274 of 281 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2012
Old men's toys don't have to be expensive but they do have to be awesome and thought provoking. The Arduino Uno is all that and more.
My last foray into electronics was when the telegraph was a new-fangled contraption and my last programming languages were Fortran and Cobol so I was a bit intimidated and not sure whether I should check out this Arduino-thingy.
I got the Uno and a couple of very basic books and, over the course of a couple of weeks, I acquired a couple of servos, which I modified to make continuous rotation, a Ping Ultrasonic sensor and very soon had a small two-wheeled robot running around the floor driving my hound dog crazy. The Uno makes controlling the servos and the ultrasonic sensor a snap even for a 65-year old. I have a long list of future projects to try out and components to find and have taken over half of the dining room table (much to my wife's chagrin). I recommend the Arduino for anyone who has a desire to make things go bump in the night. Thank you for an excellent product.
I can also recommend "Arduino Cookbook" by Michael Margolis, an excellent book.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
I was absolutely delighted with the SUPER quality of all the items in the kit.
I've been using insulated solid wire (bits of old 25-pair telephone cable) with the ends stripped back as breadboard jumpers for my old Heathkit solderless breadboard. The problem with using solid wire is that it breaks after being bent too many times. I was always having to make a new batch every so often.
The jumper wires in this kit are a really nice upgrade. They're made of stranded wire with very soft, flexible insulation that allows them to bend easily without breaking. There are several different lengths, which makes for cleaner prototypes when you're working on a large project. Each has solid pins connected to the ends for plugging into the breadboard holes and the ends are nicely finished to exactly the right length with heat-shrink tubing to prevent accidental shorts. I'll be ordering a couple more sets of these and retiring my old solid wire jumpers!
The breadboard is a real class act compared to the low quality versions I've bought from a certain electronics chain store popular in the U.S. The molding is crisply detailed with raised, color printing to identify the power bus holes from component bus holes. Each row of holes is numbered on both sides to aid in identification when you're connecting circuit components and jumpers. The small size makes it conveniently portable, unlike my heavy old Heathkit breadboard with its built-in power supply. The manufacturing fit and finish is excellent.
When I saw the plastic Arduino mounting tray in the product photos, I figured it was essentially just packing material that I'd end up throwing away. I couldn't have been more wrong! This is a surprisingly convenient little accessory. It has built-in standoffs for the Arduino along with built-in spring clips that allow the Arduino to snap in and be held securely in place. I can place it on any surface without worrying about shorting out the traces on the bottom of my Arduino board. Again, manufacturing fit and finish is excellent -- no leftover "flash" on the edges or other casting "nasties" to cut your fingers on.
USB cables come in so many different combinations of connector types that figuring out which one you need can be a research chore. Having the correct USB cable in the kit removes the guesswork.
The Arduino Uno comes with the "blink" sketch preloaded so that you can see it working as soon as you power it up. Downloading the Arduino software and getting it loaded onto the computer is straightforward. This little board is delightfully simple to program and use compared to other microcontrollers I've used and the community support is absolutely amazing.
The kit also came with one more thing that isn't shown in the product picture: outstanding support from Prestige Milano. This is actually the most valuable component and easily justifies the cost of the entire kit. The kit I received came with the wrong USB cable, but Alex at Prestige Milano responded to my support email within minutes of clicking the "send" button. I had the correct replacement just a short time later at no additional cost or hassle. Alex was very courteous, professional, and pleasant to deal with throughout.
You may find similar kits from another vendor, but you certainly won't find better support!!!
In summary, I'm extremely pleased with my new purchase and the experience with Prestige Milano. I plan to do business with them again soon...
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
And by far, it's the best money I've ever spent on a gift for him. He's been able to create some pretty damn awesome things with this Arduino, and I'm glad I purchased it. The only issue he's had is just making sure the software is running properly, but that doesn't have anything to do with the product itself not working correctly.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
OK. This is the greatest thing I ever bought.
I really felt like a 12 year old boy playing along with this. Just buy some led, assemble the board, download the software from the internet and start making flashing led's projects. It took me 10 minutes to make a Morse translator (but that's because I know C programming).
