PICAXE Project Help

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by DRock, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
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    Hey everyone,

    I have been struggling to communicate with my PICAXE 08M2 chip for the past week or so, and I cannot get it to function properly.

    I am using the Sparkfun Electronics breadboard adapter and the serial to stereo cable with a serial to USB adapter. I can successfully program my BASIC Stamp using the adapter and have the Prolific PL-2303 drivers installed to do so. However, I cannot get it to communicate with my PICAXE using the PICAXE Programming Editor.

    I have no idea what is going wrong and I am hoping that someone here can help me out.

    Do any of you use a similar setup to program your PICAXE? How did you get it to work?

    Any help is appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    1,728
    Not meaning to put you off, but did you know that there is a forum that is dedicated to the PICaxe series of microcontrollers?

    http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/forum.php

    You may very well find that your question has an answer over there if you perform a few searches; if not, someone may be able to give you a quick troubleshooting checklist.
     
  3. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    No idea, thanks!

    I am very new to designing electronics and circuits, as a recent Mech Engineering grad this stuff does NOT come easy to me haha.
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    Welcome to the fray. ;)

    There are a number of folks on here that are "into" various microcontrollers. The PICaxe line of uC's are basically Microchip PICs that have custom boot loaders programmed in. The boot loaders are supposed to make things a good bit easier. I don't have any PICaxes or associated equipment, so I really don't know what else to tell you except to look over there.

    You might find something in one of our microcontrollers/computing forums - but odds are you will get more responses over there.
     
  5. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    Electronics are all black magic to me haha.

    I did a bit of searching over there and it seems the general consensus is to order the expensive AXE027 USB to Stereo cable and install the drivers which is what I just did.

    Was not the answer I was looking for but I need to get this working!

    Thanks for the tip on that forum!
     
  6. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    213
    20
    If you post your code and your download schematic, I may be able to help you.

    pilko
     
  7. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    I do not trust myself 100% to provide an accurate schematic so I will attach a couple pictures of my download setup. The solder is a little sloppy but I had a shitty iron, I went out and bought a new one with a pointed tip and I have three more board adapters coming with the AXE027 so I can make some better ones with the new iron. That being said, the solder joints look functional they are just a little messy.

    My code is a basic test code:

    'BASIC converted from flowchart:
    'Untitled Flowchart:1
    'Converted on 8/31/2011 at 13:11:20


    main:
    high 1
    pause 1000
    low 1
    pause 1000
    high 1
    pause 1000
    low 1
     
  8. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    213
    20
    You have the the wiring incorrect relative to the AXE029 adapter layout and jumper position. Recheck your ser. in, ser. out and 0v wires.

    pilko
     
  9. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    213
    20
    With the jumper in position shown:-
    left (where you have black) should not be connected
    next (where you have nothing connected) should go to Ser in
    next (where you have yellow connected ) should go to Ser out
    nexr ( where you have blue) should go to 0V
     
  10. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    I am not sure why it is supposed to go that way, I have included a picture of my AXE029 and the black wire which you say should not be connected is labeled with 0V.

    If I connect it the way you say I have three wires connected to 01, IN, 02.

    Furthermore, when I try to program the PICAXE it says there is no hardware connected where as if I try it the way I had it just gives me an error.

    I am very confused right now haha.
     
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  11. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,869
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    Getting these serial to USB adapters to work with the PICAXE can be accomplished, but it requires some wiring adaptations. There are related posts on the PICAXE forum that tell how it's done; do a search over there. Or bite the bullet and order the AXE-027; it's overpriced, but it works.
     
  12. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    Yeah I just ordered the AXE027 because I use my current adapter with my BASIC Stamp and I don't want to mess that up.

    Thanks for the insight!
     
  13. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    213
    20
    Looks like you have the components installed on th wrong side of the board, so the jumper is on the opposite end. You need to re-configure the connections to correct the error.

    pilko
     
  14. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    Hey do you guys know whether the top of the board is the side that is labeled or is that the bottom? Does it even matter?

    I just got the cable in right now, going to test it out.

    EDIT: I just soldered it with a new iron and the joints look a lot better, but it is still not working correctly. I have attached two pictures, I have tried it with the 0V connected directly to ground and also to the 0V pin on the PICAXE and both ways were unsuccessful.

    Now I remember why I chose mechanical instead of electrical haha...this stuff doesn't come easy to me.

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  15. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    If it's the AXE-029 adapter that you have, the top has the silk screen labeling on it, and yes, it does matter. All the components go on the top except the eight pins which stick down into the breadboard; those go on the bottom.

    Here's one I assembled, but be aware that I made some mods to it that you don't need. You should follow the assembly instructions that came with the adapter.

    ETA: I just looked back at your photos; looks like you have the assembly right. I need to look at the instructions before I say any more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  16. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    So the new one I soldered is correct then...I am not sure what the heck I am doing wrong now.

    I scanned for the USB in PICAXE Programming Editor and it told me it was on Port 6, Windows is telling me all drivers that I installed are working and up to date. But when I try to program it says ERROR - Hardware not found on COM 6.
     
  17. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    So, you know your AXE-027 is alive and well. But you don't yet know the status of the PICAXE. Just give me a few minutes to look at your photos and compare them to the pinouts on the 08M2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  18. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    It looks like the wiring is correct. Have you verified with a DMM that you have 5vdc on leg 1 and ground on leg 8?

    Next thing to verify is that when you start Prog Ed, that you select the 08M2 from the pulldown menu on the opening screen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  19. DRock

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2011
    68
    0
    Yes I have verified that I have 4.66V and I made sure 08M2 is selected.
     
  20. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    In Prog Ed, under the PICAXE tab, pull down and select "Clear Hardware Memory" and post the results.
     
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