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How to Get Started with Electronics as a Hobby

How to Get Started with Electronics as a Hobby

Getting started with electronics and programming can seem like a daunting thing at first but they're amazing skills to lean! In this blog post we're going to do our best to breakdown the best ways to get started and learning in this area.
Below are some links to the sections we'll be going over:

    Starting with Components

    Starting with just components can be a great way to learn the underlying principles of electronics such as Ohms Law. We do stock some books and component kits which will help anyone understand and learn the fundamentals.The benifit with starting with a platform such as the Raspberry Pi, Arduino or BBC micro:bit is that there are many kits which include a wealth of resources and projects to help guide and teach you.

     

    Getting Started with Electronics: Build Electronic Circuits!

    Getting Started With Electronics: Build Electronic Circuits! - Books

    This book is more aimed at children as it's simplified but that's not to say it wouldn't be helpful for a complete beginner. With this book you'll follow simple steps to safely create cool electronics projects using basic materials that can easily be found.

    Use clips, switches, resistors, capacitors, and more to create circuits that control light and sound! From building a nifty LED flashlight to tuning in to a local radio station using a homemade tuner and more.

     

    Electronics All-in-One For Dummies (2nd Edition)

    Electronics All-In-One For Dummies 2Nd Edition - Books

    A comprehensive collection of 8 books in 1 offering electronics guidance that can't be found anywhere else! If you're not a complete beginner and know a breadboard from a breadbox but want to take your hobby electronics skills to the next level.

     

    Electronic Parts Kit

    Electronic Parts Kit - Passive Components

    This massive kit has 280 parts! The electronic parts kit is a comprehensive selection of components for making a wide variety of electronics projects. It comes in a useful hard plastic case that can be reused for storage. The parts included with this kit range from standard jumper wires and breadboards to a great selection of transistors, capacitors and resistors.

     

    Picking a Hardware Platform

    One fo the first decisions to make when entering the world of electronics and programming is deciding on which hardware platform you want to use to interface and control the electronic components. There are three main platforms wich are all designed for different people/uses. We're going to go over them and detail who they'd be ideal for and what they can be used for.

    Arduino

    Arduino is an open-source family of development boards often used with add-on boards referred to as Shields. The development boards can easily be programmed with the free downloadable Arduino software better known as the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). 

    The Arduino family is extremely flexible but it's usually used to interface with other components such as sensors, motors and more. Due to the wide nature of uses and the massive amount of resources online it's a great platform for all ages and abilities. If you're just wanting to light an LED, activate a relay or control a CNC machine an Arduino can just about do it all.

    Arduino Uno - R3 - Original Boards

    Raspberry Pi

    The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized standalone computer, it is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, learn to code, and create complex Raspberry Pi projects in languages like Scratch and Python. 

    As well as being able and play high-definition videos what makes the Pi brilliant is how easy it is to connect and use via the internet in custom projects such as home automation. With add-on boards referred to as a Raspberry Pi HATs the number possible uses are endless.

    Raspberry Pi 4 - Raspberry Pi Boards

     

    BBC micro:bit

    The BBC micro:bit  is a tiny computer that you can code, designed for young people in education to enhance their digital creativity and teach some key skills. Due to the simplicity of the block programming code editors, two programmable buttons, and plug-and-play electronics the micro bit board is incredibly easy for beginners of all ages to learn! We stock a wide range of accessoriescases, and kits as well as a range of add-on boards. As the board is used widley in education there is a wealth of resources and lessons available online for the board and it's accessories.

    BBC micro:bit V2 - Component

    Arduino Kits

    Inventors Kit for Arduino

    Inventors Kit for Arduino - Kits

    The Kitronik Inventor's Kit for Arduino is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino. This Inventor's Kit contains everything you need to complete 10 experiments including using LEDs, motors, LDRs and capacitors. The only other thing you'll need is an Arduino Uno and you're good to go.

