It lives! – the first steps of the Flying Monkey TV Missing Link

Still from "Frankenstein" (1910) Director J. Searle Dawley - Source:

The Prototype

Having finally ordered the USB programming cable, so that I can program the PICAXE circuits from my MacBook, I get around to actually trying out the PICAXE. I started with an old prototype board that I built a few years ago.

Even after some time of trying I cannot get the the PICAXE chips to run the program even though it appears to be accepting it ok.

The instructions are a little ambiguous too. There is a document online that tells you how to install the driver for the USB programming cable.

I downloaded and installed the driver software and the free MacAXEpad programming compiler.

I followed the instructions on page 14 but on my MacBook running Mc OS X 10.5.8 the options to enable the new USB device was not available. I was able to examine the /dev directory and find the entry

/ d e v / t t y . u s b s e r i a l – x x x x x x x x

After giving up on the downloaded instructions, I looked through the MacAXEpad software and found under View > Options… a place to enter the number found in the /dev directory.

It worked no problem after that, but it is not in the instructions.

However, although I have been able to download programs, I have not been able to get them to run downloaded from the MacBook. So, I went to my backup, which is a Toshiba 230CXdating from some time in the 1990’s. I had used this previously and it still works fine, so in the interest of getting on with stuff I’m using that and will try and fix the Mac link later.

So, I tried using the prototype board I’ve used before. I tested the output from the Gentles GentSTEREOPro, which sends out a pulse of 5.1v to trigger the cameras. I tested the post-resistor value on my old PICAXE circuit which gives 2.5v and this was not enough to trigger the camera. If I take a voltage before the resistor I get 3.5v and this is enough to trigger the camera. So, I did a clunky rewrite of the software to switch on an off.

It lives.

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