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Looking for Feedback on PICaxe Platform Module

I've been working a PICaxe platform module.  I did a V1 a few months ago, and recently re-did it.  Here's a prototype of V2;


I've used the same power stage as the Propeller Platform sD - it's 5v @ 1.5A and 3.3v @1.5A with an extremely low dropout of 100mV.  Standard power and programming jack, and it has power indicator lights.

I need to make a few changes, so I thought I'd get additional feedback.

1 - Platform Modules expect 32 GP I/O, but no PICaxe's have that much.  My current thinking is to let the user jumper PICaxe I/O to the Platform connections.  I don't want to do a complicated I/O expander IC and removable Jumper shunts would get very complicated and messy.

Is that the best route?

2 - Right now, I'm targeting a 20X2.  It's pretty powerful, but still inexpensive.  The connections will also support M series PICaxe's.  What do you think of using that one?  Is there another PICaxe that would be better (but still inexpensive)?

In general, what do you think?  Would it be cool to use Platform Modules with a PICaxe?

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I would buy one!

Here's Rev c -

  • Same Voltage regulator - 1.5A output with 100mV dropout
  • connect either a power adapter or use a screw terminal
  • Uses a 40x2 with a 10Mhz crystal, so it will run at 40Mhz
  • Optional spot for an i2c EEPROM for 4 additional program slots
  • Program with the 3.5mm TRS plug, or use a USBThumb with the pin headers
  • Would come 'mostly' pre-assembled - you'd just add Female sockets (or headers), the headphone and power, and the switches

Any thoughts / suggestions?  Anything I'm missing that should be there?



the outer row and inner row are connected, also.  It would come the same way as the Prop Platform SD - with Female sockets, but not soldered on, so you could do whatever makes sense.

I'm laying out a 40x2 SMT version right now and it's coming out well. 

I see the 40x2 has i2c - is there a most common i2c device (maybe an eeprom or an RTC)?  If so, I could add a space for it on the pcb...

My imidiate thought is that it would be better with males instead of females as the connectors. That way something like a servo or a flat cable etc sould fit on it, you could add jumpers etc.

I am probably far out, but it was my thought :)

But it's expensive.  Looking at it again, though - there is a surface mount package.  I think that might be the best bet, but it would push up the cost of this guy to probably $35-$40. 

I agree, the jumper route can get a bit chaotic. I've done this with one of the 08m proto boards just as a test and wouldn't say it was the best solution. I would say look at micro dip switches, but that just adds more potential clutter. 

I like the thought of having a board for the 20x2. It's an amazing chip and great bang for the buck but in looking for a useful design, I keep thinking(and doing rough designing) of what parallax was doing with their 2pe mobo setup. I know it's somewhat limiiting though, and thats part of the issue of finding the best design, but I think that it would be an ideal solution in some cases..

Also 1 great perk with the 20x2 is that unio memory as it only requires 1 pin if you use it. The boards I've been playing around with all have 1 of these onboard.

This may not be the feedback you were looking for, but figured it might be something to think about.  :)