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5. Beginner's Shopping List

Created on: 27 July 2012
Updated on: 2 November 2012, 20 April 2015, 18 November 2021

When starting your new electronics and Arduino hobby, you will need to buy some electronic components and tools so that you can build the circuits and projects. Always order some extra parts such as LEDs, resistors, transistors, wire, and so on, to keep in your spares box so that you will have your own supply of components available whenever you want to build a new breadboard circuit or other project.

This page contains a component and tools checklist for beginners to give you an idea of what parts and equipment you will need to get started in electronics and to follow the starting electronics beginner's tutorial series.

You may also be able to find a nice kit of parts that already contains most of the components that you need and avoid having to buy each part individually.


1. Breadboard

Consider buying a slightly bigger breadboard than the really tiny ones. A bigger breadboard can be used for building bigger circuits in the future as you progress in electronics. Breadboards have already been covered on the breadboards for beginners page.

2. Side-cutters

Side-cutters are used for cutting wire, stripping insulation from wire and cutting long component leads. More information on sidecutters can be found in the beginner's tools section.

3. Long-nose Pliers / Half-round-nose Pliers

Used for bending component leads, holding small parts while soldering, to push a component lead or wire into a breadboard that has 'tight' connection holes and has many other uses in electronics. More information on half-round nose pliers and long-nose pliers can be found in the beginner's tools section.

4. Soldering Iron

A soldering iron is not normally needed with breadboard circuits, except when a component does not have leads that can plug into a breadboard, for example the LCD used in this beginner's tutorial series. Wire or a connector then needs to be soldered to the component so that it can be plugged into the breadboard. Stand-alone soldering irons are available as well as soldering iron stations.

A stand-alone soldering iron will normally not have a temperature controller or a stand with a cleaning sponge. A soldering iron station will have temperature control, a stand for the iron with a cleaning sponge. See the article on soldering irons and solder for beginners in the beginner's tools section.

5. Solder Wire

If you buy a soldering iron, you will also need to buy some solder wire to use with it. Solder wire diameters anywhere from 0.7mm to 1mm or even slightly bigger is fine for beginners.

Electronic Components for Tutorial 1 to 20

Arduino, USB Cable and Breadboard Jumper Wires

  • An Arduino Uno is used in the beginner's tutorial series.
  • A standard USB cable is needed to connect the Arduino to a PC to power it up and to load software to the Arduino.
  • Breadboard jumper wires are used to connect the Arduino pins to the breadboard.

It is highly recommended to get the Ultimate Arduino Uno Hardware Manual when using an Arduino Uno and following this electronics course.

Recommended book:

Ultimage Arduino Uno Hardware Manual


The table below contains a list of all the resistor values used in the beginner's tutorial series. Boxed sets of resistors that have a whole range of values are available to buy. See the beginner's resistor article for basic information on resistors.

Qty Part Notes Type
1 1M ohm (1,000,000 ohm) All resistors are 1/4W 5%.

If any value of resistor is not available in 5% tolerance, 1% tolerance can be bought instead.

It is not worth ordering less than 10 of each resistor. You may have to buy packets of resistors that contain more than 10 resistors, depending on how the supplier packages them.
3 100k (100,000 ohm)
1 56k (56,000 ohm)
2 33k (33,000 ohm)
2 22k (22,000 ohm)
4 10k (10,000 ohm)
1 4k7 (4,700 ohm)
6 2k2 (2,200 ohm)
1 1k5 (1,500 ohm)
1 1k (1000 ohm)
8 470 ohm
1 330 ohm
10 220 ohm
1 100 ohm
1 47 ohm


All of the capacitor values used in the beginner tutorial series are shown in the table below. Boxed kits of capacitors are also available for purchase. See the beginner's article on capacitors for basic information on capacitors.

Qty Part Notes Type
1 1000uF Radial electrolytic

16V or more
1 470uF
2 100uF
2 47uF
2 33uF
2 10uF
2 100n (0.1uF) Ceramic
1 10n (0.01uF)


Semiconductors are devices that are made from semiconductor material such as diodes (including LEDs), transistors and integrated circuits (ICs). See the following links for basic information on some of the semiconductors:

The table below lists all of the semiconductors used in the beginner's electronics tutorial series.

Qty Part Notes Type
10 5mm red LEDs 5mm red or green diffused through-hole mounting LEDs. Choose if you want red or green or some of both. Semiconductors
10 3mm red LEDs 3mm red diffused through-hole LEDs.

An alternative to the above 5mm LEDs.

You only need 10 LEDs: either 5mm or 3mm, but if you want to spend some more money, you can get some of both sizes and/or different colours. It is a good idea to keep some spares.
1 5mm white LED A bright white clear LED
2 2N2222 NPN transistors, metal can package.
Alternate transistor that will work in the tutorial are:
3 PN2222 or KSP2222 NPN transistors, plastic package
1 PN2907 PNP transistor, plastic package
2 NE555 Timer IC
1 MCP9700 Linear Active Thermistor IC
1 PCF8563P Real Time Clock IC (RTC)
1 4047 Monostable/Astable Multivibrator IC
1 4017 5-stage johnson decade counter IC
1 PCF8574P I/O expander IC
1 74HC595 8-bit SIPO shift register IC
1 741 741 op-amp IC
2 1N4148 Diode
1 7 segment display Seven-segment LED display, common cathode

Miscellaneous Parts

The remaining parts needed for the beginner's tutorial series are listed in the table that follows. More information on some of the parts in the table can be found in the list below.

Qty Part Notes Type
1 9V battery clip 9V battery clip to fit 9V battery or battery holder Battery clip
1 Battery holder for 6 x 1.5V AA cells Battery holder for 6 x 1.5V AA cells (to make up 9V).

If using a 9V battery, then the battery holder is not needed.
Battery holder
1 CR2032 battery holder Only needed if using battery backup on the real time clock (RTC)
1 9V battery or 6 x 1.5V AA cells if using a battery holder Or use a rechargeable battery (below) Battery
1 9V rechargeable battery Use a non-rechargeable battery (above) OR a rechargeable battery.
1 CR2032 3V coin battery Only needed if using battery backup on the real time clock (RTC)
1 10k panel-mount potentiometer or 10k preset (trimmer) potentiometer Potentiometer
1 10k trimmer potentiometer
1 8 ohm loudspeaker Speaker
1 LDR Light Dependent Resistor, or photoresistor Transducer
1 Piezo disc Piezo transducer
1 Toggle switch Switches
1 Momentary push button switch
1 Reed switch
1 LCD LCD, 2 lines by 16 characters Liquid Crystal Display
1 Single in line 16 pin header Single in line 16 pin header, 2.54mm pin spacing (for LCD) Pin headers
1 32.768kHz watch crystal 32.768kHz watch crystal (0.032768MHz) Crystals

Electronic Kits

There are many electronic parts kits, project kits and Arduino kits on the market.

Where to Order Parts

You may have a local electronics shop that can supply some or all of the parts. There are also many on-line shops that you can order parts from.

Things to Consider

Where you order from will depend on price and availability of parts. Also consider postage or shipping costs if you are ordering online. Some suppliers may have more expensive parts, but free postage.

If you are ordering parts from another country, you may have to pay import duties or taxes, depending on the laws in your country.

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