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Author Topic: Arduino Mega 2560 R3 vs. Uno R3 for beginners {Raspberry Pi}  (Read 13926 times)
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Well I just got the Raspberry Pi a few days ago and am thinking about purchasing an Arduino to hook up to it. I am a complete beginner and am still learning about these topics.

I was just wondering what would be good for beginners, the Uno R3 or the 2560. The 2560 is only $5 more on this website: http://www.fasttech.com/products/1008/10000015/1101400

Which would be good for me? I don't mind spending an extra $5 if it will be a good long term investment, but in terms of simplicity, Raspberry Pi connectivity, etc. which should I buy?

And if you could also let me know what components are required, that would be great. It comes with a USB cable. I am also ordering a breadboard and various resistors/jumper wires/the whole deal that I should be able to use with the Raspberry Pi alone but also the Arudino.

Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.
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First off that board is a Chinese copy not a real Arduino.

First clue - it's $15.  Second, its a picture of the real Arduino Mega but the "Made in Italy" in the upper left corner is blocked out.

You might have a lot of problems with the fake Arduino, and some people here despise them.

As for the Mega vs. Uno, it depends what you are going to use it for.
If you want to learn basic electronics, how to let smoke out of components, the Uno is great.

The Mega has more "horsepower" under the hood, is larger and has many more digital and analog pins.
If you are only connecting a few sensor or components up the Uno is a better choice.

Also, if you connect something wrong and fry the main chip, it is easily replace with the Uno.
On the Mega you will be learning how to remove surface mounted ICs, reflow soldering, etc.

My main advice is buy the Arduino from a reputable dealer, such as Sparkfun or Adafruit.
You will be getting the real deal and supporting the inventors, not the copiers.
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First off that board is a Chinese copy not a real Arduino.

First clue - it's $15.  Second, its a picture of the real Arduino Mega but the "Made in Italy" in the upper left corner is blocked out.

You might have a lot of problems with the fake Arduino, and some people here despise them.

As for the Mega vs. Uno, it depends what you are going to use it for.
If you want to learn basic electronics, how to let smoke out of components, the Uno is great.

The Mega has more "horsepower" under the hood, is larger and has many more digital and analog pins.
If you are only connecting a few sensor or components up the Uno is a better choice.

Also, if you connect something wrong and fry the main chip, it is easily replace with the Uno.
On the Mega you will be learning how to remove surface mounted ICs, reflow soldering, etc.

My main advice is buy the Arduino from a reputable dealer, such as Sparkfun or Adafruit.
You will be getting the real deal and supporting the inventors, not the copiers.

I knew it was too good to be true. I didn't know there were fake Arduino's, thanks for letting me know. I have decided to go with the Uno in that case, since I am just starting out.

What about Amazon? It seems to be about $10 cheaper here, it looks pretty real to me:

http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Rev-3-Uno-R3/dp/B006H06TVG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357353028&sr=8-1&keywords=uno+r3

or

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=4677

I found it from the official distributor list on the Arduino website, I might just buy it from this microcontrollershop website. No way to confirm the Amazon one really considering it isn't on the official distributors page.

EDIT: Sorry for the newbie question but what is the difference between an Uno R3 and the Duemilanove? They look the same to me and are similarly priced.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 09:55:00 pm by AMirza » Logged

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The Uno differs from all preceding boards in that it does not use the FTDI USB-to-serial driver chip. Instead, it features the Atmega16U2 (Atmega8U2 up to version R2) programmed as a USB-to-serial converter.  Some people have had problems with this chip, search the forums to find out more.

 1.0 pinout: added SDA and SCL pins that are near to the AREF pin and two other new pins placed near to the RESET pin, the IOREF that allow the shields to adapt to the voltage provided from the board. In future, shields will be compatible both with the board that use the AVR, which operate with 5V and with the Arduino Due that operate with 3.3V. The second one is a not connected pin, that is reserved for future purposes.

The bootloader is different, smaller in size and allows sketches to upload faster.

Otherwise the board is the same shape, pins are the same, and the shields are compatible with both.

