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DimeArduino.com.au - Arduino Starter Kits from $14 and Boards from $4.99

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OZBARGAIN20161101

Hi, I'm Jeremy from Dime Arduino,

DimeArduino is a new store set up because I was tired of seeing my friends get ripped off on Arduino gear. Yes, we are a drop shipper, we don't hold stock or have a store front. The difference between us and the next 27 sites is that I only set this store up because I realised my friends were paying $30 for $5 boards and $10 for $4 component packs. I can't beat Banggood's prices on everything, but it seems like I've managed to price fairly competitively with them on some products.

We stock Arduino bit and bobs, with a focus on Starter Kits, which include a board and enough goodies to get started and Booster Boxes, which don't include a board, but have enough additional bits and bobs for a project or five.

If you're not quite sure what Arduino is and does, take a look at my An Arduino Journey page. The name is pretty lame, but hopefully it helps you understand a little better.
store

I've set up a discount code "OZBARGAIN20161101" for OzBargain customers. It'll give a 20% discount to the first 100 orders over $20 (limit: 1 per email address). Here's a few of my favourite products:

  • Robot Car Kit - When I was home from work for weeks with kidney stones, I stumbled across a robot car kit I'd ordered from China a few months before. Now I have an Arduino sotre. Ahh, memories :)

  • Mini Uno Starter Kit - Currently our cheapest Starter Kit. This $14 kit gets you an Arduino compatible board, a breadboard, LEDs, jumper cables, resistors, a USB cable, a battery clip and some header pins

  • Deluxe Uno Starter Kit - For a little more than the price of a single bare board at some of my competitors, you can get an amazing kit loaded with toys. This kit includes an Uno, RFID antenna, LEDs, resistors, jumper cables, a pot, a buzzer, a shift register chip, sensors and LED displays and more!

  • Transformers - Some soldering required!

I'm also working on building up a list of basics. Right now, this include my Soldering and Components categories. Let me know if there's anything I should add!

  • Soldering - Includes solder, solder suckers etc…

  • Components - This will expand as I find common components at decent prices. I try to only include things I use, so it'll grow over time. I was worried about my component pricing… until I saw Banggood's!

As I mentioned, we just opened, so I'm happy to hear feedback. Especially bad prices, let me know if you can find it on a simillar site significantly cheaper and I'll either find a new supplier or drop the product. I obviously can't compete with the Chinese supplier prices, but I'm curating a store and hopefully adding some value.
Long-term plans include flesing out the tutorials page and adding an example for every sensor I can track one down for. I own most of the sensors I sell (and I'm happy to buy the rest as I have time!), so if I can't track one down, I'll make one.
Hopefully some of you find this exciting. If not, good lesson for me :D Oh, and be sure to check out Our Philosophy for my deal.

Standard warnings:

  • We do out best to stock only good value products. We won't stock it if it doesn't work, no matter how cheap it is. We won't stock it if it's stupidly expensive for what it is, even if it works.
  • I try to avoid anything which plugs in to mains power. I do this because I usually don't buy mains transformers from cheap sites, so I don't intend to sell them either. This is less a safety issue (never had one with a cheap wall adapter thankfully!) and more because they tend to start buzzing quite loudly pretty quickly.
  • Orders may be sent in multiple shipments, and may take up to 60 days to arrive. We do this to keep the cost down. I know that most bargainers already know this, but in the interest of transparency: if you're interested in how this works, it's called 'drop shipping', and there's heaps of info out there on the googles.
  • You're not buying European name brand electronics, you're buying Chinese stuff. While we will replace or refund any DOA or not-as-described products and conform to all Aussie consumer law happily, we probably won't replace a power supply because you think it has too much ripple, even though it powers your project just fine. It was $2.50, not $150.

Inside baseball: We use Shopify as out store front. Our payment options are PayPal or the shopify payment gateway. I'm still not 100% sure how I'm going to manage the effect of exchange rates on all my pricing, so for now I'm becoming a forex watcher!

Well, that's me, I hope you like my store. If you don't please consider leaving some feedback which might help me improve it.

