"Hardware not found" PICAXE 28x1 board - Very strange
June 5, 2012
I have a PICAXE 28x1 board hooked up to a relay circuit as depicted in the attached photo. For some very odd reason, everything was working just dandy when the two bread boards were seperate. No problems. A basic program to open and close the relays made that beautiful clicking noise that was music to my ears. I needed two of these set ups to run my motors and there wasn't enough room on one bread board, so I duplicated the setup on a second breadboard and then used jumpers to connect the V+ and V- bars of both boards (again, please see photo). I added an IR remote sensor to the board (see on the far left of the photo) and am pretty confident that my wiring is ok. Please correct me if I am wrong.
But here's the thing: Now that everything is set up and more or less secured into place, I want to download a new program into the PICAXE board/chip. I keep getting the dreaded "Hardware not found" message and I can't figure out why. I am reading a nice and steady 4.7 volts from my power source (3xAA batteries), and I have measured the same voltage to be flowing through the board. I have used a multimeter to measure every V+ and V- contact identified by the fantastic PICAXE 28 pin project page provided by Fritz (thanks Fritz!) on LMR. Everything reads the same voltage. The cable has been accepted by the computer (ie the drivers were installed and I have tested the tip of the cable using the Test Port function) and everything about the cable seems to be just fine.
No blue smoke has appeared, nothing smells funny. Nothing is running hot. But it's like the PICAXE board is just dead inside/not responding to the AXEpad program.
Any tips on how to narrow this down? Is there something about the way that I have used jumpers to connect the two boards that would have fried the chip? I am a school teacher trying desperately to finish up a project for my kids by the end of the week/school year. Any help that you can give would be so appreciated. Thanks!