Picking up a new language is never easy. Trying to learn basic electronics at the same time is just asking for trouble. However, the Arduino world is one of the more rewarding skills and well worth the effort. However, it’s hard to know where to start.
Guide the Arduino project written by Mark Geddes and published by No Starch Press, is a fantastic place to start. With 25 exciting designs—each with a full-color circuit diagram, contact sheets, and photos—you too will soon be making things like a laser kill switch or a joystick-controlled laser gun.
Even better, this solid book is only $25 direct from No Starch Press, which includes both printed and digital copy .
When I first started learning Arduino I used the all in one starter kit that comes with official an Arduino Uno board, a book co-authored by the Arduino founder, and some instructions for about 10 projects. At the time it cost about $100. All projects were quite simple, each of which essentially represented its own component. There wasn’t much progress, and at the end of doing all of them, I felt a little underwhelmed. You could make them all without an Arduino. I still wasn’t sure how I should go about creating more complex and fun stuff. Since most of the cost was taken over by the official commission, there were few additional components for the starter in the kit. It was a little underwhelming and I ended up with it over the weekend.
Nowadays, you can buy great clone-based starter kits for under $30 filled with interesting components like an LED matrix, LCD screen, or RFID reader. The only problem with this is that the documentation is seriously missing; or rather, it is completely absent. The Arduino Project Guide is a great addition to these kits.
Arduino Project Guide
While the title implies that the «Arduino Project Guide» is just a collection of projects, it does have a short section on the history and history of Arduino before diving into the Arduino IDE. The first project is the Hello World! electronics tutorial. According to the gold standard: flashing LED. The Arduino Project Guide is unique in that it breaks down every line of code — even all those curly braces — to help those with no programming experience understand exactly what’s going on.
Not only does it cover the absolute basics, but it moves towards putting components together and structuring larger projects. This is an important skill: anyone can copy a few lines of code, but that’s what real pieces are all about, and then combining them into something more than the sum of the parts. There are no repetitions though, so concepts described in earlier drafts are no longer explained. It may be tempting to jump straight into a joystick controlled laser, but working through projects in order — especially early projects — is the best way to learn.
By the way, the entire project code is available for download from the No Starch Press site, but I strongly recommend that you print it by hand. While this can be tedious, it ensures that you mentally examine each line of code. In the process, you will probably also introduce errors. Learning to identify appropriate error messages and find and fix errors is another important skill that cannot be taught in a book, but will only come to you through experience. If you come across an unfamiliar function name that isn’t explained in the book, a quick Google will reveal everything.
We talked about what you will find in the starter kit. starter kit before, and in the book’s appendix, you’ll find a similar breakdown, as well as technical pinouts for the hardware.
Simple to complex
The Arduino Project Guide actually takes you from the absolute beginner’s starting point and follows a logical progression, explaining key concepts as you go. Projects are becoming more complex, with more components and longer programs. Below is just a small sample of the 25 projects included. You can find the full table of contents on the book’s website:
A Memory sound game similar to the classic Simon.
A rocket launcher using an incandescent light bulb and matches.
Joystick-controlled laser, similar to a stand-alone laser turret I collected a few years ago.
Ghost (more precisely, EMF) detector.
RFID card entry system (you can combine this with a powerful magnetic door lock, as we did here.).
Projects are broken down into 7 parts: LED, Sound, Servo, LCD, Meters, Security, and Advanced.
To test the quality of the instructions, I built project #16, an electronic matrix. This was partly because I had never tried a 7 segment LED display before, so I knew I couldn’t cheat. Apart from the fact that one of my buttons was tricky, the wiring and code worked the first time.
The clear, full color diagrams and pinout tables are easy to understand, and the project used only the components that were in my starter kit. The code is well documented if you want to make changes, such as adjusting the animation speed of the dice shaking.
Should I Buy the Arduino Project Guide?
If you are new to Arduino, you should definitely buy this book. Skip the branded all-in-one starter kits that include a few boring projects. This book introduces you not only to simple beginners who do everything; but also complex, larger projects that showcase the real power of the Arduino. These projects will sincerely motivate you to keep learning. Having a practical, exciting thing is more motivating than just doing something for it.
You’ll still need to buy a few components — like the sentry gun’s firing mechanism — but they cost a few dollars.
Our verdict Arduino Project Guides : Easily the best guide for beginners out there.Pair with an inexpensive clone-based starter kit and join the maker revolution has never been so cheap.9ten