PICAXE microcontroller

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by superway, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. superway

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 19, 2009

    I have heard alot about PICAXE programmer for education, but I never used it.

    Can we use it at work in Power Industry?

    Which PICAXE microcontroller is most used popular at work (not in school)?

    Thanks in advanced.

  2. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    PICAXE my perhaps have some use in education. In my opinion PICAXE is nothing more than expensive flimflams. I would look for other and better solutions. What that will be may depend on what you plan to do. Can you give us more details
  3. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    A Picaxe is a PIC that is programmed in Basic. This works well for me because I use a microcontroller maybe once every six months or so and am not forced to relearn "C" or asssembler every time. I can get up to speed in Basic in a few hours.
    All of the software for it is free as are the manuals. You only need to buy a cheap programming cable.
    The downside of the Picaxe is that it is slow. Some of the new ones run at 40MHz which helps but they still won't keep up with an AVR.
    They are used in many commercial products.
    The best place for you to ask questions about them is on the Picaxe forum.
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    None of the PICAXE uC's currently available use the industrial temp range PIC uC's, so they are not really suitable for use in industry.

    If you really have to program in a Basic-like language, there are Basic compilers available; some in a limited demo version, and retail for several hundred $. However, to get the most out of uC's, you really should learn how to program in C and/or Assembler.
  5. majsyd2010


    Aug 29, 2010
    Guys ... If I had the power to destroy the PICAXE, I would do with close eyes ... This product shouldn't be in the industry. It is just a joke and doesn’t do anything except very basic

    Please go for any other solution NOT PICAXE
  6. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    A picaxe 08M is really a PIC12F683. According to section 15 of the 683 datasheet, its good for -40 to +125C. Storage is -65 to +150C. How is this not industrial?
  7. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I think you will find that picaxe 08 is a PIC12F683-I/P which is rated for -40C to 85C operation. For -40 to 125C operation you need to use the PICs with the E suffix, i.e. the extended operation range (see the second last page of the said data sheet).

    But realistically its not so much the temperature specs that preclude their use in industry but rather their poor performance.
    The picaxe comes with a BASIC interpreter pre-programmed into the chip. This limits user program space since a fair portion of the already limited available memory is used by the interpreter and perpormance also suffers since the PIC is running interpreted code rather than compiled code.
  8. Rbeckett


    Sep 3, 2010
    In defense of the lowly held Picaxe chip, it does offer an opportunity to users who do not need lightning fast, super chips the option of learning an easier to understand language to integrate Microcontrollers into the structures of their projects. I for one do not need super speed, nor do I have the ability to learn an esoteric coding language while also learning basic electronics, while at the same time eaither using an expensive programmer or limited operability copy of some very expensive software. If/when my basic electronic ability requires the additional step I will make it then, but in the mean time why not use what is available to me for free, a product I can learn on, that is well suppported and has a similarly large user base from which to garner help in the event I need it? Makes sense to me...
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  9. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    A decent PICAXE starter kit may be a " PICAXE 28/40 Pin Protoboard $28.95" since new computers do not come with serial port a "PICAXE USB Programming Cable $25.95" is also needed. Then we will need some $9.95 PICAXE chips. Ka-ching the pricetag is about $75. What a rip-off! Also if you understand how to program a PICAXE chip in basic. You will also be able to program a standard PIC with say a free version of Swordfish basic. This version do have some limitations. But they are not comparable to to the inherent PICAXE limitations. And you will also find a Swordfish user forum. So your arguments do not hold. The fact is that PICAXE programming is one of the most awkward and expensive ways of doing microcontroller projects I know of. That is why I do not recommend it either for hobbyists or education.
  10. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    I don't have the technical expertise to debate the relative merits of PICAXE micro-controllers, but I am a pretty good shopper. My introductory setup for PICAXE cost less than $20. I used a cheap solderless breadboard, three AA batteries, a programming cable made from a discarded serial cable, plus the PICAXE.

    Just because there are more powerful micro-controllers available doesn't eliminate the need for the PICAXE. Citations are undoubtedly more capable than Cessna 150's, but both have their places in the market. Clearly, the PICAXE has good technical support and a large customer base. There is an active forum dedicated to the product, and regular coverage in "Nuts and Volts" magazine.

    The PICAXE may not suit everyone's purposes, but its continued existence is proof positive that it meets a market demand, which is largely due to its programming simplicity and low startup cost.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010