Programming the Arduino mega

Sorry to ask such a simple question. Is the arduino programmable through the usb plug on the board or is this only for powering the mega I am curious as I do not have a computer with a serial port. Thanks

The "serial port" is basically a printer cable ... there for the end that would be in your computer is a normal usb... i don't know about the actual usb port

the usb port powers and programs the mega and supports serial communication between the host and the mega when a sketch is running

Thanks! I am planning a poject but know nothing about microcontroller so I am trying to learn the basics. I am good with mechanical systems and know some C++ but the electrical side is killing me. Hopefully it will all come together so I should be able to program the mega using my usb and then test the code powring it through usb to later implement it in the circuit where it will be battery powered. Correct?

Yes, it wil run off usb power unless you supply power through the jack or vin,
Remember the vin needs atleast 7 volts for the arduino to regulate it to 5 steadily, and try not to go to high over 12

Hey guys, One last question. I am getting ready to order the arduino board but I just want to make sure I should be able to program the arduino mega 2560 using my usb port on my laptop. That means I shouldnt need the mega adk which has the on board usb plug correct. I just want to make sure that I don't need the adk before I order the mega 2560. Thanks guys

you only need the adk if you want it to act as a host device. (i.e. for connecting it to an android phone)

without the ADK version it can only act as a slave, which should be fine in most applications.

you dont need the ADK for programming it on your laptop

Thanks. Is the wire used to connect the arduino to my laptop just a usb A to usb B wire? I just realized the onboard jack looks like a usb B plug not a typical serial port plug. Thanks for all of the help and fkeel I dont think I need the adk then because I am using it for an autonomous application or maybe a controller option but it will just be something like a hacked PSX controller or maybe a custom made push button controller.