Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scorched Picaxe Chip

The other project I've been working on is the sound system. I'm trying to use the M and A system M and A Sound System that uses the VMusic2 unit, and a Picaxe Microcontroller. I don't know anything about microcontrollers or programming these chips, but I thought this would be my excuse to learn. It's been challenging. I had a lot of trouble getting everything working from the tutorial, but I think I had a bad jump drive that I was using for the sounds. For a while all I could get the system to do was play a single R2 sound over and over. But I think I got the wiring sorted out and I replaced the jump drive.

In the tutorial, it says to skip outputs 3 and 4 on the Picaxe board and wire 0,1, 2, 5, and 6. I thought that 3 worked too so I hooked that up to the remote control receiver. Either that mistake or something else I did but don't see seems to have fried my Picaxe chip. The whole thing worked before my mixup with number 3, then after it was dead. And the program on my computer won't even recognize the chip now when I hook it up. So I cooked it somehow. I ordered another one and I'll try again. Here's the system so far:

The Picaxe chip is in the middle left of the board in the top of the picture. I've been trying to learn to solder through all of this, so I keep worrying that my poor learning attempts have shorted or bridged some connection that's not supposed to be connected. Just to be safe I ordered another board with the new chip. Just $18 total or so. Google Picaxe 18x. The software, as the tutorial says, is available online. I'll update this when I get in there and try to fix that part of the system this week. Hopefully I'll be able to secure all of these components to the back panel I added today and get it all organized.

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