A serious note: Buying genuine, brand name Arduino boards at $30+ a pop helps support the community which creates and maintains the Arduino ecosphere. If the store is successful, I'll be looking for ways of contibuting directly to the community and supporting new and intersting projects (not just on Kickstarter, lol).

Thanks for your time,
Jeremy.

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Dime Arduino
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closed Comments

  • Awesome mate, good to see some Arduino gear up here. I'll be sure to sus it out!

  • +2 votes

    Delivery is included, and takes 14-60 days. I get most of my stuff in 14-20 days, but no guarantee. I'll try and make that clearer on product pages.

  • The car kits look tempting.

  • Do you provide a tax invoice?

    • +2 votes

      We pay GST and tax, so I have no problem generating one. The only issue with the current checkout is that it doesn't supply you with my ABN, which I think is required for a tax invoice.

  • Just wanted to say hi and awesome approach.

    I've bookmarked your site for future.

    Thanks and wishing you the best of luck.

    Cheers.

  • Excellent! Got myself a Deluxe Uno kit. Cheers Jeremy!

  • +1 vote

    Which board for ≈$5
    Can't find it…

  • I love that the ebay ads I'm seeing on this page charge almost twice as much for those little buck converters :D

  • Great work, I am a school teacher, and these kits help students get their heads around coding, I'll pass on your site address to a few other teacher who are looking at STEM education.

    Any chance on Deluxe Car kits and Ultimate car kits, without the board? I already have a class set of Arduino Uno's and need to extra components but not the uno board.

    • +1 vote

      Wow, thanks. I don't have much control over the package contents, but there is a Robot Car category I'm filling up motors, modules etc…(not ready yet) - but the 'kit' approach seems better for schools. I'll go do some searching and get back to you.

    • +1 vote

      I'll also keep an eye out for 10 packs.

      • I will probably just buy the whole kits anyway. Cant have enough Arudino's lying around, especially with heavy handed high school students.

    • Ask and ye shall recieve. This is the best I could find, but I'll keep it in mind and email some suppliers.

      • Awesome! Thanks heaps!

        • Note, once you add the distance sensor and motor driver you're better off just getting the car kit for $3 more which includes the Uno, USB cable, servo and servo board.

        • @3: In general yeah, but if you order a few the difference starts to add up. Also, you may want to build the H bridge out of transistors, which could be fun. Unreliable and prone to releasing the magic smoke inside the transistors when you overheat them, but fun :)

  • Great work, it's good to see all these parts under the one roof from a trustworthy source. I'll pick up a few things to keep me going.
    Good luck with the store.

    • +4 votes

      Thanks. I have a feeling I might become a regular here, so keep an eye out for new stuff ;)

    • +4 votes

      from a trustworthy source.

      ?

      Member Since: 2 hours 55 min ago

      • Well obviously we'll be the judge of that over time, I more meant better than random Chinese ebay accounts with a username of J7eB5u

        • I more meant better than random Chinese ebay accounts with a username of J7eB5u

          Maybe they're getting more sophisticated… I'm surprised a 'local' would use the word 'dime'…

        • +2 votes

          @jv: I lived in NY for a couple of years at the end of highschool :)

      • +2 votes

        Thanks for saying it, I didn't want to! I hope to become a trusted source, right now I'm just the new guy.

  • Good luck! Sounds like a great idea. Just a thought - I've been playing with https://www.mysensors.org recently - maybe some kits targeted at that might be an idea? I know there are a few people here also interested in home automation….

    Cheers

    • Thanks for that. I've bookmarked that site and I'll take a read through it. It might be a bit of time before you see anything, since I only want to stock things I understand :) I'll post a deal if I manage to put together something worth buying.

      • Quick intro - first you need a controller - supported types are here: https://www.mysensors.org/controller. Personally I use a Vera. I would not expect you to provide the controllers as there are far too many choices out there. Most people would probably get a Raspberry PI or (like I did) use something like an existing home automation controller such as a Vera.

