Product Code: 2

Buying Links:                      

Please note that if you are a school/college/club and would like to buy larger quantities of the kits the best thing to do is email me directly at linda@monkmakes.com as we are happy to help.

Description

This kit is compatible with the Raspberry Pi models A, B, B+, 2, 3 and Pi Zero (header pins required for Pi Zero).

You are the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi and you are ready to start using it to experiment with electronics but where do you start?

The Raspberry Pi Electronic Starter Kit contains all the components you need, together with easy to follow instruction cards, in order to complete 10 simple experiments involving LEDs, thermistors, photoresistors and switches and is an ideal starting point for anyone new to electronics and the Raspberry Pi.

Contents

  • 470Ω resistor (5)
  • 1kΩ resistor (2)
  • 4.7MΩ resistor (1)
  • Red LED (2)
  • RGB LED (1)
  • Switch (2)
  • 330nF capacitor (1)
  • thermistor (1)
  • photoresistor (1)
  • buzzer (1)
  • raspberry leaf (1)
  • breadboard (1)
  • male to male jumper leads (10)
  • male to female jumper leads (10)
  • 10 easy to use instruction cards

DOES NOT INCLUDE RASPBERRY PI

Projects

  1. Make an LED blink
  2. Make 2 LEDs blink
  3. RGB Colour Display
  4. Thermometer
  5. Thermometer Plus
  6. Reaction Timer
  7. Light Meter
  8. Light Harp
  9. Proximity Detector
  10. Email Notifier

This is the thermometer project. It uses a thermistor to measure the temperature and the program for it has a graphical display of the temperature. The buzzer at the bottom sounds when the temperature is higher than a set point.

inside_box web

Getting Started

1. Open up the box and find the first card called ‘Getting Started’. This will tell you how to download the programs that accompany the book. If you are curious, you can also see them here on Github.

2. Pick one of the ten project cards and use the breadboard layout diagram and component key on the box lid to assemble the design.

3. Fit the Raspberry Leaf GPIO template over the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins and connect the breadboard to the GPIO connector using male to female jumper wires.

4. Run the program for that project.

5. Open up the program in IDLE or a text editor and read the comments about how it works and tinker!

Resources

MonkMakes’ friend Henry Budden is working on some new projects for you to make using this kit. The first of these is a Sunrise Alarm Clock. You can download this for free from: Here.

 

FAQ

Q. How can I see and edit the programs for this kit?

A. All the programs are on your Raspberry Pi, so from you LX Terminal window, change directory to “rpesk” (Raspberry Pi Electronics Starter Kit) using this command:

$ cd ~/rpesk

To edit one of the files, using the Nano editor run the following command, using the name of the file you want to edit:

$ nano 01_blink.py

When you have finished viewing or editing the file, press CTRL-X and then ENTER and press Y to confirm the file save.

 

Q. Not all of the programs work, some of them crash with an error message when I try and run them.

A. Some of programs have a graphical user interface (GUI) and therefore won’t run if you just run it from the command line without the windowing system running.

After logging in type:

$ xinit

You should then see a sort of Windows desktop show up on your monitor and there should be an icon for the LX Terminal on the left. Double click the icon for LX terminal. Now type the command to run the programs in the LX Terminal window. Remember that you will need to change directory to the directory containing the programs using the command:

$ cd ~/rpesk

Q. Why can’t I get projects 6 and 10 to work, its as if the buttons don’t work?

A. If you have switches with two legs rather than four, there is a slight modification that you need to make to the wiring. See the diagrams below for details.

Project 6. Reaction Timer with 2-leg switches

06 reactions

Project 10. Emailer with 2-leg switches

10 email

79 thoughts on “Electronics Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi

  1. James owen

    Hello, my kit is missing the ‘project 4’ Thermometer.
    Really enjoying the other projects!
    Can you please send me a wiring diagram for project 4?

    Thanks

    James

  2. admin Post author

    Hi James,

    Apologies for that! I have sent direct to you as its in an attachment.

    Sorry again but glad you’re enjoying the projects.

