Ever wanted to make your own application (*.exe) to work with your arduino (or other serial communicating device)?
This instructable requires:
- Visual Studio 2008 or later* (I am using 2010 RC, some options may differ between versions)
- Visual C# Express Edition 2008 or later*
- An Arduino (Any type) or other kind of serial communicating device
- A basic knowledge of the C# Language
* An earlier edition of VS may work, but I am not sure if it has the SerialPort library.
Step 1: Create a New Application
If you are adding the Arduino support to your pre-made program, then just add the SerialPort class. If you are more advanced, you may want to make a plain code file with just the SerialPort library, so that you don't keep defining it.
Step 2: Configure Your Serial Port
-BaudRate (Change this to match the Arduino code (Serial.begin(this is your baud rate))
-Port Name (When compiling and uploading you need to select a port, usually starts with COM)
-Maybe Read buffer size, and write buffer size, only if you intend on reading/writing more data than 4096Bytes reading or 2048Bytes writing to/from the arduino. Usually this setting can stay the same.
Step 3: Using the Serial Port in Code.
The majority of the code is similar to the Arduino code, however;
Arduino Code C# Code
unsigned any uany
random (new System.Random()).Next()
There is no time options for C#, such as delay() delayMicroseconds().
Other Stuff (at the top?!)
serialPort1.Open(); - Opens the serial port for you to use. There will be a big nasty error if the port is already opened, or if the port is not there.
serialPort1.BytesToRead - use an if statement to compare to 0. If the result is false, then there is serial data available (if(serialPort1.BytesToRead == 0) is the same as for arduino if(Serial.available))
Talking to the Arduino
serialPort1.Write(arg); - Tells the arduino something, where arg is what you want it to say. There will be a big nasty error if the port is not opened.
serialPort1.WriteLine(arg); - same as serialPort1.Write(arg); but always adds "\n".
Reading from the Arduino
string read = serialPort1.ReadTo(arg); - Reads the serial data, until the text in arg is found, then is returned as read. Also will have an error if the port is not opened.
string read = serialPort1.ReadLine(); - Same as serialPort1.ReadTo("\n");
string read = serialPort1.ReadToEnd(); - Keeps reading until there is no more data to read, then is returned as string read.
Step 4: Example Part 1 - C# Part
On both of the Example pages, I have attatched the source code files. To open, extract the files on to where-ever you want them to be, and open the CS folder, and double click the .csproj file.
I want to have a program that changes an RGB LED's color, each time I click a button, so I am going to need a button on my control, and a serialPort.
I added the button and serial port to my form, and then resized the button to fit.
I then added a serialport, and changed the PortName to COM4. This may be different for your computer.
I then double-clicked the button, and it changed to the code view. In button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e) I added code (There is some error handling code in this.) :
MessageBox.Show("There was an error. Please make sure that the correct port was selected, and the device, plugged in.");
Step 5: Example Part 2 - Arduino Part
An RGB LED was connected to
R Co G B LED Pin
13 12 11 10 Ardunino Digital Pin
int led = 1;
led = 2;
led = 3;
led = 1;