New Software Releases and PICAXE-18M

administrator

Administrator
Staff member

We are pleased to announce the release of the beta version of the cross-platform (Mac / Linux / Windows) AXEpad PICAXE development software, and free updates for all our other software products, including
  • PICAXE Programming Editor (v5.2.2)
  • Logicator for PIC and PICAXE (v3.2.6)
  • PICAXE VSM SPICE Circuit Simulator (v1.0.4)
  • AXEpad (v0.1.1)
  • Cross-platform Command Line Compilers (v0.6)
  • PICAXE Manuals part 1 and 2 (v6.7)

The main purpose of the updates are to support the new PICAXE-18M chip, but each release also includes several fixes and enhancements.

All software can be downloaded from the software pages at www.picaxe.co.uk



AXEpad

AXEpad is our new free cross-platform development software, designed to allow Mac OSX and Linux users instant access to PICAXE programming, supporting many of the PICAXE Programming Editor standard development features such as syntax colour coding, wizards, code explorer and debug / terminal functions. When used with the AXE027 USB download cable Linux and Mac users now have a complete PICAXE development and programming environment.

AXEpad has been specifically designed with a low overhead and so will also function well on budget Linux ‘netbooks’ such as the Asus Eeepc and Acer One.

More details about AXEpad can be found in the datasheet:
www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/pad001.pdf


PICAXE-18M

The new 18M supersedes the original 18 and 18A parts, to bring the 18 pin format back in line with the newer chips in the ‘M’ family (08M, 14M and 20M).
More details about the 18M can be found in this datasheet:
www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/picaxe18m.pdf


PICAXE-28X2 / 40X2

The new 28X2 and 40X2 parts will start shipping in March 2009.


PICAXE Manuals

Updated versions of parts 1 and 2 of the manual are included with each software download, and are also available online at
www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/picaxe_manual1.pdf
www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/picaxe_manual2.pdf
 

westaust55

Moderator
Hmmm,

The previous revision of the manuals (rev 6.6) indicated that they were based upon Programming Editor V5.3.0 yet here we are told V5.2.2 is the new release. :confused:

Does that mean V5.3.0 will also be released soooooon
 

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
5.3.0 will be the main 28X2/40X2 release - the latest manuals also describe the new 28X2 commands which will not be available until the 28X2 release in March, hence the correct version description in the manuals.

For all existing PICAXE parts 5.2.2 is the correct current version.
 

boriz

Senior Member
That 18M datasheet refers to the new “18M compiler”. So the Picaxe chips do not carry an interpreter? And an inline assembler is possible?
 

hippy

Senior Member
Rev-Ed have always called the programs which convert the PICAXE Basic program into its tokenised form a "compiler". This is correct usage of the term. Compiling to machine code is just one particular type of compilation.

The 18M will contain an interpreter as with the other PICAXE's, inline assembler is not supported.
 

manuka

Senior Member
Naturally great news on the X2s, but I'm a tad concerned about the niche of this new 18M. Of course the 18/18A were increasingly left in PICAXE limbo, but in a 08M/14M/18M/20M shootout I already see "leg injury" casualties... Which PIC is the 18M based on - not the still the original "18A" 16F819 is it?

EXTRA: Thanks to both manual & westaust55 - it is indeed still the PIC16F819. Perhaps "18B" may have been a more fitting title? IMHO students will find the established "M" series "legs" system annoyingly ignored by the 18M, but then taken up again by the 20M.
 

Attachments

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westaust55

Moderator
Pe V5.2.2

And with the new V5.2.2 programming editor, we get a useful list of all the
variables, constants and labels in a separate pane down the right side.

This is populated when you do a Syntax Check.

You can then double click on a variable, constant or label in the panel at the right and he next occurance of that variable, constant or label will be highlighted in the program code.

Even shows where you have multiple aliases for the same byte or word variable. and now . . .

Suggestion / Request No 1:
at the moment, the variables are listed alphbetically on the alias name.
can we have an option to sort on the byte/word variable names so all aliases of say b0 are grouped together.


I note that from the toolbar (and the icon below the toolbar) that to download a program is is now "Program" instead of the old "Run" designation.



Finally, may be time for Rev Ed to update the License Agreement that all have to agree to before they can install the PE software:
Revolution's entire liability and your exclusive remedy shall be:

1) the replacement of any diskette or cassette not meeting Revolution's "Limited Warranty" and which is returned to Revolution or an authorised Revolution dealer with a copy of your receipt; or

2) if Revolution or the dealer is unable to deliver a replacement diskette or cassette which is free of defects in materials or workmanship, you may terminate this Agreement by returning the Program and your money will be refunded.
 
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westaust55

Moderator
Latest Manuals Rev 6.7

And a reminder to all . . .


