Friday, May 15, 2009

Useful parts to keep in stock

I thought I'd put together a little list of parts one might need when starting to fiddle with the Arduino and electronics in general. Why, well I would have liked one when I started out. It would have saved me alot on unnecessary shipping.
The list is partly my own, borrowing some from Tom Igoes Making Things Talk (a book I highly recommend) and a thread over at the Arduino forum I started.

Bread boards:
I thought I would only need one or two. By experience I know better and if you're like me, working on multiple projects, it's nice to have a few. It saves you the trouble of deconstructing and reconstructing half baked projects.

Jumper wire: For the breadboard. There are alot of different models. I've used solid core wires that were labeled for use with bread boards. I don't really care for them, however I don't have any other recommendations.

DC adaptor:
The Arduino uses a 2.1 mm center positive plug. However since you never know what you might need it's quite good to get one with interchangeable plugs in different sizes. Preferably with variable voltage aswell.

  1. DC 2.1 mm jack
    Useful when using a separate power source to your projects.
  2. DC 2.1 mm plug
    Useful when powering from battery.
  3. 9V battery connector
    Same reason as above but for the other end.
  4. Headers female and male.
    Alot of different uses. Especially when it comes to connecting wires to a breadboard.


  1. 100 Ohm
  2. 220 Ohm
  3. 470 Ohm
  4. 1 k Ohm
  5. 4.7 k Ohm
  6. 10 k Ohm
  7. 22 k Ohm
  8. 100 k Ohm
  9. 1 M Ohm

  1. CdS resistor: 2-5 k Ohm
    Works as a light sensor if you hook it up to your micro controller of choice.
  2. NTC resistor: 4700 Ohm
    A.K.A. thermistor, like the above but senses heat instead.

  3. Potentiometer: 10 k Ohm
    Extremely useful when working with micro controllers.


  1. 0.1 uF ceramic (sometimes labled as 100 nF)
  2. 1 uF electrolyte
  3. 47 uF electrolyte
  4. 10 uF electrolyte
  5. 100 uF electrolyte

  1. H-bridge: L293D
    Useful for controlling DC motors and stepper motors. Allows you to switch polarity of the outputs.
  2. Darlington array: ULN2003
    Useful for controlling bigger loads such as stepper motors and LED-strips.


These are pretty much generic transistors that my supplier had in stock. If you can't find a specific transistor, just swap it out for one with similar specs.
  1. 2N2222A TO-92 NPN 40V 800mA 300MHz
  2. BC547B TO-92 NPN 45V 0.1A
  3. BC557B TO-92 PNP 50V 0.1A
  4. TIP120 TO-220 NPN Darlington 60V 5A
  5. IRF540 TO-220 N-ch MOSFET 100V 28A
  6. 2N3906 TO-92 PNP 40V 200mA

  1. Red 5 mm dim
    The most basic of LEDs.
  2. Red 5 mm clear super bright
    Together with the green and blue below it's what you need to do color mixing.
  3. Green 5 mm clear super bright
  4. Blue 5 mm clear super bright

  1. 1N4004 DO-41 400V 1A
  2. Zener BZX55C3V3 DO-35 3.3V

Voltage regulator:
  1. LM317T TO-220
    Variable voltage regulator, with two resistors you can get output voltages from 1.2 V to 37 V.

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