Alternative to AXE027 USB Cable

One place where the "going got rough" with regards to my (Argentine) Picaxe Developer Site is with a Picaxe serial download cable that IS NOT RS-232, but USB instead.

If I can only reach those with a serial port on their PCs, then this project will never prosper. USB is a MUST.

Revolution Education sells a very nifty USB-to-miniplug cable together with drivers et al., known as AXE027. Unfortunately, at £10 a pop and being located in Great Britain, when they finally get here, they would be more expensive that the protoboard itself. Completely beyond the point, if you ask me.

In the local market there are a bunch of DB9-USB adapters. I have purchased a few, but none of them worked inside the Picaxe environment. I am at a very critical stage. If I can´t find a way around this, I will have to take the site off-air until I can figure something out.

I have learnt that the trick lies inside the chipset that interprets one protocol into the other. Apparently the AXE027 uses an FTDI one, with inverted logic. Has anyone out there had any luck with anything other than the AXE027? If you could please share your experiences with me, I would be forever grateful.

Thanks, guys!



The same problem with me too

The same problem with me too .
Have you tried to invert the logic in these convertors using FTDI software. That’s available for free on their website.I heard some work after inverting the logic

My 28X2 board is programmed

My 28X2 board is programmed through a micro USB jack using a standard USB cable. The 28X2 board has an FT232R chip on it. I use the port software from FTDI and everything works fine; never had a hitch from test #1. I use the same FT232R chip to talk to my Babblebot board serially via USB as well.

Follow up

I just wanted to update those concerned. I ended up buying the Sparkfun USB Programmers for Picaxe. They are cheaper (USD 14,95) than the AXE027 and work just as well. If still interested, you should look into it.


I used an USB to RS232 Converter

I used an USB to RS232 Converter with all my picaxe board’s (and other platforms), when participating in robotics competitions. It alway’s worked fine. The COM Port that is “setup” by the converter has to be selected in the Programming Editor Software. And one is ready to go. :slight_smile: I still use it.   

Hello WernerB:

I have tried several off-the-shelf USB-RS232 converters with no luck. In all cases I had selected the correct port on the Programming Editor, so that was not the problem.

Could you provide brand and model that you use? Or maybe a picture?



Here’s the one i use, Andrés

Here’s the one i use, Andrés: It’s a Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port; based on the PL2303HX (Datasheet:



Excellent, Werner. I will

Excellent, Werner. I will tke a look and see if I can find it locally.



You’re welcome Andrés! :slight_smile:

If you don’t get it locally, i’ve stumbled on this on e-bay: (



Thanks man for taking the time to look that up! It is greatly appreciated!


$8 Adapter Works For PICAXE

I found a USB to serial adapter for less than $8.00 US on Ebay that is working perfectly on my PICAXE serial programmers:

Plug’n’Play AXE027 alternative found

Anyone who is still looking for USB programming cable, this is what I’m using.

I bought this when it was $12, but it’s now $20 free shipping. good quality too!