Monday, April 20, 2009

Arduino Mega and Prototype Shield Assembly

I've had some Sunday afternoon fun and games with the assembly of a prototyping shield. It is the design from e-lioness and is for the new Arduino Mega board. The new Arduino Mega board is designed to wow, with 128 KB of Flash or program memory, 8KB of RAM, and 4 KB of EEPROM. The board has a massive 54 digital pins (14 of these offer PWM output), 16 analog io pins, 4 hardware serial ports, and I2C. It is compatible with most of the earlier shields designed for the standard Arduino. The firmware includes the now standard, auto-reset on upload, a pre-burned bootloader, and automatic power selection. It does need you to update your Arduino to at least Arduino version 0015 or later. Here is a little table comparing the latest hardware from the Arduino and a close mid capacity derivative from the RepRap project, the Sanguino.


The Arduino Mega is a very sweet option for installations and sensor heavy projects.

Here's the starting picture:

Here's how it ended up:

The process is visually documented in my Flickr images and doesn't really need any more documentation. I would possibly check around to see if other prototyping shields have a better track layout for the digital pins as this turned out to be a little messy.

An example of the fun you can have with the Arduino Mega is shown by Tom Igoe's post on ``8×8 LED matrix control on an Arduino Mega''. He has a great example using it to play Pong.

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