In need of some project guidance

Brand new to these forums, but I’m definitively excited to get started working with the arduino!
So I’ll get right into it. I’ve been planning a project to automate my brew day. I need to interface with 3 thermocouple temperature probes and have ~10 digital inputs and outputs to control. I’ve found thermocouple amplifiers I think I can use with the Arduino here: and I am planning on using a ethernet shield to communicate with the Arduino wirelessly from my Android.

So my question. Will the Arduino Mega 2560 be able to handle all 3 thermocouple amplifier breakout boards as well as the ethernet shield? If not, which Arduino do you recommend?

I can’t wait to get going on this.


Looks like that breakout board uses 3 digital pins plus GND and +5V. If you are using 3, then you will need 9 free digital pins. Seems doable if you have enough free pins.

I guess I'm confused how the breakout board works. I can understand the board needing 5V and GND, but why does it connect to digital pins? Wouldn't it need to connect to the analog input instead?

Also in this picture here, it shows the breakout board connected directly to an UNO, but I don't see anywhere on the UNO that has GND, VCC, and 3 digital pins in a row like that.

That's not an UNO.

You can get ground by setting a digital output LOW and +5V by setting one HIGH.

Ok, that makes sense, but why would the TC breakoutboard attach to 3 other digital points rather than an analog in?

And to properly hook up this ethernet shield:, I only need to provide 5V and connect pins 10, 11, 12, and 13 to digital points on the Arduino (And I assume configure those digital points in the sketch for the shield)? Are there other connections I'm missing? I just want to make sure I have all I/O accounted for before I buy the board.

Thanks for all the help guys.

It connects to digital pins because it is a digital SPI device. It says so on the product page you linked to.

Ok, so in the case of the mega 2560 the only SPI pins are 50-53. This can handle one SPI device, yet I want to have 4 in total (3 TC adapters and the ethernet shield). Can all 4 of these devices be stacked in parallel with each other? Or can only 1 SPI device be on those pins?

You can bit-bang SPI on any three pins.

Thanks AWOL, being new to bit banging, do you have any reference links or tutorials to control multiple SPI devices? Then I'll let the thread die in peace.

Have you tried to google "bit-bang SPI Arduino"?

I have been every since you mentioned bit banging.

I've found some sites as such, but nothing that really explains how to communicate with multiple devices

Try googling SPI wiki.