    Linda

  3. Thomas

    I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. Really helping me learn the python code and preparing for electronics at uni next year! I should probably be doing my exam revision now but oh well…

    Only problem is I get a math error for thermometer plus but I’ll try to find the error in the code…

    ALSO You sent me a RGB LED that does not work! 🙁 How could we arrange a replacement?

  4. admin Post author

    Hi Thomas, I’m very glad you are enjoying the kit and sorry about the LED, I think that’s our first duff one.

    The problem with the thermomether will be the wiring. Pull it all apart and rebuild it. The arithmetic error in the code is a division by zero error that happens when the wiring is not right, the code is fine. Please send linda@monkmakes.com your address and she’ll send you out a new RGB LED.

    Simon.

  5. Ali

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “01_blink.py”, line 5, in
    import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
    RuntimeError: This module can only be run on a Raspberry Pi!

    I am getting the above issue. I have the model 2 with NOOBS.

  6. Adrien

    Hello,

    I’m from france and I’d really like to buy this kit to start learning electronics and Python with my Raspberry Pi but unfortunatly the product is out of stock on Amazon, do you know when you will have some new stock?

    Best regards,

    Adrien

  7. admin Post author

    I sent two cases of kits (160 kits in all!) to Amazon yesterday so it should be in stock very shortly.

    I would be surprised if it wasn’t back in stock by Monday.

    Hope that helps.

    Kind regards,

    Linda

  8. admin Post author

    Raspberry Pi 2 Problems?

    If you are having trouble with the new Raspberry Pi 2 and our Electronics Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi, then that is because it uses a Python library called RPi.GPIO and although the latest versions of this library work with the Raspberry Pi2, the NOOBS distribution contains an older version of RPi.GPIO that does not work with the Raspberry Pi 2.

    Adafruit have produced a blog entry here on this problem

    https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/02/05/how-to-fix-error-loading-rpi-gpio-python-library-on-your-brand-new-raspberry-pi-2/

    If you just want to jump straight to the commands that you need to type to get things working again, then open an LXTerminal window and copy and paste the following commands into it, one line at a time:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev python-pip mercurial
    $ cd ~
    $ hg clone http://hg.code.sf.net/p/raspberry-gpio-python/code raspberry-gpio-python-code
    $ cd raspberry-gpio-python-code
    $ sudo python setup.py install
    $ cd ~
    This will take a while but once its done, the Starter Kit projects will work.

  9. J H

    I tried to by the Pi Electronics Starter Kit via amazon.co.uk but couldn’t since i live in Sweden. Would it be possible to buy the kit directly from you?

  10. admin Post author

    Hi,

    Actually if you live in Sweden you should be able to buy one from PodConsult in Denmark which may be better in terms of postage cost & delivery time.

    http://podconsultsbutik.dk/elektronik-saet-til-raspberry-pi

    If they don’t have any in stock you can pay £19.20 (to include postage & packing) by PayPal (linda@monkmakes.com) & I can send you one out first class, Royal Mail.

    Hope that helps.

    Linda

  11. Thomas

    Just a quick addition to my previous comment. This product is absolutely amazing and the customer support is even better! The team at monkmakes is truly a one and only.

    Big love,

    Ψ.

  12. Joel

    Hi Simon,
    Looks fantastic, excellent reviews, very exciting! However, I can’t find anywhere that will ship to the penal colonies of Australia. Are you able to help?
    I’m also after
    – Hacking Electronics: An Illustrated DIY Guide for Makers and Hobbyists and
    -Hacking Electronics Starter Kit

    Can you possibly bundle them up and give me a price to send? Many thanks!

    Joel

  13. Rob

    Hi, I don’t understand the wiring diagram for Project 4 (Thermometer) – where does the cap go? In the diagram it appears to have four points of insertion. I have tried various configurations but always end up with -42C as the temperature 🙁

  14. admin Post author

    Hi Rob,

    Apologies for delay.

    Best thing to do is unplug everything and start again.

