Arduino - Mega or Duemlianove?

I have been thinking about getting an arduino from Adafruit Industries. They carry two - The arduino duemlianove with the Atmega328 and the more powerful Mega with atmega1280 chip. I am having difficulty choosing between the two microcontrollers.

My main focus will be on larger projects like the Garduino(www.instructables.com/id/Garduino_Gardening_Arduino/) but again also on smaller robotics projects like advanced balancing robots(multiple accelerometers and sonar sensors)or even arduino smart drones(aircraft).Some of the factors in my descision will depend on:
  • Price
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Power requirements
  • Flash ROM
  • Output pins
  • Protoshield/other shield capabilities
  • PWM control
  • XBee wireless support
  • Integration with logic systems
  • Support for multiple(3) LCD screens/Dot Matrix displays
  • Multiple Servo support
  • Sound/Media support
Please help me choosing this microcontroller.I will only buy once in maybe 4-5 years so I want it to be good buy.

Also tell me which shields should I buy for my requirements: either the sound shield or the servo shield.I think I will buy the servo shield because it will give me greater control over my robotcs projects


Picture of Arduino - Mega or Duemlianove?
gmoon7 years ago
How many of the those applications will you be performing simultaneously?

For example, three LCD displays at once: Standard HD44780-style LCDs require at least 6 or 7 outputs, per screen (in 4-bit mode, more pins needed for 8-bit.) That's about 21 pins, for LCDs alone.

Will you have enough I/O left over? The MEGA board seems like the safest bet.

But why limit yourself to only one board? Both will use the Arduino language, each is AVR based, and either might be better for a particular app.

For your drones, for instance: program the ATmega328 AVRs on the Duemilanove, pop out the AVRs, then plug them into custom light-weight stripped-down boards.

Since the ATMega328 is a DIP chip, it's easy to move about. Unless you need the USB connectivity on the drone, much of the arduino board is dead-weight.
 lcd displays can be cut down to 3 wires using a shift register:
similar techniques could be used for matrix displays
a Duemilanove is less than half the cost(20$ if you get one with a 168 chip on ebay), smaller, and the chip can be moved.
if you want something really small, google search the one chip arduino, which takes up little more space than the chip itself

Yes, the one-chip Atmega328 Arduino is exactly what I proposed he use for the drone... Doesn't matter if he buys one or makes it himself.

Besides, the point of my response was--"why limit yourself to only one Arduino type?"

Frankly, one-chip Arduinos make no sense to me. Without the USB connectivity, a stripped-down Arduino is just an AVR overloaded with useless firmware bloat.

I'd rather program AVRs directly anyway.
From what I've seen so far, the Duemilanove is a lot easier to start learning with.  Sure you sacrifice some power, but the Duemilanove is powerful enough to handle most of the jobs you've mentioned. 

If you're already familiar with the programming language and the use of microcontrollers, go with the more powerful unit but expect to run into occasional hiccups.

Your selection of shields really just depends on what you want to do with the gadget.  If you're building robots, the motor shield is an obvious choice. 

Adding XBee is also a really good choice for robotics, allowing you to add some great wireless functionality.  That said, it's a pricey add-on. 

You can do a lot of sound work without a sound shield, but it provides an easy solution to most of the common applications, so it does deserve a place in the toolbox.