PICAXE Microcontroller with Parallax Serial LCD Display

Parallax Serial LCDDo you want to add an LCD display to your PICAXE project? Do you have a limited number of output pins on your microcontroller? The Parallax Serial LCD display is a great solution!

The Parallax 2×16 serial LCD display has only 3 pins. Only one of those pins connects to the microcontroller. The other two are for power connections.

It turns out, Parallax has made it very easy to communicate with the LCD display with simple serial commands. You can test your display by using or modifying the PICAXE program I have written below.

NOTE: To use the display at the PICAXE’s default 4 Mhz, the LCD will need to be set for a 2400 baud rate and the program will change from:

setfreq m16
symbol tx = c.4
symbol baud = T9600_16


setfreq m4
symbol tx = c.4
symbol baud = T2400_

The code below will test the serial communication, the display back-lighting (if applicable), and the on-board speaker/sound controls.

I hope this proves useful to somebody! Enjoy!


' ------------
'|  LCD Test  |
' ------------

'by Alexander Hogen

'Started: 9-16-2013
'Finished: 9-16-2013

'See "Command Set" in this PDF for
'more information.

setfreq m16

'9600 baud only works in 16MHz or higher

'Multiply desired millisecond (ms) timing
'by 4 to get desired result.
'i.e. "Pause 5" becomes "Pause 20"

symbol tx = c.4
symbol baud = T9600_16

pause 400

serout tx, baud,(22) 'Turn display on
pause 40
gosub clearLCD
serout tx, baud,(17) 'Turn backlight on

serout tx, baud,("Hello")

pause 4000

gosub clearLCD
serout tx, baud,("LCD works great!")

gosub beeps



serout tx, baud, (12)
pause 40


serout tx, baud,(216) 'Select the 4th scale (A=440Hz)
pause 40
serout tx, baud,(210) 'Set note length to 1/16 note
pause 40

serout tx, baud,(220,221,222,223,224,225,226,227)
pause 4000

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Blender ICON


Blender is truly an amazing program. What makes it even more appealing is the fact that it is totally and completely FREE (download here)! The things it can do are truly amazing. More and more artists are using this program for their computer graphics and animation needs. A couple short films have already been created using Blender. You can watch some of those here.

Since the Blender website does a much better job at describing what Blender is capable of, we’ll point you to their website to learn about the stunning effects and amazing features of this open source program: Blender Features

We have been writing a couple tutorials on how to do different things with Blender in the Tutorials section. Be sure to check those out as well!

Program Supports:

  • Windows (32 & 64 bit)
  • Mac
  • Linux
NWTE Recommends:

  • Fast processor for rendering (i.e. 2.5 GHz Dual Core or better)
  • More than 3 GB RAM
  • Large screen for modeling and texturing objects
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Effects – Smooth Decimator

Have you ever wondered how recording artists get that muffled/distorted sound in certain types of recordings (many times on a voice during a bridge)? Well I found an effect in Audacity that has a very similar sound.

NOTE: I’m assuming that you’ve already downloaded and installed the LADSPA Plugins for Audacity from their website. This package contains 90 useful plugins for Audacity. If you don’t have it yet, go to this URL, choose your operating system, and click on the LADSPA Plugins link. Install that and you should be good to go!

Smooth Decimator Tutorial.pdf

Mode MP3.zip


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Install Android Market on Coby Kyros MID7012 (or most other tablets running Android 2.3.3)

Coby Kyros MID7012So this Christmas, I put the Coby Kyros MID7012 tablet (which only runs Android 2.3.3) on my wish list. I was surprised when I actually received it! By that time, I had decided I didn’t really need it. I am returning it, but I thought I would share some things I learned through the experience. This mainly concerns installing the Android Market on the Coby Kyros.


Ok, just to give you a little background info, the Kyros 7012 and others don’t have the Android Market installed out of the box. It would seem like all you’d need to do is install a few .apk files and you’d be good right? Well all but 2 articles I read online were not like that at all. Most required you to root the device. Although rooting itself can be undone, certain things done with rooting privileges cannot. Not to mention the fact that “rooting” the tablet most likely voids the warranty on the device. So, in short, it doesn’t seem like “doing it right the first time” is very popular with people installing the Android Market. That is why I wanted to throw in my two cents about this so that more people can do this right and not mess up their devices.

After a good amount of research, I found a method that actually worked for me. It is based off of a YouTube tutorial. If you go on YouTube, it’s the first one that pops up if you search “install android market on coby” I believe. Here’s the actual URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BrWSC2uiAg


I have to put that there in case someone messes up their device by following this, although I doubt they will. Okay, here we go.

1. Download the “Android Market_install_files.zip” below with your PC and unzip all the files to a convenient location (say, your desktop).

Android Market_install_files.zip

2. Now connect the tablet to your PC and put these files on your tablet’s SD card or internal memory. If your not sure how to do this, consult your product manual (on page 30 I think). I stuck the files in the “downloads” folder on the device itself.

3. After the files have finished transferring, disconnect the tablet from your PC.

4. Go to your file viewer app. On my tablet, they installed “ES File Explorer”. Yours should have a similar file explorer program.

5. Now find where you put those .apk files. I put mine in the “downloads” folder.

6. Ok, now you are going to install them in a specific order. (Just tap on the file to install. Hit “Done” after each one. DON’T RUN THEM AFTER THEY INSTALL!) Here is the order:

a. OneTimeInitializer.apk
b. SetupWizard.apk
c. GoogleServicesFramework-signed.apk
d. com.android.vending.3.3.12.apk

7. Ok, this step is important. DO NOT GO TO THE HOME SCREEN!!!!. Press and hold the power button on the tablet and turn it off.

8. Now turn it back on!

9. After start-up, you will see a menu with two options. Check the “Use this as default” box on the bottom, then select the option on top (“Launcher”). You don’t want to set up anything. You just want to use the regular initializer.

10. Make sure you are connected to a wireless network (WIFI). If not, get your tablet connected.

11. Now that your connected, go to the Apps list (by tapping the box made of little squares that’s either on the bottom or right hand side of your screen).

12. You should see the Android Market icon in this list. Go ahead and open it. Since this is the first run, you’ll need to enter your Google Account information and accept the license agreement.The Android Market will filter out most apps that won’t work with your tablet.

You should be good to go. Enjoy your new apps!

Install Android Market on Coby Kyros MID7012 (or most other tablets running Android 2.3.3)
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02 – Create Text Based Image in Blender

Here you’ll learn basic creation and manipulation of text in Blender. You’ll create a text object, apply a font, and edit the color. You’ll also experiment with the background (or “world”) color and wire mesh vs. solid mesh. Click the link below to download/view the .pdf

Text Based Image in Blender.pdf

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“Cool Spinney Thing” in Blender

Made with Blender. Created by RED 7.

I made a tutorial for Blender yesterday. It’s kind of an abstract “spinney” thing. You can check out the tutorial and finished render by clicking on the videos below. (Soon to be posted) Meanwhile, you can download my current “.blend” file for your own use! Cool Spinney Thing.zip

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