What is Rev Ed?


New Member
Some of the answers I received on another thread referred to "Rev Ed" or "RevEd". Who or what is that?


Senior Member
Rev Ed is the company that makes the PickAxe line of products. Just like Intel is the company that makes CoreDuo processors.

Captain Haddock

Senior Member
Full name 'Revolution Education', the people that make pic's usable by idiots like me :)
They also make the whole game cheaper than the ardweey route.


Senior Member
They also make the whole game cheaper than the ardweey route.
EASIER. Not necessarily cheaper.

Pre-programmed 28-pin Ardweeny chips (without the gimmickey board - that's for lazy people) are available for less than the cost of PICAXE-20X2.

However the BASIC language is much easier to use and you don't need to spend hours per hardware feature figuring out how to get the hardware features to work.

But the M2 parts are perfect for small projects and are cheaper.


Senior Member
I have to agree, using PICAXE is far more productive than Arduino C
@g6ejd... it is rare that I disagree with you, but I would 'cast' productive a bit more carefully :eek:

For others that do not have g6ejd's professional credentials, PICAXE is a great hobby chip and is very capable. It is however, not a "naked" chip that one can squeeze performance and guaranteed timing, at least not in the models that use the RC oscillator only. PICAXE performance is fair but a significant amount of uC cycles are consumed by the BASIC interpreter microcode which RevEd burns into each PIC which converts the Microchip PIC to a PICAXE.

Arduino libraries also have some performance hits due to the PIN nomenclature that is portable across the Arduino hardware line. Essentially, this portability makes porting code for different hardware models easier. However, unlike the PICAXE firmware, the user of the Arduino is in total control of the environment and can select to limit or eliminate the portability and write directly to the uC port; thus, making the code that is running on the Arduino model-centric but far more efficient. The Arduino C library-compiler is AVR-GCC and is very mature. It is easy (so easy that I can do it) to drop to the command line and actually compile C, C++, or assembler for the Arduino.

Arduino is a hardware-software environment that is intended to make ATmel microcontroller products easy and powerful for both beginners and professionals. PICAXE is a hardware-software environment that is intended to make Microchip microcontrollers products easy and powerful for both beginners and professionals.

IMO, neither environment is more productive than the other. Capability, however, will center upon the programmers ability to "milk" the environment for every last drop of milk. For hobby use, either environment is most capable. For high-end educational and professional use, either environment can provide good leverage. However, the internal PICAXE magic firmware is a distinct performance ceiling and the ability to muck around with the chip internals is more limited in PICAXE than in Arduino. Additionally, for precise timing, the Arduino platform provides a stable 16MHz clock in many of the products; such capability is limited to only the upper models in the PICAXE line.

Cost? A "boarduino" which is an ATmega chip on a breadboard that uses the Arduino serial bootloader, can be constructed for around $8 (the ATmel 328P uC is under $4 from Newark in single units and under $2 in 25+ units.) Add a 16MHz crystal, a couple of 22pf capacitors, and you essentially have a 16MHz platform with 32K of flash (2K-4K used by bootloader of YOUR CHOICE), 1K EEPROM, and 2K RAM. In this example, the boarduino is a bit more expensive than the PICAXE 20X2; however, the timebase is significantly better if precision timing is required.

Both PIC and ATmega have their roots in raw silicon. After that, the differences begin to accumulate. I keep one "real" Arduino UNO around to validate my software should the boarduino have some weird happenings. This is my route to sanity. In PICAXE, I never had a factory board, but I did keep a Peter Anderson build solderless breadboard unchanged with the USB Bub just in case... also, it was a nice programmer.

Use what you are comfortable with... both environments are capable but I do not think one is more productive than the other. I do however, think that the Arduino is more flexible since one has total ownership of the silicon. This means you can pick and choose your own bootloader, modify fuse settings, and even incorporate non-source libraries into your project. You can also "brick" the chip and make it worthless until you find a high-voltage programmer to un-do the security fuse settings.

- Ray