Hi all!
For my first Hardware post I figured the best way to get started is let everyone know how I set up a small little lab at home.

To start with I ordered some components. Most of the components I ordered were from DX or ICStation. I've included the links to the variety packs I ordered in the parenthesis.

The basic components that I feel are necessary are:

Then you'll need atleast one MCU, the ones I recommend are:

  • Raspberry Pi(an A+ will be capable of doing almost everything we try)
  • Arduino
  • Beaglebone Black

Here are the MCU's I have right now:
MCUs

Clockwise from top left:
Aduino Nano Clone, Raspberry Pi A+, Raspberry Pi B+, Arduino Mega Clone

I also have an Arduino Uno lying around and a Beaglebone black on its way now :).

You can order these from RS or any other online or brick and mortar store you like.

You will also (probably) require some of these basic peripherals:

  • Soldering iron and associated stuff(solder, flux, desoldering pump etc.)
  • Breadboards or Protoboards
  • Lots of Wire(different colours are preferred)
  • Some male and female assorted dupont wires(to connect to the various MCU's)
  • A Variable voltage Supply(when the MCU's are not required)
  • A Multimeter(A basic one will do)
  • A Logic Analyzer
  • An Oscilloscope

Now for the optional parts, these are various sensors and IO devices. You can order just the ones you need. The stuff I have:

  • IR Reciever and Remote
  • Some wireless Communication Modules(2.4GHz and 433Mhz)
  • Relays
  • Joystick
  • Real Time Clock
  • Motors (Normal DC, Servo and Stepper)
  • Temperature/Humidity Sensors
  • Motion Sensors
  • Ultrasonic distance Sensor
  • IMU Sensor
  • Some displays(LED/OLED/Dot Matrix/7 Segment)
  • Switches
  • Camera module
  • Variable Resitors(Pots)
  • LDRs

The last thing you will need is a good storage solution to hold all these components and some labels for organization. You can see the one I'm using in the image.

I'm also making an assumption here that you already have basic computer(I would recommend something that *NIX based). You may also need a Keyboard/Mouse and a display to set up your MCU.

I know that thats ALOT of stuff, but it will cover 99% of all the projects and hacking I will do on this blog. I will also try my best to do all my posts on all 3 MCU's.

Just as an FYI, all of this including the storage solution cost me around US$1000. But if you remove the power supply, oscilloscope, and just get a Raspberry Pi or Arduino, that amount will probably come down to under $500.