     

    Official Arduino Starter Kit

    Arduino Starter Kit - Kits

    This kit walks you through the basics of Arduino and electronics in a hands-on way. You will be able to build 15 projects using components that let you control the physical world through different kinds of sensors and actuators.

    Once you have mastered this knowledge, you will have a palette of code and circuits to create something beautiful, and make someone smile with what you invent.

    Grove Starter Kit for Arduino

    Grove Starter Kit For Arduino - Kits

    Grove is a modular electronic platform for quick prototyping. Every module has one function, such as touch sensing, creating audio effect and so on. Just plug the modules you need to the base shield, then you are ready to test your ideas. This kit means you don't have to worry about fiddy wiring and you can get straight to creasting your ideas. Like the Inventors Kit you'll also need an Arduino Uno.

    Raspberry Pi Kits

    Pimoroni Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit

    Pimoroni Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit - Raspberry Pi Kits

    A lot of fun squeezed into a tiny computer! Everything you need to to get started with the Raspberry Pi 4 just plug it into a monitor.

    Protect your Pi from bumps and bruises in a slick Pibow case, add a heat sink to improve thermal performance, then learn how to code the Blinkt! rainbow light that comes with your kit, using the Python programming language. You can even make a rainbow animation with it!

    Grove Pi+ Starter Kit

    Grove Pi + Starter Kit For The Raspberry Pi - Kits

     

    The GrovePi+ starter kit for the Raspberry Pi is a powerful platform for prototyping. It uses a plug'n'play system of connectors that work with the wide selection of grove components to your Raspberry Pi board. Simply fit the GrovePi+ shield over the Raspberry Pi to begin easily connecting the 12 sensors that come with the kit.

     

    Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit

    Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit - 2GB Black - Raspberry Pi Kits

    The perfect way to get up and running with the powerful Raspberry Pi 4! This kit includes everything you need in one single box you'll just need a display. Includes the new and improved Raspberry Pi 4, a power supply, blank microSD card, mini HDMI cable and a protective case with a fan and heatsink pack.

     

    BBC micro:bit Kits

    Getting Started with the BBC micro:bit

    Getting Started With The Bbc Micro:bit - BooksThe getting started with the BBC micro:bit book by Mike Tooley will show you how the micro:bit can be used in a wide range of application from simple domestic gadgets to more complex control systems such as those used for lighting, central heating and security applications. Using Microsoft Code Blocks, the book provides a progressive introduction to coding as well as interfacing with sensors and transducers.

    BBC micro:bit with Inventors Kit Bundle

    Cool Components Bbc Micro:bit With Inventors Kit Bundle - Kits

    This BBC micro:bit V2 with Inventor's Kit Bundle is the perfect way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the BBC micro:bit. It contains everything you need to get up and experimenting in one ready to use bundle.

    ElecFreaks Starter Kit for BBC micro:bit with 11 Experiments

    Elecfreaks Starter Kit For Bbc Micro:bit With 11 Experiments (Micro:bit Not Included) - Kits

    ElecFreaks Starter Kit is designed for people who are just starting to  learn electric circuit and programming knowledge using the BBC micro:bit. The kit has the basic electronic components like LEDs, buttons, buzzer, temperature sensor , steering engine and motor etc. The kit includes a project book that contains all the information needed to complete 11 different experiments using a micro:bit and the components included in the kit. A micro:bit isn't included so you'll need to pick one up seperately if yo go with this kit.

     BBC micro:bit with :MOVE Mini Buggy Bundle

    Cool Components Bbc Micro:bit With:move Mini Buggy Kit Bundle - Kits

    With how popular the :MOVE Mini Buggy is we decided to create this great value for money bundle that has everything you need to get your own little robot up and running. The bundle includes an Official micro:bit V2 board which can be used in the buggy or if you already have one you can configure it as a remote control, a cable to program the micro:bit, and of course the Buggy with all its parts.

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