'Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.'

Charles Eames

'To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.'
Milton Glaser

 6: Microcontrollers

Programmable devices are already used in numerous systems and products, such as car engine control, wearable and health technology products, environmental control and process control systems.


A popular programmable device is a microcontroller, it contains all the internal components of a computer on a single chip and it runs a stored computer program to achieve the intended purpose.


In this unit, you will investigate how microcontrollers are applied to solve engineering problems and learn how to program or code them. You will explore the hardware used to create a physical microcontroller system or product and consider the interfacing between the microcontroller and the input/output devices.


Developing an understanding of the instructions or commands used to program a microcontroller and how to represent both hardware and logical instructions in diagrammatic format.


You will design and develop a prototype microcontroller system to solve a problem. 


How to use Flowol

Microcontroller manuals and code examples

Code examples.docx
Microsoft Word document [18.6 KB]
Picaxe Manual axe091.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [968.1 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]
OLED - axe133 instructions.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1'011.7 KB]

Unit 6 Microcontroller end point assesment information

This unit is assessed by a set task of 80 marks provided by Pearson and completed under supervised conditions.


You will have 12 hours in which to complete the task and this can be arranged over a number of sessions over a two-week period timetabled by Pearson.


Once the assessment has started the learner must complete it within five days.


You will be assessed by way of a practical task where you will develop a prototype microcontroller system to solve a problem. 


Following a standard development process: analysing the brief, system design and program planning, system assembly and coding, system testing and recording the system in operation. 

Mark scheme for Unit 6 (with sample task[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [409.9 KB]
QP BTEC L3 Engineering Unit 6 Task Part [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [316.0 KB]

Useful Code, Flip Charts and settings


ADC potentiometer input to A0.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
Baby monitor.
File [47.0 KB]
BCX38C and relay.
File [832.5 KB]
Button on off.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [584 Bytes]
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
GPS eXchange file [5.1 KB]
Input switch.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
just Input switch.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
Move servo.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
New pot input.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [587 Bytes]


Flip Chart
Leds on and off.
File [1.4 MB]
7 leds for digits 1 to 9.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [587 Bytes]
OLED 1 - Hello.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
OLED 2 - minute and second timer.bas.gp[...]
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
File [155.8 KB]
Pins on off with loop.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]

Temprature sensing 

Flip Chart
Temp examples.
File [143.9 KB]
Temp input select case.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [587 Bytes]
Temp input set temp.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [587 Bytes]
Temp input.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [587 Bytes]

Traffic Lights Task

Flip Chart
Traffic Light Task.
File [2.1 MB]
GPS eXchange file [11.6 KB]
Timer - not working.bas.gpx
GPS eXchange file [586 Bytes]
Student exam preperation booklet - B Tec
Adobe Acrobat document [772.4 KB]
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