The Arduino Mega 2560 is a powerful board with 256 KB flash memory, 54 digital I/O pins and 15 PWM channels – Ideal for large and complex Arduino projects.
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The Arduino Mega 2560 is a direct upgrade on the original, powerful Arduino Mega, and is often affectionately nicknamed “The Big Boy” of the Arduino range. This is because it is one of the largest boards belonging to the Arduino family, and has the power to match its size. While most other boards offer pin counts of between 10 and 24, the Mega has a whopping 54 digital I/O pins. Additionally, whilst other boards range between 8 KB and 128 KB flash memory, the Mega 2560 outshines them with 256 KB – demonstrating that it’s the ideal board for large projects.
When Arduino designed the Mega 2560, they intelligently kept the consistent width, in relation to other boards like the Leonardo and Duemilanove, so that it would be compatible with almost all previous and future Arduino-based shields. Additionally, all of the core components are in similar positions to similar types of Arduino boards, ensuring that makers who are upgrading their Arduino platforms can still utilize a majority of the Arduino Uno, Duemilanove and Diecimila shields they have.
The Arduino Mega 2560 is based on the ATmega2560 chip and, in addition to the 54 digital I/O pins and 256 KB flash memory, also has 16 analog inputs, a USB connector, power jack, ICSP header and 4 UARTs – all running through a 16 MHz crystal oscillator. 15 of the I/O pins can be utilized as PWM outputs and a reset button is conveniently installed for users who need both the manual version as well as the auto-reset functionality. This feature set makes the Mega 2560 a tough competitor to beat, and is why it’s commonly considered to be the best board available for large projects that require the power.
|Operating Voltage (logic Level)||– 5V|
|Input Voltage (recommended)||– 7-12V|
|Input Voltage (limits)||– 6-20V|
|Digital I/O Pins||– 54|
|PWM Output Channels||– 15|
|Analog Input Channels||– 12|
|DC Current per I/O Pin||– 40 mA|
|DC Current for 3.3V Pin||– 50 mA|
|Flash Memory||– 256 KB of which 8 KB is reserved by bootloader|
|SRAM||– 8 KB|
|EEPROM||– 4 KB|
|Clock Speed||– 16 MHz|
|LED_BUILTIN pins||– 13|
|Dimensions||– 3.99” x 2.09” / 101.52mm x 53.3mm|
– 37 g
The sheer power of the Arduino Mega 2560 allows makers to truly step up their game in terms of the size and scope of projects, as having one of these boards can be likened to having two to four other boards working together. This makes it ideal for larger projects where numerous input and output pins, large memory reserves and an efficient cache of RAM is required. And rather than complicating your circuits with multiple boards working together, you can efficiently achieve the same results with a single Arduino Mega 2560.
Because of the power and versatility of this board, the simpler projects are typically larger and more complex than basic projects involving other boards, and include:
As you can imagine, if these are the more basic projects, then the advanced projects are on a whole new scale. For those looking to truly step up their game, however, more complex projects include:
It should be obvious by now how powerful the Arduino Mega 2560 can be, and why it’s being utilized for so many different complicated projects. Not only does it offer more processing power, RAM and other power-based benefits, it also offers a whole new level of functionality with 54 I/O pins and 15 PWM channels. So find a project that you would be excited to take on and discover for yourself precisely what makes these boards the first choice for large, complex and exciting Arduino projects.
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