I have a birthday coming up and would like to try and "get into" electronics. Now seems like the ideal time to finally get enough components to get started. However I need advise choosing what to get. I would also like to keep the cost to around £50 ($80) if at all possible.
I have coded in C before and would like to learn assembly. I have several smaller projects in mind so the microcontrollers I use would need to be £2 or less really. (I do not want to have to take the microcontroller out of the last project to make the next.) This rules out the Arduino etc. (Also that would likely be too powerful anyway.)
I have completed a GCSE in electronics. However I am still very poor at electronics and understand very little about them.
I am considering the Attiny45 for my projects as it costs only £0.50 per chip and takes a wide range of voltages; I am hoping I can simply run it off of 3 AA batteries without need for a voltage regulator. Also the Attiny range is well documented and I could easily move up to a better chip if need be. Finally it should be able to run http://www.obdev.at/products/vusb/index.html (?). Which would allow me to emulate USB 1.1 in software. I think this would be really cool.
Does the Attiny45 seem like a good choice here and are my reasons for choosing it valid?
The projects that I would like to try to make are as follows:
I would like to modify a cheap quartz clock so that it ticks in an irregular fashion. :P (While ideally still keeping time in the long run.)
I would like to control one or more RGB LEDs from a script on my computer via usb.
I would like to make my own simple intra-red remote set up with an infa-red receiver attached to the computer via usb.
I would like to see if I can modify my rice cooker to turn itself off at a slightly lower temperature so it no longer perfectly cooks the rice, and then stays on 30 seconds too long and burns it.
I would like to blink an LED to say something in morse code and repeat it over and over.
Something with SD-cards would be cool too but I think that sounds really tricky and I haven't checked if the microcontroller would be fast enough.
Interfacing with an etch-a-sketch with two motors would be very cool. Or doing a one-line plotter with two motors.
Make my own accurate clock with a quartz oscillator.
Any/all of the above sound like fun and I would really like to try and do at least 1 or 2 of them. I have absolutely no electronic related stuff at home. What should I get and what will I need? So far this is what I have thought of:
Part numbers can be looked up on the Digikey website but I can't post any more links.
I am hoping to be able to program my microcontrollers with my Raspberry Pi. I am still missing jumper wire as I couldn't find any on Digikey. I think I will also need some transistors but I'm not sure which ones to get. Would I be able to run the DC motors with some transistors from the microcontroller?
I don't have a good soldering iron (I have one somewhere but I honestly don't think it can even melt the solder) and I do not have a multimeter. However together getting those will likely already come to £50. Do you think that they are essential to get started?
Thank you for reading. I really would be interested to know what you think is most important to get first when starting out and what other items I have missed from my list that I will need.