Programming most Atmel AVR 8-bit RISC microcontrollers (µC) comes in two flavors: AVR assembly language and, the extremely popular and FREE, C-based open source language, AVR-GCC WinAVR for Windows. This selection might seem restrictive and limiting to a beginning programmer or an individual who has acquired a lot of “code time” working with BASIC Stamp µC from Parallax.

Rest easy all of you BASIC code-busters, MCS Electronics has got you covered. BASCOM-AVR is an incredibly powerful Windows-based BASIC compiler that can help you program AVR µC just as competently as your assembly and C brethren (and sisters, too).

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Just like the more popular assembly- and C-based programming environments, BASCOM-AVR generates a sweet, tight HEX code that can be independently uploaded with any USB AVR programmer or directly burned onto an AVR with Atmel’s STK500 and a serial COM port.

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Use Atmel Studio 4 IDE for burning your BASCOM-AVR HEX file to your target microcontroller with the USB AVRISP mkII programmer.

NOTE: If you own an AVRISP mkII USB programmer, you can still use BASCOM-AVR for developing your code. Rather than using BASCOM-AVR for programming you µC, however, you will compile a HEX code for your BASIC program, then burn the HEX code into the µC with Atmel’s Studio 4 IDE.

One of the most appreciated features found in BASCOM-AVR is the powerful list of special commands. These commands are like customized linked libraries that provide a set of simple, straightforward comprehendible commands for streamlining the management of some common hardware interfaces.

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Quickly configure the AVR ports.

The special commands featured in BASCOM-AVR will make you look like a pro programmer with these touchy hardware fixtures:

  • Serial LCDs
  • I2C products
  • 1Wire components
  • PC keyboard
  • Software UART
  • SPI connections
  • Sony IR control commands

BASCOM-AVR costs $96 and can be locally purchased from either BiPOM Electronics or Rhombus. Alternatively, you can download a DEMO version directly from MCS Electronics.

If you’d like to see what BASCOM-AVR can do for your next AVR µC project, stay tuned to An upcoming project on will use BASCOM-AVR for managing an Olimex AVR-MT development board equipped with an ATtiny2313. Now that’ll be fun.