SparkFun Tinker Kit

The SparkFun Tinker Kit (STK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The STK is our newest version of the former SparkFun Mini Inventor’s Kit, blended with elements of our educator MESA kit. Each SparkFun Tinker Kit includes everything you need to complete 11 circuits that will teach you how to blink an LED, read sensors, drive servos, and more. You don’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.

The online STK Experiment Guide (in the Documents section below) 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 in case something goes wrong.

The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up. This miniature version of the SIK will help prove that anyone can (and should) play around with cutting-edge electronics in a fun and playful way while not breaking the bank.

Get Started With the Activity Guide for SparkFun Tinker Kit!

  • Circuit 1: Blink an LED
  • Circuit 2: Potentiometer
  • Circuit 3: Photoresistor
  • Circuit 4: RGB Night-Light
  • Circuit 5: Buzzer
  • Circuit 6: Digital Trumpet
  • Circuit 7: Simon Says Game
  • Circuit 8: Servo Motors
  • Circuit 9: Temperature Sensor
  • Circuit 10: Motor Basics
  • Circuit 11: Driving a Motor w/ Inputs

SparkFun Tinker Kit Product Help and Resources

Activity Guide for SparkFun Tinker Kit

March 29, 2018

This activity guide will take you through the basics of building 11 different circuits with the SparkFun Tinker Kit and how to program them using the Arduino IDE.

Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

1 Robotics

Skill Level: Noob - You will be required to put together a robotics kit. Necessary parts are included and steps will be easy to follow. You also might encounter basic robotics components like bearings, mounts, or other hardware and need a general idea of how it goes together.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Customer Comments

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

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Perfect for beginners with all you need to get started and UNDERSTAND.

1- Price point that is accessible to at least 20% of the population of the world, and the world is very poor. 2- The requirements on the development platform (computer) are not too stringent. 3- No manual or power tools are needed. 4- There is quite a support network; but to be honest, the only reason I got it working is because of some video in youtube that SPELLED OUT all the steps. All websites fall short of that.

Hobby gearmotors seem to die and stop working pretty quickly

I bought the tinker kit for the extra wires, resistors, the redboard and the motors.

I tried to run the servo motor back and forth using the servo position functions in my arduino code within the angular range suggested by the tutorial with a small load attached, but the motor died out.

Tried running Circuit 10: Motor Basics to run the hobby gearmotors using the exact same circuit diagram showed on the tutorial page

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/activity-guide-for-sparkfun-tinker-kit/circuit-10-motor-basics

I attached a small load to the white shafts attached on the sides. The problem I’m encountering is that the hobby motor seems to stop working on its own over time. The arduino blue light near pin 13 will keep blinking continuously, but the motor stops rotating. After I let it sit for a minute or two, the motor starts running again. I’d sure like to know whether the hobby gearmotors are low-quality and simply stop working reliably after a few hours or if there is a problem with the circuit.

I haven’t used the whole kit or tried out all the suggested circuits on the activity guide for the Tinker Kit, but I plan to in the future. Thus far it’s been a lot of fun

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble! Please contact our support department for help with the motor issues you’re experiencing and they will be happy to assist you.