits Box have sets of 15 for £1.00 so you can choose the colours
You can also have a look around eBay which typically has a lot of LEDs at very low prices. Also, look for locations closer to you if you want quicker delivery.
- AliExpress, again you may need to look around a little, but a set has good value. You will need to have 550, 220, 10K for sure. Other values will be useful too so it may be a good idea to choose a multi-pack £1.67 for 600 pieces
- Proto-Pic most are in packs of 20 and around £0.25
- Bit Box has a 230 piece mixed pack £2.49
Again, eBay is another option for resistors that may be in locations closer to you if you want quicker delivery.
- AliExpress this is too many, there are 20 pieces in this pack £1.56 but you may find them at around 20p each anyway
- SKPang 17mm £1.02
7 Push Buttons, there are so many varieties of pushbuttons and styles that it’s fun to have a look at what you’d like to get. The links are just some examples to get you started but do look around and choose ones you’d like to use.
- AliExpress has a 20 piece kit for £1.98
- Cool Components 12mm square for breadboard £0.40
- Proto-Pic has a 10 pack of the standard breadboard button switch £1.24 but it’s worth looking at their selection because they have some super fun buttons!
- AliExpress has 10 pieces £1.44 (10K)
- Cool Components 10K single piece £0.54
- Proto-Pic £0.56
9 Breadboard you should get a large style one if you can. You might also like to get a half-sized or mini one so you can set out other projects without destroying what you’ve already done!
- AliExpress has a 830 point for £1.42 and / or the mini breadboard which typically has a colour choice runs at around £0.37 each
- Cool Components £5.40
- SKPang £7.44
- Proto-Pic £4.20
10 RGB LEDs
- AliExpress 10 pieces, 5mm, £0.64 which are just a fun extra and require a different way to hook them up so it’s good practice.
- SKPang, flatter style RGB LEDs £0.78 each 5mm these can sit flush on the breadboard
- Proto-Pic £1.31
Other components to try
- Photo Resistor
- Temperature Sensor
- Servo Motor
- and my favourite NEOPIXELS!