Using PICAXE with Seeed Grove Modules

grovelogoThe AXE300 PICAXE Grove project board has been designed to allow simple use of the popular Seeed Grove prototyping modules with the PICAXE Blockly programming system. The AXE300 board is supplied complete with a PICAXE-20M2 microcontroller, so no other controller board or shield is required to connect the Grove modules.

AXE300 Grove Board

Initial Assembly

  1. Carefully insert the PICAXE-20M2 chip, making sure pin 1 (marked with circle) is under the download socket.
  2. Screw the battery clip (if required) into the terminal block, red wire to Vcc and black wire to GND.
  3. Insert 3 x AA (LR6) batteries (not supplied) and connect battery box to battery clip.

Power Supply

Power to the board can be 3V, 4.5V or 5V. The power supply is also connected directly to the Grove connectors, so choose the correct voltage for the Grove sensor modules that are in use (most will work at 3 to 5V). The PICAXE-20M2 microcontroller will work fine at any of these voltages.

Power can be connected via the screw terminal block or via the power socket (2.1mm tip, centre positive). Power can also be connected via crocodile clips leads to the top connector hole either side of the board. Connect the red (positive +) wire to Vcc and the black (negative -) wire to GND.

The green power LED will light when power is correctly connected.


Download Socket

The PICAXE programming download socket is designed to be used with an AXE027 PICAXE USB download cable (purchase separately).


Push button switchAXE300 Clip

For testing simple programs a push button switch is supplied on the board. This is connected to input pin C.6 (which is also fitted with a 10k pull-down resistor).



For testing simple programs a yellow LED is supplied above the push button switch, and is connected to PICAXE output pin A.0. This LED will also flicker when a new program download is taking place.


Side Connector Holes

The side connection holes provide connection to each PICAXE pin. They are designed to be used with crocodile clip leads, but could also be soldered.

The holes have also been spaced to make them compatible with LEGO bricks and beams.


Grove Connectors

Grove modulesGrove modules use a number of different electrical connection types – digital, analogue, I2C and UART. Check the module type below before deciding which connector to use.

Most of the white 4 pin grove connectors are general purpose and marked with ‘A&D’ as well as the pin numbers. These connectors can be used with both digital and analogue type modules. The one connector marked ‘D’ can only be used with digital type modules.

The grove connectors marked ‘I2C’ are for use with I2C type modules. Two identical connectors are provided, but more I2C modules could also be added by using the ‘I2C Hub’ (103020006) extension module. Each I2C module imust have a unique I2C address. If no I2C modules are being used one connector could also be used as a general purpose digital connector instead (however note that a 10k pull up resistor is included on each i2c pin).

The grove connector marked ‘UART’ is for use with serial UART type modules. If a UART module is not being used the connector could also be used as a general purpose digital connector instead.

Each Grove connector has a primary pin and a secondary pin. Most Grove modules use just one pin, but some modules do use both pins. The second pin on one connector is also the primary pin on the next connector, so make sure you do not accidentally connect two different modules to the same pin on adjacent connectors.

Left Column

Primary Pin Secondary Pin Function
A.0   (yellow LED)
C.6   (push button switch)
C.1 C.2* Analogue / Digital
C.2* C.3* Analogue / Digital
C.3* C.7 Analogue / Digital

Centre Column

Primary Pin Secondary Pin Function
B.7 (SCL) B.5 (SDA) I2C / Digital
B.7 (SCL) B.5 (SDA) I2C / Digital
C.4 C.5* Digital
B.6 (RX) C.0 (TX) UART / Digital

Right Column

Primary Pin Secondary Pin Function
B.3 B.4 Analogue / Digital
B.2 B.3 Analogue / Digital
B.1* B.2 Analogue / Digital
B.0 B.1* Analogue / Digital

Pins marked * can also be used for pwm output


PICAXE Blockly for Grove Modules

When using PICAXE Blockly (v1.4.0 or later, either the standalone app or within PE6) the Grove extension categories contain Grove module blocks for ease of use. Many sample files can be found within PE6 via clicking File>Open Samples>AXE300>Blockly. However note that you may also use the ‘standard’ command blocks if you need a more advanced command not supported by the Grove extension blocks - for instance to control the brightness of an LED using the standard ‘pwmout’ command.


Extension - Grove Outputs 

Grove Module Grove Part Number Type Block
Green LED
White LED
Blue LED
Purple LED
Digital output Grove Module
Variable Colour LED 104020001 Digital output Grove Module
Buzzer 107020000 Digital output Grove Module
Vibration Motor 105020003 Digital output Grove Module
Electromagnet 101020073 Digital output Grove Module
Dry Reed Relay
Digital output Grove Module
Infrared Emitter 101020026 Digital output Grove Module
I2C Motor Driver Dual
I2C Mini Motor Driver
I2C Grove Module
Servo 316010005 Digital output
(PortB only)
Grove Module
Speaker 107020001 Digital output Grove Module


Extension - Grove Displays

Grove Module Grove Part Number Type Block
I2C LCD RGB Backlight 104030001 I2C Grove Module
OLED Display 0.96 inch (128x64)
OLED Display 1.12" (96x96)
OLED Display 1.12" V2 (128x128)


I2C Grove Module
4 Digit Display 104030003 Digital (2 pins) Grove Module
LED Bar 104030002 Digital (2 pins) Grove Module
Circular LED 104030013 Digital (2 pins) Grove Module


Extension - Grove Sensors

Grove Module Grove Part Number Type Block
Infrared Reflective
PIR Motion Sensor
Switch (P)
Line Finder
Infrared Reflective
Digital Input Grove Module
Light Sensor 101020173 Analogue Input Grove Module
Piezo Vibration Sensor 1001020031 Analogue Input Grove Module
Temperature Sensor v1.0, v1.1, v1.2 101020015 Analogue Input Grove Module
Rotary Angle Sensor 101020017 Analogue Input Grove Module
Slide Potentiometer 101020036 Analogue Input +
PWM Output
Grove Module
Thumb Joystick 101020028 Analogue Input (2 pins) Grove Module
Ultrasonic 101020010 Digital Input Grove Module
Infrared Receiver 101020016 Digital Input Grove Module
Loudness Sensor 101020063 Analogue Input Grove Module
Moisture Sensor 101020008 Analogue Input Grove Module
Water Sensor 101020018 Analogue Input Grove Module
Sound Sensor 101020023 Analogue Input Grove Module
I2C Colour Sensor
I2C Colour Sensor v2
I2C Grove Module
I2C Barometer High Accuracy 101020068 I2C Grove Module
I2C Temp&Humi Sensor (SHT31) 101020212 I2C Grove Module
I2C 3-Axis Digital Accelerometer 1.5g
I2C 3-Axis Digital Accelerometer 16g
I2C 3-Axis Digital Accelerometer 400g


I2C Grove Module
I2C RTC 101020013 I2C Grove Module
I2C Nunchuck 103020009 I2C Grove Module


Extension - Grove UART

Grove Module Grove Part Number Type Block
Serial MP3 v2.0 107020008 UART Grove Module
Serial Bluetooth v3.0 113020008 UART Grove Module
Serial LCD 104020004 UART Grove Module