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Vilros Arduino Uno 3 Ultimate Starter Kit Includes 12 Circuit Learning Guide
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- Includes Genuine Arduino Uno Rev3 Board
- This is the ultimate Arduino Uno kit enough to get you started with hundreds of arduino projects
- Bread Board -- Holder -- Jumper Wires -- USB Cable -- LEDs -- DC Motor -- Small Servo -- Relay
- Includes a total of over 190 electronic parts and components
- 72 page full color Instruction Manual
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I can not comprehend where I might have been able to go had I had a kit such as this Arduino USK when I was a kid. I purchased the kit to use in Amateur Radio applications but who knows where this all may lead.
Thanks for the opportunity to keep busy in my retirement, I think that this kit should be used in schools to not only teach basic electronics but also reading, math and most importantly, how to follow instructions.
Buy a kit and give it to a 12 year old.
* A formal circuit diagram
* List of parts used
* 3D and 2D diagrams, showing the finished breadboard / Arduino
* Table of component used (e.g., a 330 ohm resistor), and which breadboard positions to use.
* Short discussion of C code used in the IDE
* Expected results
* Short troubleshooting section
* Very brief example of a real-world application
In the booklet, what we don't see much of:
* Thorough teaching of electronics, troubleshooting, etc.
* Instruction on the meaning of the circuit diagram.
* Instruction in WHY those components are used. Why is a resistor needed? Why is it a 10K ohm, and not a 330 ohm? When do you need a transistor or capacitor (the kit includes no capacitors). Note: there is some discussion of pull-up resistors.
* A diagram showing how the current flows through the breadboard (be sure to read the section "How's it all connected" on the page titled Breadboard -- and WHY aren't there any page numbers???)
The result is that if you make a mistake in a circuit, you may have difficulty correcting it. If you want to create a new circuit of your own, you probably won't have the knowledge to do that.
To be fair, there is some teaching in the *.ino code provided for each circuit. It's not all in the booklet. So, you definitely want to read the C code and comments. There are no quizzes, nor code to complete, or anything like that. It's all basically done for you. There could be far better explanation of what resistors, transistors, capacitors, diodes, etc. do. If you somehow learn to create your own circuits, it's going to be on you, or YouTube, or somewhere else.
It includes a Made in USA, Arduino (genuine, not clone, derivative or, I think, counterfeit), which helps support the Arduino community.
It does include a parts list of the entire kit, near the start of the booklet, so ignore the reviewer who said there isn't.
Some sensors that would have been cool to include, but weren't:
* Air quality
You can, of course, purchase these cheaply elsewhere, and use with this kit.
The English is good throughout.
The 12 circuits are:
1. Blinking an LED, similar to Blinky.
2. Potentiometer (using a dial to vary LED brightness)
3. RGB LED
4. Multiple LEDs
5. Push buttons
6. Photo resistor (like to control a night light that gets brighter when it gets dark)
7. Temperature sensor (it's not a very accurate sensor)
8. Single Servo (that you would use to grasp things in robot hands, for example)
10. Spinning a Motor ** Note: I got a bad motor, apparently. My circuit perfectly matches the book. I tried other parts (diode, 330 ohm resistor, transistor, even wires). The code uploads. I entered various motor speeds in the Serial Monitor, which the booklet never mentions is needed. All the motor does is a high-pitched hum. **
11. Relays (to turn things off and on)
12. Shift register
I remembered enough High School electronics from 60 years ago to figure out circuits 1 through 9 by myself. For Circuit 10 - which introduces a transistor and a diode - I couldn't remember (although I do know we covered both topics), so will have to dig some on the Internet. Below are two minor problem circuits that I was able to resolve, followed by #11 that I haven't yet resolved (and which might not be resolvable - see below).
The voltage divider as per instructions has the fixed resistor at top and sensor (photo) resistor at bottom: so that high light gives zero voltage, low light gives max voltage. Must be reversed/corrected by either a code fix:
1) change the analogWrite(ledPin, lightLevel); into analogWrite(ledPin, 255-lightLevel);
or a wiring fix:
2) connect photo sensor to f1-f2 with 10KOhm resistor between I2-I6 and
sensor pin A0 connected to J2 (w/o any change to the code)
The transistor picture - as shown inserted in pins A1,A2,A3 - is backwards (i.e. shows the flat side facing column B of breadboard). Should be turned around: curved side facing column B); in other words A3,A2,A1. Without correct positioning the motor will not spin.
I'm actually glad these problems occurred: forced me to really look closely at both code and circuitry.
As with circuit #10, the transistor is shown backwards. Also the diode is connected backwards in the diagram. And for the components/image reference the diode entry is totally wrong (along with 3 of the other entries). Only after correcting the transistor and diode orientation could I begin to hear the relay coil clicking every second.. But no current is coming out of the relay switch. Possibly the switch is broken. Not 100% sure yet. The relay switch actually has 5 pins - but the components reference and diagram only enumerate 4 pins - and you need to bend the 5th pin to get it to fit the appropriate breadboard slot (which connection isn't even shown in the guide). Very sloppy editing/proofreading (if it even was).
Also, I see that different reviewers have had other problems - that I didn't have - so perhaps the quality/standard of the components is not consistent. But maybe the manufacturer has since resolved that issue (I received my kit in March, 2019. I didn't notice when the other reviews - with problems described - were posted. ) All in all, this is a half-decent, inexpensive educational tool: can motivate a person to learn circuits AND computer coding if they haven't already (or to re-learn if they've forgotten). I originally gave this a 4-star rating, but after the problems with circuit#11
described above, I've downgraded the rating to 3-stars.
Top reviews from other countries
As a beginner, but has met all expectations so far!