    One leg of the capacitor should be on the same line as the second resistor & the bottom leg of the thermistor (as you look at the diagram). The other leg should be plugged into the same row as the blue wire in the diagram.

    Does that help?

    Linda

  15. admin Post author

    Hi Joel,

    We can provide the two kits & the book (signed if you want) for £55 plus postage. Royal Mail promise to deliver between 5 & 7 days for £18.15, International Tracked but I can look at other shipping options if you like. You would be responsible for any import/tax duties that may be applicable (unlikely as this is below the threshold)

    If you’re happy with that you can Paypal me the money & I’ll get them sent out to you.

    Feel free to contact me, linda@monkmakes.com if you have any further queries or concerns.

    Kind regards,

    Linda

  16. Terry Potter

    I have downloaded the programs but the command ls does not work (I have tried both 1s and ls) and I am sure that the directory or the programs are not there even though we have followed the instructions.

    Help please

    Thanks

  17. Luke

    I cannot get any of the .py to work.
    I am using a Raspberry Pi 2 and I have connected it up correct as their is a constant light but it will not blink. Any ideas? I tried the 02 blink twice aswell but it doesn’t alternate

  18. admin Post author

    Hi Luke,

    Haven’t heard from you since our chat on Twitter – is everything working now?

    Linda

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  20. admin Post author

    I know this is spam really but it is a fun robot!

  21. ken

    Are there projects designed to work with Windows10 IOT?Vusial Studio and Monk makes?

  22. Jaime

    Hi!!
    Only one question. Which is the voltage of the 330nF capacitor in data sheet?

    Thank you for your ideas! My Raspberry is working for your help!

  23. Nigel

    Can’t get past 03_rgb.py on a RPi2 with Rasbian Jessie. I have updated as above but get

    03_rgb.py:11: RuntimeWarning: This channel is already in use, continuing anyway. Use GPIO.setwarnings(False) to disable warnings.
    GPIO.setup(18, GPIO.OUT)
    03_rgb.py:12: RuntimeWarning: This channel is already in use, continuing anyway. Use GPIO.setwarnings(False) to disable warnings.
    GPIO.setup(23, GPIO.OUT)
    03_rgb.py:13: RuntimeWarning: This channel is already in use, continuing anyway. Use GPIO.setwarnings(False) to disable warnings.
    GPIO.setup(24, GPIO.OUT)
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “03_rgb.py”, line 67, in
    root = Tk()
    File “/usr/lib/python2.7/lib-tk/Tkinter.py”, line 1813, in __init__
    self.tk = _tkinter.create(screenName, baseName, className, interactive, wantobjects, useTk, sync, use)
    _tkinter.TclError: no display name and no $DISPLAY environment variable

  24. admin Post author

    Hi, the error is consistent with you trying to run the program over SSH. Because the program has a graphical interface it needs a $DISPLAY and obviously with text only SSH doesn’t have one. So, either connect a screen and keyboard to your Pi or run it remotely using VNC or some other screen sharing software.

  25. Jordi

    Hi

    I’ve just received the starting kit, but I don’t know how to run the programs.

    They don’t appear on my Raspbian. I’ve copied the source code from https://github.com/simonmonk/pi_starter_kit
    Then I save it as 01_blink.py , but I don’t know how to run it.

    Thanks for all

    Jordi

  26. admin Post author

    If you take a look at the card “Getting Started” that will tell you how to fetch the programs onto your Raspberry Pi and then run them. It sounds like you might be downloading a zip file of all the programs. The script used on the Getting Started card will fetch the files down separately and put them all in the directory “rpesk”.

  27. Aaron

    Is it possible to get this shipped to Australia as well?

  28. admin Post author

    Hi,

    Although most of our sales are via Amazon (.co.uk & .com) we are also happy to sell to pretty much anywhere Royal Mail will go! Best thing to do is contact me directly (linda@monkmakes.com) and I will give you a quote to include post & packaging. If you’re happy, you pay by PayPal and I ship your order straight out.

    To quote a well known Meerkat (possibly not so well known in Australia!) Simples!

    Linda

  29. ben

    Hello,
    Do you need a monitor to use the Raspberry Pi starter kit?

