New! Index of useful literature
High Language Interpreters Club for Microcontrollers
This page is dedicated to the people that are interested in
building, testing, and using various higher language
interpreters for Microchip PIC processors.
Club Membership is currently unavailable.
Reverse Engineering Disclaimer
The club will not support any software or hardware
development, based on the reverse engineering (i.e.
"poping") of read-protected chips. This prohibited
techniques also include using non-standard environmental
conditions (e.g. non standard voltage, frequency, or
temperature) for reading otherwise unreadable data from
hardware modules or chips.
Current project CORE ST1-64 ver2.0
- CORE ST1-64 is a virtual machine running on a PIC16C84 or PIC16F84 microcontroller that interprets the
intermediate code, stored in the internal on-chip 64 byte EEPROM memory. The machine
is fully compatible with Parallax Basic Stamp 1 Basic interpreter with the only exception -
the program memory has only 64 bytes. The compatibility includes compatible
download protocol and debugging facilities. For development can be used the
original development software by Parllax or Windows development software by
- Interpreter code
for CORE ST1-64 version 1.0 is now available.
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The file was downloaded 1511 times until March 22, 2000.
- Compiler from source language (currently only BASIC) to the intermediate code of CORE ST1-64.
The compiler ST1.EXE is included in the distribution. The syntax
of the input language of this compiler is compatible with the
Basic Stamp I language with some extensions, that will be useful
in future types of core. The compiler after compiling displays
the size of compiled programs in bytes, so the STMPSIZE utility
is no longer needed.
This compiler allows compiling the Basic program into the
intermediate code (the default action of the compiler),
downloading the program to the ST1-64 chip using parallel port
interface (with /l option) or serial port interface (with /s)
option and debugging the program (with /d option).
The compiler also generates the output file with the binary
intermediate code named CODE.OBJ. The name of this file can be
changed using the /o command line option.
The ST1 compiler uses in present version for downloading the
parallel interface that is vulnerable to interrupts. For maximal
reliability it should be run under clear MS-DOS (not the DOS
window under Windows). You can use it also in the DOS window
under Windows, but the downloading is not allways succesful and
sometimes you should repeat it. In near future will be
implemented downloading using serial interface that is not
vulnerable to interrupts.
Compiler is written using LEX and YACC tools and is prepared to
be multilanguage compiler with multiple code generation modules.
Future versions will support more languages (the BS1 syntax is
only moderate start) and code generation modules for interpreters
with more memory and also direct code generation for
- Circuit. The basic circuit for parallel downloading
is very simple.
The ST1 compiler supports both serial and parallel port
downloading (the original DOS Stamp software downloads only via
the printer port). Serial port downloading requires an 'adapter'
to convert the +/- 12V serial signals down to a safe 5V.
This adapter is designed to adapt the original 'printer port
cable' for use with the serial port. Naturally you could also
construct a new cable arrangement from scratch. Note that pin 6
and 7 on the serial connector must be linked. Note also that the
adapter requires a 5V power source, which can be sourced from the
Stamp's 5V output pin.
There are two versions of the conversion cable. The first one
uses transistors and the second one uses
MAX202 or MAX232
You can look at ELECTRONICA ESTUDIO site
where is the schematics and PCB layout of the ST1/64 hardware under
the name "Clon Stamp 64". You can also order a kit here.
- Other compilers. If you are not satisfied with the above compiler,
other compilers can be obtained from a number of sources. The currently known possibilities are
- The first possibility is to use an original Basic Stamp I editor for MS/DOS
developed by Parallax (BASIC Stamp is a registered trademark of Parallax, Inc.).
This editor is called STAMP.EXE and is freely downloadable from the
Parallax site or
from Parallax FTP server.
- The second possibility is to use a BS/4 Editor written by Antti Lukats from
Silicon Studio Ltd. that was developed for the BS/4 project and is freely
downloadable from the Dontronics page
Basic Stamp Divided By Four.
Note that this editor uses different downloading protocol than CORE ST1-64, so
you have to use the BSAVE command (see our note to Parallax software)
and then download it using BSLOAD.EXE downloader by Parallax.
If there will be enough interest we can maybe develop a CORE ST1-64 version
with BS/4 compatible download protocol. When using current version of
BS/4 Editor you cannot use DEBUG command.
- The third possibility is to use a nice Windows based sofware created by
TEP. The software is
TEP site. According to the authors:
This Windows software has been developed because the original
Parallax DOS software was not suitable for schools running Windows NT
networks, or for any schools who prevent DOS access for system
This software is fully compatible with programs written in the DOS
software, and programs written in either system can be exchanged
without modification. However this software downloads to the Stamp via the serial port,
rather than via the printer port as used with the original DOS
software. See the Download Cable section for further details.
BSSClub note: The serial downloading should be without problems possible also for
CORE ST1-64 chip, but we did not check it. We encourage our users to test it
and to let us know about results.
- If there is available any other suitable compiler, please let us know.
For users unfamiliar with the Basic Stamp system we strongly recommend
the original Basic Stamp manual, which is available in pdf format from
the Parallax Web site at http://www.parallaxinc.com.
- Bug History
- Version 0.1, Initial Release
- Version 2.0, November, 1999
Added compiler ST1.EXE
Added and tested serial port dovnloading circuit
Added GIF version of circuit schematics
Removed ID locations programming in hex file
Added two versions of hex file - for 16C84 and 16F84
You are encouraged to report bugs and errors using the Implementation error report
This software is property of BSSClub and you are free to use it
for your personal use as you see fit. However, this software is
not public domain and you may not redistribute it in any way
with any product or service. If you would like to mirror the
official distribution on your Web or FTP site, contact BSSClub and
we will not unreasonably withold our permission to do so provided you
agree not to charge for the software, not to modify it in any way,
and you agree to keep the most current version.
