Comments: What is an Arduino?

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  • Hello Sparkfun,

    I am new to Arduino. I understand DC circuits, Ohm’s law, parallel and serial circuits, digital multi meter use and basic soldering skills.

    Many electronic kits have been built from Chaney and Velleman and Ramsey mostly related to LED sequencing and displays.

    As a result an interest has been developed in 1. Activating devices using sensors like the Parallax PIR sensor http://www.parallax.com/product/555-28027?SortField=ProductName,ProductName

    1. Activating sound devices that play MP3 or other stereo audio from SD or Micro SD cards or USB flash drives with PIR sensors.

    2. Activating complex LED diplays with PIR sensors.

    So I am going to purchase a board to get my feet wet with Arduino systems and programming.

    So my question is: Should I start with the UNO or the Red Board (or other?)
    While I am not a rich man the five dollar difference in price is not an issue. One difference I see is the the RedBoard uses a mini-B USB connector whule the UNO uses a mini-USB connector But do not both types have a standard USB connector at the other end? http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics–Male–Female-Extension-Cable/dp/B001TH7GV4/ref=lp_464394_1_10?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1416848508&sr=1-10 If so, then this is not an issue for me either.

    The real issue is one or the other easier for a beginner?

    Thanks.

    Allen in Dallas

    • One should not be any easier. While the drivers are different once those are installed there is really no difference in the boards. Both use an ATMega328 with the same bootloader on them. In both cases you would select Arduino Uno in the Arduino IDE for programming. I higly recommend grabbing one of our SIKs to help get started. If the $100 price tag is a bit high for you, we now have the Mini SIK which has the first ½ of the circuits. Also, don’t forget the SIK manual is online as well, so if you already have some of the components that works. Lastly, the Redboard, SIK, and SIK Mini are all making appearances on our Cyber Monday Flash Sale. Cyber Monday


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