  30. Nick

    Just got the Electronic Starter kit for Xmas.
    My Pi is not connected to the web. Can I download the code for the projects from the main pc and copy them onto my Pi boot-up SD card?

  31. Emerson

    I’m having a hard time reading the diagram for project 8, specifically with how to install the speaker, it seems impossible to place it in the way the diagram shows since the leads are so small

  32. admin Post author

    Hold the buzzer at an angle so that you can see which breadboard rows the pins will enter and then connect the jumper wires to those rows. I agree, you can’t tell where the pins are one the buzzer is inserted.

  33. Paul

    Great product.. but…
    I can’t get the 1st (or any) tutorial to work. I can switch on the light using a terminal and some commands I found on a cam.ac.uk website, but I can’t through Python. There are no error messages.. its almost like Python doesn’t have permission to send commands GPIO.
    I know your code is fine but any ideas on what I need to check on the config front. (I have had to use a specific image of Wheezy to get the touch screen I purchased to work)

  34. admin Post author

    Hi Paul,
    First, you need to make sure that you are running the python programs with ‘sudo’ infront of them. For example, sudo python 01_blink.py.
    Second, a lot of problems are solved by updating your OS (it will take a while) using the commands:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

  35. Jack

    Hi I don’t have the getting started card could you please tell me what I need to know or send me a picture of it. Manny thanks jack

  36. Mark

    This note has also been sent to ‘contact us” apologies for repetition.

    I have a Pi B (one of the old ones)

    after typing “./rpesk.sh”, I get an error:

    ./rpesk.sh line 1: syntax error near unexpected token ‘<'

    followed by what I assume is a print out of rpesk.sh..

    Obviously I can't download the python scripts but I don't know what is wrong.

    Any suggestions as to what I should do or work arounds?

  37. Betina Andersen

    I tried the Amazon link for mainland Europe cos I live in Denmark, but they dont ship the product to Denmark.

  38. admin Post author

    Hi Mark,

    How are you getting rpesk.sh? Are you getting it using the wget command as per the instructions. If you are downloading it using a browser on your Pi. The latter might cause the download to be changed, html-ifying it.

    Another thing to try is updating to the latest version of Raspbian.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Kind Regards,

    Si.

  39. Alan Benson

    Hi there all the projects worked fine first time except the Email Notifier which just hangs. Green led on no red.
    rewired several times to no avail, any suggestions?

    Many thanks
    AlanB

  40. admin Post author

    Hi Dan,

    Sorry but the kit won’t work with the Pi Zero unless you are prepared to solder in the GPIO pins.

    Linda

  41. admin Post author

    Hi, Have you checked that you have the right username and password? If it fails to send the email, you will see some error messages in the LXTerminal. Do you get any such errors?

  42. Paul

    Hi am having problems with the GUI, keep getting tkinter.TclError: couldn’t connect to display “:1.0”

    Any ideas what is happening here

  43. Paul

    Figured this out. Worked fine when direct to a monitor, however I was using TightVNC to remotely access my pi, to resolve open a putty session or similar and type this command….. sudo cp ~/.Xauthority ~root/

    Took ages to find the answer so I hope this helps others

  44. Simon Monk

    The most likely thing is that there is a problem with the wiring – maybe the RGB LED is the wrong way around? I find the best thing to do is to unplug all the components and wires and then fit them again. Also check that there is no error message when you run the program that might indicate an error in the command to run the program.

  45. Jos Graham

    Hello, can you explain the wiring of the switches as in the diagrams they appear to have 4 pins but they only have 2?
    Thank you I am having lots of fun with the starter kit

  46. Simon Monk

    Hi Jos, the switch symbol that I used for the cards has 4 pins, but the pins are actually connected in pairs. The switches we use have just 2 pins, but at the same spacing as the pin pairs of the 4 pin versions.

  47. Mark

    Hi

    I’ve just bought a Pi 3 (yet to have it delivered) without the NOOBS (I will download for myself). Are there any known problems using the Pi 3 before I start and (potentially) damage it?