        Then you need a gateway between the controller and the sensor nodes - this can be an arduino with a RF board hooked up to the controller via serial (usb) or it can communicate via wifi. Personally my gateway is an ESP8266 (actually a Wemos D1 R2 - I like it as it has way more memory and grunt than an Arduino, is basically compatible, has wifi built in, and is much cheaper than an Arduino when you include the cost of wifi) with an RF radio hooked up to it. The gateway can also host sensors, but mine is dedicated just to make things cleaner. If you just use wifi sensors, you don’t need the RF radio. I have both as I use battery powered sensors and wifi uses too much juice. Total cost of the gateway is under $15.

        Then you have the sensors. These again can be ESP8266 or arduiino boards. I use arduino pro mini 3.3V boards with an RF board and a couple of AA batteries. To make a simple open/close sensor just needs a couple of wires. To make a temperature sensor, you add in a dallas sensor etc etc etc. A sensor node can have multiple sensors attached to it - so it’s not uncommon to have one with a temperature sensor that also sends alerts if doors open or close etc. To program the pro mini you need a FTDI USB to TTL Serial adapter, but that’s about it. Total cost of a typical sensor node is under $10 - normally closer to $5.

        So what do I do with them? Well, I have some hooked up to the fridge/freezer with some ds18520s stainless steel probes so I can monitor the fridge & freezer temperatures over time to make sure they aren’t running too warm (not good for health) or cold (waste of energy). I also get alerts if they get too warm for any length of time (indicating the power is out or a door left open). I also plan to add a door sensor to get an alert if the door is actually left open for too long. Speaking of which, I have one on the garage door, so I get alerts if that is open for too long (to try to avoid that whole ‘oops I left the garage door open all night’ problem).

        So from a kit perspective, I’d probably consider something like a starter kit less the controller - so an arduino uno with wifi/ethernet shield plus an RF board - plus maybe a simple multi sensor e.g. another arduino uno with a DHT22 temperature/humidity sensor and maybe a magnetic door switch along with the RF board - so you can tell what the temperature and humidity is like outside, and be alerted when the front door is opened. Minimal to no soldering required. Then you could have multiple bundles of sensors for specific tasks such as monitoring a fridge, or alerts for water leaking, or motion sensor, or soil moisture, etc and people could choose to continue the route of using standard arduino unos or maybe go down the slightly more complex (although cheaper) route of learning how to solder and using arduino pro minis and batteries! Again, just a thought. Cheers.

  • Really digging the site and philosophy behind it. Few noobish questions:
    - Are the boards in the car kit and Mini Uno starter kit the same? Or more the point, is there much point getting both?
    - What sort of capabilities would you get out of the ultimate car kit vs the deluxe?

    • +1 vote

      Hi there. Generally, the price of the board only shifts the price of the kit about $2-3, and having a spare board is handy, especially for beginners. I accidentally put 12V into my GND pin within about a week of starting out, and I ended up down at JayCar paying $30 for a replacement board. So, I wouldn't sweat ordering more than one board. (I have at least 7 lying around).

      Now, Ultimate vs Deluxe. The Ultimate includes an IR remote control and the sensor you need to use it. It also has a double layer chassis, dunno if that matters really. It's got four wheels instead of two, so if you want to muck around writing your own 4wd controlled later on (you'll want an accelerator for that), you can.

      Really, if you're starting out, I'd say go with the cheaper option and you can always buy the IR booster box and some more motors later on. You'll know what you want better then, and you may even decide the yellow motors aren't sensitive enough or something like that.

      Hope that helps.

      J

  • Do the starter kits come with books to help? I've been looking to get into arduino and I like the look of the official starter kit (with teh zoetrope because the book is big. I've found a few cheapish places online. What else would I need to get with your starter kit?

    • They don't. One of my main focuses now that I've built an inventory will be fleshing out the information available. This takes two forms. Hunting down existing youtube videos which explain the basics really well. There are even good videos out there for some of the modules and driver boards. The other part will be writing some basic tutorials myself. I've started this on the tutorials page, but it's not ready for the big time. That said, the tutorials on the Arduino site are quite extensive. If you hunt down a few you'd be interested in, I can help you find a good place to start.

