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'[EE] What could you put in a serial cable?'
2007\03\16@153135 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
If you were going to put a little microcontroller (like a PIC) and a small
LCD display in a serial cable, what sort of information would you want the
LCD to display?

We are talking like 8 characters here, not a 4x20. It might even be an LED.

But as long as the PIC has to be there anyway, why not have it do something
interesting?

Here are my initial ideas:
- Auto detected baud rate. It might not always be totally accurate, but it
would be nice to have a sanity check on the data being sent... "Did this
thing not get set to 9600?" "Oh, it's sending at 19.2... No wonder we are
just seeing garbage"

- Parity. If it appears that there is a valid Parity in the stream after
some number of bytes, put an "E" or "O" on the display or light an LED next
to a printed "P" green for Even, red for Odd.

- Stop bits?

- Last character through the cable at the auto detected rate?

- "+DTR", "-CTS" etc... For 1 second after the signal asserts or is
released.

- Blank display 2 seconds after the last signal goes through.

So if you were connected to a device that was sending a string at 9600E81
and your buffer filled up  you might see the following in sequence:

"9600", "9600E81", "XOFF", "XON", "9600", " "

What would you want to see, or think it would be possible to add?

---
James.


2007\03\16@153941 by Marcel duchamp

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> If you were going to put a little microcontroller (like a PIC) and a small
> LCD display in a serial cable, what sort of information would you want the
> LCD to display?
>
> What would you want to see, or think it would be possible to add?
>
> ---
> James.
>  
>

Look at the specs for serial communication protocol analyzers.

2007\03\16@154842 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Well,  there are 8 lines:

DTR
DSR
DCD
CTS
RTS
RI
TX
RX

You might consider reserving one character for each line, and lighting
it (for signals) for a second when active.  For the TX and RX, just
display the last character in their spot.

Or, get rid of the lesser used lines, and reserve 3 spaces for
detected speed: 1k2, 2k4, 4k8, 9k6, 19k, m11, m25, etc.

Or save 3 for speed, 2 for tx and rx data, and the last 3 can tell
which three of the other lines are active (and if too many then scroll
through that little 3 character space)

Or list everything and use scrolling.

You've got 8 custom characters, so you could have TX normal, and
invert RX and scroll all the data across the display.

If you've got enough space and a writable PIC, put a bootloader in there.

-Adam

On 3/16/07, James Newtons Massmind <spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspammassmind.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\16@164009 by Charles Craft

picon face
What's a serial cable?   ;-)

With everything going USB, Bluetooth, Zigbee, IrDA, .......
is this another cool idea in search of a market?

{Original Message removed}

2007\03\16@170016 by Jon Chandler

picon face
How about the ability to send out a message at a given baud rate?
An "Is this thing receiving?" message could be helpful in knowing
if you had the right connections, serial port, etc in your terminal
software.

Jon



At 12:31 PM 3/16/2007 -0700, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2007\03\16@175112 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> If you were going to put a little microcontroller (like a
> PIC) and a small LCD display in a serial cable, what sort of
> information would you want the LCD to display?

I'd want a bootloader in that PIC, or the programming pins exposed :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\03\16@185154 by Peter van Hoof

face picon face
Jon Chandler .....chandlerKILLspamspam@spam@seanet.com wrote:

>How about the ability to send out a message at a given baud rate?
>An "Is this thing receiving?" message could be helpful in knowing
>if you had the right connections, serial port, etc in your terminal
>software.

>Jon


I have a RS232 tester that in one of its modes sends 110 600 1200 2400 4800 etc
each in its baudrate so on an attached device you see garbled stuff with the
currently selected baudrate readable. handy if you have a printer or terminal without
a discription of the dipswitches.

I aggree with one of the other posters though, RS232 is rapidly loosing ground.
It's hard to find a laptop that still has one, printers dont support RS232 anymore etc.

Peter van Hoof

2007\03\16@193115 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 16, 2007, at 12:31 PM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> - Auto detected baud rate.
> - Parity.
> - Stop bits?

Sure.  The whole "mode" string if you can.

>
> - Last character through the cable at the auto detected rate?

Buffer as much data as possible, and have a way to display it at
human-readable rates...

> - "+DTR", "-CTS" etc... For 1 second after the signal asserts or is
> released.

Ok.


> - Blank display 2 seconds after the last signal goes through.
>
Rather than blank, it should revert to some sort of pin-state
display.  It would be nice if it sanity-checked your connections,
too, and produced some sort of warning if one of the data pins
had no driver attached (for example.)

