I have an A1302 hall effect sensor that outputs an analog voltage proportional to the magnetic field. I'm mostly interested on lower field values (of the same polarity) and I'd like to increase sensitivity while decreasing range. I'm thinking about feeding a 2.5V to the AREF pin, which would effective double the resolution over the 0-2.5V range.
My question is what happens if the sensor outputs a voltage higher than AREF on an analog pin - will it cap the value, overflow like a variable or burn the ATMega?
Don't wanna try before asking for obvious reasons
Having the analog input pin go over the voltage value of the voltage applied to the AREF pin (and having selected the external voltage reference) is not a problem, no damage, just that any value => then AREF will all return a 1023 count when you perform the analogRead(). The risk of electrical damage is if you have a voltage wired to the AREF pin but then select one of the internal voltage references there is a current path that can cause damage. See the warning caution in the arduino reference section ( http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/AnalogReference
Also note that the arduino mega board has a built in internal reference option of 2.56vdc and 1.1vdc while the Uno has only a optional 1.1vdc internal reference.