Today we are reviewing the Kookye Arduino Basic Learning Kit. Kookye is a lesser known hobby electronics supplier that mostly sells on Amazon. They often combine listings for several items as different options like this Raspberry Pi IoT kit that also happens to be a Raspberry pi and a case. Don’t let this deter you because the Kooke products we’ve tried are great.
When looking at starter kits, Kookye really has quality packaging down. The finish on this kit is fantastic. From the 2 layer tackle box to the complete photo materials list, this looks like a kit you would find in a store. Everything was well packed and wrapped individually. Everything you expect for an entry level Arduino Uno kit is here: Generic Arduino Uno and USB cable, assorted LED’s and Resistors, various motors and displays, buttons, sensors, IR remote, and jumpers. Then there are some things I would not expect that really set the Kookye Arduino Starter kit apart for it’s price point.
Probably the simplest is the buttons. Most kits have small black bug type buttons that need a cover to look halfway decent. Kookye’s kit contains five attractive buttons in an assortment of fun colors that remind me of mini arcade buttons. These could easily be used in a project without any covering. Next is the addition of an acrylic mounting plate and hardware to display your work. The mount holds the Kookye Arduino Uno, the LCD, and the breadboard. Instead of the typical tangled rats nest of wires and sensors, I actually want this thing on my desk.
And speaking of the LCD, Kookye does better than what comes in most arduino starter kits. This one comes soldered to a serial LCD module. The serial module is a microcontroller that takes a signal from the Arduino on two wires and creates the outputs needed to drive the LCD. This allows you to use the LCD with more I/O. My favorite use for an LCD is as a step display for a robot. This allows you to see function and status messages from your robot’s code it’s in without plugging a USB to a serial monitor. With a typical LCD you would not have enough pins to run your Robot’s I/O and the LCD at the same time. By using a communications protocol called I2C (pronounced I-squared-C) you can use the LCD and several other sensors with the same pins. You can do this because each node on a I2C bus has a unique address. Learning how to set up addressing and write to an I2C device is pretty advanced stuff to be in a starter kit.
Kookye has 19 Tutorials on their website that go with this kit. Each one has a circuit diagram and sample code. Like other Kookye kits, this will get each piece up and running but the code is not well explained. Overall this is a very good kit for the price (about $35 shipped). You add a frame and two motors (with H bridges) and you can have a pretty decent little robot. The IR proximity sensor and the Sonic Range finder would give you some basic navigation and you could even do IR remote control. You can buy the Kookye Arduino Starter kit here. When you run out of things to do with this kit be sure to pick up the Kookye Smart Home sensor modules 16 in 1 Kit we reviewed here.