Product Review

By Christian Hunick
On February 15, 2018

Christian Hunick
Staff Writer

If you are into computer science or engineering, or you are just a geek in general, then chances are you’ve heard of Arduinos. If not, I will briefly explain.

Arduino is a specific brand of circuit board that includes an embedded microcontroller, although any similar board is typically called an Arduino (similar to how many people call all adhesive bandages Band-Aids). Programs called "sketches" can be created using the Arduino code editor and then uploaded to the board.

The sketches allow you to interact with electronic components such as LEDs, sensors, motors, and more via the board’s digital and analog input/output pins. In layman’s terms, Arduinos let you "computerize" your projects.

Arduinos have been used to create a plethora of gadgets and gizmos ranging from simple light controllers to obstacle avoiding robots.

One of the cool things about Arduinos is that both Arduino hardware and software is open source, which means that any individual or company can use the publicly available schematics to create their own versions of Arduino boards.

This leads me to my main point which is praising the quality of "off-brand" Arduino boards, more specifically, the Elegoo Uno R3.

The Elegoo Uno R3 is based on the Arduino Uno Rev3 board model, but the Elegoo is only $17, making it $5 cheaper than the Arduino.

I picked up the Elegoo about a month ago, not sure what to expect in terms of quality. I was not even sure if it would power on! To my pleasant surprise, it seems like it functions identically to its Arduino counterpart.

In the short time I have owned the Elegoo, I used it to make a remote-fish feeder, a proximity alarm, a makeshift thermostat, a melody-based passcode verifier, and more.

I purchased the Elegoo in a kit, which included an assortment of sensors and other devices to play with, as well as a breadboard and wires for circuit prototyping. It also came with a cd loaded with project guides, which I found very useful for familiarizing myself with the devices.

When buying cheaper alternatives to name-brand items, the adage "buyer beware" is usually a good thing to keep in mind; however, in the case of Arduino boards, I say save yourself a few bucks and get an Elegoo.

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