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  • About

     

     

     

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

    The Original Maximite

     

    The original Maximite was introduced in the March, April and May 2011 issues of Silicon Chip magazine.

    It became an instant hit and many thousands have been built or purchased.   These days you can find a Maximite calculating prime numbers, monitoring a windmill power generating system or teaching children about computers.

    A new generation of the Maximite family has been introduced (the Colour Maximite) but the original Maximite is still good for many tasks particularly controlling or monitoring systems in the real world.

    The firmware for the original Maximite is still being updated and other than some physical limitations (monochrome video, mono sound, etc) the original Maximite will do most things that the Colour Maximite will do.



    For details of the Colour Maximite and to download firmware updates for all Maximites go to the main Maximite page.  For design and construction details for this Maximite go to Monochrome Maximite Design and Construction

    Features

    This diagram provides a handy summary of the features of the original Maximite:


    The Maximite Collection

    There are many variations of the original Maximite (or clones of it) that you can build or purchase:

    You can build the original Maximite as described in the magazine by sourcing the parts yourself.  The blank PCB is available from from Silicon Chip (link), BudgeTronics or Dontronics.  The pre programmed PIC32 chip is also available from Silicon Chip (link) or you can purchase a blank PIC32 chip from Futurlec or Microchip and program it yourself (a programmer will be required).   See the page Maximite Design and Construction for details.  
    An easier approach is to purchase a full kit of parts from Altronics (part number K9550).  They can ship to anywhere in the world.  The kit includes the magazine article, all parts including the case and the main processor chip (the PIC32) which is pre programmed and soldered to the PC board.
    In Europe you can purchase a kit of parts from BudgeTronics.  They also offer a lasercut Maximite enclosure made from wood.
     
    The mini Maximite was described in the November 2011 issue of Silicon Chip.  It is a low cost miniature version of the original full sized Maximite intended for use as an embedded controller.  It is fully software and hardware compatible so you can develop your program on the full sized Maximite and transfer it to the mini version when you are ready.  You can buy it as a kit from Jaycar or Altronics or you can purchase the PCB and pre-programmed PIC32 chip from Silicon Chip and source the rest of the parts yourself. More Details  
    The CGMMSTICK1 from CircuitGizmos is a great Maximite compatible board that costs just US$30.  It is supplied fully assembled and has a micro-SD card connector for convenient program and data storage.  It is the perfect plug in module for adding intelligence to your project or, with the addition of this $13 add on board, you can have something similar to the full sized Maximite. More Details  
    The DuinoMite from Olimex or Dontronics is a Maximite compatible range of boards that feature an Arduino compatible connector allowing you to use many of the plug in "shields" from that range.  The DuinoMite is not fully compatible with the Maximite but it is still a good board.  You can read about it on this page.  The current version of MMBasic now runs on these boards and can be downloaded from the main Maximite page.    
    If you are expert in electronics you could build your own version of the Maximite  All you really need is the PIC32 microcontroller which costs US$8.44 in single quantities from Microchip.  The page Maximite Design and Construction has an example of a simple assembly using a breakout board that costs 90 cents.  You will also need a few other parts and a programmer but in essence the PIC32 chip programmed with MMBasic is the Maximite and you can construct a working computer with just that chip.  

     

    Errata

    These are the current errata for the magazine articles:

     

    To download firmware updates for all Maximites go to the main Maximite page.  The following links will take you to other pages related to the original Maximite.:

    Other useful pages: