For some years now I’ve been using my own serial terminal for ESP8266 development – not any more!
As fervent readers will know, over a period of time I’ve developed software for the phenomenally useful ESP8266 and you can find out more about that, here, suffice it to say it is likely the most comprehensive code for general use of the ESP8266 out there, focussing on MQTT communication so to be particularly useful for central controllers with MQTT access such as “the script” makes available via Node-Red on a range of microcontrollers, for example for my own home control setup.
Update 17/10/2017 – New release today
Probably the easiest way to set up boards with my software is to use a serial terminal and for some years I used my own as I just could not find a decent, free Windows serial terminal that would handle things like odd baud rates (the debug info on the ESP8266 is 78K) and store macros etc in a nice environment – and yes, I’ve tried many such terminals – Putty, Kitty, Advanced Serial Terminal, Realterm, Termite.. the list goes on.
Until this week I was happily using my own version when disaster struck. Due to sheer incompetence on my behalf I lost the source code for my own serial terminal. No big deal as I’ve not updated it for some time. As it happens I was never totally happy with the terminal, it did a LOT but it was based on Microsoft Visual Basic – did not handle comms errors too well and I could not dynamically resize it – however, it was colourful and did really well for itself.
The disaster started me off to look at serial terminals, not expecting much – when I spotted YAT – i.e. Yet Another Terminal.
I have to tell you – it is very good – and ideal for the job – oh, and free.
It has some limited text colouring which is nice (I’ve asked for more), an unlimited set of macros which can be single line or multi-line and they can be paged – this, for me, is an absolute essential. The program can be resized, baud rate can be anything you want, it recovers BRILLIANTLY and automatically from COM port problems (like pulling the lead out of the FTDI), colours and fonts are easily customised…
It won’t take me long to fill up that list of predefined stuff on the right!!
HOWEVER – for the purposes of the kind of codes we use – there are a couple of issues with this – it wants to interpret \r\n sent in a string – or leave it out – I can’t find a way to pass that through – I’ve put in a bug report on this to the author. Just be aware of that.