Compatible components

What's up everyone,

I am new to the Arduino platform and I want to dive quickly into it. I have read up on the specifications, white papers, and development language with the environment.

I would like to know how I can determine whether any given component will be compatible with Duemilanove. That is, how could I tell that the component will comply with the various libraries?

This is a really broad question, so it's hard to be specific. But... you need to start reading Data sheets.

Not everything you interface with will require a pre-built library. In fact, needing a library should be uncommon when just starting out.

Most work is done with the DIGITAL pins and the Arduino is what is called TTL Level Compatible. This means that parts that you interface should be driven by 5 volts.

Except from WIKI:

All standardized common TTL circuits operate with a 5-volt power supply. A TTL input signal is defined as "low" when between 0 V and 0.8 V with respect to the ground terminal, and "high" when between 2.2 V and 5 V11. TTL outputs are typically restricted to narrower limits of between 0 V and 0.4 V for a "low" and between 2.6 V and 5 V for a "high", providing 0.4V of noise immunity

This also means that the Analog pins operate at from 0 volts to 5 volts. 5 Volts should not be exceeded.

Knowing the TTL compatability and reading Data Sheets should help answer your questions about parts.

So... if you buy a 3.3V part... you might need to do some "level" shifting. something to keep in mind.

In general, the Arduino is compatible with devices whose interface is a small number of pins (various types of relatively-slow speed serial protocols like I2C, SPI, TWI, Async, one-wire-protocol) but NOT with devices that use a large number of pins ("parallel" devices like RAM chips, DMA controllers, etc.) Like pwillard said, they should also be 5V for maximum compatibility.

Then again, there is a difference between theoretically compatible with Arduino, and "drops right in and starts working." If you'd like the latter, you should probably search at to see if anyone has already interfaced that chip or device to arduino.

Thanks, I appreciate the replies. I did learn a little more. However, I am now in question as to whether I should use a standard breadboard which has maybe 830-840 tie pins as opposed to the Arduino Proto Shield. I would like a little more space than what the mini-breadboards offer. Can anyone tell me what the advantages are of using the Proto Shield as opposed to a stand-off breadboard?

Can anyone tell me what the advantages are of using the Proto Shield as opposed to a stand-off breadboard?

They both have there uses. The larger breadboard are nice for first working out what external components are going to be needed and testing for proper desired operation. You have more room to work with and easier and quicker to make changes and additions to any give design project. Then later once your satisfied with the application you can mount all the external components actually used onto a protoshield for a more permanent completed project.

I would say if your new to Arduino and mostly wanting to learn new things then a breadboard would be a better starting out. Later you can acquire protoshields as needed.