    Mark

  48. Aidan

    Dear Monk Makes,
    I have trouble with download the software in lx terminal. My raspberry pi doesn’t seem to recognize $ ./ rpesk.sh. Do you know what is wrong?
    Yours sincerely,
    Aidan

    P.S your kit is great and thank you for making it.

  49. admin Post author

    Hi, the kit has now been tested on the Pi 3 and I’m happy to say that as expected, it works just fine.

    Simon.

  50. admin Post author

    Hi Aiden,

    Make sure there is no space between ./ and rpesk.sh

    also make sure you didn’t miss the chmod step.

    Si.

  51. Gonçalo Cardoso

    I received the kit a few days ago and I’m really liking it so far.

    I’m just confused in relation to the use of python. I’ve noticed that when I tried to run the RGB LED program it would crash if I used python 3. Is the code in fact suposed
    be python 2 or is there an error somewhere?

    Anyway, regards from Portugal! 😀

  52. Gonçalo Cardoso

    Sorry to bother you again, this might sort of a stupid question but whats the maxium voltage and current that the eletric components on the kit can take (LEDs, RGB LED, etc) ?

    Thanks again

  53. Aidan

    Hi thanks for the help Simon, but I was given only two 470Ω resistors so I cannot do the RGB project.

  54. Aidan

    my mistake I have just found them sorry about that simon

  55. Raymond Mercier

    I just ran project #3, RGB Color Display. I ran it first in Python 3 and I received the error python could not find Tkinter to import. I ran the program in Python 2 and it works fine. To run the program in Python 3 one needs to change “from Tkinter import” to “from tkinter import”. It seems the library was renamed without the upper case “T” to avoid confusion with another instruction.

  56. Simon Monk

    Python is unusual in that the old version 2 is still as popular (possibly more popular) than version 3. That’s why Raspbian come with both versions. You run Python 2 using the command “python” and Python 3 with “python3”. Hence the instructions in the kit tell you to run the programs using “python” not “python3”. Simon.

  57. John Meredith

    Hello,

    On Project 1 (01_blink.py) we use a 470 ohm resistor, which works fine, however being inquisitive I wondered why that value. According to my calculations we should be using a 75 ohm resistor.

    V = I x R
    (Voltage of GPIO output – voltage drop of red LED) = Current draw of red LED x Resistor
    (3.3v – 1.8v) = 20mA x R
    R = 1.5v / 0.02A
    R = 75 ohms

    Please could you help me see where I am going wrong in my calculations please? I am obviously incorrect, but would love to understand where.
    Many thanks,
    John

  58. admin Post author

    Hi John,
    Your calculation would be correct if the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins were capable of supplying 20mA. Actually, no Pi should be asked to draw more than 16mA, however in the pre-B+ Raspberry Pi, it was recommended that you don’t draw more than 3mA. In actual fact this was only a problem on the early Raspberry Pi if you took more than 3mA on all the pins at the same time.
    Modern high-brightness LEDs are pretty bright on 3mA. If you want to make the LED brighter, then 100Ω would be OK, but I would not recommend 75Ω.

  59. Raymond Mercier

    I am not sure where you obtained the voltage drop of 1.8 volts for the LED. Was this an actual reading taken on the circuit? Usually when calculating the voltage drop on an LED the value of 0.5 volts is most commonly used. This is a pretty good average for silicon junctions in diodes. This would also cause the value of “R” to be higher than 75 Ohms. Most LEDs are at there brightest 100 percent duty cycle (always on) at 10 mA. They can be over driven to much higher values for very short periods of time. All that said, the answer of question in this case is as was written above. The resistor must also be chosen with consideration to the limitations of the power source.

    I am very glad you asked this question because I never knew the Pi had a 3 mA limit, and I would have assumed (wrongly it seems) that 10 mA would have been safe.

  60. admin Post author

    Hi Raymond, The voltage drop of a regular diode is often taken as 0.5V, but LEDs are different. A red LED will have a voltage drop of between 1.6 and 1.8V and other colors a higher voltage drop up to 4V for a blue or UV LED.