The interface, the way you can program it, the things you can do with this... endless possibilities.
If you want to learn basic robotics, control, serial communication and much, much more, this is a must-buy-product. Seriously, it worth every cent you pay for it.
The only improvable, but not bad at all aspect, are the jumper cables, that can be a little messy and fragile some times. Handle them with care and you won't have any trouble.
Oh yeah, and it works in every Operating System on Earth, so don't be discouraged if you use Mac OS X or Linux.
37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
Price between this and the bare arduino uno eslewhere on Amazon was ~$6 more, which probably makes the additional components (breadboard, jumpers, usb cable) worth the difference. However, the received board was the hardware revision2 instead of the rev3 which is current as of this review's date. This means you won't have a few small improvements, and the schematics aren't as available as for a current product. Granted those are small improvements, but they should include revision number in product description in spirit of full disclosure.
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
This is a very nice kit. For me, this has been much fun; in my job, I 'bring up' new micro-controllers (a very low-level task).
In my opinion the folks putting together the Ardruino have done an excellent job putting together 'input/output' operations, letting folks focus on 'algorithms'. Without the asistance, it can take many hours to bring a kit like this up to a rudementary monitor, let alone launch what I feel is a good basic SDK.
Many thanks to the folks on the Arduino team!
I would recommend this package to anyone wanting to learn about micro-controllers, tasking, interrupts and such. You can still write low-level device drivers if that's your thing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
Overall was very happy with this. Here's my story:
I was looking for an inclusive all-in-one kit that would get me started with simple "Hello World"-like applications with Arduino. Kit arrived with everything as described. The one thing missing for me was a few LEDs to get started working with the breadboard. While it isn't advertised that LEDs are included in the product, you can't really see anything you do using the breadboard without them. Anyway, ran down to radioshack, got some LEDs, started playing, I'm a happy camper.
Bottom line is this:
I wish they included LEDs along with this kit. Know you'll have to run down to radioshack or similar to get some of them, but otherwise, this kit was exactly what I wanted to get started with Arduino - reasonably priced, all pieces in one place. Quite happy with purchase!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
90% of this package is great, but as others have described, the jumper wires are saturated with some sort of stinky solvent, and are not fit for use without being cleaned.
26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2011
This is a good deal. The price I purchased it at was what others were selling just the UNO for. The board that was delivered to me was the current Rev2 board (not the old one pictured). I was hoping for this, so I was pleased. (You may not receive the same results.) You can't wire everything up right on the arduino, so the little bread board is nice to have. For small circuit work, it won't take up so much space. There are a good number of the jumper wires and they have nice little easy to handle ends on them. Plus you get the USB cable. Others don't send you a USB cable and not many people have one with those square ended ones laying around.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Most reviews had issues with the wrong version being shipped. I took a chance with it because I could always use a back up for additional prototyping. The latest version is the R3 and that is what I received. WOOT I can safely assume that after Arduino started manufacturing the R3, sellers like this was stuck with a previous version and unloaded them on unexpected buyers with the hopes we wouldn't notice. But now that the R3 is pretty standard on shelves it should always come with this. I will continue to check in and if anyone else receives less than the R3 I will change my review to reflect 1 star. I am giving them 4 star because of the history as I believe this is not a proper way of doing business.
///////If you are new to Arduino and want to know what the big difference is between the models I highly recommend going to that really popular video site and searching "What's new in the new Arduino Uno" Adafruit has seen to it that a chic explains it nicely./////////
Oddly enough there was a review that said it had a staunch smell of smoke. It in fact does have this smell. It is not from a smoker though. I recognized it immediately as foundry slag. This smell originates from the jumper wires and is very powerful and just picking up the wires and setting them down transfers this to your hand.
Gasoline/Charred Gear Cutting Oil, LMFAO
The jumper wires are coated in silicone (not plastic) so this is somewhat expected. There is a chemical bath the manufacturer can put them thru but it greatly increases the cost.
This kit was $5 less than the one exactly like it from another seller, the only difference is this one was not very clear that it comes with the holder for both the Arduino and breadboard. It was not until after I ordered it that I realized that it was included as per the description but was not in the product image. BONUS!!!.