Hi, New to this forum and never even heard about Arduino until about 2 weeks ago. About me and my project: I'm a sailor with a passion about aquariums, but it's difficult to combine my work with my hobby, since I'm away from home every other month. My girlfriend does sadly not share my passion, and will not be able to do anything except feed my fish from time to time, which leaves everything else untouched for a month at a time. By everything else I mean water change, testing the water quality, dosing CO2 and other fertilizers, monitoring pH value, controlling lights and temperature and probably a bit more. Basically I want to ask for some advice about choosing the right board/option for me.
What I will need to control: Around 14-15 servos, this might become higher with time... Around 2-3 x Stepper motors Around 6 relays for switching 220 Volt 1 x Color sensor (for determining value of different tests) 2 x Float switches (for sensing water level) 3-4 x Optical sensors (for counting drops of falling liquid) 1 x TFT screen (TFT01 3.2”) 1 x Temperature sensor (waterproof) 1 x pH electrode 1 x RCT time module 1 x Ethernet module and maybe some cameras because it's possible :-)
So, about the Arduino board. From that I can see from the list above, it's a hell of a lot of connections. I understand that I can't control everything just from the Arduino board, but will need some controller boards and of course more power that the Arduino board can supply, so no problem there. What I'm worried about the the number of connections, which I think is more than even the Mega 2560 can handle. So what can I do? Will the Mega together with the Mux Shield (don't understand very well how it works though) be a good option? Or will I be better of with combining 2 or more Mega boards in a master/slave configuration? Any advice will much appreciated.
Kind regards Hans Jakup