Programming (or Reprogramming) a Picaxe chip.

 

If you are building an Analyser from scratch, then just believe that this is the simplest loading process around and jump straight to the third paragraph.

 

If you have assembled an analyser from a kit, and in the process managed to damage the Picaxe (maybe the display is showing all black squares or the processor is producing very odd results) by static zapping it or similar, then believe that hard experience with thousands of these chips clearly shows that Microchip processors (used for all Picaxe chips) are very hardy little beasts indeed. Unless the damage is very severe, reprogramming will almost always bring the little monster back to life, and should always be tried before you race off and purchase another processor.

 

Here is how….

 

First, make up the 3 wire interconnecting cable between the serial port (COM1- RS232) on your computer and the Analyser motherboard. For details, see the main Analyser homepage. Interconnect the two using this cable. You may need to add 10K and 22K resistors and connecting pins to the Analyser board if you have built a kit. I don’t think the radio clubs normally supply these components because the chip is preprogrammed.  Also connect a power supply to the Analyser motherboard but do not switch on yet.

 

Go to the Revolution Education site http://www.picaxe.com/Software and download and install the FREE Programming Editor (full file name bas805.exe) on your computer.  Next, select the Picaxe processor you are going to program (28X1 or 28X2) and then click <Apply> then <OK>. Now download the wanted software from my website.  Whichever processor you are using I would suggest you start with simple code. For the 28X1 processor, I would suggest using the file “28x1math.bas” which can be downloaded from the section “New Picaxe 28X1 Code”. For the 28X2, download the code from the last item in the subsection called “New Picaxe 28X2 Code”. This file is called “28x2mathJST.bas”.

 

Load the selected file into the “Programming Editor”, switch on the power to the Analyser motherboard, and then click on the heading “Picaxe” in the Programming Editor, and then click on “Program”. If all is well, you should see the code squirted into the Picaxe, and then the LCD should come alive, displaying figures. That’s it! 

 

All of these comments refer to the Programming Editor version 5.3.2 which I use. Later versions may have very slightly different headings but I have no doubt, will be very user friendly, as this software has always been.