Sometimes you get stuck in choosing the right board amongst the Arduino family. There are multiple boards of the Arduino family that are easily accessible to the students and teachers. Arduino Mega is one of those famous boards which are widely used in electronics and easy to use makes it popular in the Arduino community.
Arduino mega is a microcontroller board that uses Atmega 2560, 54 digital input and output pins, and 15 out of 54 could be used as Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), a USB communication, and a jack for supplying power.
Arduino has specially designed this board for 3d printers and robotics projects because of its 54 digital input and output pins. More number of pins give you access and the advantage to use them in more complex projects.
What is Arduino Mega?
Arduino Mega is specially designed for robotics projects. It has 54 digital input and output pins (14 out of 54 used for pulse width modulation). When you are working on a complex project and you need more number of digital I/O pins so they created the microcontroller board named Arduino Mega with more number of pins.
Microcontroller Atmega2560 use in Arduino for storing the data, 8KB of SRAM and 4KB of EEPROM also it is a recommended board for 3D printing and robotics projects with an additional facility of digital I/O pins.
Each board of the Arduino family runs on the IDE software and you don’t need to plug any other additional board for coding. You just have to plug the USB cable into the USB communication port and power up the board either with the AC-to-DC adaptor or with the 9-volt battery. It would work the same in both ways. It would be a wonderful tool if you want to learn about programming.
Arduino Mega Board Distribution
It has everything that supports microcontroller atmega2560 and a lot more pins than UNO and any other board. It has 54 digital I/O pins where 14 pins are used for PWM output, 16 pins are analog inputs, using pinmode(), digitalread(), digitalwrite() function. There are three ways to power up this board. Firstly, use the AC-DC adapter and plug it into the barrel jack. Secondly, connect printer cable to your computer. Lastly, a battery.
Reset button is placed next to the microcontroller and it resets your Arduino board. It is like you unplug your Arduino board from the computer and plug it back but you have a button here in the middle of the board.
According to the datasheet. It is a high-performance, low-power Atmel AVR 8-bit microcontroller. For more read, I am attaching a datasheet of atmega2560 you can read it.
Power pins include Vin, 5V, 3.3V, and GND pins. When an external power source applies through an adaptor, a battery, or a printer cable. You can supply voltage and you can light up your LED with power pins. This pin gives you 5V, 3.3V at the output.
Digital input/output pins
54 pins can be used for both input and output. A few pins are considered digital pins and the remaining pins are considered analog pins. Using digitalwrite () command you can use these pins as high or low (According to our need and requirement).
Rx and Tx
These pins are used for receiving and transmitting the data; Rx is used for receiving the data and TX is used for transmitting the data.
14 pins out of 54 can be used for PWM outputs.
Arduino mega specification
Digital input and output pins
What components you need to turn your microcontroller board on?
Arduino mega needs a few components to turn on your board. I would suggest you to test your board with a Blink Light example. So you know your board is working properly and don’t have any malfunction inside your board. Some of the companies are using local components in manufacturing this board to reduce its costs but it may cost you inefficiency.
- AC-to-DC adaptor to give power to your board.
- Printer cable (to transfer your code from your computer to the board)
Which software is used to write a program?
Arduino needs software to write a program (Make sure your code is error-free) and Arduino IDE software is open source software that you can easily install it from the arduino.cc website.
How to get started with Arduino Mega?
You have got everything to turn your board on and it’s time to get started with the board. Let’s play with a few built-in examples. I know how much you are excited to see it blinking because I have gone through the same feeling when I first started playing with the board.
- Download and install the IDE software which is open source and can easily be downloaded from its official arduino.cc website. If you get stuck in the middle and need guidance in installing the software (for window users only). Here is a guide (How to install Arduino software for windows)
- Power up the arduino board using AC-to-DC adaptor.
- Connect your arduino board with the computer using printer cable.
- Load and open the IDE software.
- Loading a blink example from the basic example tab.
How to upload code on Arduino mega?
To make it functional, Arduino mega needs some commands to work on it. Before you upload it on the board make sure your code has no error and has compiled properly.
- Connect your printer cable with the board using USB communication.
- Make sure both the com ports match.
- Lastly, hit the transfer button.
Which one is better: Arduino UNO or Arduino Mega
Most of the starters choose Arduino UNO over any other board. I would suggest you to not get into much technical details if you are just starting out. Every board is unique in its own way and has its own features and functionality. But Arduino UNO and mega are pretty much same.
- Arduino UNO has lesser number of pins than mega. UNO has 14 digital input and output pins. On the other hand, mega 54 pins.
- Mega has the most SRAM memory in arudino family.
- Flash memory of UNO is 32 Kb while Mega has 256 Kb of flash memory, allowing it more memory space.
- Both supports the same software that is IDE software.
Most of the students who work on a complex projects like robotics and 3d printers, they all need more number of pins to avoid using another shield and board. Arduino Mega is way ahead of UNO when you are working on a complex project, but you are just starting out then UNO is the best pick for you.
Arduino mega datasheet
Arduino Mega data sheet is super important when you are working on your project and you are stuck in between the limitations of current or voltage. Here is an Arduino mega data sheet.
Arduino mega tutorials
Some of the best tutorials on the internet I have found during the research which I thought it might help you in making more group on these microcontroller boards.
Frequently Asked Question
What are the applications of Arduino mega?
Following are a few examples, projects and applications of Arduino mega:
- Water level detection projects
- Internet of things applications
- Embedded system
- Sensing and detection projects
How to check the arduino board if it is working or not?
- A built-in green light placed on top of the board. If it illuminates then it means your arduino board is working properly.
How to check if my arduino board is not fried up?
Plug in your board with the computer and check it green light on top of the board is working then your board hasn’t been fried up.