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