I realize this is a difficult question to answer, but what are some must have items for an electronics newbie? I really haven’t seen a good starter kit. Plus I really don’t want to buy a kit and end up with six billion components that I’ll never use. I know many items are based on the current project, but I imagine there has to be a t least a few items that are frequently used like capacitors, resistors, etc.
That is tricky. I bought an assortment of resistors 10 years ago and have never come close to using any one value up. So it certainly it falls under “billion components that you will never use” but on the other hand, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. http://www.ebay.com/itm/100value-1000pcs-1-4W-Carbon-Film-Resistor-5-Assortment-Kit-996-/251378087027 is an example that wouldn’t suck.
I’ve bought assortments of capacitors and have NEVER found the one I want among them, so I tend to just buy what I need and then get a few extras to slowly build up my selection, on the theory that if I needed it once, I’m more likely to need it again. The same with sensors, chips, etc. For example, you know you are interested in AVR stuff, so I would buy a few of those chips and those things that always go with them, like the crystal, the two 22pF capacitors that go with them, ect. https://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=22f1f257f6 is my list of everything to make a bare bones arduino compatible, I always start from there and then add or subtract depending on my needs and what I have laying around. So a few iterations of this might be a good start.
Adafruit notes that .1uF capacitors are very useful and common for eliminating noise. That would be one capacitor type to stock up on, particularly since you are interested in audio. http://www.adafruit.com/products/753?gclid=CIGbgtqi6roCFU8V7AodoAoACw . But, if you are ordering other stuff anyway from mouser or digikey, you could get twice as many for that price, so I wouldn’t use that link unless you were already ordering other stuff from adafruit.
In theory you can draw upon the resources of the hive for these little components, but it can be hit or miss.
The best thing to focus on in my opinion is the reusable or consumable things. I.e. breadboard, nice jumper wires, an arduino , etc. The one thing that I like to buy at radio shack is perfboard. Their prices are as good as I’ve found anywhere else and you can get a nice assortment of different sizes.
It drives me nuts when I seen tutorials that include “glue down your mini breadboard and try to secure it so that the jumper wires don’t come loose.” As far as I’m concerned, the bread board is just for design and testing. If it’s just a one off project that doesn’t need a printed board, the end state should be on perf board, not a little breadboard. So consider getting some of those. Though, if you are planning ahead instead of just putting something together “right now”, a printed board is always nicer.
So I bought a radio hack assortment, and I see some ceramic disk caps with the number 1 on them. and some wth a 7. What are the values of these? I've found the rest, but can't find these.
0.1uf ceramic capacitor guess I guess