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This page contains some common questions relating to microcontroller programming and their answers.

Q. What hardware will I need to program real PIC or PICAXE microcontrollers?

A. Depending on the system you are using, PIC or PICAXE, you will need different hardware to export your program.

PICAXE microcontrollers are programmed in-place, so no separate programming hardware is necessary over and above your project or experiment board. A Serial Download Cable is required to connect the PICAXE board to your computer. Note that although USB download cables are available, programming directly over USB is not currently supported.

PIC microcontrollers require a separate programmer to transfer your program to the chip, before the chip can be placed in a circuit. A standard Serial to Serial cable is needed to connect this programmer to your computer.

For more information on the PICAXE microcontroller system, see Chips, cables, programmers and project boards are available from

Q. What microcontrollers are supported by Yenka PICs?

A. Yenka supports programming the following microcontrollers:

  • PIC16F84, PIC16F84A, PIC16F627, PIC16F627A, PIC16F628, PIC16F628A, PIC16F872.
  • Stamp Controller

Q. Can I program real microcontrollers on Mac?

A. Unfortunately, no. Your licence allows you to use both the Mac and Windows versions of Yenka, but microcontroller programming is only available on Windows. If you have access to a Windows computer, you can copy your saved models from a Mac and export your programs to a real PIC or PICAXE chip using the Windows version.

Q. Why can't I program microcontrollers on my 64-bit Operating System?

A. Windows XP 64-bit and Vista 64-bit operating systems do not provide support for 16-bit programs. This affects the 3rd party programs Yenka uses to program PIC and STAMP microcontrollers. We do not currently have a way to program PICs on a 64-bit operating system. Please note that PICAXE chips are not affected and will work on a 64-bit operating system.

Q. Why won't interrupt flowchart objects work in my flowchart?

A. The interrupt objects in Yenka are designed to be compatible with the PICAXE interrupt BASIC commands. They are not currently compatible with PIC or STAMP devices and will not run on these microcontrollers or simulate in our software.

If you would like to use the interrupt functionality on a real microcontroller, please consider switching to a suitable PICAXE chip. The following chips currently support our interrupt commands:


Q. I get an error message when trying to program a microcontroller: "Error - Incorrect hardware found for this mode!...". What is wrong?

A. This error message will appear if you are trying to program the wrong microcontroller type (i.e. you have told Yenka it is a PICAXE-08M and you are trying to program a PICAXE-14M).

Q. I get an error message when trying to program a microcontroller: "Error - Hardware not found on COM1:...". What is wrong?

A. This error message will appear if Yenka cannot find your programming hardware. Make sure that:

  • you have selected the correct programmer and COM port in the export dialog,
  • your programmer is plugged into the correct COM port (or a recognised USB port),
  • and that your programmer is powered and functional.

Q. Can I use an AXE027 USB cable to program PICAXE chips using Yenka?

A. It is possible to use a USB cable to program PICAXE chips, but you will need to ensure that it is configured so that it is associated with a port between COM1 and COM4. You can do this as follows:

  • To change the COM port in Windows, open Device Manager from the System Control Panel. Expand 'Ports (COM & LPT)' and open the properties for the AXE027 PICAXE USB port. Select the Port Settings tab and click the Advanced button to change the COM port. A window should appear with a drop down list of ports at the top. Select an available port between COM1 and COM4 and click OK. Click OK to close the port properties and exit Device Manager.
  • Now re-open Yenka, make sure the cable is securely connected, and select the COM port that you assigned.

If you need more information or you cannot find an answer to your question here, please email your query to