I am using the Duemilanove, and I bought a new ATMega328P chip and burned the Uno bootloader on it.
Works fine, and my Duemilanove now boots and loads faster.  Just have to select Uno instead of Duemilanove in the Arduino IDE (programming software).

On the bottom of the hardware page was this link, it shows all the past and present versions.
http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Boards
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 11:00:10 pm by JD3 » Logged

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You might have a lot of problems with the fake Arduino, and some people here despise them.

I've got a 328 arduino and a mega, both made in china, and both work as expected. What makes you think electronics made in italy are better than electronics made in china? Of all the electronics you own, how many are made italy? How many are made in china? ever own an italian car? I've had good service from the below vendor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Funduino-Mega-2560-ATmega2560-16AU-Board-Arduino-compatible-Free-USB-Cable-/251143019741?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a794a5cdd
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You might have a lot of problems with the fake Arduino, and some people here despise them.

I've got a 328 arduino and a mega, both made in china, and both work as expected. What makes you think electronics made in italy are better than electronics made in china? Of all the electronics you own, how many are made italy? How many are made in china? ever own an italian car? I've had good service from the below vendor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Funduino-Mega-2560-ATmega2560-16AU-Board-Arduino-compatible-Free-USB-Cable-/251143019741?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a794a5cdd


Wow, pretty good price. Are fake Arduino's really as bad as everyone say they are? I mean I'd love to support the creators though, they worked hard on it.

EDIT: Hold on, why is the fake one 25V and the real one 16V? Look at the bottom left (capacictor is what I think they are called).

http://www.fasttech.com/products/1008/10000015/1001700

http://arduino.cc/en/uploads/Main/ArduinoUno_R3_Front.jpg
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 11:23:44 pm by AMirza » Logged

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Are fake Arduino's really as bad as everyone say they are?

So who are the "everybody" you are quoting?
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JD3 as well as some other people with a bit of research.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=1535.0

If you look at my previous post that is edited I noticed two different voltages. I believe that will make a difference considering how I will need to use different resistors?

I mean, I can save a significant amount of money (66%) by buying a Chinese version but I'm not sure if it's worth it (any problems with Chinese knockoffs?).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 11:29:30 pm by AMirza » Logged

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JD3 as well as some other people with a bit of research.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=1535.0

If you look at my previous post that is edited I noticed two different voltages. I believe that will make a difference considering how I will need to use different resistors?

I mean, I can save a significant amount of money (66%) by buying a Chinese version but I'm not sure if it's worth it (any problems with Chinese knockoffs?).

Where in the link you provide is any statement made that the italian arduinos are any better in quality than the chinese made arduinos?  smiley-roll
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Wow, pretty good price. Are fake Arduino's really as bad as everyone say they are? I mean I'd love to support the creators though, they worked hard on it.


Actual the term 'fake' is a misnomer as the arduino folks have released all the hardware design files to be open sourced from their very beginning. They never intended to be the only source for their board designs.

 What the arduino folks have tried to get others to respect and obey is their trademark of the Arduino name and the various branding artwork and that is why there are so many funny named boards ending with a -uino suffix. The quality of Asian 'arduino compatible' boards may vary from firm to firm but of the couple I've bought they were first class and have stood up as well as the 'real' arduino boards I have. Some of the Chinese firms do try and stay away from branding and naming violation, but most are pretty blatant and try and make it near impossible to tell that it's not a 'real' arduino board.

 So buy what you want for the reasons you want, but don't believe all the hate and anger some try and hoist on every Chinese seller of arduino compatible boards, as some are playing by the rules and there is not a quality question on most of them in my opinion.

Lefty
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Wow, pretty good price. Are fake Arduino's really as bad as everyone say they are? I mean I'd love to support the creators though, they worked hard on it.


Actual the term 'fake' is a misnomer as the arduino folks have released all the hardware design files to be open sourced from their very beginning. They never intended to be the only source for their board designs.

 What the arduino folks have tried to get others to respect and obey is their trademark of the Arduino name and the various branding artwork and that is why there are so many funny named boards ending with a -uino suffix. The quality of Asian 'arduino compatible' boards may vary from firm to firm but of the couple I've bought they were first class and have stood up as well as the 'real' arduino boards I have. Some of the Chinese firms do try and stay away from branding and naming violation, but most are pretty blatant and try and make it near impossible to tell that it's not a 'real' arduino board.

