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This serie of pages on this website will help you on your way with the Parallax (OEM) Basic Stamp II microcontroller.

How to program your Basic Stamp using your PC.

I have to admit that this was not as easy to start with, since I missed any documentation (OK, you can find it on both the CDRom and the Parallax website - but it took me some effort to get it anyway).

Note to Mac users:
I have no experience with the Macintosh in combination with the Basic Stamp. Parallax suggests the same setup as shown for a PC using software emulation for a PC (ie. Soft Windows or Connectix Virtual PC). From my early days I can remember that it might be tricky to hookup the serial interface to your Mac.

Parallax: Basic Stamp II

Connecting the Basic Stamp to your PC

Step one in the programming process is to get connected with your Basic Stamp.

The Basic Stamp 1 series used the parallel-port (or printerport) of your PC. Just for reference, I added the wireing on the bottom of this page.

The newer Basic Stamp 2 work just fine with the serialport or com-port of your PC. The scematics can also be found on the original Parallax website.

The Basic Stamp 2 models use ONLY the serialport, and the Basic Stamp 1 ONLY the parallelport!

Basic Stamp 2 - The Serialport

The OEM Basic Stamp 2 kit has already a serialport connector mounted (D-Sub 9) which can be connected to your PC using a regular serial cable (not a null-modem cable!).

The "chip" kits do not have such a connector and are te be connected as such:

Interface for the Basic Stamp 2 and your PC
PC Com-port
Basic Stamp 2
pin 2 (RX)
pin 1 (Sout)
pin 3 (TX)
pin 2 (Sin)
pin 4 (DTR)
pin 3 (ATN)

* for auto com-port detection you may need to connect pin 6 (DSR) and pin 7 (RTS) of the serial port.

Required programming software

The BASIC Stamp is programmed with a DOS (All models) or Windows 95/98/ME/NT4.0/2000 (BASIC Stamp II series) editor. Programs can be created and be downloaded to the BASIC Stamp from within the editor.

The software can be found on the CD-Rom or for free download from the Parallax website. The Windows version (StampW v1.3) can be downloaded here as well.

Note: code once stored on the Basic Stamp CANNOT be retrieved back from the Basic Stamp! So ALWAYS save the original source code on disk !

When the download is complete the program can be started from ANY location on your harddisk - just unzip it first using WinRar or WinZip. The double click the file called "BASIC Stamp Editor v1.3.msi" and all required software will be installed.

Once you entered code and select the 'Run' option, the editor will check your program syntax, download it (if syntax is OK) to the Basic Stamp and execute it.

An additional feature of the editor is the "debug" Window. Feedback from your Basic Stamp program (using the "debug" command) will automatically be display in this window. This debug information can also be captured using a regular terminal program, but why bother. The Basic Stamp 2 editor is almost perfect.

For reference only: Basic Stamp 1 - The Printerport

Keep in mind that this is for the Basic Stamp 1 kits ONLY and only here for reference purposes!
Also note that the STAMPW.EXE application (the editor mentioned before) is NOT compatible with the Basic Stamp 1 modules.

Interface for the  Basic Stamp 1 and your PC
PC Printerport
Basic Stamp 1 (!)
pin 25 (GND)
pin 2 (Vss)
pin 11 (PCin)
pin 3 (PCO)
pin 2 (PCout)
pin 4 (PCI)



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