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Topic: How do I know if a given component is compatible with Arduino? (Read 832 times) previous topic - next topic


This is an enormously newbie question and I wasn't sure what forum to put it in - Project Guidance seemed the closest to appropriate. I'm a long-time software developer completely new to electronics, microcontrollers, etc, so please bear with me. I have the vague feeling that I'm missing something important to even have to ask this question, and that "compatible" is probably the wrong word to use.

Anyway. I have just ordered an Arduino starter kit containing an Uno, and need some other components, such as an accelerometer and wifi capability. What should I look for to know if what I'm going to purchase will work with what I have? Will anything having a breakout board, for instance, be something that I can use? How can I know that I will be able to connect my Arduino board up to something like this: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10822 ? I imagine there are several different aspects to this: power supply, physical shape of connectors (requiring or not requiring soldering), digital compatibility for more complicated components such as wifi or GPS module, etc.

I'm finding that there is tons of information out there, but practically all of it assumes some prior knowledge that I seem to lack. If anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be incredibly appreciative.



Sure, it can be used.
Need a 3.3V power source, data sheets shows hundreds of milliamps needed.
Will connect to D0/D1 (Rx/Tx) on the arduino, or to software serial performing as a UART.
I think sparkfun also sells an Xbee Explorer shield that takes care of the power situation and making the data connection.

Anything can be made to connect to anything else with a little perserverance and reading/understanding data sheets.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


For that specific module, the RN-XV wifly, the easiest way to use it is via an XBee shield.  I've posted an example here: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,68007.msg664993.html#msg664993.

You can connect pretty much anything to the Arduino.  The important factors are what is needed to interface the module to the board (e.g. some kind of shield, or a roll-your-own approach with power and I/O voltage level matching), how it communicates with the Arduino, and what kind of software support is needed and available to use the module.

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