Robotics Technology
Picaxe Microprocessors

Picaxe Rick writes “A British equivalent to the Basic Stamp PIC micro controllers but cheaper. Free programming software and a good range of products for anyone who wants to control their world. Product can be purchased in USA and Australia.” Anyone use these? I’ve been trying to find something like this for beginners for a few projects. Link.

20 thoughts on “Picaxe Microprocessors

  1. Yes, I have been using the PicAxe for about two
    years now and for the most part, very pleased.

    I like building, not programming. Using the parts
    is very easy, I had my part out of the box and
    blinking a LED in half an hour.

    For someone who does not enjoy the programming
    barriers posed by the PIC assembly language, this
    is a good way.

    Downsides : Ordering the parts from England and a
    puzzling number of killed chips. I’m reasonably
    carefull with parts, but I seem to loose more PicAxe
    chips than average (compared to 7400 and 4000
    series parts )

  2. I’ve been using them for a lot of robotics projects. They’re ok – the BASIC they use isn’t much, but some of the commands (like Servo) are cool. On the whole, only slightly more expensive than a PIC, but with a simpler learning curve.

  3. I’ve used these for a while. They’re great for small, quick projects. The upside is that you can get it working out of the box in twenty minutes or so with just a couple of discrete components (resistors, diodes) you probably already have. You don’t need a programmer, as they can be programmed using a serial cable.

    The Basic programming language included is not incredibly powerful, but it is sufficient for everything I’ve needed it for. You can also use assembly if you wish (not 100% sure, but I think so). The serial link makes debugging easy, as the PicAxe can communicate directly with the PC while the program is running, and the ease and speed of programming allow you to make code changes on the fly and instantly test them.

    As mentioned above, shipping costs will kill you if you order from England, unless you’re buying in bulk. I’ve only found one “distributor” here in the U.S. Peter Anderson imports them in large quantities and resells them here. His prices are very reasonable, and if nothing else his website is worth a look, as he has quite a few sample schematics and a lot of sample code.

    http://www.phanderson.com/picaxe/picaxe.html

    I’ve not had any problems with toasting PicAxes like the previous poster, but I have heard that they are very picky about voltage; never run them above 6 volts, or better yet, 5.5 volts. They’re basically just a Pic processor with some bootstrap code, so they shouldn’t be any less reliable than those are. Still, I may have just been lucky.

  4. I’ve been using Picaxes for a year or two now and they basically got me started in microcontrollers. They are extremely simple to program, electronically bulletproof and dead easy to interface. They do have limitations but you can still do some impressive stuff with them. I have a few different projects that I hope to put on the web in a few weeks.

  5. I’ve been using Picaxes for a year or two now and they basically got me started in microcontrollers. They are extremely simple to program, electronically bulletproof and dead easy to interface. They do have limitations but you can still do some impressive stuff with them. I have a few different projects that I hope to put on the web in a few weeks.

  6. I’ve been using Picaxes for a year or two now and they basically got me started in microcontrollers. They are extremely simple to program, electronically bulletproof and dead easy to interface. They do have limitations but you can still do some impressive stuff with them. I have a few different projects that I hope to put on the web in a few weeks.

  7. I’ve been using Picaxes for a year or two now and they basically got me started in microcontrollers. They are extremely simple to program, electronically bulletproof and dead easy to interface. They do have limitations but you can still do some impressive stuff with them. I have a few different projects that I hope to put on the web in a few weeks.

  8. Picaxes are PIC chips. expect the same reliability as you would expect from any microcontroller. Also expect to pay for your ignoring the chip specifications as to voltage and current limitations.

    As far as the richness of the programming language, They are basically Stamp1’s with some enhancements- ADC, IR input and output, Keyboard input, I2C, one wire, and polled interrupts. Also background servo or PWM.

    I’m particularly fond of the little 8 pin versions of the chip (there are two) The really expensive version costs around $3. Perfect for trying out practically any control scheme or making your own “smart” sensors.

    Spring for the M or X parts. Very little more money, but more features

  9. We use A wide variety of these little chips at school – a VERY harsh environment and cook them only very infrequently even though the students try hard!.

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