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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, varied, but not in depth, 8 Sept. 2013
By 
David Burton "aenikata" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you want to get a solid idea of the things you can do with an Arduino, then this is a great book. If you want a varied selection of projects, with easy to follow instructions and explanations of the code involved, then this is great.
If you want a detailed explanation of analog vs. digital inputs, the full range of commands available, discussion of the various libraries, debouncing input, discussion of different kinds of motors, or a good explanation of how to solder properly or make more project more permanent, then this isn't the book for that.
I'm not marking the book down that harshly for that, because this is clearly a beginners book, and aims to give interesting, potentially useful projects, and glosses over these various details so that it doesn't overwhelm the reader. For starting out, then, it's great, and you may well then start looking on Instructables for other projects that also use Arduinos.
If you already have some knowledge, though, then you might find this rather limited, even if some of the projects (such as the keypad lock or the RFID reader) may show you something new. 4 stars, because it's not the book I was looking for and because I think it probably should discuss stuff like soldering a bit more, but for some it'll undoubtedly be very useful,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preliminary views, 10 Aug. 2013
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Dale A. Haines "master_ice" (England) - See all my reviews
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This, like most of the DUMMIES series is a well put together and presented book. It has some very good projects in but you should be aware that you will of course need to buy some extra shields (add on boards) and components otherwise you'll get no where beyond flashing the odd LED or two.
At present I am awaiting the arrival of the GPS shield to construct the GPS datalogger project.
None of the projects are overly complex involving mostly the linking up of boards via wires on a breadboard along with a few other fairly basic electronic components.
Now , as a techky I tend to build on breadboard to test something and then reconstruct it in a stand alone form but, should you wish you can simply box up the entire project on the breadboard and bung it in a box.
Overall a very good and interesting book guaranteed to trigger some great ideas of your own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good start for playing with the Arduino, 11 Sept. 2013
By 
Russell G. Pottinger (Dundee) - See all my reviews
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In classic "Dummies" book style, this takes you from the very start of just getting the gear you need, through some basic projects and onto more complicated things.

This book will give you an insight into what equipment you need before you can start messing around, which I then proceded to order on Amazon. What type soldering iron, what type pliers, multimeter, etc. Once you have these you can try and follow the little bit on basic electronics and a little bit on soldering itself (I watched a couple of videos on youtube at this point) and then throw yourself into it.

The first project is a that little light that goes back and forth like the cylons from Battlestar Galactica, or KITT from Knight Rider. It's a nice and simple start that has some basic coding and the instructions walks you through the steps in a clear manner. It then moves on through making a little light pet, building a clock, a gps data logger, a led cube, and a few others in between.

This book is a good introduction into the world of an Arduino, and from here you can find loads more projects online if you want to take your skills further.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, interesting projects, 17 Oct. 2013
By 
Dr. Michael Heron (Brechin) - See all my reviews
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One of the problems with having an arduino kit is that while it's easy enough to learn it's hard to come up with interesting projects that really structure learning the system. This is an ideal book for resolving that - the projects range from fun little proof of concept things to more complex projects (GPS data loggers, remote control car systems, tweeting pet doors) that may not be 'must have' by themselves but serve as a core for more interesting possibilities later on down the line. Like all Dummies books, it's very accessible, very well presented, and thoroughly readable. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better introduction to Ardunio., 26 Aug. 2013
By 
S. D. Spicer (UK) - See all my reviews
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Firstly, let me say I don't much like Dummies books on the whole. I don't like the US centric cartoons and the matey writing. So this book written by Brock Craft, who teaches at Goldsmiths came as a surprise because it doesn't have much of that. Instead you have a selection of projects that are well described, work (at least the two I tried did*) and are illustrated with well-drawn diagrams.

I think you could save some money by just buying this book. The opening chapters cover the Arduino from the beginning - the famous "blink" sketch is there, and he talks you what the controller is, tools, components and shields are, without patronising and in a way that comprehensive without being repetitive. Since many introductory books cover exactly the same ground I wouldn't bother with them and get yourself some more hardware instead.

