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Overview

The Mintduino is another wonderful product in the Maker Shed's Mintronics series of kits. It’s perfect for anyone interested in learning, or teaching, the fundamentals of how microcontrollers work. This hands-on book shows you how to assemble the Mintduino (no soldering required), teaches you the fundamentals of programming this microcontroller, and gets you going with some cool projects.

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 2 out of 5 rating Based on 1 Rating

"Doesn't quite do the job" - by Carl Cravens on 17-FEB-2013
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
While the step-by-step instructions with many photos is great, it falls short at the crucial moment... how one is actually supposed to program the Arduino?

I've built an Arduino on a breadboard before, and following these instructions, I was still slightly confused at the "now you're ready to program" part.  There's no discussion of power.  The 6-pin programming connector has ground connected, but not Vcc in the build instructions.  In the later photos, the ground wire is also missing, yet the battery is also not hooked up.  There is no explanation at all of how power should be supplied during programming.

The simplicity of the following demo circuit implies to me that this was meant for a beginner, yet that crucial missing piece forces the beginner to start searching the web for supplemental information, including how to install and use the Arduino IDE.

If it isn't meant for the beginner, I would have rather seen the demo circuit replaced with an explanation of how the Arduino circuit functions.  It's not a complicated circuit, but even after having assembled one from scratch, the "Arduino" is still a black box by the end of the book.  What was the point of building an Arduino from scratch if we still don't understand what it's doing?

This makes the demo circuit feel tacked on and unimportant.  At which point, just head on over to the Makershed and follow the free instructions for the MintDuino, which are nearly identical to the book.  (Including failure to close the gap concerning how to program it.)

I generally appreciate Kelly's work, but this book seems poorly thought out.

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