  • Good stuff! Hope it all goes well.

  • Any chance you'll be carrying some good waterproof Temp sensors (submerging in fishtank), and good quality humidity/temp/air-pressure sensors and solid state relays?
    I want to set up some automation for the fish tanks.

    • +1 vote

      You've hit on a good one. I don't stock waterproof temperature sensors because mine is still on the way and it seems like something I'd want to test before stocking. Humidity sensors and SSRs are expensive to do well, and I frankly wouldn't order an SSR for mains power from China, I'd buy it from Middy's. Cheap humidity sensors exist, and they're ok for enthusiast use, but I don't think they're brilliant. I'd use them for a weather station without a problem, but if I was fermenting cheese or storing cigars, I'd want to verify it against a good one first.

      If I get a lot of interest in higher tolerance products, I'll start to find some suppliers, but for now, I'm after "cheap and cheerful" stuff.

    • I want to set up some automation for the fish tanks.

      automatic tank cleaning would be good…

    • A decent waterproof temp sensor is the sealed DS18B20 units (probe), can find them on aliexpress for a bit over a dollar delivered and they seem pretty accurate also well proven arduino libraries are already done for you. I've used DHT22 sensors for temp and humidty and like Dime said they seem accurate but test against something you trust if you've got a lot of value at stake!

      • That's the one I've ordered (the DS18B20). If it goes well, I'll put one up. In the meantime, they're pretty commodity, so I wouldn't fear just grabbing one from anywhere.

  • +2 votes

    I just wanted to say that you guys and gals all rock. Thanks for the warm welcome, I'm glad you enjoy this stuff as much as I do!

    • From first impressions I like your approach. Looking for some advice if you have time: I want to build one of these to get this adapter going.

      It is basically:
      PlayStation —(USB A to micro)—> atmega32u4 —(wires 'n' stuff)—> micro USB plug —(USB micro to A)—> PC

      I guess I need something like the Leonardo and then a serial-to-USB converter (and whatever wires necessary to hook it to the Leonardo). Your site doesn't appear to stock the serial-to-USB, is that right? Or is there another way?

      PS: Example of a ready-to-go solution here

      • Wow, ok, I'm not sure what the adaptor does, but it looks like in input selector for retro gaming?

        I don't have a USB Serial adaptor because I haven't needed to use one and I don't 100% understand what the ups and downs of good and bad ones are. To be honest, I'm also not sure how many types of them there are, since they are referred to by a lot of different names. The most popular one I see is an FTDI module based on the FT232 and the next most popular is a USB to UART based on the CP2102. I'm not sure what the differences are. Sorry I can't help, but I've got a few of the different popular ones on the way (I ordered some boards without onboard USB a while ago not realising I need an adaptor to program them). I'll pop up a deal for the USB adaptor when I've got one stocked.

        • Thanks for the reply, appreciated.

          The instructions suggest CP2102 would work best for my situation. I think that's what is in the image I linked first. FT232R might work; also possibly FT230X. I'm not familiar with any of this stuff either.

          The adapter allows using 'not officially supported' game controllers on game consoles. You plug game controller in to PC/raspberry PI running gimx software, then run USB out from PC/RPi -> USB Adapter assembly -> Game Console. The console then thinks an 'official' controller is connected.

          I intend to use a Logitech force-feedback wheel on my PS4 - don't feel like buying another almost-identical wheel at ~$300 just for PS4 support!

        • @SuperMatty: Wow, ok, that's cool, gimme a month to get my head around it and maybe put one together and I'll see what I can do!

  • Good stuff, man! Dropped about $100 on a few bits an bobs. I particularly like your down-to-earth item descriptions. If I had one main recommendation, it would be to do a once over of your listings, I noticed a couple of typos. Nothing major, but your site looks great, and that will make it all the more professional.

