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According to Arduino.cc an Arduino microcontroller board is an open source board that allows its user develops interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of switches or sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can communicate with a software running on your computer since its open source it allows anyone development environment for writing software for the board. In short Arduino is an open-source microcontroller board that allows its user controls nearly any physical object they’ve.

There are many advantages for the Arduino board over the competition; it’s cheap (at least if you live in the developed world), cross-platform (can run he development environment on any operating system), open source and extendible. If you’re living in the developing world and you don’t have access to an Arduino board or it’s available but just expensive for you then you can use an emulator to learn, the following are some of the Arduino emulator; 123D Circuits, Emulino, SIMAVR and Emulare.

This post is a road map for anyone willing to start tinkering around with Arduino, the post will present and compare between the best online sources where beginners can start from and follow along.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learning about Arduino) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Start Learning Arduino Online for Free from Scratch

Open Source Hardware Group

Open Source Hardware Group is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a video as well as text-based tutorial, you’ve to register in order to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 3 modules, each module is divided into lessons (15 lessons in total), each of these lessons covers a certain topic about Arduino.

Interface: The interface is quite simple, just click on the “Arduino Short Courses” tab from the top menu then select the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the video resides.

 1 - Open source hardware group Arduino trainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-organized and structured for beginners.
  3. There are additional detailed projects on this outlet where you can learn from.

Cons

  1. There’s no significant drawback to be noted.

Verdict: This is the best outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a video as well as text tutorials.

The New Boston (Bucky’s Room)

The New Boston (Bucky’s Room) is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino online through video tutorials. You don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 15 video lessons; each of the lessons covers a certain topic about Arduino.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the lesson you’re interested in and the video will appear to the left side of the screen, click on it and it’ll start right away.

2 - The New Boston Arduino TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. Though the training covers the broader lines about Arduino, it doesn’t cover it thoroughly enough.

Verdict: This is a very good outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through video tutorials; it’s very suitable for those who want to get an overview about Arduino.

Arduino Official Website

Arduino Official Website is the third online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through text-based tutorials. You don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into two parts (Core Functions, Libraries), each part is divided into sections and each section is divided into the various topics about Arduino.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the topic you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where this topic resides.

 3 - Arduino Official Website Arduino trainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured.

Cons

  1. This training is more of a help document about Arduino than a training that beginners can start from and follow along.

Verdict: Though this outlet covers many topics about Arduino, it’s more like a help document than a  step by step training that beginners can follow along .

LadyAda

LadyAda is the fourth free online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino online through a text-based tutorial.

Structure: The training is divided into 6 lessons, every lesson covers a certain topic about Arduino through a simple project, so it’s more of a learn by doing training.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the lesson resides.

4 - LadyAda Arduino TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. The training is an overview about Arduino as it gives you a general idea about the microcontroller and its capabilities through some projects.

Verdict: This is a very good outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a text-based tutorial.

TronixStuff

TronixStuff is the fifth free online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a text-based training. You don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 58 chapters; each chapter is a small project that teaches the reader certain set of skills about using Arduino.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the chapter you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the chapter resides.

5 - TronixStuff Arduino TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training has a big collection of projects.
  3. The training  is well-organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. This is more of a learn by doing tutorial which might be a problem for some beginners.

Verdict: This is the best outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a text based tutorial.

AdaFruit

AdaFruit is the sixth free online outlet where beginners can start learning about Arduino through a text-based training, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 25 guides, some of the guides covers certain topics about Arduino, other guides are just Arduino projects.

Interface: The interface is cluttered and might be cumbersome, choose the guide you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the guide reside, navigating the guide varies from one guide to another.

6 - Adafruit Arduino TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.

Cons

  1. Poor structure and organization for the training (that’s for beginners, the structure and organization will make sense for experienced users).

Verdict: There are other better outlets presented in this post for beginners to start learning Arduino.

Project Ignite

Project Ignite is the seventh free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arduino through an interactive tutorial. You’ve to register in order to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 3 lessons “sections” each lesson is divided into steps that covers certain topics about Arduino.

Interface: The interface is simple, just click on the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to a new page where the “step” reside, just follow these steps from start to finish.

 7 - Project Ignite Arduino TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.
  3. The training teaches beginners about most of the topics they should be familiarized with in order to start using Arduino.

Cons

  1. You’ve to read each “step” in the tutorial as there’s no audio accompanying the training.

Verdict: This is the best outlet where beginners can start learning Arduino through an interactive tutorial.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning about Arduino

  1. Project Ignite is the best outlet for beginners to start learning about Arduino through an interactive tutorials. It’s highly recommended for any beginner to start learning about Arduino from this outlet.
  2. TronixStuff is the best outlet to start learning about Arduino through text-based tutorials.
  3. Open Source Hardware Group is the best outlet for beginners to start learning about Arduino through video tutorials.
  4. For those who prefer books then the free book from EarthShine Design is the best free option to start from.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in learning about Arduino.