This software is provided free and is as-is. BSSClub makes no warantee
as to its fitness for any purpose whatsoever. Basic Stamps are a
product and registered trademarks of Parallax Inc. BSSClub is in no way
affiliated with Parallax.
An older project BS/4 - Basic Stamp Divided By Four by Antti Lukats
Some time ago, Antti Lukats of Sistudios came up with a Basic Stamp divided by four. The
original basic Stamp One has 256 bytes for tokens in an external 256 byte EEPROM (BASIC Stamp is a registered trademark of Parallax, Inc.).
Antti's has just 64, which is the internal data eeprom storage of the PIC16C84 and PIC16F84
EEPROM version PICmicros.
This is an ideal starting point for Students, and Hobbyists, and may well be suitable for small
Schematics of the board for this project is here and
the whole PDF document can be downloaded from here.
Important note! If you are going to build this circuit, consider that the
circuit for the following project will be slightly different and this circuit will
no be usable for them. We recommend you to slightly wait and build the circuit
suitable for both projects.
It appears that possible additional development on this project is not forthcoming,
so this code is placed on the web free for personal use only and can be downloaded from
the Dontronics page Basic Stamp Divided By Four.
The BS/4 project contains some unimplemented features and some errors.
- Known unusual features: loading protocol different from original BS1,
using P7 in SERIN and SEROUT commands will force HOST port to be used instead of P7 Pin.
- Firmware v 0.01 (alpha) known bugs: DEBUG not working, POT not working, SLEEP and NAP not working, SERIN working only partially
- You may report further bugs and errors using the Implementation error report
Other project - Picaro by Tom Napier
- A Stamp-like Interpreted Controller
For years, Tom's been itching to control the instruction sets of processors. Using a PIC, some memory, and an interpreter, he bypasses the processor hurdle and writes his own language. He shows you how to do it, too.
Unfortunately, this interpreter can be programmed only in a special assembly language.
The article describing the controller is
in PDF format.
- Download source code and binaries: picaro_UPDATED!.ZIP
Other project - Tiny51 Basic presented by Dontronics
- The Jesstec Tiny-51 Interpreter is an adaptation of the old Intel Tiny Basic Interpreter and
has been designed to run out of serial EEPROM, one or two enhancements have been done,
and a PC front end developed which will allow programs to be written without line numbers
and downloaded to the system.
- Download binaries from Dontronics page.
Implementation error report
Here you may report the bugs or errors that you have discovered in our projects.
PIC and Basic Stamp Books
BASIC Stamp / Stamp 2 / SX
Microcontroller Projects With Basic Stamps.
Paperback - 300 pages Bk&Cd Rom edition (October 1999)
This book is much better than the regular Stamp manual. It
starts out explaining how everything works and then covers
each of the commands by function which is a great idea
instead of alphabetizing them). After that the author shows
you how things work by bringing you through a series of
projects. Unlike some books most of these projects are
simple enough to breadboard in 10 or 15 minutes. There are
a few projects that are more complicated at the end so you
can get some feel for how do do a real design too (like the
morese code keyer that has a pcb).
Programming and Customizing the Basic Stamp Computer.
Paperback - 350 pages Bk&Cd-Rom edition (March 1998)
McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0079136842
A book/CD-ROM tutorial on the BASIC Stamp single-board computer,
which runs a PIC Microcontroller and doesn't require any assembly
language programming. Offers a primer on basic electronics, and
coverage of both BASIC Stamp I and II, from understanding BASIC
programs to PBASIC toolboxes and applications. Includes 12 complete
projects demonstrating applications, and a reference guide. The
accompanying CD-ROM provides software tools for developing PIC
The Basic Stamp 2 - Tutorial and Applications.
Spiral-bound - 170 pages 1 edition (February 1998)
Peter H. Anderson; ISBN: 0965335763
Basic Stamp: An Introduction to Microcontrollers.
Paperback - 416 pages (March 1997)
Butterworth Heinemann; ISBN: 0750698918
Covers both the hardware and software sides of the Parallax BASIC
Stamp 1 and 2 microprocessor operation and design. The BASIC
Stamp is built on PIC microcontroller hardware and uses PBASIC as its
programming language, which makes it simple to use, but versatile
enough to solve professional problems. Once the hardware operations
and PBASIC instruction sets are established, applications suitable for
designers as well as home hobbyists are presented. These applications
can be used as is or can be modified.
Easy PIC'n: A Beginners Guide to Using PIC16/17 Microcontrollers from Square 1
David Benson; June 1999; Square One Electronics
PIC'n Up Pace: An Intermediate Guide to Using PIC Microcontrollers from Square 1
David Benson; June 1999; Square One Electronics
Serial PIC'n: PIC Microcontroller Serial Communications
Roger L. Stevens; May 3, 1999
PIC'n Techniques, PIC Microcontroller Applications Guide
David Benson; January 1, 1999
PIC: Your Personal Introductory Course
John Morton; August 1998; Newnes
Design With PIC Microcontrollers
John B. Peatman; November 1997; Prentice Hall
Microcontroller Cookbook: PIC & 8051
Mike James; November 4, 1997; Butterworth-Heinemann
Programming and Customizing the PIC Microcontroller (Book+Disk)
Michael Predko; September 1997; McGraw-Hill
Programming and Customizing the AVR Microcontroller (Book+CD)
Dhananjay V. Gadre; January 2000; McGraw-Hill
AVR RISC Microcontroller Handbook
Claus Kuhnel; September 1998; Newnes
Handbook of Microcontrollers (Re 8051, 68HC05, Atmel AVR, PIC, Stamp, +CD)
Michael Predko; July 1998; McGraw Hill
Basic Stamp Documentation and Links
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