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I currently use one Arduino, but my plan is to use multiple Arduinos.

These Arduinos will be relatively close together (within one meter or less), and depending on the configuration I want 2 to 5 Arduinos, all in separate enclosures.

I don't expect a high power consumption from all of them, but I don't want to use batteries. So I would like to use a 9V or 12V adapter with 2A (cannot find higher amperage).

My questions:

  • Can I just split the cable, and add extra plugs for the other Arduinos? (so like a parallel circuit of Arduinos)?
  • Is it a problem if I only would connect 1 Arduino? (I don't think so)
  • Is there a maximum Amperage I can divide this way? (I mean what if I would find a 5A adapter?)
  • I see 9V or 12V adapters ... why would this matter, since the Arduino works on 5V anyway. I don't need to drive external motors, just like 5 small LEDs, some ICs (optocouplers, SRAM) and some basic connectors (like MIDI, later DMX, Audio etc), an RF or ESP01 module.
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    The difference between Vin and 5V is all dissipated in the linear regulators of the Arduinos. Thus a 9V adapter would be more energy-efficient and generate less heat on the regulators. – Edgar Bonet Jun 2 '17 at 9:10
  • @EdgarBonet Thanks ... that means a 9V should be enough, and probably with 2A I can support (hopefully) 5 Arduinos ... I guess I can measure the amps usage currently if I probe at the right positions (have to find out where) – Michel Keijzers Jun 2 '17 at 9:15
  • using just 5v would be even better; cooler, cheaper, more efficient, allows more sensor capacity, etc. basically, removing any extra source of heat from the MCU itself. – dandavis Jun 4 '17 at 2:44
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Can I just split the cable, and add extra plugs for the other Arduinos? (so like a parallel circuit of Arduinos)?

Yes.

Is it a problem if I only would connect 1 Arduino? (I don't think so)

No.

Is there a maximum Amperage I can divide this way? (I mean what if I would find a 5A adapter?)

You can draw, in total, whatever the power supply can provide. If 10 Arduinos need 500mA and you have a 5A power supply you can power 10 Arduinos from it.

If they draw just 50mA you could power 100 Arduinos from it. It's all just a matter of managing the wiring in a suitable manner (connecting hundreds of wires together gets tiresome).

I see 9V or 12V adapters ... why would this matter, since the Arduino works on 5V anyway. I don't need to drive external motors, just like 5 small LEDs, some ICs (optocouplers, SRAM) and some basic connectors (like MIDI, later DMX, Audio etc), an RF or ESP01 module.

12V will cause more heat dissipation from the linear regulator in the Arduino than 9V will, since the 12V has to lose more of the voltage as heat.

  • Thanks for the answer ... seems that 9V is enough (actually even less, but less than 9V is not possible). I did a small calculation and I think I can be under 2A (which some adapters provide). – Michel Keijzers Jun 2 '17 at 9:42

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