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Description:  The SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The SIK includes everything you need to complete 15 circuits that will teach you how to read sensors, display information on an LCD, drive motors, and more. You don't need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.

The full-color SIK Guidebook (included) contains step by step instructions of how to connect each circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided and explained and even includes troubleshooting tips if something goes wrong.

The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up. The new V3.1 version of the kit includes the SparkFun Mini Screwdriver to secure your RedBoard to its baseplate and replaces the translucent red breadboard with an opaque white breadboard (now you'll be able to clearly see which socket you are inserting your hook-up wires into).

Circuit Examples:

  • Circuit 1: Blinking an LED
  • Circuit 2: Reading a Potentiometer
  • Circuit 3: Driving an RGB LED
  • Circuit 4: Driving Multiple LEDs
  • Circuit 5: Push Buttons
  • Circuit 6: Reading a Photo Resistor
  • Circuit 7: Reading a Temperature Sensor
  • Circuit 8: Driving a Servo Motor
  • Circuit 9: Using a Flex Sensor
  • Circuit 10: Reading a Soft Potentiometer
  • Circuit 11: Using a Buzzer
  • Circuit 12: Driving a Motor
  • Circuit 13: Using Relays
  • Circuit 14: Using a Shift Register
  • Circuit 15: Using an LCD

Kit includes:

Documentation:

Replaces: KIT-11576

Comments 39 comments

  • +1 for the change to opaque breadboards. My eyes thank you.

    • Thanks! We’re not always as fast as we’d like to be but we are listening and trying to make each product a little better.

      • How about a budget inventor’s kit.

        • Could you put a number to that? And what niche would you see it filling?

          I say niche because the way I see ‘inventor kits’ right now is:

          • budget: the typical 101 experiments kits, tend not to have microcontrollers or anything beyond a motor and maybe a 7-seg display if you’re lucky (will usually have switches, resistors, transistors, LEDs, etc.). Maybe around $25-$30
          • arduino + danger shield: for introduction to microcontrollers beyond making the on-board LED blink and getting some fairly decent I/O experiments underway. ~$45 currently. No ‘experiments’ booklet for this, but the internet is rife with basic experiments that will use the kind of components the danger shield readily offers.
          • the SIK: more capable board with a more advanced level of input (temperature, flex sensor) and output (LCD, servo) elements - as a result, more expensive at $99.95

          If those more advanced level I/O elements were dropped, you’re more or less back to the arduino+danger shield.

          However, you may have something different in mind, and I (and SparkFun, I’d imagine) would be interested in learning what that would be :)

        • I got started with Arduino before there was much in the way of “kits” available. I pretty rapidly (within a couple of weeks) reached the point of doing projects comparable to the more advanced projects in the SIK book, but in absence of kits like this one, bought a very basic “Arduino Starter Kit” and ended up spending at least $200 on parts, and quite a bit more on S&H from Jameco, Mouser, and Digikey, and on books to get there.

          I bought a classroom pack of SIKs last year and I think SparkFun has really hit the sweet spot at the intersection of cost, value, learning potential, and flexibility.

          I’d say that this really IS the budget inventor’s kit, in that it gives you a sufficient variety of components to allow you not only complete the learning projects in the guidebook, but also remix the components to extend your learning on your own.

          I agree with Kamiquasi. The 101 experiment kits just won’t take you where you need to go, and the Arduino+DangerShield route will leave you just doing basic experiments rather than creating and building real projects. While I realize that $100 bucks still seems like a lot of money, the SIK package can keep you busily learning for a LONG time with parts you will use over and over again.

          Had the SIK been available in 2010 when I was starting out as a complete and total novice, I think I would have gotten much further, much faster, and I KNOW I would have spent a lot less money.

          • I agree. The variety and number of components included with this kit, along with the instructional materials, and, heck, even a case, for a hundred bucks do make this the budget kit. One thing to consider is all the time saved not having to source the components individually, as well as not having to pay the shipping a few components at a time. This kit is the way to go.

  • Do you have a kit minus the microcontroller. Thats what i need just the parts as i already have a micro.

    Thanks

    • The closest kit we have is the BWSN Kit, but you can always buy all the parts individually if you want this exact kit.

  • Pin 13 keeps flashing before i started circuit 1

  • I’d rate this kit 4.5 stars out of 5. I bought this kit as a complete noobie and is very well put together. The examples clearly explain whats is being done and why in the sketch code and the book. A great way to get into arduino and in style too! I only wish it came with a stepper motor in the kit.

  • I have been using the abbreviations RTFI and RTFM for years with my students (Student: “Why isn’t my program working?”, Me: “You have an RTFM error.”), so when I unpacked my SIK and took out the RedBoard and saw the “RTFM” logo on the packaging underneath I laughed for hours. Thanks SF for a nice kit (it has become my personal “proof of concept” kit) and the humorous packaging.

  • While working through the examples, I have had a problem with Circuit #12, the DC motor. It’s hooked up correctly, but I can’t get it to run. Has anyone else had this problem? It might be that I need an external power, as someone suggested for #8, the servo motor.