  • Thanks Jeremy
    Ordered a Deluxe Uno Starter Kit

  • So just to clarify, the unos and stuff are or are not the 'arduino' certified ones. The board layout looks exactly the same but without some of the text.
    Been using Iduinos and my god they suck.

    • Correct. They're what we used to call "clones". That's why it says "Arduino Compatible Board" everywhere. I haven't tried Iduino, but I've been using the boards I got from a couple of kits and some of the RobotDyn ones for a while now, and the only thing I've noticed is that the sometimes take longer to boot after you upload a new sketch. I'm a subscriber to the "Don't buy one for $30, but 6 for $5 each" philosophy when it comes to hobby stuff. FYI I believe that the clone market is legal, as long as they don't claim to be Arduino Boards. There are obvious fakes for sale on the Chinese marketplaces which have the Arduino logo for under $10. I don't stock them. How to spot a fake Arduino

      • If anyone spots a board on my site for under $30 with the Arduino logo on it, please let me know and I'll take it down. It's not my intention to stock fakes.

      • Well, Arduino is just the software. So technically there aren't any Arduino boards. Only the one that is endorsed? (if what my friend told me is true)

        • The boards are opensource CAD files.
          The software on the chips is the bootloader, which is opensource.
          The PC IDE by Arduino is free to use.
          Most of the librarys and example and peoples own projects are opensource and can be copied/modified provided you comply with the license (Usually GPL).

          So anyone can legally clone and sell the opensource boards. Though the Chinese ones typically make some changes to utilise more economical parts, eg they usually have a different USB chip and voltage regulator.
          You can also take the CAD files and get your own boards made, but it will cost you 5 times as much as what the Chinese factories are pumping them out for due to their high volumes.

          What you cant do is breach the trademarks by claiming to be the original manufacturer. You have to identify as "for Arduino" or "(Arduino-Compatible)".

        • @joelmuzz:
          Thanks for clarifying.
          Different voltage regulator, might be a problem. Our 3.3V was spitting out 4.2V, which fried some of the other components we used…

        • @joelmuzz: Thanks for the detailed reply. That's my understanding of it too, with one addition. There are "Arduino" and "Genuino" branded boards, manufactured in Italy by (part of - there's a story there) the mob that started it all (and owns the copyright). That's the folks at arduino.cc. Here's a video of their facility. I geek out on manufacturing done right - I started out in manufacturing of a very different kind.

        • @ATangk: Brb, I'll check some boards.
          Update: Is 3.32V ok? :D I'll keep an eye on the 3.3V output though, it's not something I use often, and it's good to know it can be dodgy.

  • Hey, a few things:

    • The twitter, facebook, and Pintrest links at the bottom of the website link to shopify instead of your social media accounts (if you have any yet)

    • Do you have a newsletter to sign up to? I don't really have anything I want to buy now but I might in the future. You can sign up to littlebirdelectronics to see what their newsletter looks like (or adafruit/sparkfun) for an example.

    • I don't have social media yet, thanks for the thoroughness. Shopify provide a newsletter signup, but I figured the best way to stay in contact with you guys is to come back here with more deals. Keep an eye out, if I launch a newsletter I'll post here about it. In the meantime, I should hide those social links :)

  • Not really looking to buy things until next year, but ill try keep this site in mind.

    Btw, got any soldering irons? pref something with a turbo button.

    • I bought my soldering iron from an RC airplane store. Thinking about it, they possibly ordered it from the same suppliers I'm using, but I don't know much about AC power, and I don't know how likely cheap soldering irons are to cause issues, but I do know that issues with mains power don't end well. Long story short - maybe some day, but for now, nothing that plugs into the wall.

      +1 for the turbo button tho!

  • Thanks for being upfront and open about being a dropshipper, I appreciate the honesty :)

    All the best on your venture! (I will be buying something in the New Year, stick around)

  • Noticed your NodeMCU board is the larger nodemcu which is hard to tell from screenshots. https://www.dimearduino.com.au/collections/bare-boards/produ... .
    Have been caught out when ordering another nodemcu board and it arrived at nearly twice the size of my previous. Wouldn't fit into my original nodemcu motor shield etc. the larger one was branded LoLin and this one looks pretty similar. Also may be worth stocking the Wemos D1 Mini as that's my go to board nowadays and seems pretty popular

  • Hi,

    Do the bare boards come with the headers pre-soldered?