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE,

download the latest Rev 6.7 manuals immediately (that's right now)
from the Rev Ed website
OR
from the PICAXE Manual link in the orange toolbar at the top of this forum page
and put a copy into the folder:

C:\Program Files\Programming Editor\datasheets


that way, when ever you use the HELP menu on the PE toolbar, you are accessing the latest manuals.
 
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Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
08M/14M/18M/20M shootout...
We actively encourage people to use the 20M, as it is a lower cost device than the 18M - e.g. see the bottom of the release sheet for the 18M

www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/picaxe18m.pdf

However, as an educator yourself, you will know that 'people like what they are used to' and many of those who are used to the 18 pin format want to stick with it for the time being - so the 18M gives them that choice!
 

manuka

Senior Member
Agreed - except calling it an "M" contradicts the standardised & lucid 08M/14M/20M pinout sequence. Better to call it something more in keeping with the "18's" - hence my 18B suggestion. I can just hear myself saying this already - Sure it may act like an "M", but it's legs are all over the place, so it's perhaps better viewed as a poor man's 18X
 

hippy

Senior Member
[ Crossed in the ether with Technical's and Manuka's postings above ]

I'm a tad concerned about the niche of this new 18M. Of course the 18/18A were increasingly left in PICAXE limbo, but in a 08M/14M/18M/20M shootout I already see "leg injury" casualties...

EXTRA: Thanks to both manual & westaust55 - it is indeed still the PIC16F819. Perhaps "18B" may have been a more fitting title? IMHO students will find the established "M" series "legs" system annoyingly ignored by the 18M, but then taken up again by the 20M.
Ultimately the final choice of PICAXE to use falls to the end-user. As always there is no absolute 'this is better than that', but there is a range to match budget and requirements.

The 18M harmonises the programming side of things while still retaining compatibility with 18-pin hardware, the 18 and 18A and a drop-in pin compatible upgrade to the 18X. The 18M offers considerable improvement over the 18 and 18A.

Pinout is dictated by available silicon ( plus its pricing ), user expectations and practical usage. As I understand it, the "M" designation came with the "music" capabilities of the PICAXE ( Tune and Play ) rather than through pinout assignment. While an 18M with inputs on left and outputs on right can be seen as desirable, and more consistent with 14M and 20M, that would be incompatible with existing 18-pin use and historical pinout arrangements. All sorts of problems would undoubtedly arise forcing a move to another pinout.
 
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Wrenow

Senior Member
PICAXE-28X2 / 40X2

The new 28X2 and 40X2 parts will start shipping in March 2009.


Hooray! Looking forward to the new tools!
Thanks for the update on all the other tidbits as well!

Cheers,

Wreno
 

westaust55

Moderator
Pe V5.2.2

Looking further into the Programming Editor, I see that a table (ASCII table) is now included under the HELP button on the toolbar which gives
Decimal-Hex-ASCII values/conversions from 0 to 127.

Maybe no binary or number thru to 255 but a good start.
 

westaust55

Moderator
True BB.

I sent them several emails summarising my thoughts and findings.

They did around 90% of the edits I suggested to fix typos, make most acronyms into capitals, some extra words, etc. Just a few areas Rev Ed thought comments were my personal opinion that did not get incorporated.

Even did a quick review of Rev 6.7 manuals for typos and formatting for them (free) pre release.
 

hippy

Senior Member
ASCII Codes

Looking further into the Programming Editor, I see that a table (ASCII table) is now included under the HELP button on the toolbar which gives
Decimal-Hex-ASCII values/conversions from 0 to 127.

Maybe no binary or number thru to 255 but a good start.
Binary would make the information more unwieldy and anyone understanding what they are looking at should have little problem in converting hex into binary and vice-versa.

ASCII is only officially defined for values 0-127. I haven't read the official specification for a long time but expect that arises from early use of bit 7 for parity (7,O,1 rather than the 8,N,1 we are more familiar with today ).

Definitions for 128-255 are almost certainly platform or application dependant. There may also be some debate as to what the naming for the control codes (0-31) should be depending on individual preferences, I tend to think of Ctrl-Z (26/$1A) as "eof" rather than "sub" etc - Or as I subsconsciously did there, "Ctrl-Z" !
 
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westaust55

Moderator
I do not disagree with you hippy.

My comments stem from originally suggesting a table such as that I created here:
http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=10893&p=83436

It can all be a case of experince/knowledge level. Like many others, I spent earlier years working with microprocessors and microcontrollers when assemblers, mnemonics, machine code, hex, binary and ASCII were all common knowledge for most who wished to program at a hobby level.

So converting back and forth is second nature for some, but seemingly other newer/younger members of this forum find Hex, BCD and number conversion confusing.
 

hippy

Senior Member
Windows Calculator in Scientific mode is also useful for manipulating and converting decimal, binary and hexadecimal numbers. The View, Calculator... menu option of the Programming Editor provides a fast means of launching that while developing programs.
 
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