  61. John Meredith

    Hi admin,

    Thanks for the explanation – that’s really helpful for my understanding.
    So if I understood correctly we are using the 470 ohm resistor to limit the current draw to roughly 3mA from the GPIO output. Like this…?

    I = V / R
    I = 1.5v / 470 ohms
    I = 0.0032
    I = 3.2 mA

    …and the maximum I should be allowing to be drawn from GPIO is 16mA (which would give a really bright LED). So then my calculation to work out the lowest value I can safely use for the resistor would be like this…?

    V = I x R
    (3.3v – 1.8v) = 16mA x R
    R = 1.5v / 0.016A
    R = 93.75 ohms (or the nearest resistor value in the real world!)

  62. John Meredith

    Thanks for you feedback too Raymond. Great that people have taken the time to answer my questions 🙂

  63. Raymond Mercier

    Well, I learned two things today! I didn’t know LEDs had different voltage drops from regular diodes.

  64. Michael Nyman

    Dear Mr Monk,

    I purchased your kit and I am very pleased with it, I got all the projects working the very first time, with the exception of 10, the emailing program. The switch just does not cause the email to be sent. I have checked the connections over and over, and started from scratch several times. I assume that the switch ‘bridges’ the gap between the orange and the blue, and that is how I have set it up, the four pins on the diagram against the two pins on the switch itself confused me for a bit. I have created a modified version of the program that simply prompts for the email credentials etc,, without all the GPIO stuff, and that sends fine, so my credentials are correct. Please advise as I wish to finish all up and start on some other things. best regards, Mike

  65. john jones

    Hi guys, I am amazed with this simple to use kit, I have been very surprised that unlike normally, nothing sparked or gave me the magic smoke, keep up the great work

  66. Dom

    Love the product! But I am having a problem with project 10. The LED goes green as soon as I’ve entered the message details and then it asks me to push the button. Nothing actually happens when I push the button – no errors messages on screen. Just hangs there with a green light. Have I plugged the button wrong…is it an email problem.

    Best

    Dom

  67. Dom McDowell

    Further to my last message about the wiring of switches (which I now see someone else asked in a much earlier question) –

    A little confused about this. Where do the two pins on the switch plug into? The diagram is a little confusing because I would have thought the two pins would have to go in the rows between where they are in the diagram. Also from your 1st response the “blue cable from the common GND connection of the LED to switch goes to the left half of the breadboard rather than the right” – which part exactly?! And does it affect the orange cable from the GPIO pin 24 on the pi to A12 on the breadboard? I’m trying to use my own common sense so fix this but I’m clearly lacking in that department!

    Best

    Dom

  68. admin Post author

    Hi Dom,
    Thanks for highlighting this problem. It arises because the 2-button switches require a slightly different wiring arrangement to the 4-button switches. I have added diagrams for projects 6 and 10 further up this page that show how the wiring should go for the two button switches.

  69. Graham Hutchings

    I am relatively new to python and always liked the idea of creating things I can control with the Raspberry Pi, I have looked all over the internet for examples but I got lost when it came to buying the components as I did not know where to start. This kit is perfect to kick me off, I have worked through most of the projects and only got the kit this morning, no faf just sample code and a nice clear diagram with minimal reading, I was able to get going straight away, only have one question, in addition to Projects 1 & 2, is there a way to fade the LED’s in and out?

    A Great Kit, Thank You.

  70. Ken Parkes

    Have been shewing 13 year old how to use the command line today with your kit. Great fun. He changed the sleep and on time for the 01_blink but in saving we managed to tank program 🙁 Carried on with 02_blink and only the second led lit. Went on with next three programs changing things without any problem. Finally removed all your files and re-installed from your website. Tried 01_blink again but we are getting a line 21 error. Program looks fine to this rooky python man and using the same GPIO pins for another program shews the Pi is not the problem. Changing leads and components and rows on the breadboard doesn’t help. Have you any thoughts please?
    Programming the Rasp Pi is a perfect intro – thank you

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