Simple Serial Terminal lost blog

For reasons beyond me the original article on my serial terminal, originally put together when I was messing with LUA, has disappeared from the blog entirely – and so here’s a quickly updated version but this is no longer developed as I use YAT which is GREAT..

Serial Terminal

So above right you should see the editor. The most important bits are the two big windows – on the left is the area you type in – multi line – and on the right is the output from the serial line – i.e. what comes back from the chip. In the simplest case you set up the serial port you want, ensure it’s set to the right baud rate, select “serial – open” and you’re all set (I’m assuming you have an FTDI or similar on your USB lead, talking to the serial on the ESP8266 device. You can send all of that out the serial line – or just a selected area or indeed whatever is in your clipboard. Also you can define up to 10 pages of info (Notepads) and send that – in addition you have up to 9 presets – handy for initialisation sequences. Oh and you can save the left panel into a file if you want.

Whatever you type in the left window is non-volatile, i.e. it’ll still be there after you blow up your serial port and have to reboot the computer.

Disclaimer: if any of the above or the use of the terminal breaks your computer, it’s not my fault. I’m providing this freely just because I’ve no reason not to but without support. You just need the exe file for this… PetesSerialTerminal.EXE if it is still around anywhere and note that Windows XP is not supported.

So let’s take a look at the top first. I have deliberately kept this as clean and simple looking as possible as you really just want to get on with coding and not worry about some pesky program – but there are some basics if you want to make good use of this. The file system is easy enough – you might want to store what’s in your left window – your latest all-singing routine or just a bunch of nonsense – that’s up to you hence file – save. Find a suitable directory to store your stuff – the dialog is bog-standard. For retrieval – you have two options, load and append. The former will overwrite what’s in the window, the latter will append to what’s there – so you can store a load of routines and build up something new the easy way.

Serial is even simpler – open or close the port. When open you’ll find some controls don’t work – like changing the baud rate for example.

Notepad is interesting…yes, no less than 10 pretty coloured notepads (non-volatile) to store snippets in – nothing clever about these, you can just copy and paste to and from them in the normal way.

notepadsI normally have several projects going on and find it handy to have stuff lying around – this beats yellow sticky notes full of code any day. There’s a big CLOSE button at the bottom to hide these.

Clear- well you can clear the notepads or your left or right windows – and help – well it’s a picture of me – the idea of writing a complete help system for this just filled me with horror.

So down at the BOTTOM of the screen… assuming you have the serial all turned on you can “Send Window” – i.e. send the contents of your left window off to the serial port – it will send it one line at a time with a delay between each line specified at the top right in milliseconds, defaulting to 400ms – but whatever works for you.

I’ve coloured the individual panels just to try to help for when you’re in a hurry – I tried to colour the tabs but Microsoft isn’t having any of it up to now.

If you select some text in the normal way in that left panel you can press the “Send Selected” button and only send the stuff that is highlighted – OR you can “copy” from just about anywhere and send whatever is in your clipboard… that’s awfully handy.

Then there are those notes.. N1 to 10 let you send the entire contents of any of those notepads.  Finally there is a one-line window which you can send directly with the “Direct” button.

To the right there are some presets, 9 in all – and in SETTINGS you can define their names and what gets sent out.  And that takes us to settings.

settingsFirstly you’ll see the 9 preset buttons – their titles and contents – note you DO have to press OK to save these in SETTINGS – most things outside of this SETTINGS box just save automatically. Auto prefix and suffix I suggest you leave be unless you’re NOT messing with Lua and the “Auto prefix/Suffix” tickbox determines whether or not you use this – essentially if “” is see starting at the LEFTMOST character in your input window, these prefix/suffix characters will be added to your line as they are being sent out until the system sees a “File.close” again starting in the leftmost column of your input window.

“Arduino DTR” – well that’s for those of you who want to use this terminal with your Arduinos (you may be working with the Espressif AT firmware for example)  – that’s the bit that resets them when you open the port. It just flicks the DTR line temporarily on open – nothing more. Autoclear – tick that and you’ll see the right window cleared every time you press the send button – just preference really. Lua comment removal is turned on by default (—) – you can turned if off – and “Retain blank lines” is new, just something for the future. Normally, most blank lines never make it to the right window.

And that is that, really – nothing much else to tell you about the program – I hope you find it useful – I have – and no doubt I’ll add more in time.

I’ve really just kept this here for historical reasons. Check out YAT.


10 thoughts on “Simple Serial Terminal lost blog

  1. Hi, Pete,
    Just to let everyone know that I successfully used your link and downloaded the program today (08/05/2018). Yesterday Dropbox kept giving the “404” message.
    Installed the program and it works really well.
    Many thanks to you.

  2. A few minutes ago I wanted to upgrade the simple-serial-terminal via this link

    Unfortunately “360 TOTAL SECURITY” has identified that the downloaded file contains a Trojan virus, which may infiltrate your system and even steal your account passwords, photos or other private information.

    Trojan file: E35A.tmp

    Risks: Trojan (HEUR/QVM03.0.0000.Malware.Gen)

    Sorry for all the trouble, Peter

    1. Hi Zani – well, I’ve checked the file – it has the same update date as when I last changed it – and there’s no way I have a virus.. I’ve updated the dropbox link in case they’ve been hacked!


  3. Peter,

    I hate to even ask but do you have the most current Dropbox link to your famous Serial Terminal program?


    1. No, I’d not noticed until you mentioned it. I made a minor amendment to the code -and for some reason despite the file being the same name in the same place, it looks like Dropbox “drops” the link. I’ve updated the link in the blog.

      Thanks for writing in.

  4. hi Pete, does it have a way of selecting raw data flow, i tried using it with the Nextion and and gave up and wrote a quick one in C#. the 0xFF char’s get converted to ? due to the serial port transfer process.

    So it my c# one for awhile until if found the work around. other than that it’s a great and easy to use prog.

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