Arduino Kit - Cheap

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This page will attempt to put together a list of parts for a "cheap" arduino kit that might be suitable for school use. We will start sourcing on ebay and amazon, then perhaps branch out. Next i would like to look at which seems to have even lower prices and longer lead times. Be aware that sources and prices change fast so this will get out of date fast.


Lets assume that we have 10 students and they will work in teams of pairs. For some components each team will need one component ( Arduino and BreadBoard ) for others one kit will do for a whole class. A few of the components we will scrounge up.

Here is what we are looking for:

  • Arduinos -- must be usb ( will need usb cables )
  • Prototyping Bread Board
  • Wire for proto board
  • LED
  • Power Supply
  • IR transmitter/receiver - cause remote control is cool.
  • More sensors and actuators.


I will assume that the buyer has Amazon Prime, and that the Ebay prices include ( the often free ) shipping. Note that Prime shipping is usually much faster than Ebay, and while its prices ( now ) seem to be higher, the time factor sometimes makes it worth it.


  • Ebay $4.00 per unit with cable
  • Amazon $5.00- $7.00 per unit ( higher price has voltage regulator ) no cable
  • So for a class of 10, 10 units: Ebay $40., Amazon $50.


  • USB it turns out there are two common types CH340G and FTDI
    • CH340G about $2.00 cheaper per unit, may be harder to find drivers
    • FTDI easier to find drivers?? more or less the old standard
  • Proto Board Friendly
  • Willing to do some soldering to save money
  • Indifferent to speed or lots of IO as long as it has the basics
  • Cable for usb nice but seems to add $1.00 on ebay

Some Links[edit]

  • Search sting suggestion: arduino nano usb with cable CH340G FTDI

Proto Board[edit]

  • Ebay $2.50 per unit
  • Amazon $3.00 - $7.00 per unit ( higher price has voltage regulator )
  • So for a class of 10, 10 units: Ebay $25.00, Amazon $70.00


  • 830 points, not a mini board

Some Links[edit]

  • Search sting suggestion: electronics breadboard 830 -mini

Proto Wire[edit]

Cost $0.00

Salvage from old phone wire or ethernet cable.

Power Supply[edit]

Cost $0.00

At low currents ( no motors for example ) use the computer's supply ( through usb ). At higher currents use salvage stuff, old wall warts, and computer power supplies.

IR Sensor[edit]

For now get with transmitters.

IR Transmitter[edit]

Seem easy to get with sensor so go for both.

  • Ebay, about $1.50 per unit
  • Amazon arout $6.00 per unit
  • So for a class of 10, 5 units: Ebay $7.50, Amazon $30.00

Some Links[edit]

LED and Suitable Resistor[edit]

  • Some color
  • Some some white
  • No multi colored or built in blink at leas for now.
  • will need current limiting resistors, see resistors section.

Get in kits, one kit per class of 10 ( or more ) should do.


for LED and what ever

Ebay about $10.00 per kit

One kit per class $10.00


Nice to have a backlight but not necessary

Stepper Motor and Driver[edit]

  • Ebay $2.50
  • Amazon $3.00 ( 5 at a time )

Servo Motor[edit]



  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Multi Meter
  • Soldering Iron and solder ( beware )
  • Small screw driver and similar tools