Aug 032013

After seeing some of the amazing (and easy to build) things people were making with Arduino I decided to plop down my $48.50 and purchase the SainSmart kit (seen below) from Amazon.

Arduino kit from sainsmart on amazon review

Click the picture to buy your own kit

I was amazed to see how fast I could do things like reading temperature from a sensor or turning a servo.  If you have any experience programming, the code and interface are extremely easy to learn.

While I like the price and variety of components that came in the SainSmart Arduino kit, I was a little disappointed by the  lab documentation it came with.  The English was at times broken and many of the labs listed parts in the “you’ll need this” section that never appeared in the project schematic.

After a few bouts of frustration and a burnt out LED, I decided to poke around the internet and find some new labs.  The nice thing about the Arduino is it is an extremely popular platform and there are TONS of how-to lessons out there.

I really enjoyed the format of the lessons on the Adafruit learning site.  They are very well written and quite easy to follow.

Here is a video of a circuit that I built that blinks an LED when it receives an infrared signal from a remote control

Another lab I finished uses a potentiometer to control a stepper motor.  I modified the code of this lab so that I could limit the range of movement for the servo to keep it from going past the limit of the motor.  This type of circuit can be used to steer an RC car, boat, plane, etc.

I can’t wait to work on more electronics projects.  If you are looking to try your hand at hobby electronics I would fully recommend clicking the picture above and buying this kit from Amazon.

Have you done anything cool with electronics lately?  Let me know in the comments below!


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