What is the BASIC STAMP ? 51060

The BASIC Stamp is a microcontroller with a small, specialized BASIC interpreter (PBASIC) built into ROM. It is made by Parallax, Inc. and has been popular with electronics hobbyists, robotic designers since the early 1990’s because of its low threshold of learning and ease of use due to its simple to understand BASIC language and excellent documentation. It is called a “Stamp” simply because it is close to the size of an average postage  stamp.

Technical Specifications of Basic Stamp

Although the BASIC Stamp has the form of a DIP chip, it is in fact a small printed circuit board (PCB) that contains the essential elements of a microprocessor system:

  • A Microcontroller containing the CPU, a built in ROM containing the BASIC interpreter, and various peripherals
  • Memory (an i²C EEPROM)
  • A clock, usually in the form of a ceramic resonator
  • A power supply
  • External input and output

The end result is that a hobbyist can connect a 9 V battery to a BASIC Stamp and have a complete system. A connection to a personal computer allows the programmer to download software to the BASIC Stamp, which is stored in the onboard non-volatile memory device: it remains programmed until it is erased or reprogrammed, even when the power is removed.

Programming Language

The BASIC Stamp is programmed in a variant of the BASIC language, called PBASIC. PBASIC incorporates common microcontroller functions, including PWM, serial communications, I²C and 1-Wire communications, communications with common LCD driver circuits, hobby servo pulse trains, pseudo-sine wave frequencies, and the ability to time an RC circuit which may be used to detect an analog value.

Once the program has been written, it is tokenized and sent to the chip through a serial cable.


Download PDF - 51060-Basic_Stamp_FAQ.pdf



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