Parallax BASIC Stamp Discovery Kit - Serial (with USB adapter and cable) #27207

Pololu item #: 1601
Brand: Parallax

This product has been discontinued.

This product has been replaced by a newer USB version.

This older serial version of the Parallax BASIC Stamp Discovery Kit has replaced by a newer USB version, which has a built-in USB interface instead of relying on a separate USB-to-serial adapter. Other than this, the two Discovery Kits are identical.

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The Parallax BASIC Stamp Discovery Kit comes with everything you need to get started with microcontroller programming and electronics. The included text, What’s a Microcontroller? (6MB pdf), guides you through over 40 activities that teach you how to program the BASIC Stamp 2 microcontroller and make simple circuits controlled by the Basic Stamp. The text contains clear explanations, defines electronic terms in a friendly manner, and teaches you the skills and concepts you need to get started with building your own electronic projects.

Note: This kit requires a power supply or 9 V battery, which are not included. When using this kit with the included USB adapter, install the USB driver before connecting the adapter to your computer.


Here are some of the things you can do with the parts included in this kit. You will learn how to do these things by completing the activities in the What’s a Microcontroller Text (6MB pdf) included in the kit:

The Board of Education development board included in the BASIC Stamp Discovery Kit and Boe-Bot Robot Kit.

  • Send signals with blinking LEDs
  • Sense contact with pushbuttons
  • Read a dial using a potentiometer
  • Measure light with a photoresistor
  • Control an RC servo (a special motor with built-in electronics that allows it to maintain a certain position, often used in radio-control cars for controlling steering)
  • Make music on a piezo speaker
  • Display data on a 7-segment LED display
  • Expand your projects with peripheral ICs

Parallax BASIC Stamp 2 Module #BS2-IC.

Kit Contents

The BASIC Stamp Discovery Kit includes the following parts.

  • BASIC Stamp 2 microcontroller module  — The main controller or “brains” for the projects in this kit. You will learn to program the BASIC Stamp with the PBASIC programming language.
  • Board of Education development board (serial) — A handy carrier board for the BASIC Stamp that makes it easy to connect the Stamp to your computer for programming and to your circuits that are being controlled by the Stamp.
  • Serial cable — A standard, straight-through serial cable for connecting the Board of Education to your computer’s serial port so you can program the BASIC Stamp.
  • Parallax USB to Serial Adapter and USB A to mini-B cable  —  For connecting the Board of Education to your computer’s USB port (if you do not have a serial port or if you prefer using a USB port instead of a serial port). Install the USB driver before connecting the adapter to your computer.
  • What’s a Microcontroller Text (6MB pdf) — A textbook that guides you through over 40 activities that will help you learn basic programming and electronics.
  • BASIC Stamp Manual (5MB pdf)
  • Parts kit — Other fun components such as a speaker, LEDs, resistors, and capacitors; see Other Included Components) for a full list.

Note: You will need to install the Basic Stamp editor software from Parallax’s website to write PBASIC programs for downloading to the BASIC Stamp.

What to Expect

A great way to get an idea of what you will learn with this kit is to look at the What’s a Microcontroller Text (6MB pdf), a printed copy of which is included with this kit. To give you a general idea of how a project would go, here are the steps you might take to make a system that turns on an LED once it gets dark in the room:

  1. Plug in the BASIC Stamp into the socket in the Board of Education.
  2. Build a circuit that includes a light sensor and an LED in the prototyping area of the Board of Education. This kit contains all of the parts you need to build such a circuit.
  3. Add wires to connect the LED and light sensor to the correct pins on the BASIC Stamp using the BASIC Stamp access points surrounding the prototyping area.
  4. Write a program in the PBASIC programming language on your computer in the BASIC Stamp Editor. The program will read the BASIC Stamp pin connected to the light sensor and activate the pin connected to the LED once the light sensor indicates the room is dark.
  5. Connect the Board of Education to the computer with a serial or USB cable, and download the program onto the BASIC Stamp.
  6. Leave the board connected to the computer, or disconnect it from the computer; either way, the BASIC Stamp will be running the program to read the light sensor and will turn on the LED once the room is dark.

Other Included Components

  • Ten 1 kΩ resistors, 1/4 Watt
  • Four 10 kΩ resistors, 1/4 Watt
  • Two 2 kΩ resistors, 1/4 Watt
  • Six 220 Ω resistors, 1/4 Watt
  • Six 470 Ω resistors, 1/4 Watt
  • Two 100KΩ resistor, 1/4 Watt
  • One 10 kΩ potentiometer
  • One 0.01 μF capacitor
  • Two 0.1 μF mono radial capacitors
  • One 1000 μF electrolytic capacitor
  • One 3300 μF electrolytic capacitor
  • One bi-color LED
  • Two green LEDs
  • Two red LEDs
  • Two yellow LEDs
  • One LED seven segments green
  • One photo resistor
  • Two tact switches
  • One 1×3-pin, straight, double-sided, male header
  • One transistor 2N3904
  • One digital pot AD5220-B10
  • Two bags of ten 3" jumper wires
  • One piezo sound generator (speaker)
  • One Parallax standard servo

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