A newer, smaller, Arduino Mega2560 R3 Controller

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A newer, smaller, Arduino Mega2560 R3 Controller

Postby OldAirmail » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:27 pm

Smaller isn't always better, but sometimes it's more desirable. Cheaper helps a lot too, :D

So here's Part 1 of the search for a smaller Arduino Mega2560 R3, one of the Arduinos that Ulrich, over at SPAD.neXt, believes to be a good choice for a SPAD.neXt connected controller in addition to, or along with, an Arduino Teensy.

Limiting the number of Arduino type boards is probably the best way to avoid headaches, and lets face it - simpler can be a lot better at times.


For those new to these posts, the Arduino is a multipurpose controller board. The pins on the board can, within limits, work as input or outputs - i.e. one Arduino board can provide switches, buttons, encoders, single or 7 segment LED displays at a price and size well below other solutions such as the Leo Bodnar boards which are EITHER contact based, or LED output oriented. And, as far as I know, can't control 7 segment displays.

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Where the Teensy has a large speed advantage over other Arduinos, the Mega2560 has a larger physical connector advantage. The choice of those 2 will give people the ability to make everything from small standalone flight controllers to full sized cockpits. Best of all, you can mix and match as needed for the controller size.



Mistakes, mistakes.

Here's what I have at the moment.
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As soon as my Mega2560-CORE mini came in I realized my mistake - It takes a funky non-USB connector. At least it wasn't an expensive mistake. :oops:



This is what I have now, and what I've reordered.

Mega2560 R3 Pro Mini (funky)
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USB Mega2560 R3 Pro Mini
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While I wait for the USB version to arrive, I tested the "funky" Mega2560 R3 Pro Mini.

Using the Arduino IDE (the software that actually puts the code on the Arduino board), every Mega2560 R3 code that I tried will run on BOTH the Mega2560 R3, and the (funky) Mega2560 R3 Mini.

Success? Not quite. When I tried the MobiFlight Connector software the new board wasn't recognized. That in it's self isn't unheard of. the MobiFlight software can be very picky about any variance in Mega2560 R3 boards.

So for now, we have a newer, smaller, Mega2560 R3 compatible board that only costs a little more than a "standard" Mega2560 R3. If the USB version works out, that would be great.

It may not be a problem at all, time will tell.
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
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Re: A newer, smaller, Arduino Mega2560 R3 Controller

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:57 pm

I just got home and found a small package waiting for me - A Mega2560 Pro Mini.

Before I even cooled down, I had the box opened and connected to the computer for a very quick test.

If you want to use an Arduino to easily connect to your flight sim there are 2 programs, at this time, that are important to you - The Arduino IDE, and/or MobiFlight.

There is another, older, program that has been abandoned by it's creator - Link2FS. The latest update on that was in 2014, with most of the work from 2012 or earlier. There are people who do get good results from Link2FS, but I'd rather use a program that is still being improved.


ANYWAY, I've tested the new Mega2560 Pro Mini board with both the Arduino IDE AND MobiFlight and it was instantly recognized by the software. Everything tested out perfect.

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Microcontroller ATmega2560 key points from epalsite.com
Atmega16U2 chip as the USB to Serial converter
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 54 (of which 15 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins 16
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 8 KB
EEPROM 4 KB
Clock Speed 16 MHz
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

Image
. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
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