The PICAXE: An Inexpensive Micrcontroller
- The smallest of these costs about $2 (if you can get by without a project board). They are programmed with BASIC or a flow-chart. The programming software is free!
- Information about PICAXE
- Buy PICAXE in the USA (www.world-educational-services.com) .
- You can order from the UK, but shipping is very expensive. However, there is a full selection of both chips and project boards. These may be bought from www.tech-supplies.co.uk.
- I recommend the 08M and 18X for most beginner projects - but check features and specs for your needs. It's also a good idea to order more than one to cover your "learning accidents". The shipping usually costs more than an individual chip!
- As a good power source for these chips, I recommend an enclosed 4 AA battery holder (#270-409 at Radio Shack, though many other supplier offer similar holders for less) with RECHARGABLE batteries. Rechargable AA batteries are only 1.2V each, so in this holder, you get an appropriate voltage AND you are a bit nicer to the environment. The use of a regulator (such as the LM7805) is always an option and is highly recommended if you plan to use the analog-to-digital converter or any other operation that requires a consistent voltage.
- I'll be providing more links and tutorials about these later!
Other Microcontroller Resources
- The PICAXE manual (pdf) is a good reference on the basics of any microcontroller.
- More links and information soon!