Here are some other resources you might like to help you get started making and soldering.
Here are books we have actually bought and used when we started out making electronics. They all have great projects to work on and make excellent gifts.
Excellent book for beginners in electronics by Charles Platt, now in a second edition.
“As before, Make: Electronics begins with the basics. You’ll see for yourself how components work–and what happens when they don’t. You’ll short out a battery and overheat an LED. You’ll also open up a potentiometer and a relay to see what’s inside. No other book gives you such an opportunity to learn from real-life experiences.”
2. Getting Started In Electronics by Foreset Mimms III
A complete electronics course with tons of experiments by well known author Forest Mims III.
“Author Forrest Mims teaches you the basics, takes you on a tour of analog and digital components, explains how they work, and shows you how they are combines for various applications. Includes circuit assembly tips and 100 electronic circuits and projects you can build and test.”
A microcontroller is a small computer that controls things like your refrigerator or dishwasher. Here are some you can use to make things with. Microcontrollers allow you to make leds blink, spin motors and many more things.
1. Arduino Uno R3 – Your basic microcontroller from Arduino. If you haven’t used one before the Uno model is the best place to start.
2. Arduino MKR1000 – Effortless WiFi in a very small package. Same great Arduino software interface.
3. Jeenode – Great Arduino compatible microcontroller with wireless radio built in. Buy two of these and they can talk to each other. They come as a kit and need to be soldered together. Not for the absolute beginner.
4. Raspberry Pi – Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard The latest model is really a small computer you program for various things. Making a retro arcade game controller is popular.
5. ESP 8266 – Very cheap microcontroller with built in WiFi. Can be programmed with the Arduino IDE.