BASIC on Raspberry Pi Pico
  • BASIC Interpreter
  • BASIC with VGA Display
  • BASIC with WiFi & Internet

  • Maximite Family
  • Colour Maximite 2
  • Original Colour Maximite
  • Monochrome Maximite
  • The Maximite Story

  • Micromite Family
  • Micromite Summary
  • Standard Micromite
  • Micromite Plus
  • The Microbridge

  • Micromite LCD Backpack
  • Micromite LCD Backpack
  • Air Quality Monitor
  • DDS Signal Generator
  • Super Clock
  • Boat Computer MkII
  • Parking Assistant

  • Other Projects
  • Pico Gamer Console
  • Precision Analog Clock
  • Watering Controller
  • Windows/DOS MMBasic
  • ASCII Video Terminal
  • Utility Power Supply
  • Precise Voltage Reference
  • ISM Band Scanner
  • Game of Pong
  • Simple GPS Based Clock

  • Useful Techniques
  • 3D Printed Cases
  • Measuring Capacitor ESR
  • Surface Mount is Easy
  • Programming PIC Micros
  • Custom PC Boards
  • The Gerber Format

  • General Articles
  • Problems in Open Source
  • Hantek DSO-2250 Scope
  • Rigol DS1000 Scope
  • Brickbats

  • WEB Site
  • Home
  • Old or Obsolete Projects
  • About




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

    The Monochrome Maximite


    The Monochrome 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.

    Recently it has been supersceded by the much improved Colour Maximite 2.   It is still a great project to build but the newer version has more memory and runs much faster. You can find the new Colour Maximite 2 at:

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

    The Maximite Family

    The Monochrome Maximite is part of the Maximite series of computers:

    Other Information

    The following links will take you to other pages related to the Monochrome Maximite.:

    Other useful pages:

    Monochrome Maximite 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. Monochrome
    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). MONO
    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. SINGLE
    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.

    This diagram provides a handy summary of the hardware features of the Monochrome Maximite:

    The Monochrome 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).  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.  
    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 purchase the PCB and pre-programmed PIC32 chip from Silicon Chip and source the rest of the parts yourself. More Details  

    The DuinoMite from Olimex 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 DuinoMite appears to be discontinued but some distributors still hold stock.

    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.  

    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.


    These are the current errata for the magazine articles:

    Source Code to MMBasic

    The source code for MMBasic is available for personal use only from the 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
    Using Serial Over USB on the Macintosh DOWNLOAD

    MMBasic Updates

    Monochrome Maximite MMBasic firmware V4.5C (includes all the manuals) DOWNLOAD
    DuinoMite MMBasic firmware V4.5B DOWNLOAD

    Other Downloads

    MMBasic Library dated  3-July-2015  (user written programs for MMBasic) 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