My Issue:

Needing an Arduino that is both small in size and “portable”, meaning that it can be used in several different projects.

The Arduino Mini-Pro (to name a few) answers this issue on a smaller scale but I was looking for something in the 2560 size so I developed my own.

 

My Solution:

The MEGA_Stick

MEGA_Stick.jpg

 

The MEGA_Stick allows me to simply unplug the system from one project and plug it into another.

Two unique things about the MEGA_Stick; all 100 pins are available to the user allowing advanced programmers to utilize the full capacity

of the ATMEGA 2560 chip and the addition of a on board battery backed up Real Time Clock.

This can be turned on or off via a solder jumper (note picture is missing the 2 pull ups).

MEGA_Stick_clock.jpg

This might be old news to some, but while developing this board I found that Digi pins 45 and 46 can also be used as PWM pins.

Pin 44 should be one as well but it is not yet in the Arduino boot loader.

MEGA1280.jpg

Currently I use the MEGA_Stick for my Phoenix Monitor System, which monitors the fluid levels of up to 4 different tanks.

As you can see in the picture I have the main board with a dual footprint. This board can use the Pro-Mini, or my MEGA_Stick,

depending on the features requested like Automatic water fill, Bay heating, or controlling other outside devices. The info can then be

displayed on a veriety of medium. There is lots of room for expanding on this system. Note that the female headers aren’t soldered in yet.

pms_board.jpg

 

Near future plans for the MEGA_Stick is to develop a board for my AeroQuads.

This board also would be dual footprint for multiple types of brains so I can use the same main board in different Quad setups.

At least that’s the plan as I get time to build it.

 

For my use the MEGA_Stick simply makes the Arduino MEGA more portable as well as a more permanent solution in one package.

The biggest issue right now is the cost to build considering the prices of the ATMEGA chip in low quantity.

 

2/21/2012 UPDATE

The MEGA Stick is no longer in production and is being replaced with the even smaller MEGA STICK II

MEGA_STICK_II.jpg

The board measures 1"x2.5" and is better suited for embedded applications. The FTDI and RTC is now off board making it a bit more affordable to replace if something goes wrong.

It will also require a regulated 5v supply as the the regulator has also been removed.

 

I will notify when production starts.