NerdKits - electronics education for a digital generation
ATmega168 Microcontroller

What's included in a NerdKits electronics kit?

Our microcontroller kits are designed to be powerful and flexible, allowing you to complete cool electronics projects and to learn electronics. They are based around an Atmel ATmega168 series microcontroller (MCU). These are powerful, industrial grade MCUs, and we help you build a full system around them. This microcontroller has a CPU, permanent storage (flash memory), temporary storage (static RAM), and inputs and outputs.

20x4 Character LCD Screen

The most significant feature which sets us apart from other kits is that we include a LCD screen with your kit, capable of displaying 80 characters (4 rows with 20 characters on each). For any projects that require a person to interact with the circuit, an LCD screen is an essential device. Typical development kits (targeted at full-time electrical engineers, not beginners who need more guidance) often charge significantly more to include LCDs.

"Anyone looking to try their hand at microcontrollers should definitely stick to the kit that's simple, yet has unlimited potential: a NerdKit. The instructions are in an easy to read format and there is sufficient background information that anyone with a basic understanding of electronics can construct a basic microcontroller circuit and add features from there. I definitely suggest this product whether it's your first microcontroller or a prototype for your latest creation.

NerdKits Rule!!!"

-Carl R.
Phillips, WI

(click a photo to enlarge)
Official NerdKits Guide -- cover Official NerdKits Guide -- sample electronics setup page
Official NerdKits Guide -- sample software setup page Official NerdKits Guide -- sample programming how-to page

The USB NerdKit includes:

"Two days ago I received the USB NerdKit in the mail and completed the fantastically informative guide within a few hours with no problems. I want to start by saying that out of all the MCU kits I've worked with (3 or 4) the NerdKit is by far the most useful, helfpul and fun kit I've ever had. I learned more from this than any of the others combined. You guys are doing something wonderous here and I can't thank you enough."

-Caleb M.
Yakima, WA

In addition, there are plenty of sensors and actuators that we don't include but are easy to find (from old electronics "junk", or even at your local Radio Shack) and are easy to add to the kit. Examples include:

"I recently bought a USB nerdkit. VERY CLEAR instructions!

Great kit! I was going to buy a basic2 starter kit, but for 1/2 the price I probably learned twice as much. I'll keep watching to see what projects might pop up at your site."

-John C.
Schuylkill Haven, PA

Expansion Kits

Many times, we are asked, "Where do I go from here?" Our favorite answer is, "Wherever you want!", but here are some specific suggestions:

Check out our video tutorials. We spend a lot of our time bringing you new and exciting projects you can do with a NerdKit. Usually our projects will show off a particular piece of functionality of the chip like interrupts, or emphasize some higher level concept like first order systems. Take time to watch a few, as they introduce a wide range of topics and projects.

The LED Array Kit: NerdKits also offers an expansion kit for the NerdKit, the LED Array Kit. This kit allows you to build a 5x24 pixel LED Array that can scroll personalized messages. The array is controlled by the NerdKit and offers a great project to dive deeper into MCU programming. Learn more about the LED Array Kit....

What's required to make it work?

We expect that you have the following things in order to use our kit:

While not required, a multimeter can be very handy for debugging your circuits. You might already have one, but if not, we have a few in our store.

Where can I buy one?

Take a look at our store!

Did you know that any circuit of voltage sources and resistors can be simplified to a "Thevenin" equivalent circuit? Learn more...