Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 2: 25 Simple Electronics Projects for Beginners is a followup of the previously reviewed Arduino Project Handbook (volume 1).
Like the previous volume, Volume II is for people first exploring the world of homemade DIY microcontroller fun.
The idea is very simple. An Arduino is the same sort of device that is hidden inside most modern things you plug in or that have batteries and that are more complicated than a flashight or an electric toothbrush. But some electric toobrushes have pretty complicated controllers in them too. It is called a “prototyping” device because it is generalized, has lots of inputs and outputs, runs a powerful but very learnable computer language, etc. So you can take an Arduino, a handful of resistors and other parts, and build a thermostat, or an alarm clock, or a temperature sensor for your garage, or a mini web site that displays video of the people who come to your front door, or a brethalyzer, or a computer game, or whatever.
Both of the “Handbooks” assume nothing, you don’t have to get Volume 1 to use Volume 2. Both provide the information you need to start messing around with the Arduino, and both provided details on how to build several projects. Most of the projects are designed to help you learn how to use the Arduino system, and a few produce actual useful results that you can deploy, such as a device that detects when something is near and the sprays water on it. Everybody needs one or two of those in the house!
Most importantly, the projects are well documented, clearly spelled out, and specifications are well done and accurate. You won’t get part way through a project and realize that you are missing something or that some instruction is unclear.
Also, the illustrations, which are critically important, are extremely well done. Also, No Starch publishers backs up its technology and coding books with excellent on line support, to download code, to pass information on errors to the book owners, etc.
Just so you know what you are getting yourself into, an Arduino Uno controller, which by itself does very little but can be hooked up to inexpensive parts to make projects like the ones in this book, costs about $30. You can get cheaper knockoff clones, which are not considered reliable, but if you are making several projects, buying a bunch of clones and expecting some of them to not work is an option. The Uno is only one of several controllers, the are advanced, larger and more powerful versions, but Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 2 uses only the Uno, which is the archetype of all others.
You can, however, design circuits that use the same logic but a much simpler board, if you want to come up with your own power supply and other dodads included with the Uno. This can be done with the Nano, a miniaturized and scaled down Arduino. You can get tiny Nanos in groups of ten for the same price, roughly, as one Uno. You will need to be somewhat more expert and know how to solder, but note that many projects in books and on line use Nanos, so the expertise part is not necessarily a big deal.
People starting out with this often buy kits that include an Arduino and a bunch of wires, resistors, breadboards, etc. One of the better kits out there now is the Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit , but there are many others.
You can also buy Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 2 and look on page 11-12 where there is a list of parts, and get the parts you need there. For instance, go to Amazon, enter “6 AA Battery Holder With 2.1mm x 5.5mm Connector 9V Output 2 Pack by Corpco” and you will find “6 AA Battery Holder With 2.1mm x 5.5mm Connector 9V Output 2 Pack by Corpco” and then you can buy that part.
Have fun on your Arduino adventure!
Mark Geddes is a lifelong tinkerer and gadget enthusiast from Dumfries, Scotland. Frustrated with the lack of practical, visual guides to help him teach his ten-year-old how to build with Arduino, he set about recording his own experiments, and Arduino Project Handbook is the result. Geddes has a bachelor’s degree from Edinburgh College of Art.
Table of contents
Part 1: LEDs
Project 1: LED Light Bar
Project 2: Light-Activated Night-Light
Project 3: Seven-Segment LED Countdown Timer
Project 4: LED Scrolling Marquee
Project 5: Mood Light
Project 6: Rainbow Strip Light
Project 7: NeoPixel Compass
Part 2: Sound
Project 8: Arduino Piano
Project 9: Noise Level Meter
Part 3: Motors
Project 10: Old-School Analog Dial
Project 11: Stepper Motor
Project 12: Temperature-Controlled Fan
Part 4: LCDs
Project 13: Ultrasonic Range Finder
Project 14: Digital Thermometer
Project 15: Bomb Defusal Game
Project 16: Serial LCD Introduction
Project 17: People Counter
Project 18: Nokia LCD Pong Game
Project 19: OLED Mini Breathalyzer
Part 5: Security
Project 20: Utrasonic Soaker
Project 21: Finger Printer Scanner
Part 6: Advanced
Project 22: Arduino Robot
Project 23: Internet-controlled LED
Project 24: Bluetooth Voice-controlled LED
Project 25: GPS Speedometer