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We would be remiss if we did not include some Mac serial port monitors. Here are two options for Mac users. CoolTerm is designed to facilitate data exchange between your computer and serially connected hardware devices. This aptly named application for the macOS brings a full-featured serial terminal to your Mac or MacBook. It was developed specifically for the Mac and is not a port of a Windows program. To that end, we will use the product to illustrate how easy it is to monitor your COM ports using the tool.

Just follow these steps:.

List of 16 Serial Port Monitors for all OS's in your budget range.

Name your session meaningfully so you can retrieve it for later analysis. If you are interested in how to add a COM port on Windows10, in this article you will find a simple and effective guide on how to add a COM port in Windows 10 via Windows built-in tools or with the help of special virtual serial port software. There are signs that you have downloaded a pirated copy of a software application. Using pirated software is not recommended for a variety of reasons. You will be depriving the developers of compensation for their efforts and breaking copyright laws.

You also will not be able to receive program updates or customer support and may be exposed to malware attached to your download. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Conversely, when you buy a fully authorized version of Serial Port Monitor you get complete access to product updates which include bug fixes and regular upgrades to your software product.

You also can take advantage of customer support if the need arises. Eltima Software guarantees that all of their software applications have passed a quality control test ensuring that they are stable and free of any malware. If you have inadvertently downloaded and are using a pirated copy of the Serial Port Monitor, you can apply for a discount on the purchase price of a fully licensed version. If you have your own usage scenario of Serial Port Monitor and want to use our software, you can apply the request for a free license here. We hope you have found our review of COM port monitoring utilities for Windows, Linux, and the Mac helpful in selecting the application that suits your needs.

Toggle navigation. Products Help Articles Integration. Olga Weis We are offering a free day trial of this advanced software without any usage limitations. Download Serial Port Monitor today and see what it can do for you. Serial Port Monitor. Requirements: Windows XP bit and bit , Windows bit and bit , Windows bit and bit , Windows Vista bit and bit , Windows 7 bit and bit , Windows 8 bit and bit , Windows 10 bit and bit , Windows server , Windows server Version 7.

Cons: ability to save data in a text file only. Serial port is shareable!. Haven't found any alternatives for the bit environment. This tool allows to work with virtual machine and this is really helpful for my work! Pros: virtual machine. Cons: the free version of this application limits you to five monitoring sessions per day with the maximum time per session set at 20 minutes; grace period 4 day. You may be interested in related articles. Portmon for Windows: Portmon is another free serial port monitor.

Pros: it allows you to perform remote monitoring, log data to a file, and make use of powerful filtering capabilities; the software includes an online help file that makes the tool more user-friendly; monitoring parallel ports as well as serial activity. Cons: the last update was on January 12, ; you will only be able to use this utility on systems running Windows NT 4. Many thanks to you all. I can now send and receive data to the device via USB. Portmon is a great tool to check for serial issues Pros: this tool resides in your Windows notification tray and notifies you when a device is added or removed; it is a simple tool that performs a single function to help you track the devices attached to your system; this freeware was last updated in late and supports Windows Cons: This software just shows the COM ports that are plugged into the computer.

Professional Serial Port Monitoring Software for Windows Professional serial port monitoring applications offer more features and support than do the free tools previously mentioned. Serial Port Monitor by Eltima This high-quality application delivers a full-featured and comprehensive tool for monitoring COM port traffic. It provides a convenient way to monitor and analyze serial port activity.

Pros: the features of this tool allow you to monitor, save, and analyze all serial interface activity; the software features a configurable user-interface to facilitate its use; multiple ports can be monitored at one time; the app supports custom defined serial protocols; it supports all Windows versions from XP to Windows Advanced Serial Port Monitor Here is a flexible serial monitor that allows you to monitor serial traffic as well as sending and receiving data from your COM ports.

Pros: useful for diagnosing problems with external serial devices; data can be displayed in HEX or ASCII characters and you can log files for later analysis; a built-in scripting engine enables you to execute commands through plugins; the app can run on all Windows versions.

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Pros: it can be used to monitor, analyze, and control serial port activities and can display data in numerous formats; you can configure the application with programmable buttons, automated responses, and macros; All major Windows versions through Windows 10 are supported by this flexible software tool. Serial Monitor Serial port monitor for Linux is a plugin that lets you display all serial port activity initiated by other applications. Pros: it is capable of sending data to serial devices; the author has not needed to make updates to the code since but continues to support the program; component of the Debian OS.

