Elektor’s release this week of its Arduino-Compatible Experimenting Kit once again shows the power of a book and a box of electronics parts and modules combined in a bundle. The result: brilliant education with Arduino theory and practice closely knit in over 60 projects.

Start Experimenting

No matter how good they are individually, any two or more products that go into a so-called “Bundle” or “Package Deal” will fail to produce a synergetic effect if they aren’t closely matched. For sure, there are many suitable kits out there based on the Arduino Uno or its compatibles in combination with 10 or so peripheral parts thrown on a breadboard. Likewise, complete books exist detailing the simulated (!) operation of DIY projects based on general-purpose components of the LDR/potentiometer/motor/LED variety. Yet, the book may be as foreign to the kit as the other way around, and the user is left befuddled with a massive gray area between the two products.

Not so with the Arduino-Compatible Experimenting Kit Bundle now available in the Elektor Store. This product excels in a convincing, duly researched, and tight connection between three elements:
  • instructional matter found in the book;
  • hardware found in the box of parts;
  • software analyzed in detail and made available free of charge.

The Enhanced Guide

The book author, professor Dogan Ibrahim, is known for his curt, instructive writing, as well as for moving step by step with a “hard” connection to circuit diagrams, real components, and simple-to-build and use hardware. All his projects follow a fixed pattern of problem description → requirements both h/w and s/w → datasheet analysis → software analysis → practical experiment → evaluation. From feedback, we know that the “experimental” element in particular has a highly inciting and challenging effect on the reader. Several current contributors to Elektor Magazine are known to have been inspired at least by Ibrahim’s textbooks published by Elektor.
Arduino-Compatible Experimenting Kit

The book has the new “Guide” style developed by Elektor, especially for their product bundles with an educational aim. The exact wording printed on the book cover reads Enhanced Guide made by Elektor. Simply put, this means that Elektor has signed up an experienced author to (vastly) improve on the (poor) documentation originally published by the kit supplier, in this case, Makerfabs. Smart and efficient as they may be at creating kits of electronic parts for budding electronicists, these kit makers benefit from properly written and produced “courseware”, which happens to be the fortitude of Elektor.

The Box of Parts

The plastic box sized 23 x 16 x 6 cm has two levels. One is a removable tray which contains the two 7-segment displays, the dot-matrix LED display, and the breadboard. The displays are pushed on pieces of foam plastic to protect their pins. The actual storage space in the box holds the other parts and modules for the experiments described in the book. Most modules are securely packaged in a sealed antistatic bag. A few are not, like the water sensor, the USB cable, the Dupont-style jumper cables, and the little motor. The “Arduino-compatible” promised in the Bundle description is normally a blue-board “UNO R3”.
supplied parts in the experimenting kit
Close-up picture of the LEDs, resistors, buttons, wires, etc. in the kit.
All leaded parts in the kit are in a single plastic zip bag. This may look confusing, but the parts are easily identified with the help of the book as far as their value and class (R, C, LED, diode, etc.) go. In good engineering practice, the contents of the component box should be checked against the Bill of Materials (BOM) as published by Elektor on the web page created for this Bundle. That’s actually a very helpful exercise for those new to electronics.
Sensors and more
Close-up picture of sensors, actuators, and displays in the kit.
The quality of the parts and modules is beyond reproach and the box offers ways of keeping your desk clean after the experiments, as well as your electronics stuff organized, portable, and - dare we say it - all yours.

The Effect

This Bundle is great for those of you new to Arduino, curious about it, and/or relatively new to electronics parts. The software code examples discussed in the book are explained so well that they encourage further experiments rather than show off the author’s programming skills. And so, each project completed with success really makes you want to start the next or add your very own “seasoning” in the form of hardware or software extensions. Here’s an example:

Example water tank
Example of a project discussed in the book. This is not just theory. Both the sensor and
the Arduino Uno-compatible board are actually in the kit. The operation of the project
and the software are covered in great detail.
Arduino & Snaky Python jointly say: Get your Arduino-compatible Experimenting Kit here.