Electronic Prototyping Kits and Tools

This is a list of the basic tools and components that provide the foundation for our electronics prototyping lab. See also our list of basic electronic parts for information about the resistors, LEDs, capacitors, etc. that we use.

Suppliers: Adafruit Industries [AF], SparkFun Electronics [SF], Digi-Key [DK]

Arduino (full distributor list):
Duemilanove [ AF, SF ]: the standard Arduino board
LilyPad: works well with fabric and conductive thread
Fio [SF]: good for (XBee) wireless
Pro Mini (5V) [SF]: good for embedding into projects
Pro Mini (3.3V) [SF]: good for embedding into projects
Mega [ AF, SF ]: lots of pins and memory

AVR In-System Programmer:
AVRISP mkII [DK]: for programming AVRs

Tiny Breadboard [AF]: fits Proto Shield
Half Breadboard [AF]: good for general use
Small Breadboard [SF]: good for general use

FTDI (for programming Arduino LilyPad, Fio and Pro Mini):
FTDI Cable (5V) [ AF, SF ]: all-in-one cable
FTDI Basic Breakout (5V) [SF]: breakout board (requires Mini-USB cable)
FTDI Basic Breakout (3.3V) [SF]: breakout board (requires Mini-USB cable)

Power Supplies:
9V, Center Positive, 2.1 x 5.5 mm [ SF, AF ]: plugs into an Arduino Duemilanove

Proto Shield Kit [AF]
Wave Shield Kit (or the full music and sound add-on pack) [AF]

Light Sensor (photocell) [ SF, AF ]: resistance varies based on the light on the sensor
ADXL322 Two-Axis Accelerometer (+/-2g) [SF]: see the Arduino tutorial
Ultrasonic Range Finder (Maxbotics LV-EZ1): accurately detect the distance of objects
PIR Sensor: [ SF, AF ]: for detecting that someone is moving in a room

regular [SF]: 180 degrees of rotation
full rotation [SF]: a geared motor

Weller WES51 Soldering Station [DK]: quality soldering iron
PES51 Soldering Iron [DK]: spare / replacement iron for the WES51

Diagonal Cutters [SF]: for cutting wire
Needle Nose Pliers [SF]: always useful
Tweezers [SF]: good for SMD soldering
Wire Strippers [SF]: with holes for multiple gauges

USB Cables:
USB Cable (A to B) [ AF, SF ]: for connecting Arduino Duemilanove to computer
USB Cable (A to Mini-B) [SF]: for connecting XBee Explorer USB or FTDI Basic Breakout

Jumper Wire Kit [SF]
Premium M/M Jumper Wires (10) [SF]
Red, Black, and Green, 22 AWG, solid core

XBee (Series 1) [SF]: easy-to-use, reliable wireless modules
XBee Explorer USB [SF]: connects XBee to computer
XBee Explorer Regulated [SF]: connects XBee to Arduino LilyPad, Pro, or Pro Mini