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Topic: Arduino- when is one never enough? (Read 7506 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi Chaps

Having merely scratched the surface in my few weeks as an arduino owner I have come to realise I am going to need more than the one arduino I have. This is in part due to the huge quantity of neat,cool,brilliant, amazing projects and codes available to all.

I will be making my own PCB's and using my clone to program the various units as I go.

How long did it take you to realise that one was never going to be enough?




Even before I bought my first Ardunio. I designed some projects and I always ended up using at least one port expander or shiftregister. If I had more money I would have bought an Arduino Mega or two Unos instead of just one Uno.



Just a few weeks, maybe a month, after buying my first I bought 2 RBBBs, though as stated I probably already knew I was going to need something more than a stander Uno board. Many of the projects I have in mine require small spaces and an Uno just wouldn't fit.


As soon as I'd done my first proper project I realised that I'd need more.  Fortunately I wasn't in a hurry to buy as I've now realised what I actually need to do is start making my own circuits for finished products rather than using a whole arduino.


Cowjam hit it on the head.

My first was an Adafruit Boarduino, now I've got a real Arduino also.  I would recommend the Boarduino as an intermediate step- it's well designed, has it's own regulator, and can be set up as a really big DIP directly into a breadboard or other PCB. 

Minimally, all you really need is the ATMEGA chip, a resonator or crystal, and a couple of capacitors and you have it.. about six bucks.  If the sketch is smaller than the 32k in the 328, you might even consider a ATMEGA168, which have 16k or ATMEGA88, with 8k.  The price break isn't really as big as you'd like it to be though- and you can also easily purchase 328's with Arduino bootloader burned on them off of Ebay for five to six dollars.

My boarduino has become a permanent fixture in my frakenstein of a camera controller...


Ta for mentioning the boarduino - having just fried an RFDuino I need to get a replacement :(


having just fried an RFDuino I need to get a replacement

Get a smokeless version.  :)


having just fried an RFDuino I need to get a replacement

Get a smokeless version.  :)

I heard they make those now

They call them




I planned for multiple arduinos right off the bat. Deumeilanove for development/test, Promini for embedded application.
Have 13 in use at my fencing club right now, building up the next pair of boxes right now, you can see the Promini & its programming pins next to the Red LEDs.
Its on a piece of perf board with a couple of shift registers, 7406, MOSFET amplifier, all wirewrapped up.
This goes on one end of a fencing strip, the other end has the LED CCAs, serial connector, and promini only

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.


I bought my second Mega when I got sick of running outside to get a "lock" with my EM-406 GPS module!
With the same order I bought a Sparkfun XBee retail pack, which worked out cheaper than buying 2 XBee's, an XBee shield and an XBee explorer.

So now when I'm working on my GPS code I have my Mega + GPS + XBee outside powered with a battery and the Mega I'm working with is in here with me, it thinks it's talking directly to the EM-406!

THEN when I started working on a monitoring system for the turkey barns I bought 2 SeeedStudio Mega clones and 10 ATMEGA328P's with the Arduino bootloader, along with 4 XBee Pro modules and  breakout boards for them plus a genuine Duemilanove that I've been using to program the '328's with.

In Barn 1 there are 8 separate water lines, Barn 2 has 4 water lines, each line is going to have a SeeedStudio water flow sensor with my "Barnduino" board talking to a Mega clone over a serial link.
Each Mega clone has a Sparkfun "HUGE" serial backpack LCD display, an SHT15 temperature/humidity sensor, 4 x 24LC256 EEPROM's, a DS1307 RTC and an XBee Pro module.
I'm logging hourly temperature and humidity values, as well as the min/max values for the past 24 hours.

So far I only have one water flow sensor on a water line, as soon as I get an idea of what "normal" water usage is all the water lines will be fitted.
Depending on how well this works I may put a solenoid water valve after the flow sensor.
The whole point of this is when the <expletive censored> turkeys break something on a water line or turn a tap on, (yes they do that, many beaks make light work!) an alarm will sound and trip the solenoid valve.
It costs us a fortune in clean sawdust and my labour time when the <expletive censored> turkeys empty our 2000 litre header tank into the shed.
The water spill I catch after a few minutes is a lot easier to clean up than a spill that has been going for a few hours.

The XBee modules in the barns are talking to my genuine Mega here in the house and we can see current temperature using my TellyMate shield on an old Amiga composite monitor in the kitchen.
This saves me walking down to the barns every half hour to check the birds and leaves me with more time to code my projects.
To that end I have 4 more SeeedStudio Mega clones and a couple more XBee Pro mudules on the way.

You can never have enough Arduino's, ASUS eee netbooks, Desktop machines!


Dear lord, dude, do you have a writeup and photos on that system?

I grew up a back-woods Wisconsin kid, and the type of system that you outline there is truly impressive!  What an awesome project.  Have you considered commercializing something like that?  Sure it's a niche market.. but a general-purpose farm systems controller would be highly marketable (and probably high profit)..


As soon as I get it all working well enough to show I'll post details!
It's REAL beta right now!


Well, even if you post a "hey, this is what I'm doing, whaddaya think?" level of that, I for one would love the read.  It would probably generate a lot of interest, simply because it's just the kind of DIY ingenuity folks around here like to see.  There's a guy on here that's using Arduino to control a compressed-air engine timing.. lots of interesting challenges there... and it's generated a TON of really good input and assistance on his project, cuz we geeks like a good geekout.   Something about it being Turkey farming (one of the dumbest animals on the planet) just makes it all the more awesome..  looking forward to it.  Don't be surprised when that gets featured in MAKE..



Yes, turkeys are pretty silly, but really curious!

It is a bad, bad combination!
The number of ways I've seen them neck themselves is amazing!

By the way, I'm doing a range test right now between 2 60mW XBee modules with 3dBi "rubber duck" antenna's.
I've got my Deminilova in the barn running the Sensirion test sketch for the SHT15, the range is about 150 metres and the sensing Arduino is IN the barn!

Working like a charm!

Whaaa Hoooo!


I wouldn't buy a second board any day soon, I'd rather build a stand alone board if I make something I want to keep.
For now I am still figuring out most of the programming and what I am gonna build next :)

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