This board offers the ability to drive a variety of peripheral devices from an Arduino Mega or Duemilenova microcontroller…..
1) An X-Y 16 button keypad. This could typically be used to select,set and adjust values /options displayed on a display.
2) A standard ‘character’ LCD display.Such displays operate using the standard Hitachi-Densitron interface method.It has provision for backlight drive and contrast adjustment.
3) 1 amp (2 amp peak) Open-collector drives (3 groups of 4) so that DC motors (12 maximum)/ Stepper motors (3 off unipolar type)/solenoids (12 maximum)/relays(12 maximum).
4) It can interface up to 4 off K thermocouples.
5) 2 off aux 1 amp (2 amp peak) Open-collector drives for lamps/ heater boost drives/relays/solenoids etc.
6) Full signal pass-through such that other boards may be stacked.
7) power supply voltages may be set differently for the 3 groups of 4 outputs (point 2).
8) the board has an appropriate physical size to match Mega or Due.
9) All peripheral connectors are the popular JST PH type with the exception of the LCD connector which mates to a 2 by 40 character LCD directly (via a 1-to -1 IDC ribbon cable) or via a breakout cable to a smaller (2 row by 16 character for example) type LCD.
The board gives users the opportunity to construct small 3-axis machines. You could also make a 3D printer (without microstepping) or various small industrial machines. The thermocouple inputs offer the possibility of constructing an extruder or mini-injection moulding machine from this board.
Hint#1 You can choose to use one of the aux outputs to break into pin 14 at the LCD…to add backlight switch function. Many of the larger LCDs route their backlight connections separately anyway.
Hint#2 You can drive stepper motors using the RL method (Google it!!!) with a +24V supply for example….to get enhanced performance.
Hint#3 You can drive one group of 4 outputs with a +5V supply, one with a +12V supply and the third with a +24V supply in order to best suit your choice of driven devices.