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I'm a programmer and i would really like to have with Arduino. I don't know anything in electronics but if there are things to learn, i can do it. I want to know what materials are needed to get started with it. Just like what type of Arduino board is needed, do i need the segment display so on..

Can you guys help me??

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well the main problem is that unless you know what you want to do, you can't pick the right components. If you have no idea what you want to do, get at least some LEDs, some seven segment displays and some resistors in the hundreds of ohms range and at least 1/4 W power rating for limiting the LED current. The blinking LED is for microcontrollers the usual "Hello world" message, you you'll at least want to try that. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Apr 7 '12 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndrejaKo thanks, I only want to get started, well,may later be some childhood dreams, building robots :),what about the type of board?? \$\endgroup\$ – Noor Apr 7 '12 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do u think buying this is worthwhile, ebay.com/itm/Arduino-MEGA-2560-Kit-LCD-128x64-Blue-IR-Remote-/… \$\endgroup\$ – Noor Apr 7 '12 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like a nice kit to get a decent start. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie Apr 7 '12 at 9:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're an electronics starter, and can afford a ATMega1280 or larger, then you should definitely look at bitlash.net/wiki/start too. It makes it really easy to interactively drive pins on the Arduino. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie Apr 7 '12 at 9:34
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I came from the same background as you did and I've started tinkering with Arduino this year.

I would recommend a starter kit (I see you've already went in this direction). I can personally recommend this one: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10173

What's good about it? It contains:

  • the basic stuff (an Arduino, a breadboard, a set of resistors, a bunch of jumper wires),
  • a multitude of diverse components;
  • and it includes learning materials - an instruction booklet and breadboard overlays.

I would look for these qualities when deciding on a starter kit. Note, by the way, that the learning materials in the aforementioned kit are available online for free (the links can be found on the product page).

Regarding the kit you posted, you don't really need an LCD module for learning about working with Arduino, as it includes a library for bidirectional serial comms.

One more thing: once you catch the Arduino bug, you will eventually need tools. Here's a nice overview. However, the only tool that might be useful to you at the very start is a multimeter and some cutters. You shouldn't need to solder or work with wiring at that point. If the description of a kit you're considering implies it, perhaps start looking for an alternative - unless you already posses experience in those departments.

Finally, consider investing in a storage box with movable separators. Not necessary, but it helps when working on projects :).

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I started with a Duemilanove168 compatible board. It has enough analog (6) and digital (13) I/O to get started. It has the standard Hello-World-LED13 on it, and it lets you experiment with timers and interrupts. I think it is replaced with Arduino Uno. It is a matter of how much money you want to spend, a bigger board brings more I/O but is more expensive. There are loads of compatible boards, that may go a little cheaper than the original ones. Get a small breadboard, they're not too expensive and make experimenting easy. Personally I'm very charmed with DFRobot Arduino-Compatible Screw Shield to attach wires to Arduino.

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While many of the kits of parts all seem fine, personally, I prefer to only buy what I need when needed. If you start with blinking LEDs as most do, you'll need some LEDs and some 220 Ohm resistors. Both for digital and analog (PWM) control. Playing with the serial console requires just programming. Measuring analog data reading a potentiometer or thermistor is a common start. As you master some aspect and want to learn to use another external device, get it when you need it.

Of course a breadboard and some hook up wire is needed. I actually need a toolbox to hold all the electronics junk I've collected. Do not throw away any electronics without scavenging those for parts. VCR's are essentially obsolete and hold a wealth of electronics not the least of which will be the motor(s).

It is possible I'm seconding jippie's answer in which case give him the credit.

Have fun whichever way you decide to collect information and "getting started parts."

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I'm a programmer who got into electronics too, and i might say this - build something you really need.

Not just some toy, but real stuff, a THING (real world object made of concrete matter) you need right now. It will guide you from there...

Random toying with random stuff is ok, but it does not contain passion element that would drive you forward.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As both a programmer who studied programming and EE at the university, and later teaching at another university I would argue "Random toying with random stuff" is a valid form of learning. I suspect at least some programs you have written may well embody that aspect. Also, he specifically stated he wished to get stated with Aurduino and how to go about that. I learned how to use transistors by playing with those taken from a broken AM/FM transistor radio and trying several random, and sometimes disastrous circuits. FWIW \$\endgroup\$ – rdivilbiss Apr 15 '12 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I really love this answer. Self taught developer here. It has been 15 years now as a senior dev. I've seen people of all different backgrounds. Some failed some succeed. Those that do well love to create software. I really believe if you are passionate about something you can do it. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Wade Jan 25 '17 at 22:14

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