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What is Arduino Mega 2560? A Getting Started Guide

EmmaAshely
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In this post today, I’ll walk you through Arduino Mega 2560 in detail. Arduino is an open-source platform that provides both software and hardware protocols to develop devices and design electronic projects that can interact with the real world.

Technically speaking, Arduino is a development board based on a microcontroller, however, Arduino also refers to the manufacturers who develop these boards, and it also refers to the community in which experts, hobbyists, and like-minded people collaborate about compatible boards that work like Arduino boards.

I suggest you read this post all the way through as I’ll cover each and everything related to Arduino Mega 2560 including What is Arduino Mega 2560, its pinout, pin description, programming, and applications.

What is Arduino Mega 2560?

Arduino Mega 2560 is a development electronic board based on the Atmega2560 microcontroller.

This board is a good match for projects that require more GPIO pins and memory space because it carries 16 analog pins and 54 digital I/O pins out of which 15 pins are used for PWM output.

The board comes with a DC power jack to power up this unit and you can also turn on the board using VIN pin on the board. The unit also supports a USB interface where a USB cable is used to connect the board with the computer.

Image of an Arduino Mega 2560 Board

The Arduino Mega 2560 is similar to Arduino UNO but comes with more GPIO pins, more memory space, and is bigger in size.

The unit also supports the ICSP header which is used to program the board without disconnecting it from the main circuitry.

Two voltage regulators are included on the board through which you can regulate the voltage as you like better.

Arduino Mega 2560 is programmed using Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software that is the official software introduced by Arduino.cc

The ATmega2560 controller on the board comes with 256 KB of flash memory used for storing code (out of which 8 KB is used for the Bootloader), while the SRAM is 8 KB of SRAM and EEPROM is 4 KB of EEPROM.

Arduino Mega 2560 Pinout

The following figure shows the pinout diagram of Arduino Mega 2560.

Pinout of the Arduino Mega 2560

Arduino Mega 2560 Pin Description

In this section, we’ll cover the pin description of each pin incorporated on the board.

Digital I/O Pins: There are total of 54 digital I/O pins available on the board which can be used to connect the board with external components.

PWM: 15 pins are used for PWM which is a process used to control the speed of the motor or brightness of the LED.

LED: This is the built-in LED connected to pin 13. When 5V is provided to this pin, it will turn ON the LED while ground or zero V will turn it OFF.

Analogue Pins: There are 16 analogue pins incorporated on the board marked as A0 to A15. These pins can measure voltage from ground to 5V and each pin is a 10-bit resolution pin.

GND: This board carries 5 ground pins which are used for projects where more than one ground is required.

External Interrupts: Six pins are reserved for generating external interrupts. Those are pin number 0, 3, 18, 19, 20 & 21.

Reset: This is the reset pin of the board. This pin is useful when your code gets stuck in the middle of the running program, pressing this pin will reset the code compiled into the board.

Vin: This is the input voltage of the board which ranges from 6V to 12V, however, recommended input voltage ranges from 7V to 12V.

AREF: This is the analogue reference voltage that is a reference voltage for the analogue inputs.

USART Communication: The board comes with USART serial communication where two pins TX and RX are used for the transmission and receiving of serial data.

SPI Communication: The device supports SPI (serial peripheral interface) communication which allows the transmission of data between the controller and other peripheral devices.

I2C Communication: The unit supports the I2C serial communication protocol where two pins 20 & 21 are reserved for this communication. The 20 is an SDA pin which is a serial data line used for holding the data and the 21 is an SCL pin which is a serial clock line used employed for offering data synchronization between the devices.

How to Program Arduino Mega 2560

Arduino Mega 2560 can be programmed using Arduino IDE software which is an official Arduino software used to program all Arduino boards. This software is used for writing, compiling, and uploading the code into the Arduino board.

This unit comes with a USB interface so a USB cable can be used to connect the device with the computer through which you can transfer sketch (Arduino program is called a sketch) to the board. Moreover, this software is open-source which means it is free to use and anyone can use this software to allow the board to work as per the number of instructions you send from this software to the Arduino board.

The board carries a built-in Bootloader which means you don’t require an external burner to burn the code into the Arduino device.

Arduino Mega 2560 board showing connection points

Applications:

This board can work as a stand-alone project or can be integrated with other Arduino boards, Arduino shields, and raspberry pi boards. This unit is recommended for electronic projects that require more memory space and GPIO pins.

The following are the applications of this Arduino mega board.

  • Parallel programming and Multitasking
  • Can control more than one motors
  • Home automation and security systems
  • Embedded Systems
  • Interfacing of number of sensors
  • Sensing and detecting temperature
  • Water level detection projects
  • Developing 3D printer
  • IoT applications

Hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you’re unsure have any questions, you can pop your comment in the section below. I’d love to help you the best way I can. Thank you for reading the article.

HI, I am a student of Electrical Engineering. I am currently working for an electronic store. I work at the electrical components there. I am learning many useful practical concepts there. On the other hand, I give online tuitions to some students of high school I love electrical and electronics devices and have a plan to have a Master's Degree in Electronics.

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