Computers & Electronics

Where to start with Arduino/ Raspberry Pie

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 11th, 2017 10:56 am
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 10, 2017
40 posts
19 upvotes
Barrie, Ontario
lehmanr wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 5:09 pm
In the same boat myself and looking to tinker with an Arduino.. Thanks AVE!
I am looking to buy these two kits https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01BY16KCU/_en ... 1T4Q&psc=0
and
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B071CKGQ6P/_en ... 1T4Q&psc=0

How are these to start for material and pricing? Should I wait for them to come down in price more?
I bought both of them but theyre been sitting on my desk. Need to make some time to try it out.
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killoverme wrote:
Dec 1st, 2017 5:25 pm
No not too hard for a 8 year old. There are scratch based programming languages for Arduino too. A lot of kids are learning scratch type programming in their schools.
i have 9 year old twins. Last year one bought himself a mip robot. He played around with the programming. I gave him some tasks for the robot to do and he succeeded in a few minutes. He then just used it as a remote control robot.

Second boy got a meccano robot from santa. took him a week to build it. he programmed it in about 30 minutes. I gave him some tasks and he succeeded in a few minutes. Robot sat idle for 3 months. Then I offered to work with him to retrofit the robot to drop balloons on grandma when she walks under the canopy in the living room . No interest at all.
Kids don't like programming, they like building. Programming is too abstract.
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CameraBill wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 1:53 am
i have 9 year old twins. Last year one bought himself a mip robot. He played around with the programming. I gave him some tasks for the robot to do and he succeeded in a few minutes. He then just used it as a remote control robot.

Second boy got a meccano robot from santa. took him a week to build it. he programmed it in about 30 minutes. I gave him some tasks and he succeeded in a few minutes. Robot sat idle for 3 months. Then I offered to work with him to retrofit the robot to drop balloons on grandma when she walks under the canopy in the living room . No interest at all.
Kids don't like programming, they like building. Programming is too abstract.
Well seems like they are more interest in immediate reward kind of thing at the moment. Programming in this aspect isn't too abstract as they can see the tangible results as they do it. Anyways, all I was saying is it isn't too difficult for kids as you have demonstrated with your kids, however it might not be for some kids and great for others.
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killoverme wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 8:04 am
Well seems like they are more interest in immediate reward kind of thing at the moment. Programming in this aspect isn't too abstract as they can see the tangible results as they do it. Anyways, all I was saying is it isn't too difficult for kids as you have demonstrated with your kids, however it might not be for some kids and great for others.
Do you even have any children? Have you given programming tools to any kid. One 8 year old spent a week building a meccano robot. That is an incredible amount of voluntary commitment at that age. I barely helped him. He was able to immediately complete the programming tasks I gave him, but those had no rewards for him. Getting the thing to replay something wasn't rewarding.

I've got twins who are completely different in their tastes and neither enjoys programming.

The other boy could also program his MIP to do what I wanted. Instead he would rather control the robot himself in real time. He would rather hone "his" ability than getting the robot to follow his pre programmed commands.

If I told my one boy f(t)= sin(x) he couldn't care less. But he's built infinite wave machines in minecraft. Programming is an abstraction. It's a model of something else like a physical or chemical model. Fractal formulas are boring and lame, but watching fractal screen savers is mesmerizing. Its because the abstraction makes the formulas boring. The abstraction of programming inputs and outputs makes it boring.

These tools are way too hard for an 8 year old to be rewarding. They lack the imagination to see what it can do and lack the ability to comprehend the potential. I'm pretty keen on this stuff and all for giving my kids educational toys. But if it's not self rewarding then it's not a toy. It's just work.

It would be like giving my boys a christmas gift of books with fractions to simply. Merry Christmas.
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Aug 29, 2017
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DIrty-D wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 1:05 am
Been looking for a while myself.
Anyone know which of these is better? Whats the difference?
https://www.amazon.ca/Kuman-Project-Tut ... ds=arduino

https://www.amazon.ca/Kuman-Starter-ard ... o+mega+kit
This one is better, but looks as if it is unavailable:
https://www.amazon.ca/Kuman-Starter-ard ... o+mega+kit


This one is new... haven't seen this before. It includes both the Uno and Mega for $42US! I would jump on this in a heartbeat if I didn't already have the board. This goes back to one of my posts saying that the US usually has better deals. From Amazon US (will deliver to Canada):
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Ultimat ... o+mega+kit