The whole book is concise but through in it's explanation, you don't have to type in all the long code if you don't want to, you can download it and then tinker away to your hearts content. If you have ever thought about playing with Arduino, I can't recommend this book highly enough; buy the Uno or a pin-compatible clone - get some bits - there's some starter kits on Amazon or just take the parts list to Maplin and get your hands dirty.

If you want some more detailed help with the electronics, I can recommend Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery as being unbelievably good.

*All Seeing Eye (Chapter 4) and Scrolling Sign. (Chapter 6)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction offering a solid grounding, 26 Sept. 2013
By 
Steve Benner "Stonegnome" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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"Arduino Projects for Dummies" offers an excellent introduction to developing and implementing stand-alone electronic projects based around the Arduino open-source electronics and microcontroller prototyping platform. The author, Brock Craft, starts by assuming only a fairly basic level of familiarity with computer coding and home electronics prototyping and is careful to walk his readers through all of the stages needed to complete the projects in the book. Starting with the basics of equipping and establishing a safe workbench arrangement and managing the application development environment, he moves through the business of purchasing the essential components for each project, the breadboarding and testing of the operation of each of the functional stages, and finally on to the building of the finished item.

The book is perfectly pitched for the non-expert reader, proceeding in small enough steps not to lose many along the way, whilst offering a layout that allows the more advanced reader to easily skip any technical explanations which they feel they don't need. The prose has the usual Wiley '... for Dummies' light-hearted approach without being at all condescending or irritating -- not something that can be said about some other books in this family.

If I had any complaint at all of this book it would probably centre around my doubts regarding the overall usefulness or longevity of any of the projects contained within it -- having your cat-flap post to Twitter each time Puss comes or goes might be an amusing exercise the first few times it happens but probably palls quite quickly. That said, each does demonstrate a different applicability of the Arduino, or one of its frames, in a way that progresses logically with each new chapter and with each easily adaptable to a more specific and genuine project that a reader might have in mind. Overall, certainly, there is nothing within the book that could be characterised as pointless or a waste of space.

There are lots of books of Arduino projects flooding the market at the moment; this has to count as one of the best for anyone just starting out with this technology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point, 26 Sept. 2013
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I am a computer science student, and have undertaken a few dalliances with the Arduino before, but I must say that this book was very interesting and is a great starter for anyone interested in playing around a little with it. This book is surprisingly thorough and gives a good level of detail, but is not full of waffle and too much to wade through. Instructions are detailed and clear and lead you from very basic projects, getting a light to flash, to more complex ones as your skillset builds. Overall, a great basis for any project you may want to utilise the Arduino for in the future.

It is good at advising with any tools you will need along the way, to avoid you spending hours browsing in the shops, and is just a great one to keep on the bookshelf, should you be interested in playing around with the Arduino at any point.

Although it is in the 'Dummies' series, it is well put together and not too basic, allowing you to build up as you go along the way. I was very pleased with it and shall certainly be referring back to it in the future when I have chance to undertake further projects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book, 15 Aug. 2013
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I've got a few books for the raspberry Pi and Arduino. This one is by far the most useful as it has a good range of projects and steps you through theme enough that you can then either adapt them or start to make progress with your own ideas. Buy it with an Arduino Uno kit then get soldering!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend, 11 Sept. 2013
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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The book market is absolutely awash with books on Arduino - many (most) aimed at the beginner. I was therefore expecting this to be yet another in that genre and did not have high expectations.

What I found though was a well-written book, one which genuinely spans from the absolute novice level up to some quite sophisticated projects - but always in easy steps, no sudden leaps of complexity. One thing builds on the next in an almost seamless progression. An intelligent motivated reader who wants to go from knowing nothing about Arduino or Microcontrollers to being able to do some truly awesome things with them should find this book an absolutely ideal way of achieving their goal. Truly stands head and shoulders above the comparable books I have read.

Alan T
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book !!!, 22 Aug. 2013
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Great book ideal for beginner to intermediate, only 12 projects but each one is in great detail, starts with basic projects to quite advanced ones, good companion to 'Arduino for Dummies', well worth the purchase.
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