    The prices are great, btw.

  • Does the car kit like this https://www.dimearduino.com.au/products/delux-car-kit comes with instructions to put it together.

    • It doesn't. There are some instructions out there for the simpler car kits, and I'm hoping to dig one out. They usually come with some "assembly instructions" but that's just for the chassis really. Aside from (this and) proofreading, hunting down those tutorials is my top priority, so maybe check back in a few days to see if I've got some links. Sorry about that, the simpler beginner kits will get you going with the tutorials on teh Arduino website in the meantime :)

  • I reckon if you could put together a kit for home brewers based on brewpi, ie Arduino temp sensors relays etc, you'd be on a winner.

    Quite a few guys on home brew forums are interested in this type of thing but are daunted by component selection, basic Arduino programming etc.

    • I come across fairly simple temperature controllers which might do what you want, let me list one and see if it's useful to you. As far as a proper pack, I'd need to jump on the forums and learn a little more first.

    • Do you guys use 12V heaters or 240V? If it's mains power, then I'd say you could find a temperature controller at Middy's, but I don't think I'd put mains through a Chinese relay. They say you can, and I've seen it done, I just wouldn't do it. If it's 12V, I've got something for you.

      • Typically 240v for cooling (ie fridge), heating can be either.

        Maybe outside what you want to do for your store, but if you did a kit that included the middy relays I think you'd corner the lazy place-one-order market 👍

        Also, for a better idea of functionality required, the idea is to make a smart version of an STC-1000 temp controller.

        Hope that helps!

        • +1 vote

          Thanks for that, it's a bit to think about. I'll post a deal if I do any arBrewino packs in the future :)

  • Nice work, just bought the deluxe kit.

  • A quick google image search shows me the exact aliexpress seller you have taken the product images from as I noticed a few were watermarked. Why would I buy from you for a markup when I can have the goods shipped directly to me for in some cases half the price? This is Ozbargain….

    • +1 vote

      Yep, check out the "Our Philosophy" page. I'll paste a bit here, but in short, if you want to, then please do. If you want to browse a store, then DimeArduino might have some interesting things for you.

      From https://www.dimearduino.com.au/pages/our-philosophy :

      You'll notice supplies names and shop numbers stamped across some of our preview images. That's right, we dropship from China, and I'm ok with that. If you want to order from them, please do, but please remember the kinds of mistakes I've talked about already. It'll be cheaper, but you might not have as good an experience. We tend to stick to only a few suppliers, to try and minimise the number of packages you'll have to pick up. Packages might not come all at once though, that's just the price of ordering from China. We select suppliers with really low prices, but a good range and excellent feedback. That said, many of the things we sell are quite commodotised, minimising quality variation between sellers.

  • The prices are good in my opinion.

  • Thanks, I was just about to order some more gear elsewhere, you've saved me a few dollars!

  • So, these are not real Arduino?
    These are knockoffs you have "discounted".
    I don't get it

    • +1 vote

      There's a post about clones above. Yeah, they're knock offs, but they're knock offs of an open platform that don't use the name Arduino. They're "Arduino Compatible" or "Arduino Clones", but they can't call themselves Arduino. I haven't "discounted" them, I've marked them up a little from my supplier, like any store has to to make a living. What I've done is find boards that work, that I've used, that other people have used etc… There are some really bad ones out there, but you'll notice that almost all of our Bare Boards gome from one supplier. I've used them, I like them and I'm happy to sell them. At the end of the day, I have to refund or replace anything which doesn't work, and getting money back from suppliers in other countries is not fun, so I'd prefer to stock stuff which doesn't fail. Aside from that, I want you guys to have fun, and boards which don't work aren't fun!

      Hope that covers it. If I wouldn't use it, I wouldn't sell it.

      J