an arduino starter kit would work wonders. you don't have to use the arduino right away. and you can start to learn fundamentals like ohms law.
Invest in a reasonable quality digital multimeter. this is you best friend. make sure it has ansi/neda or iec safety rating, cheap meters can be potentially dangerous.
also any basic electronics toolkit with items like side cutters, screw drivers, and soldering iron.
Make sure you get a quality soldering iron too (you don't need to spend hundreds, but the better you can find, the better your results will be).
I'd also consider checking out Adafruit's tutorial's, specifically the Soldering Guide and the LED Guide (this one taught me A LOT about Ohm's Law and so on, it was very helpful when getting started).
Whether you go with Raspberry Pi or Arduino (weight the pros and cons of both), definitely get one of the starter kits. I went the "no starter kit" route when I first got started (and I've only been doing this for a couple of months, lol) and I've already regretted not getting the starter kits.
One more piece of advice...it's nice to have an idea in mind of what you want to accomplish, before just buying things and seeing what happens. When you've got a "goal" project in mind, it makes it so much easier to continue on with it not just "give up" so to speak. I think this is one of the hardest parts of getting started. I had wanted to be doing DIY electronics for a couple years, but until I had a project in mind I just never put much effort into it.
Good luck, and remember, have fun!!!
Hello Ben and the Community,
I've been watching the Ben Heck Show and have gotten inspired.
I have no electronics experience but would like to learn about them and eventually microcontrollers and other things so I can start doing my own mods and projects.
I'm wondering what equipment should I buy? what information should I read? where should I start.
I know it will be a long journey but I figure there's enough people with expertise they can point me in the right direction so I can get the fundamentals down and move from there
Also Ben how long did it take you until it became your career instead of just your hobby?