Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual

The Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual is a reference and user guide for the Arduino MEGA 2560 hardware and firmware. It provides up-to-date hardware information for the Arduino MEGA 2560 revision 3 and earlier boards. The Arduino MEGA 2560 is an upgrade to the popular Arduino Uno board, providing more pins, serial ports and memory. Arduino is the easy to use open-source electronics platform used by hobbyists, makers, hackers, experimenters, educators and professionals.

This blog article provides a review of the contents of the Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual by Warwick A. Smith. Find out what the book is about and what is inside.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Front Cover
Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Front Cover

Get all the information that you need on the hardware and firmware found on Arduino MEGA 2560 boards in this handy reference and user guide. Ideal for the workbench or desktop. This manual covers the Arduino MEGA 2560 hardware and firmware, and is a companion volume to the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual, which covers the Arduino Uno hardware and firmware.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Manual vs. Arduino Uno Hardware Manual

The Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual is written for the Arduino MEGA 2560 single board computer. It is based on the layout of the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual. There are some similarities between the Arduino Uno and Arduino MEGA 2560. The Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual is extended with extra diagrams and illustrations that the Arduino Uno manual does not have. Readers who already own the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual will find the Arduino MEGA 2560 hardware manual worth owning. An extra chapter has been added to make owning both manuals value for money. The extra chapter explains compatibility of Arduino shields between different Arduino models. Find out why some shields only work with some Arduino models and not with others.

When it comes to the power supply circuit of both boards, they are nearly identical. This manual points out the subtle differences between the power supply circuits of the two boards. Similarities and differences between the MEGA 2560 and Uno are pointed out in various places, where applicable.

Also see the blog post on the Arduino Uno manual on this website.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Features

The list below includes some of the features of the manual, as listed on the back cover of the book.

  • Contains all of the Arduino MEGA 2560 hardware information in one place
  • Covers Arduino / Genuino MEGA 2560 revision 3 and earlier boards
  • Easily find hardware technical specifications with explanations
  • Pin reference chapter with interfacing examples
  • Diagrams and illustrations for easy reference to pin functions and hardware connections
  • Learn to back up and restore firmware on the board, or load new firmware
  • Basic fault finding and repair procedures for Arduino MEGA 2560 boards
  • Power supply circuits simplified and explained
  • Mechanical dimensions split into five easy to reference diagrams
  • Contains circuit diagrams, parts list and board layout to easily locate components
  • A chapter on shield compatibility explains how shields work across different Arduino boards
Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Back Cover
Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Back Cover

Where to Buy the Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual

Find the Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual on and Look at other buying options for other countries.

Arduino MEGA 2560 REV3 boards are also available from and

Full disclosure: this website is an affiliate of and The above links are our affiliate links for these websites. We will earn a small commission if you purchase a product using the above links.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Table of Contents

The table of contents for the manual is a complete list of all of the sections in the manual. Take a look at the table of contents to get an idea of what the book is about.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Preview

A preview of the Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual includes the complete introduction chapter. The preview includes the first two pages of every chapter.

More About the Arduino MEGA 2560 Rev3

The Arduino MEGA 2560 is a single board computer that uses an ATmega2560 microcontroller as its main processor to run software loaded via the Arduino IDE or other programming environment. It extends the capabilities and number of pins of the smaller Arduino Uno. The Arduino MEGA 2560 has the following features:

  • 54 digital input/output pins
  • 15 of the digital I/O pins have PWM capabilities
  • 16 analog inputs
  • 4 hardware serial ports (UARTs)
  • 1 TWI port (I2C compatible port)
  • 1 SPI port
  • More program memory, SRAM and EEPROM than an Arduino Uno
  • USB port
  • Reset button
  • ICSP header
  • External power jack

Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Book Structure

The basic structure of the Arduino MEGA 2560 manual or book is the same as the Arduino Uno Hardware manual, but it is fully updated for the Arduino MEGA 2560. Chapters are laid out as follows.


The introduction provides motivation on why one should buy the manual. Contains differences between the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual and Arduino MEGA 2560 Manual. Target audience, prerequisites, hardware requirements, software requirements and what is covered in the book.

Arduino MEGA 2560 Overview

This chapter, together with chapter 2, are basically the “hardware user manual” part of the book for the Arduino MEGA 2560. It covers all of the basics of the Arduino MEGA 2560: a general overview of the Arduino MEGA 2560, its main parts, and how to extend its hardware.

Basics of firmware, the software that comes factory loaded on a new Arduino MEGA 2560 board, is explained. The chapter wraps up with board handling precautions, a brief history of the Arduino MEGA 2560 and the hardware revisions that it has been through, some information on first time use, and basic testing.

Hardware Technical Information

More detailed technical information on the Arduino MEGA 2560 hardware.