I would definitely order a sensor kit with it. See previous posts.
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do."― John Ruskin
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Nov 24, 2004
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^ Just looks like a different collection of parts. One has a 16x2 LCD, the other doesn't. One has a water-level sensor, the other doesn't. Etc.
Neither of them actually come with an Arduino. They're just Hall sensors, LEDs, DHT modules, etc. on little breakout boards.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 10, 2017
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Barrie, Ontario
I'm still unsure if I'm going to enjoy this. Will buying just the mega kits be enough to see if it's right for me or is the sensor kit a must have to do any projects?
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RFDizzy wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 8:22 am
I'm still unsure if I'm going to enjoy this. Will buying just the mega kits be enough to see if it's right for me or is the sensor kit a must have to do any projects?
Get the $42 kit from the US - it is the best value I can find right now as it has both the Uno and Mega, as well as a few sensors already that you can play with. The kit you are considering has only one of the two boards and less sensors for not a whole lot less. It should be enough to give you an idea if you like it. For the ~$100 range (Kit + sensors) you are not going to find an educationally more fulfilling exercise and better bang for the buck than trying Arduino. Even a $100 Lego kit will only be entertaining for max 4 hours of build. When I got the sensor kit, it took me 6 months of weeknights (1-2 hrs) to go through all the sensors' lessons. By the time you will be done, you wish you could do other things with it... that's when you start programming from scratch. To give you an idea, my current project is to retrofit a remote control car that someone threw in the garbage and adding wifi or bluetooth control with my android phone. My background isn't even in electronics or programming, but it sounds challenging and interesting, and it is a learning curve I am willing to try and climb.

If it helps, playing with sensors are all small projects that allow for lots of breaks between projects. So, it is easy to pause when kids constantly distract you. On the other hand, kids are also interested in it because it is, quote "cool". You could also sell it later on k i j i j i if you are not interested, but I don't recommend buying from there to start off with because some sellers have burned their boards and/or sensors and you wouldn't know how to test them yet.
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do."― John Ruskin
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 10, 2017
40 posts
19 upvotes
Barrie, Ontario
BuciMaci wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 1:24 pm
Get the $42 kit from the US - it is the best value I can find right now as it has both the Uno and Mega, as well as a few sensors already that you can play with. The kit you are considering has only one of the two boards and less sensors for not a whole lot less. It should be enough to give you an idea if you like it. For the ~$100 range (Kit + sensors) you are not going to find an educationally more fulfilling exercise and better bang for the buck than trying Arduino. Even a $100 Lego kit will only be entertaining for max 4 hours of build. When I got the sensor kit, it took me 6 months of weeknights (1-2 hrs) to go through all the sensors' lessons. By the time you will be done, you wish you could do other things with it... that's when you start programming from scratch. To give you an idea, my current project is to retrofit a remote control car that someone threw in the garbage and adding wifi or bluetooth control with my android phone. My background isn't even in electronics or programming, but it sounds challenging and interesting, and it is a learning curve I am willing to try and climb.

If it helps, playing with sensors are all small projects that allow for lots of breaks between projects. So, it is easy to pause when kids constantly distract you. On the other hand, kids are also interested in it because it is, quote "cool". You could also sell it later on k i j i j i if you are not interested, but I don't recommend buying from there to start off with because some sellers have burned their boards and/or sensors and you wouldn't know how to test them yet.
Ok great thanks! So if I ordered this kit from Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/Kuman-Starter-ard ... o+mega+kit
Which one of these sensor kits would make more sense to order?
https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Sensor-Mod ... sensor+kit
https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Upgraded-M ... sensor+kit
Member
Jul 2, 2013
268 posts
28 upvotes
Newmarket
RFDizzy wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 12:23 pm
Ok great thanks! So if I ordered this kit from Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/Kuman-Starter-ard ... o+mega+kit
Which one of these sensor kits would make more sense to order?
https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Sensor-Mod ... sensor+kit
https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Upgraded-M ... sensor+kit
I would go with this one https://www.amazon.ca/Elegoo-Sensor-Mod ... sensor+kit because you already got the LCD screen with your original kit but maybe someone more experienced can chime in with better info. I am just starting out myself in arduino.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2012
500 posts
107 upvotes
Hamilton
RFDizzy wrote:
Nov 17th, 2017 8:41 am
I would like to try both and have no idea where to start. I have zero programming experience and I have no idea what these do or what I would build with them.
I know that I want to buy both.
I just want to buy a kit first and go from there. Where do I start, what are decent starter kits that's not crazy expensive but not lacking quality?
Between the two, the Arduino is more fun. A good kit comes with suggested projects. You build them on a breadboard, try them out and then move onto the next one. Once you know how to use all the components you are ready to start the fun stuff.

Last year, my 15 year sun built a wind tunnel. He decided to control it with a Arduino. We started on Christmas Eve with the suggested project. But New Years, we had all the parts we had ordered for the Wind Tunnel, and were able to automate the fans, and measurements.

A Raspberry PI is just another computer. Not really that fun at all. But useful when you need onboard computing power....

There are mini Arduino's compatibles that can connect to WIFI and be used to control appliances for less than $10. But if you want a fancy web interface, or even decent security, you need something with processing power. The Arduino just sort of fakes the security. It uses hardware acceleration to handle the difficult tasks like connecting to your encrypted WiFi, but even something basic like validating the certificates is way beyond it's processing abilities.

This year my son wants to upgrade his wind tunnel to be wireless. My suggestion to him is he gets a Raspberry PI for it, and implement basic web services for the interface. Even if he went the Arduino route, he would still need to run power.

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