In today’s article we’re going over the most expensive Arduino starter kit of the three we picked up, the Sunfounder Elite Explorer kit which sets itself apart from the others by including the new and improved Uno R4. Let’s see if it can take advantage of the updated architecture in how it executes project ideas inside this kit.

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Note: You’ll find all our previous Arduino coverage here.

Hello everybody, and welcome back to the automation Blog! After going over the Smraza budget kit in our last article, its time to move on to the more expensive option of the three kits we’re reviewing. The Sunfounder Elite Explorer kit retails for around $95 on amazon, which puts it under the official starter kit by around $10-$30. The box, in contrast to the last two kits, has a very nice, printed graphic across the top. It seems to be very much inspired by the Arduino starter kit in stylization, mimicking the official bundle in size, but lacks the content description the back. The similarities stop there, as when we open the box, we’re greeted by the same plastic container, very much in the same style as the other two kits we’ve reviewed. While being cheaper than the official kit, the Sunfounder bundle also comes with an official Arduino Uno R4, while the official kit only comes with the older Uno R3.

The following is a list of all the components inside the kit, vetted by myself for accuracy:

1x Ribbon cable keypad
1x DC motor
1x Ultrasonic module
1x Speaker
1x GY-87 10 DOF Module
1x Gyroscope/Accelerometer
1x 7 segment digital readout
1x 9volt relay
1x Active buzzer
1x Passive buzzer
1x DHT11
1x TA6586 chip
1x 74HC595 driver chip
1x USB type A to type C cable
1x Soil Moisture module.
1x RFID module with keycard and keychain
1x Audio Amplifier Module
1x 64×64 OLED display,
1x 16 character LCD display,
1x Pump
1x Stepper motor driver
1x MPR-121 module
1x Pump Tube
1x Joystick Module
1x Stepper Motor
1x Propeller
1x PIR Motion Sensor
1x Breadboard Power Module w/battery
5x Green LED
5x Red LED
5x Blue LED
5x White LED
5x Yellow LED
10x 10 ohm Resistor
10x 100 ohm Resistor
30x 220 ohm Resistor
10x 330 ohm Resistor
10x 1k ohm Resistor
10x 2k ohm Resistor
10x 5.1k ohm Resistor
10x 10k ohm Resistor
10x 100k ohm Resistor
10x 1 million ohm Resistor
5x IN4007 Diode
2x S8050 Transistor
1X S8550 Transistor
10x Small Buttons
1x Potentiometer
1x tilt Switch
1x IR Receiver
1x Tilt switch
1x 10uF Capacitor
2x Large Buttons
65x M/M Jump Wires
20x F/M Jump Wires

and finally, the Arduino Uno R4. It lists the chip’s specs on the back of the box like the R3 had. Inside the box, you get the standard Arduino sticker pack and a warranty booklet. The R4 slides out, and comes pre-applied to a small plastic shield. Looking over the chip, the differences to the R3 become apparent with the array of LEDs on the top face of the chip, along with the smaller USB Type C connector on the side, replacing the old Type B interface.

Let’s take a quick look at 3 of the projects included in the kit. First, we have a simple motion detection program utilizing the PIR motion module. The serial monitor reports every time it detects motion, and after a second, goes back to scanning. A pretty neat little project that demonstrates what a more complex utilization for the Arduino could provide in terms on functionality at work or in the home.

Next, we have something unique to the R4. Snake! That’s right, the favorite game of millennial flip phone users, now played on the LED array of the R4 itself. An LED lights up, with a small string of LEDs, the player, moving across the chip in the direction you press the joystick. As you cross over the rogue LED, your snake grows longer, and a new LED lights up elsewhere on the chip. This little game could only work on the new R4 thanks to the new LED array, and is a fantastic project to utilize the limited space and functionality.

Finally, we have a simple program running text to our OLED display, both static, and moving, as well as displaying a simple ASCII logo. First, we displayed our company name as a static text, then after a handful of seconds, it transition to the link to our blog. However, the text is now moving back and forth on a two second timer! After a couple iterations, the screen shifts a simplified version of our gear logo, converted to ASCII for use on Arduino powered architecture. I could see someone driving a much larger screen with this little chip, displaying directions, information, or images for various jobs

So, having looked over this kit, and having already gone through the others that’ll we be demonstrating in our other articles, I can confidently say that this particular kit comes with a ton of amazing pieces that you can use for a variety of purposes. With the pump and propeller, you could make a remote control submarine, or a basic calculator with the keypad and LCD. Wanna make a basic RFID lock? Put the servo motor in a container and unlock it with the card and reader. So many possibilities lie in what comes in this kit, and the projects provided barley tap the surface of potential that this kit can provide. the provided tutorials are rather basic, but the online pdf provides ease of access to the various projects and programs included with the purchase of the kit.

With everything you get in the box, you’ll have enough to keep you making for weeks to come. The only real issue I have is the price. At $96, you’re spending a lot. While it certainly offers a better value than the official kit with an updated Uno R4 and a ton more kit to play with, the Elegoo kit in our next video is going to offer almost identical versatility for almost half the price. Thanks for spending your time with us here today, and to make sure to catch those articles and videos as they come out, be sure to keep coming back to this site, and follow us across our social media – you’ll find links to all our accounts here.

That’s all we have for now, so please have an amazing and creative day!

Written by Joseph Tierney
Technology & Microcontrollers
Insights In Automation

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