Pin Reference and Interfacing

A detailed look at pins, pin functions and alternate pin functions. It includes various hardware interfacing examples. How to use and test the extra hardware serial ports on the MEGA 2560.

Power Reference

An explanation of both USB and external power sources. Power supply circuits are simplified. This is done by breaking them up into six simplified sections. Different voltage regulators are discussed. There is a comparison between MEGA 2560 and Uno power circuits.

MEGA 2560 Firmware and Bootloader

Information on all of the firmware on Arduino MEGA 2560 boards. How to update firmware, back up firmware and reload firmware.

Circuit Diagram and Components

Enhanced circuit diagrams broken into three parts. Arduino MEGA 2560 parts list and part location on the board.

Fault Finding and Measurement

A chapter dedicated to fault finding on the Arduino MEGA 2560. It covers basic fault finding techniques. An explanation of removing a faulty microcontroller from an Arduino MEGA 2560, and replacing it with a new one. This is for advanced users who have the necessary soldering skills.

Mechanical Dimensions and Templates

Length width and mass of an Arduino MEGA 2560. Mounting hole spacing and size. Header positions on the board. Various other dimensions in easy to read diagrams.

Arduino Shield Compatibility

A new chapter on shield compatibility not found in the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual. It looks at what makes Arduino shields either compatible or incompatible with different Arduino models.

Four different Arduino models show shield compatibility problems and solutions. These are the MEGA 2560, Uno, Due and Zero. Practical examples of commercial shields are used.

Specifications Quick Reference

A table in this appendix contains a summary of the Arduino MEGA 2560 technical specifications. This table has references to the appropriate sections in this book that have more information on each parameter.

Arduino Uno Manual

Here is a new book for all Arduino enthusiasts – the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual. This Arduino Uno Manual is a reference and user guide for the Arduino Uno hardware and firmware.

Pictured below are two copies of the new manual fresh off the press, published in 2019.

Arduino Uno manual
The Arduino Uno Hardware Manual – a Handy Reference and User Guide

Arduino Uno Manual Hardware Reference

The Arduino Uno Hardware Manual is ideal as a workbench reference for any Arduino user. It provides interesting and vital information on wiring circuits to an Arduino Uno. Good engineering practice, which includes properly calculating current that can be drawn per pin, is included. Current limits per pin are not as simple as quoting a maximum current that can be drawn per pin. Groups of pins have certain current limits in addition to limits per pin in the group. This is well explained in the manual. Figures and illustrations throughout the book help in understanding various hardware concepts.

Arduino Uno Hardware Manual on the workbench
Arduino Uno Hardware Manual in use on the Workbench

The manual includes Arduino Uno pin mapping to the ATmega328P microcontroller and a pin reference that explains the function of each pin. Interfacing examples show the use of each type of pin. This includes SPI, TWI, UART and PWM pins.

Fault Finding, Repair and Firmware

Basic fault finding techniques in the manual show how to test an Arduino Uno to see if it is faulty or working. Repair procedures show how to replace the ATmega328P microcontroller should it be faulty. Firmware must be loaded to a new microcontroller on an Arduino Uno so that it will work with the Arduino IDE programming environment. Firmware restoration and testing procedures are explained.

Programming Headers and External Programmers

The manual shows how to program both the ATmega32P and ATmega16U2 microcontrollers using external programmers, and explains why and when you would want to do this.

Arduino Uno Parts List, Circuit Diagram and Part Location

A parts list can be found in the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual which includes the new parts added to the recently updated Arduino Uno R3, the Rev3e version. Easily located parts or components on the Arduino Uno using the component position diagram. Find the same part in the circuit diagram, which is broken up into three easy to understand parts.

Extending Hardware, Handling Precautions and Technical Information

Learn about various methods of extending the Arduino Uno hardware, and adding external memory. Handling precautions explain how to avoid damaging an Arduino Uno during use and storage. Technical information such as memory types and sizes, power supply information, operating frequency, meaning of the on-board indicator LEDs, and pins that are shared between functions and connectors can all be found in the Hardware Technical Information chapter.

More Details on the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual

Visit the Arduino Uno Hardware Manual page on the publisher’s website for more information on this excellent book. Here you can find:

New Raspberry PI Model A+

The new Raspberry PI Model A+ board has been launched this month. It is a smaller version of the Model A and shares some of the features of the model B+. The board size is 56mm wide by 66mm long and 14mm high.

This video from RasPi.TV has more details on the new board:

The RasPi.TV blog has more details and photos of the new Raspberry PI board.


Raspberry PI Laptop Computer

The Raspberry PI laptop computer reported in Elektor News was created using a 3D printer for the case, model B+ Raspberry PI, laptop keyboard, track-pad, WiFi, battery and 13.3″ HD screen. The battery lasts 6 to 8 hours.

The name for this laptop is “PI-TOP”, you can read more about it on the Pi-Top website and also follow the project on Facebook for updates.