I'm working on planning out a project with a Mega1280. The project I want to tackle is for an engine swap in my truck. I want to take CANBUS data from my new engine into the Mega and use it to fake the engine inputs of the old ECU. This will allow the existing computer to drive all the existing things in the truck (dashboard, transmission, etc) with a different engine.
Now the tricky bit is I currently have only a basic knowledge of electronics, so I've got a big mountain of things to learn before I can build a reliable setup. I've decided to start with tackling how to power the Mega. Automotive power is "12V", but it's really more like 14-15V while the engine is running. The recommended specs say 7V-12V, but 6V-20V is allowable.
I came across this thread about powering an andruino with 12V, and it seemed to indicate that at higher voltages the voltage regulator would overheat. What's the ideal input voltage for an adruino and how many amps does it need? Can I just use the stock 14V from the car if I don't use the arduino to power anything else? Automotive sensors generally operate at 5V, so I'll have a 5V supply from the old ECU that I can use instead of the onboard power.
I hope my knowledge gaps aren't too great here and you can understand what I'm trying to figure out. Looking forward to learning and getting this project worked out. (Yes, I realize I probably have months ahead of me before I'm even close to getting this working).