Arduino was there before that raspberry pi And it democratized access to electronics and hardware hacking long before everyone’s favorite SBC. The most famous board in this series, the Arduino Uno, is now over ten years old. During that time, we’ve contributed to countless projects, but we’ve never been able to officially create our own… until now.
Arduino’s $58 Make Your Uno Kit is more than an Arduino Uno in a box of components. Rather, you should build your own Uno from the parts that come with it. This means that you should use either: best soldering iron Solder the components. But this kit does more than just provide the parts to build an Arduino microcontroller. Also build your own shield ( HAT addon for Raspberry Pi) and an audio synth that can be used to create music/beep/beep sounds.
The Arduino Make Your Uno Kit is a great learning tool and a great time to build. A great gift for kids, established manufacturers, or yourself. However, if you just want a working microcontroller board, there are much cheaper options. You can get a regular Arduino Uno (without audio synth and shield) for $28, a fully functional clone for $18, and more powerful alternatives like the Raspberry Pi Pico W for just $6.
Arduino Make Your Uno Kit Specifications
|Build UNO with Arduino||Arduino Uno PCB|
|usb c serial adapter|
|through hole parts|
|ATmega 328p microcontroller|
|2KB of SRAM|
|14 x digital IO pins|
|6 x PWM pins (shared with digital)|
|6 x analog pins|
|arduino audio synth||audio synth board|
|through hole parts|
Assembling the kit
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It’s a nice kit that’s ready to assemble. The PCB is of high quality, something he has experienced with Arduino boards in the past. This kit is intended for those new to soldering, so the first task is to solder the debug circuit. This is basically an LED with an in-line 1K ohm resistor. His two wires from the circuit are used to check that each of his GPIO pins on the Uno are working properly. This feels good. You can build buildings without worrying about making mistakes. Once that’s built, he’s the star of the show, moving onto the Arduino Uno.
Building an Uno is relatively easy. All the included parts are through-hole and easy to solder. The only component with surface mount components is the USB-C to Serial board. This board comes pre-assembled and attaches directly to the main Uno PCB. With just a few legs to solder, the USB-C and Uno are joined together.
Follow our online instructions to guide you through the soldering process. I usually solder the bottom components before moving on to the taller components. These instructions are more than just pictures and text. Rather, it is an interactive 3D model showing the components placed on the board. This is great news for those new to soldering. You can visualize how the parts are inserted, rotate the board for a better angle, and zoom in to find exactly where you need it. After chasing countless schematics, this is a refreshing and welcome change for me.
Soldering the kit takes about an hour for a novice. More experienced makers will no doubt shave a few minutes off that time. But regardless of your experience, soldering with this kit will be fun. His one criticism of us for white PCBs is that you can see all the flux from the solder. It’s not something that a simple cleaning with isopropyl alcohol won’t fix.
Once the Arduino is built, it’s a beautiful thing. The components on the board may differ from the typical Arduino Uno surface mount soldered version, but the pin layout and form factor are unmistakable. I went ahead and soldered the Audio Synth shield. This shield is a collection of 6 potentiometers connected to his 6 analog input pins on the Arduino. Audio is routed to the LM386N power amplifier and played through speakers on the PCB. The Audio Synth Shield fits over the Arduino Uno and reuses the packaging to create a simple musical instrument. But how do you program it? For that you need an IDE.
Make Your Uno Kit Audio Synth Programming
Since this is an Arduino, you will need to use the Arduino IDE and I have tested with the latest Arduino IDE 2.0 release as well as older 1.8 series IDEs. Worked fine on both. This is a testament to the longevity of the Uno series which has worked in many iterations of the IDE. When I connected the Arduino Uno to my Windows PC, the device was detected as Arduino Make Your Uno Kit. This is a nice touch that sets it apart from the typical Unos.
Audio synths have basic sketches that make beeps and beeps (Arduino’s term for the code in your project), but advanced sketches that turn the kit into some sort of synth instrument. The Audio Synth Shield, which sounds like a prop from his 1980s sci-fi movie, is a lot of fun.
Can I use other shields with Make Your Uno? Yes. I tested the official but old ethernet shield and ran a simple web server sample sketch. It went well, no drama or issues. An Uno soldered on a few hours ago was serving content to devices on the network.
Who is the Make Your Uno Kit for and why?
Honestly, this kit is aimed at beginners in the Arduino and Maker community. The kit’s simplicity, great instructions, and lessons learned by building from raw components make this a syllabus rather than a lesson.
We’ve learned a lot by doing, and after all the work, we’re left with devices that we can use to build even more awesome things. I wish I had a model like that.
If you’re new to Arduino and soldering, this is a fun kit to build. You can, but you miss out on the learning that this kit offers.
After all the hard work, we have an Arduino Uno ready to go further and become more than just a collection of components. Arduino seems to have helped us rediscover our passion for making things again.