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Starting Components?

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I am a total newbee to electronics, have done some reading up about the various components and what functions they perform. I have bought a variable temp solder station, a breadboard and various other bits of equipment. I was considering just starting with a simple project and buying only the components I need but I thought it might be better to have a 'stock'. I have seen lists of suggested components but was wondering if there was a 'generic' type kit i.e. caps, pots, diodes resistors etc or separates that anyone could recommend.

I had a look on the digikey website uk but found it difficult to navigate through :(

I don't mind buying kits of each, but was just wondering if there was a kit that had the most commonly used parts in.

Any help gratefully received.



Well-Known Member
That is an expensive way to go. If you can find a Ham radio convention or some other electronics hobbyist convention in your area you will likely find a good stock of stuff at lower cost.


Well-Known Member

Would forget about Digikey if you are in the UK, and as you have found their catalogue really sucks.

When you want specialised parts places like RS and Farnells are the UKs biggest suppliers.

For more everyday bits you can walk in to many of the Maplin stores or order online from places like Rapid Electronics.

While bulk packs can be good value would suggest for now you just buy what you need for each project - once you have found your feet then look at them again.

If you haven't any project goal in mind then you can have lots of fun doing dozens of simple but infomative projects on the humble 555 chip.
Loads of 555 circuits and tutorials on the web.

Hi guys,
I thought about maplins but thought they might be an expensive way to go. Yeah the digi key catalogue is, well pants!

Ill have a look for a 555 project i fancy trying and go from there, also Ill check out local conventions and see if I can get along on one .

Many thanks



New Member

Any help gratefully received.

As one who studies electronics strictly as a hobby, I would suggest you start your journey with just the simpliest of steps.

The vast majority of electronic projects, especially those within the reach of we mere mortals, are basically variations on a theme, and once that theme is learned, can be easily understood.

The first thing you should do, and it requires only a minimum of components, is to thoroughly study and understand basic theory. This means a complete examination of Ohm's law, and how voltage, current and resistance combine in an electrical circuit to produce the desired results. By systematically studying the use of resistors, for example, in parallel and series circuits and voltage dividers, and how the voltage drops and current flow behave in the various configurations, one can grasp a fundamental feel for all electronics.

The best part is that you need only a few components to do this. You already have the breadboard, all you need in addition are a few resistors, a few red or green 5mm LEDS, batteries, and a multimeter. Then you can begin to explore all the circuit combinations, keeping in mind that the simpliest of these is found in the most complex equipment, to the extent you will later be able to understand exactly why a designer calls for a particular application of components.

There are many sites on the internet from which one can learn basic theory. I would suggest this be your first goal so that once gained, your future in electronics will be much easier.

Forgive me for rattling on, but I think this is highly important for all beginners.


New Member
I remember myself when i started...Oh yes i was charmed with all these tiny staff with the exotic names and i spending and i bought many of them without having the knowledge to use them.
But the knowledge is following the coming experience...so my friend Leezy I don't suggest to get a stock of unused items. Try to get some good mini projects, to combine the diodes with a transistor (bye one PNP and one NPN to see the difference on the circuit), try to build a mini PSU (power supply unit ) for your breadboard and for your farther experiments one with a stable exit of 9V and then try to build another one bigger with multiple Voltage exits. This is a very good start because you will learn the parts, and what job they do, you will do all the PCB job alone and you will be proud for the final results....

Good start and good luck...


Active Member
Get an experimenter kit like these, has the basic parts you need to start :

EDU8705 - Radio & Electronics - Ramsey Electronics
NerdKits - learn electronics with our educational microcontroller kit
Electronic 500 in 1 Lab
The RadioShack one perhaps can be available used, somewhere:

These are the first ones from the sixties::rolleyes:
Philips "EE" electronic experiment kits

The important part is that it should have a good manual, well written for beginners. :)
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