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What is a STAMP ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Beowulf, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    Can somebody explain to a real newbie what is a STAMP or BASIC Stamp
    computer? I was looking at a book on this at the bookstore today and it
    intrigues me. I want to build something to detect temperature or EMF from
    a gaussmeter and read it into my computer serial port for analog to
    digital data acquisition. The BASIC Stamp computer projects in the book
    look like this might be something to get into. But I can not find a
    definition of STAMP or BASIC Stamp anywhere; the book did not even have
    the term Stamp in its own glossary!
     
  2. hpbcpl

    hpbcpl Guest

    <Snip>

    Heres a great place to start .... Also try a google search .....

    Scorp
     
  3. hpbcpl

    hpbcpl Guest

  4. Tim Dicus

    Tim Dicus Guest

    The best place to start is at the Parallax site:
    www.parallax.com

    You can purchase them through Digi-Key www.digikey.com

    I have experience with the Basic Stamp2 OEM. Very easy to get started. Programs through your computer's RS232 serial port.
    Pre-assembled they are $59 on the Parallax site. Kit is $45.
    http://www.parallax.com/html_pages/products/basicstamps/basic_stamps_oem.asp

    Hope that helps,

    Tim
     
  5. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    google search was not helpful, until i did search in google groups --
    traditional google search "what is a basic stamp?" kept coming up with
    hits that did not define a stamp-- frustrating. Try it yourself.
     
  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 13:04:47 -0600, Tim Dicus wrote:
    ..
    Thank you. I am finally catching a glean of what a stamp is.
    Can stamps somehow acquire analog data, such as a variable
    voltage put out by a gaussmeter, or do they just handle
    digital input signals?

    I am feeling a bit perplexed-- the stamp is looking really
    interesting for logging temperature data to a PC via a
    serial port-- looks doable and there are books on stamps
    and the parallax site has excellent tools and docs. But the
    maker of the GP-3 http://www.al-williams.com/gp3.htm says
    (via email) that the stamp can not handle analog data,
    which I think I would want for acquiring data to my PC
    from a gaussmeter I built
    http://my.execpc.com/~rhoadley/magmeter.htm
    Thoughts? Advice?
     
  7. Hi:

    A Basic Stamp is basically a tiny circuit that makes microcontrolling easy
    and accessible for your average boob like me. It has a PIC microcontroller,
    a 5 Vdc regulator and EPROM memory for a program. It's small, like a DIP,
    and can plug into a breadboard.

    The onboard PIC processor has been permanently programmed to read and
    interpret instructions in a form of BASIC. The program is stored in the
    flash EPROM. It is programmed with simple software you load onto your
    computer and the program is downloaded and burned into the chip via a simple
    9-pin serial cable...no burner is necessary. It can be programmed and
    reprogrammed over and over.

    If you used an ordinary PIC chip alone, you would have to have a chip-burner
    and write the program in assembly code and you would have to provide it with
    a regulated power supply. If you just want to fiddle around and experiment
    with devices, it's a pretty slick setup. You can just supply it with a 9 V
    battery and download programs as you desire. It can handle discreet I/O,
    parallel data and serial data, synchronous or asynchronous (which is really
    easy with the special BASIC commands). It has the ability to do PWM output
    and read a potentiometer input. It also has some specialty functions like
    sine wave output, touchtone telephone output, or even X-10 control. I have
    used it for some fairly elaborate stuff. To do what you want accurately
    would probably require an A/D peripheral chip, but not a really big deal.

    I have three stamps and use them all the time to experiment. If you're
    thinking of a permanent or production design, though, you probably would
    want to go with something like an actual PIC.
     
  8. Tim Dicus

    Tim Dicus Guest

    You could use an external AD converter with the Stamp. The ADC08xx series are good 8-bit converters. National Semiconductor has some
    good info on them at:
    http://www.national.com/catalog/AnalogDataAcquisition.html

    Tim
     
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