i am currently developing some sort of LED display thing with several 7 segment displays driven by MAX7219 clones, which are connected to an Arduino Uno Board with 5 wires (VCC, GND, CLK, LOAD, SDATA). The Uno itself recieves data over the built in USB/Serial connection from a PC periodically (lets say at 10Hz).
The whole hardware and software works just fine, everything is just as I wanted it to be. So far so good.
It now comes to the point where I want to integrate the whole thing into its application environment, so that arises the question of with which Arduino Board I want to do that.
My problem with that is, that i am not sure, which one that would be, so i am showing you the requirements i have:
1) Most important : I really do need the Data from the PC, so the USB Connection MUST be present as it is with the Uno, that is acting as a serial port in Windows.
2) Second important : The board must be as small as possible, as the environment dont offer much space, the Uno is too big.
3) I at least need those 5 wires plus 4 for an extension i currently have in mind. So lets say 10 digital i/o would be fairly enough.
4) Power supply : The whole thing is currently running on USB power. I might be around the limits of USB, but everything is working stable, so i think that is good to go. Anyway i don't know if other Boards than the Uno can forward the same amount of current (USB is up to 500mA i think).
I had the Nano in mind, but it seems to be discontinued (?) as it is not available at most of the dealers. I saw a HK-clone on ebay, but i dont wanna take the risk of it not being 100% compatible.
I also saw the LilyPad. It has beautiful dimensions for my application, but I am not sure, how the USB/Serial connection will work on that one, plus i am not sure in terms of power supply and stuff (see above).
I also would be able to build the whole Arduino-Boardy myself, but not with SMD stuff, so i suppose that kills req #2...plus i dont have things available to burn the Bootloader and stuff (i think
). So forget that idea
I would appreciate any suggestions to clear my undecidedness in that questions
Thanks, looking forward to your answers.