 So buy what you want for the reasons you want, but don't believe all the hate and anger some try and hoist on every Chinese seller of arduino compatible boards, as some are playing by the rules and there is not a quality question on most of them in my opinion.

Lefty

Thanks for you response, and I guess a benefit of buying an official one is that you know it will be good. With Chinese ones you can never tell. Could you please link me to the Chinese ones you bought or some reputable sites? I'm just a teenager with a pretty low budget and would love to save some money. All due respect to the creators though.
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Could you please link me to the Chinese ones you bought or some reputable sites?

Sorry, I just normally shop for such stuff on E-bay and tend to buy on impulse so I have little memory on what firm I purchased what from. Just read the listings, look at the sellers feedback count and percentage positive. Most Asian sellers I've dealt with on E-bay are very protective of their feedback ratings and will normally work well with you on any issues, I've had only a couple of issues in maybe a hundred purchases and both were just having the wrong thing shipped which was corrected. The biggest issue many have with the Asian sellers is the rather longer shipping time then in country sellers can do. Here on the west coast I usually get my stuff in 10-11 days which is fine by me. As I'm retired the fasted clock I go by is a seasonable one.  smiley-wink

Typical search for Uno R3 on E-bay
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_BIN=1&_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=arduino+Uno+R3&_sop=10
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Could you please link me to the Chinese ones you bought or some reputable sites?

Sorry, I just normally shop for such stuff on E-bay and tend to buy on impulse so I have little memory on what firm I purchased what from. Just read the listings, look at the sellers feedback count and percentage positive. Most Asian sellers I've dealt with on E-bay are very protective of their feedback ratings and will normally work well with you on any issues, I've had only a couple of issues in maybe a hundred purchases and both were just having the wrong thing shipped which was corrected. The biggest issue many have with the Asian sellers is the rather longer shipping time then in country sellers can do. Here on the west coast I usually get my stuff in 10-11 days which is fine by me. As I'm retired the fasted clock I go by is a seasonable one.  smiley-wink

Typical search for Uno R3 on E-bay
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_BIN=1&_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=arduino+Uno+R3&_sop=10


Yeah, shipping from China takes ages. Thanks for all your help but one last question - as you can see, the bottom left of most Chinese made Arduino boards says 25V, although the official one says 16V. Will this be a problem at all?
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Yeah, shipping from China takes ages. Thanks for all your help but one last question - as you can see, the bottom left of most Chinese made Arduino boards says 25V, although the official one says 16V. Will this be a problem at all?

You would have to post a specific link, but I suspect it's not an issue as all the Uno designs are based on the same major components.

Lefty
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+1 for the "fake" term being a misnomer.  They may be low-quality (or not) but if it is truly arduino compatible, then it's not a "fake".

That aside, the "official" brand Uno R3 is on sale right now locally for $15.99.  I picked up a couple new ones at that price, as my last free Uno was put into a semi-permanent home in my new alarm panel.  I also have a couple of Due boards and a couple of RasPi on my workbench too... the Uno is the workhorse for all my projects though.  It's cheap, extremely functional, and of the highest quality.  All my Unos have been "official".  I considered buying an unknown brand Mega ADK... settled on the Due for that purpose instead.

As an aside, OP: why are you wanting to hook up an Arduino board to your RasPi?  There are certainly ways to use them in tandem, but all this discussion of how cool or cheap or crappy or awesome the chinese versions are has perhaps detracted from this important point.  Are you sure you need a separate microcontroller?  It seems like maybe you want a shield for the RasPi that would let you use arduino shields... or maybe another purpose... forgive me if I'm off base, it just seems like you might not yet have figured out what you really want.  Being new to the arena myself, I have gone through many iterations of knowing exactly what I wanted to buy, just to change my mind the next day or the next week. smiley

If you *do* want an Uno (and hey, I think every household should have at least one), here's a link to where you can get the official Uno R3 for $16 +shipping from a solid company: http://www.microcenter.com/product/392614/Arduino_Uno_Rev_3

good luck and many happy projects!

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