Another beginner with the same questions


I have had a look around the forum and can not fins the answers so please help if you can,

I am a qualified and licensed electrician and Instrument fitter and have a degree in electrical engineering so I am not totally useless or I am depending on your view point.

I have a project for an arduino, I want to automate my Aquaponics setup. Start and stop the fish feeder, and control some pumps dependent on level.

I have bought and arduino Mega, and some sensors and shields. I have an ultrasonic sensor for level, motor shield, Ethernet shield, LED's, relay board, power supply and a few resistors and caps and a real time clock.

My question is, how do all the shields work, do the stack onto each other and work independently - ie, address each one in the code and use multiple shields at one? or can I only use one shield, real time clock or the motor shield.

In my code I want to run the motor for a set period to feed the fish, and then monitor the inputs ( 4-20mA and some digital inputs),

Can you please advise the best way to do this, and are there any guides or tutes?

Thanks MM

Also what software do I need?, is there software for each shield?

As you are new to Arduino, I suggest you become familiar with each part on its own then put them together. Some shields stack on top of each other but use specific pins. Make sure you know what each shield uses before stacking. There may also be problems accessing the middle shield.

I presume you have downloaded the arduino IDE (editor). You may also need libraries to drive the particular shield. I also assume you have read the help and other tutorials at the beginning of the forums. There are also sample programs in the IDE.

There are also many good books on arduino projects. Google is your friend!?

The forum is here to assist in any problems but show you have tried before asking us to design the project.

The first thing newbies need to learn is how to put their code in its own window as seen in other posts. This can be done by placing     [code] and [/code]  around the code. This makes it easier for others to read.


Not a problem, I will read up each shield and try to write my code (in its entirety) and do a design spec, then if I have any problems I will come back, I think writing the code will be the easiest for me, I was just confused with the shields, as I thought it was similar to a PLC where each device connected straight to the controller.

Thanks MM

Some shields are too high to let another be mounted: the Ethernet shield is an example of that, where the RJ socket is a lot deeper than the headers so unless the next shield has looooong pins, you're screwed.

Shields aren't addressed, you just have to hope that you don't have a pin conflict: shieldlist will help with that.

If the worst comes to the worst, and you can't physically plug it in, you can of course hook it up with wires, always providing the pins don't conflict.

As to software for shields, yep some may require you to download a library (like Ethernet for instance); others won't.

Welcome, by the way!

ps... I asked mods to move this thread to a more appropriate forum section.