BASIC on Raspberry Pi Pico
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    The Original Colour Maximite


    The original Colour Maximite was released in September 2012 and many thousands have been built.  Recently it has been supersceded by the much improved Colour Maximite 2.

    It is still a great project to build but the newer Colour Maximite 2 has more memory, runs much faster and costs only a little more to build. You can find the new Colour Maximite 2 at:

    Downloads for the original Colour Maximite can be found at the bottom of this page.

    The original Colour Maximite is a small and versatile single chip computer running a full featured BASIC interpreter with 128K of working memory and eight colours on a VGA monitor. It will work with a standard PC keyboard and because the Maximite has its own built in SD memory card and BASIC language you need nothing more to start writing and running BASIC programs.

    It also has 40 input/output lines including an Arduino compatible connector.  These I/Os can be independently configured as analog inputs, digital inputs or digital outputs.  You can measure voltage, frequencies, detect switch closure, etc and respond by turning on lights, closing relays, etc - all under control of your BASIC program.

    The design and the firmware including the BASIC interpreter is free to download and use.   And all this is powered by a single chip which costs just $9.58.

    The original Colour Maximite was described in the September 2012 and October 2012 issues of Silicon Chip magazine.

    The Maximite Family

    The original Colour Maximite is the second in the Maximite series of computers:

    More Information

    For information on the original Colour Maximite click on these links:

    Other useful pages:

    Feature Summary

    Self contained high performance micro computer with a 32 bit CPU and 128K RAM.
    Full featured BASIC interpreter and operating system. Instant on, ready for you to type in and test your programs.
    VGA output.  480x432 pixels. COLOUR
    (eight colours)
    VGA output.  240x216  pixels.  Eight colour game playing mode.
    Monochrome Composite Video output (selectable PAL or NTSC)
    Standard PS2 style keyboard input.
    Synthesised music and sound effects (using the MOD format). STEREO
    Battery backed real time clock.
    20 external I/O lines on the back panel.
    Arduino compatible connector with an additional 20 I/O lines that are independent of the original 20 I/Os.
    SD card for storing programs and files (up to 32GB).
    USB for connecting to a personal computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) as a terminal or for file transfer.
    Extensive communications protocols including Serial (RS232 and RS485 with transceivers), I2C, SPI, CAN and 1-wire.
    PWM analog output. DUAL
    Graphics includes selectable fonts, user designed fonts, drawing lines, circles, squares and control over any pixel with any colour.
    Special commands for animated games.
    Firmware upgrades via USB.
    Powered from USB, 9V plug pack (wall wart) or battery.

    Where Can I Get It?

    For the original Colour Maximite you have a number of choices:

    Maximite and MMBasic Support

    The first thing that you should read is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list as this covers construction problems, usage questions and general questions related to all Maximites (colour, monochrome, DuinoMite, etc).

    Also, you should check the list of current bugs found in MMBasic as it lists any faults found in the current version and provides workarounds if applicable.

    The Back Shed has an active forum where a many knowledgeable users are happy to help newcomers to the Maximite and MMBasic:

    MMBasic Library

    The MMBasic library is a collection of programs specifically written for MMBasic.  These include games like Space Invaders and Pacman, demonstration snippets of code and programs to do interesting things like generate morse code.  Because the programs are so small they are all bundled together into a single downloadable file available in the download section below.

    This library is no longer being updated but it is still a great resource for beginners and experts alike.

    Interesting Web Sites

    Two great classic games for the Maximite plus a file manager:

    The Back Shed forum is a great place to hang out and disscuss the Maximite and microcontrollers:

    An excellent video review of the original Colour Maximite by the 8-bit Guy on YouTube:

    A review of the original Colour Maximite and a preview of the Colour Maximite 2

    Another video review and discussion of the original Colour Maximite by Chris Tusa:

    A video clip showing a moon lander game running on the original Colour Maximite with sound effects: (the program is included in the MMBasic Library which can be downloaded below)

    And another clip which introduces the original Colour Maximite:

    A review of the Altronics kits for the original Colour Maximite:

    A benchmark showing the speed of the Maximite compared to the 80's style computers (it is fast):

    RetroBSD.  A port of BSD Unix running on the original Colour Maximite (also see downloads below):

    Source Code to MMBasic

    The source code for MMBasic is available from the main MMBasic website at


    All downloads are for the current version.  Older versions can be found in the archive.
    The firmware updates include all the relevant documentation (it does not have to be separately downloaded).


    Maximite Hardware Manual DOWNLOAD
    MMBasic Language Manual DOWNLOAD
    MMBasic Language Manual - Russian language version by Alexey Skomorohov (V4.4 only) DOWNLOAD
    MMBasic Change Log DOWNLOAD
    Colour MMBasic for the UBW32 DOWNLOAD
    Using Serial Over USB on the Macintosh DOWNLOAD

    MMBasic Updates

    Original Colour Maximite MMBasic firmware V4.5C (also for the UBW32 with colour) DOWNLOAD
    Special Version of V4.5 with support for CAN (Controller Area Network) DOWNLOAD

    Other Downloads

    MMBasic Library dated  3-July-2015  (user written programs for MMBasic) DOWNLOAD
    Demonstration programs for the Colour Maximite (including a synthesiser demo) DOWNLOAD
    Windows Serial Port Driver (for connection to the Maximite via USB - Windows only) DOWNLOAD
    MMEdit, a full featured editor for MMBasic (it runs on your PC).  By Jim Hiley WEB SITE
    Sprite and Font File Editor for the Maximite (written by Fabrice Muller) DOWNLOAD