BillW

2007\03\16@195327 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> I aggree with one of the other posters though, RS232 is
> rapidly loosing ground.
> It's hard to find a laptop that still has one, printers dont
> support RS232 anymore etc.

In the PC world, yes, there is little need for RS232. In the embedded world,
there are TONS of little devices that use async serial to communicate. For
example, look at the number of things available for connection to the BASIC
STAMP.
http://www.parallax.com/html_pages/products/accessories/accessories.asp

And if you want to talk to, or listen in on, one of those devices with your
PC during development, you may find you need a little gizmo to convert TTL
to RS232 so your USB/RS232 adapter will work.

<PLUG>
Now, there are a billion designs for such a thing, but rather than take the
time, you can just keep one of these on hand:
www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/rcl1.htm
</PLUG>

And I was thinking about what could possible make it more useful to people.

Just idle thought.


2007\03\17@025206 by Vasile Surducan
face picon face
On 3/16/07, James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewtonspamKILLspammassmind.org> wrote:
> If you were going to put a little microcontroller (like a PIC) and a small
> LCD display in a serial cable, what sort of information would you want the
> LCD to display?
>
> We are talking like 8 characters here, not a 4x20. It might even be an LED.

The following sentence rolling : "buy a scope"
:)

>
> But as long as the PIC has to be there anyway, why not have it do something
> interesting?
>
> Here are my initial ideas:
> - Auto detected baud rate. It might not always be totally accurate

Than it has nonsense. Imagine a voltmeter which sometime is not
displaying the real voltage...
:(

, but it
> would be nice to have a sanity check on the data being sent... "Did this
> thing not get set to 9600?" "Oh, it's sending at 19.2... No wonder we are
> just seeing garbage"
>
> - Parity. If it appears that there is a valid Parity in the stream after
> some number of bytes, put an "E" or "O" on the display or light an LED next
> to a printed "P" green for Even, red for Odd.
>
> - Stop bits?

The stop bits are not necessary. A communication set in one end  for 2
stop bits will usually work as well with 1 or 1.5 stop bits in the
other end...

>
> - Last character through the cable at the auto detected rate?
>
> - "+DTR", "-CTS" etc... For 1 second after the signal asserts or is
> released.


>
> - Blank display 2 seconds after the last signal goes through.

Maybe else than a blank display, like "***"

>
> So if you were connected to a device that was sending a string at 9600E81
> and your buffer filled up  you might see the following in sequence:
>
> "9600", "9600E81", "XOFF", "XON", "9600", " "
>
> What would you want to see, or think it would be possible to add?

Unusefull things for commercial purposes ?
like: this device is displaying everything about an RS232 communication...
:)

geetings,
Vasile

2007\03\17@031134 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
You've probably visited these sites in the past. I think would gave
you some clues:

http://members.cox.net/berniekm/super.html
http://www.qsl.net/la9sja/electronics/ea/

I hope you realise I care (just a little) about your problems even I'm joking.

Vasile

On 3/16/07, Vasile Surducan <.....piclist9KILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\03\17@092217 by olin piclist

face picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> <PLUG>
> Now, there are a billion designs for such a thing, but rather than
> take the time, you can just keep one of these on hand:
> www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/rcl1.htm
> </PLUG>

Or mine at http://www.embedinc.com/products/ser for less money, especially
in 5 packs.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2007\03\19@094017 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 3/17/07, Vasile Surducan <piclist9spamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/16/07, James Newtons Massmind <@spam@jamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org> wrote:
> > - Stop bits?
>
> The stop bits are not necessary. A communication set in one end  for 2
> stop bits will usually work as well with 1 or 1.5 stop bits in the
> other end...

Not true, unless there is a space between each byte.

If the 1 or 1.5 stop bit end is sending data full bore with no time
between bytes, then the 2 stop bit end _should_ report a framing
error.

In many cases there is space between the bytes, so it's not an issue,
but I certainly wouldn't want to base the stability of my system on
this shortcut.

But the reality is that you can only "guess" what the stop bit length
is with a microcontroller in the middle.  If two bytes are never sent
in sequence with no space between them, you'll never know the stop bit
length.

-Adam

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'[EE] What could you put in a serial cable?'
2007\06\02@075808 by Howard Winter
face
flavicon
picon face
James,

Did you ever come to a conclusion as to what to include?  I'd be interested to see the final product!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

On Fri, 16 Mar 2007 12:31:20 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

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