  • I would like to see this, but a bit cheaper and without the Arduino. It would be great for RasPi (correct shortcut for Raspberry Pi?), PIC, PICAXE, Propeller, no microcontroller, BASIC Stamp etc.

  • Can you advise as to the difference between v3.0 and v3.1 of the SIK?

  • This is the first thing I’ve bought from sparkfun, after months of lurking on every product page. Needless to say I love sparkfun. The group of people who wrote the SIK Guide must be technical writing prodigies

  • Hey Nate! Any interest in taking the S.I.K. Teacher Binder and turning it into a full set of teaching Powerpoint slides? I’d be willing to take the one I’m working on and work with you to make it official.

    • Hi Angelo, To clarify- Are you talking about the SIK Guide or the SIK Teacher Binder?

      We would more than love to have your slides! In the spirit of Open Education we’d be honored to host them on Learn if you send them to education@sparkfun.com.

      Thanks!

      • Hi Angelo,

        Are you still working on a Powerpoint slide pack for the Teacher Binder? I’m a teacher and I’m very interested!

  • This is by far one of the best kits on the market. I’ve purchased other kits in the past, and would highly recommend this one to anyone looking to get started with the Arduino platform. Buy the SIK Guide book if you already have most of the other components at the very least. The SIK Guide contains lots of great circuit examples, and informative instruction. Great job with this one SparkFun!

  • Hi. I just started with the kit today and I’ve done the first example. I am wondering why the exercise has us hook up the red wire from 5V power pin to the + strip on the breadboard, when pin 13 output supplies the power to the circuit anyway? I pulled both ends of the red wire out and LED still flashes with the rate changes that I made. It’s not like anything goes from the + strip on the breadboard to the LED anyways.

    • Connecting both 5V and GND is just good practice for wiring up the POWER rails on the breadboard. It isn’t used in the 1st circuit, but it will be used in circuit #2. We’ll look at removing that in our next revision of the guide.

      Thanks

  • Hi there, we picked up this kit recently and my kids have been working through the projects. Last night they were doing #8 with the servo, and it did not work. I double-checked the circuit and and seemed right according to the book, and then I took a servo out of another kit and it still did not work.

    Are there any known problems with #8 either the circuit or the code for it? We were just loading the code right out of the example code we downloaded.

    • OK I figured it out - when powered by the USB cable there is not enough power for the servo. I needed to hook up external power.

      • I thought I had a similar problem. Everything was fine until #8, then the servo buzzed but didn’t move. But unlike you, providing external power didn’t make things work.

        So I stopped by the local Micro Center, this morning, and picked up a TinkerKit microservo. That servo worked fine.

        Either Sparkfun shipped a defective servo or I somehow managed to damage it after opening the package, though I don’t see how I could have managed that.

        • Sorry to hear you had a problem with that! If you contact techsupport@sparkfun, they should be able to assist you with the bum servo.

  • Here’s a tutorial on creating custom characters with Arduino on instructables => http://www.instructables.com/id/Controlling-a-character-LCD-with-an-Arduino/?ALLSTEPS.

  • Kudos for the white breadboard! I just signed 40 students up for my class, and look forward to buying them the v3.1 kits. Older eyes thank you!

  • What would be better for an absolute beginner, this or the Arduino Starter Kit? (http://store.arduino.cc/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=185) What are the differences?

    • Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit is the best for beginners :) Then graduate to the Arduino Starter Kit, which comes with more intermediate projects. The only way to get the Arduino book is to buy the kit.

    • To be honest, I haven’t heard of any comments regarding the Arduino Starter Kit instruction book (good or bad). I’d recommend checking out our kit guide above in the links and see how you like it writing wise to get an idea whether it would work for you. I’m not sure if there’s an online version available for the Arduino booklet that you can check out, but there may be some reviews on Amazon or something that may be beneficial. The kits are basically the same, minus a few small differences. They have a few more color LEDs, while ours has a relay, breadboard, and a softpot sensor.

  • hi there. I just got the 3.0 kit. Is there a big difference between 3.0 and 3.1? So far I’m loving it! Really well written for newbs like me :-) thanks!

    • There were very minor changes on this. Version 3.1 has an opaque breadboard instead of the red one, and also includes a mini screw driver. Otherwise, the material included in the kit is the same.

  • As a total beginner here, which of your other products would be complementary to this one? Is there anything else I would need other than this kit to do something?

    • I’d recommend starting with this kit first. Once you’ve worked your way through it, you’ll have a better understanding of what you can do, which then will allow you to pursue things that specifically interest you (and thus purchase the parts to do so).

      • I’d agree with Toni. It’s a great beginner’s item, and you should wrap your head around what’s covered in the kit, and then move on to other things. Plus, at 4pm - 4:59pm (mountain time), the SIK will be 40% off! Today only of course.

  • If anyone’s interested, the old 3.0 kit plus the new breadboard and screwdriver is only $95.85.


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