Stache, micro-programmer for the BASIC Stamp II

(c) 2000, 2001 EME Systems
 
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What is the Stache?

The Stache is a palm-size module for loading programs into Parallax BASIC Stamp® II microcontrollers under field conditions. Any PBASIC program you write on a PC can be downloaded into the Stache, after which you can transport the Stache to another location and there deliver the program with a press of a button to a Stamp-based system. The Stache works with the BASIC Stamp II, the IIsx, the IIe, and also the new BS2p-24 and BS2p-40. (but not the original Stamp I).

Stache with board of education

The stache shown with a Parallax "Board of Education". The Basic Stamp 2e microcontroller is the prominent red chip on the board. The pushbutton on the Stache allows the user to initiate program uploads. The LED signals the progress of the upload and error conditions.

Who can use the Stache?

The Stache is essential for anyone who sets up Stamp II-based equipment in difficult locations:

When you use the Stache to transfer programs to your Stamp projects, there are no cables to attach, no software to boot, no ports to configure. For those who use an EME Systems OWL2c weather logger, the Stache can easily transport new programs, without us having to carry an entire PC out to the field. We use the Stache around the shop to program multiple systems in quick succession.

If you have a business or professional interest in the Stamp, there is no need to have on-site personnel or customers see your program code. The Stache can be operated by untrained personnel, working in less than ideal conditions, where the process of loading a program into the Stamp must be fast, foolproof and secure.

The picture at right demonstrates the components needed to put a program into the Stache: a standard RS-232 cable (9-pin straight-through cable) from your computer, the Stache unit, and a 9V battery.

Stache with cable and battery

How does the Stache work?

The Stache connects to a PC using the standard modem cable that is used to program an ordinary BASIC Stamp. When you RUN a program using Parallax software (STAMP2.EXE or STAMPW.EXE), the program tokens are downloaded to the non-volatile memory of the Stache.

Subsequently, when the Stache is plugged into a BASIC Stamp system and you press the RUN push button, the program tokens are uploaded to the target system, and the program runs just as if it had been programmed directly from the PC. Status and error conditions are signaled by an LED.

The Stache can accommodate up to 15 BASIC Stamp II, IIsx, IIe or BS2p programs of 2 kbytes each. The Stache can be reprogrammed a practically limitless number of times. The Stache contains a Scenix SX18AC microcontroller, a 32kbyte eeprom memory, and RS232 level translators. There is a single DB9P connector, which serves both for receiving programs from the PC and for sending programs to the Stamp. The Stache runs from a standard nine volt battery. A quick start guide, a user manual, and technical documentation is included.

stache w/ OWL and battery

Left:
The Stache being used to program an EME Systems OWL2c weather logger.

 
 
 

Right:

The interior of the stache. The small size of the stache can be attributed to the surface-mount components and a strategic layout.

Interior of Stache


The Stache is available directly from EME Systems Price and ordering

The Stache is also available from the Parallax online shopping system
...or by phoning Parallax order line at 1-888-512-1024.
...or from http://www.digikey.com

..

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