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Arduino Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Arduino For Your Project

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Overview

In this article we are going to discuss about different kind of Arduino’s board. We will also answer common questions about these boards and their features. If you can’t choose the right board for your projects this article can help you. This article also has new points for the people who are new to the Arduino’s world.

Brief Introduction of Arduino

Arduino is a board used for making computers that can interact with the environment, sense various data from the environment with the use of sensors and control devices like lights, motors, etc accordingly. Arduino is an open source platform based on microcontrollers. Open source means that everyone has access to all resources of the board. This term gives you the ability of adding new features to the board according to your projects. Arduino is an inexpensive and easy to use for students and professionals. Arduino has gone viral among makers and enthusiasts with its simple design. It has two segments; a hardware part which includes the Arduino board and the software part which includes the Arduino IDE. The IDE is a simple and easy to learn software for writing Arduino programs. The simplicity and easiness of Arduino have made it so popular that almost all maker events have at least one project based on it.

Arduino’s Features; Boards as Wide as World

Arduino has huge flexibility which means you can build many creative projects. It can connect to many sensors and modules like  fire sensors, obstacle sensors, presence detectors, GPS modules, GSM Modules or anything that can help you to build your projects.

Choosing the Right Arduino Board

Arduino is an open source platform and because of that anyone can make Arduino compatible boards. Today many of these boards are available in the market like FreeDuino and NetDuino. One way to differentiate between original boards and the compatible models is to look for the trade name on the board. The name Arduino is trademarked and reserved for boards made from the original patent company in Italy. All compatible Arduino boards use a different but look alike trade name like Freeduino, Netduino, etc. If you want a cheaper alternative of the Arduino, you can always buy the clone boards. Along with the Arduino Uno, which is the best starter to the Arduino world, there are also other versions that can be found on the market. Since specifications vary, you should choose the board for your Arduino projects wisely. To start building your projects on  Arduino’s board it is better to work on most commonly used versions such as the Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega or the Arduino Mini, because they have greater support online than others so if you have a problem with your board you can fix it more easily.

Comparing Some of Arduino’s Boards

Arduino Uno

Are you new to the Arduino’s world? So the Arduino Uno may be the best choice for you. Arduino Uno has all of the components to use the microcontroller. Arduino Uno R3 costs about 1500$ Or you can also buy clone boards like Freeduino which you could get starting from Rs.500. Arduino Uno has total 20 pins which 14 of them are Digital pins and 6 of them are Analog pins. These number of pins will support most of the beginner and intermediate projects.  It also has a pair of Rx and Tx pins to connect Serial Communication Devices. Apart from that, a separate pair of Rx and Tx pins can be defined by including the header file SoftwareSerial. Arduino Uno has all of the components to use the microcontroller. Just connect a USB cable to your camputer to start.

Arduino Mini

Arduino mini has all of the features of Arduino Uno but it’s cheaper and smaller than Uno. So if you want a cheaper board or you want to do your project in smaller dimensions, you can select Arduino mini for your projects.

Arduino Mega

This kind of board is suitable for the projects that requires more than 20 pins. For example if you are working on  projects with more than 30 inputs, then Arduino Uno and Arduino mini could not be satisfying for your project. In such cases you should buy Arduino Mega instead or use Decoder IC74595 to increase the number of pins.

Arduino Due

Arduino Due is a microcontroller based on SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU. This board has 54 input/output pins (12 of them can use as PWM output), 12 analog input, 4 UARTs port, 1 DAC, 2 TWI, 1 SPi header and 1 JTACG header.

Arduino Leonardo

Arduino Leonardo is based on ATmega32u4 microcontroller. This board has 20 input/output digital pins, micro USB connector and everything that microcontroller board need.

Arduino LilyPad

Arduino LilyPad is the best choice for the projects that you should use your board in clothes or dresses. This Board can stitch onto clothes and dresses and you can wash them them easily.

Final Notes

  • For the simple and small projects, Arduino Uno and Mini is the best choice depending on your budget and project size, but if you need more pins you can select Arduino Mega.
  • For the projects that you want more speed, Arduino Due is suitable. This board has the highest speed among the Arduino’s boards.
  • If you want to build a thin project then headerless version of Arduino Leonardo can help you.
  • In the end, Arduino Uno is highly recommended for the people who want to start learning.

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