What Arduino to chose?

Hi everybody! First I apologize for my english, I'm italian!

After that I wish to ask you what should I buy as my first Arduino! I'm pretty new with this, I'm studying Computer Engineering (I think that abroad should be Computer Science, IT or something like that).

My goal would be a Table with 64 leds (8x8), hoping with touch input. I know this would be kinda impossible right now, but I'll be patient and I'll start with something more easy!

So, do you think that any Arduino will fit my project? Will be that impossible or will just take time?

Thanks for all! ;D

Well, 8*8 is suprising small, actually, except when you put the leds far away from each other. But touch input will be difficult, you'll have to mess around with phototransistors and infrared lights if you want a reasonable surface. Controlling an 8*8 matrix (in a led matrix the leds are arranged in a way they use less pins) won't be a big problem to a begginer. You can see some examples online and in e-books (like the popular ASK manual - http://www.earthshineelectronics.com/files/ASKManualRev4.pdf). And the "what arduino to choose?"-question: I would go for an Uno or Duemilanove. You won't need all the extra pins the Mega has. You're lucky, you live in Italy, which is the home country of Arduino. Arduino Uno link: http://www.smartprj.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=46 Arduino Uno kit link: http://www.smartprj.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=10 Note: this is just a sample e-shop in Italy, there are others too. http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Buy and look in the ones under Italy, then you'll have cheap shipping costs.

Thanks for the reply! It's good to read that maybe not everything will be hard! I wish to make something like this video I saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIRebcf5_B4 Amazing..

Obviously I'll have to do a lot of training before!

And thanks for the help, I was thinking about the Uno, but I didn't know if it would be enough! ;D

Well, if you want a big touch interface like that, and you have enough money, I would go for the MEGA.

Wouldn’t that be overkill?
Need just 2 output shift registers in the X & Y output plane to drive the LEDs, and an input register to read in the touch sensor along the bottom. Or 2 input registers if want to read individual squares. Color only being one state or the other makes it easier.

Here’s an idea to turn the 2 colors on…

Wooo.. I think it's too soon for that! xD

I wish to ask you exactly what is it but.. well.. I really don't know what to ask you! xD

Are you still saying that an Andruino Uno will be enough? ;D

Sure, build this up into an 8x8 matrix, connect the Xs to one shift register and the Ys to another.

Just build up 1 start tho, get your values worked out so your intensitys are comparable. Don't drive the transistors from arduino pins directly, make sure to put some kind of current limit resistor in front of the base.

Any arduino should do as long as you can connect it up to some multiplexers. I personally use the duemillanove, and cannot find any faults with it at all.

Provided you can multiplex it, you should be fine. And good luck!

duemillanove is good for prototyping, but not for building into something. For that I prefer something with pins that can into a socket where more wires can be connected, or where wires can be permantently installed onto the arduino vs stuck in a female header waiting to fall out. Promini is good for that - or one of the clones that basically chip size. I bought 10 Prominis a while back from gravitech.us, best price around, and they have worked very well for me for building into projects.

So basically at first i should buy an Arduino Uno for prototyping and experimenting and after, when I've found what I want and I wish to build it permanently, it's better (and cheaper) to do it with a smaller microcontroller, like a Pro or a Pro Mini?

But.. ehm.. I know it's an "idiot" question but... how do you program a Pro/ProMini? You have to attach directly the cables of the usb?

For the Promini, you need an "ARD-Programmer" (which is an FTDI Basic from Sparkfun) from Gravitech.us. ($13). I have built up 9 things so far with Promini's ($17 from gravitech). So thats $90 I've saved vs buying 9 Duemilanoves, easily made the adapter worth it.

You can also leave connected to monitor the serial port during debug.

If I decide to go with an RBBB from Modern Devices or an Ardweeny from Solarbotics http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/rbbb-kit http://www.solarbotics.com/products/kardw

or my own version of something I can use it for those also.