Cons: it is a command line tool that does not present a user-friendly interface. See Latest News. Press F1 to bring up the help screen. Amongst other things you get a list of the actual commandline parameters that version supports. Take the time to move the mouse over every control, and read the hints that pop up. If you doubleclick on the status bar at the bottom it will toggle to a longer hint string. The Popup hints are also displayed and don't timeout on the status bar.

Double click the status bar to show them the full screen width. Monitor New File Releases. Read all the Tool Tips carefully. Check the examples directory for programming examples. F1 brings up the About page with lots of links, and helplinks. Project Page on is the place to find all up-to-date information, make bugreports etc. Help is Here back to contents. This gives a traditional terminal with extensive control codes that navigate the cursor around and clear selected parts of the screen.

It does not properly act on CR and LF, so as to display them best ]. Colors can be set from the commandline V2. Colors are set by a string of color chars below. The Tray Icon and main icon changes to show a red dot when it is capturing. The dot rotates as data bytes are actually being received.

The dot is Green for normal chars, Red when capturing,. Small tablets, high resolutions screens etc, can make the default screen difficult to use. There are several ways to change the size of Realterm. For small tablets, the app can be run in fullscreen mode. Sets up a small Realterm, hides the controls and sets StayOnTop. This is ideal for making a shortcut that sets up Realterm for your field staff or users, then hides all the controls, to make it less confusing.

Unlike minimising, it disappears from the taskbar. Only the Tray Icon is left. If you want it to be totally hidden the activeX interface lets you hide even the Tray Icon. This is ideal if like us you have 16 Realterms running in the background at once, all the time. Cols are not changed by dragging, except in MiniTerminal mode. Bytes and check "Single". Realterm tries to set the actual number of Cols, to be multiples of Data Frame sizes. You can set the display rows from the commandline to launch it the size you want. Sync starts a new line, and optionally highlights the last sync char, and adds a timestamp.

A count of sync matches is shown on the Binary Sync Chars panel. When a sync match occurs, the tray icon square changes to yellow for a few seconds. Fixed size frames are self evident. You will notice that theterminal resizes to always have a whole number of frames across, unless "Single" is checked. Unfortunately frames will randomly begin somewhere on the line. GULP swallows a character each time it is pressed. Press it until the frames correctly start at the beginning of a line.

Delimited frames start a new line when they detect the sync sequence. A sync sequence can be any number of bytes long. The XOR term allows you to invert some or all data bits. The AND term lets you ignore some of the bits. Baudrates depend on the exact hardware port. Realterm accepts anything. Some ports complain about invalid baud rates, others just ignore them, some coerce to the nearest rate. USB serial ports appear at some port number. Unfortunately the same device will often appear at different comport numbers when it is on different USB hub ports.

If you would like to use Realterm to interact with software on your PC, not with a physical port as normal, the you need com0com. This makes a pair of virtual comports, linked together. You software connects to one port, and Realterm connects to the other. Now Realterm can talk to your software and see what it is sending. Realterm now uses the registry to find ports rather than trying to open them all. Note if you get a registry key error when starting, this is because you do not have any serial ports installed.

Install one. This scans for ports by trying to open every port number see below. Realterm will scan for ports at startup if an explicit port is not given on the commandline. This can cause long delays where Bluetooth is running. When starting normally, Realterm will try to open the first existent port that it finds. When started as an ActiveX automation server, it does not open the port until explicitly requested. Realterm will pass any requested baud rate through to Windows. Many other applications have a list of baud rates, but Realterm does not, it will request anything.

Mostly, if a baud rate is not accepted, there is no error or warning - it just does not work. Whether a baud rate will be work depends on two things Reaterm has no control over:. Microsoft says this : "For all other cases, as long as the requested baud rate is within 1 percent of the nearest baud rate that can be found with an integer divisor, the baud rate request will succeed". The most basic PC uart has a maximum baud rate of , Actual serial ports usually have a maxium that is a multiple of , USB-Serial adaptors usually have higher clock rates, and support a wider range of different rates.

FTDI's usb-serial adaptors have high maximum rates, and many possible rates. See FTDI info:. If you are using RS connections, modern drivers will usually work at kbd for short cable lengths, but are less likely to work at kbd, or kbd. The16C95X family of advanced uarts are able to support very high baud rates.

They have 64byte FIFO's, which is a give away that they are in your serial card.


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When trying to get very high baud rates, there is an option in the hardware configuration of the uart to enable the "baud rate multiplier". This will result in higher than requested baud rates. The TCP connections default to using Telnet protocol. However if you are connecting to a socket with raw data, you might notice that some characters eg 0xFF are missing or doubled up.

You need to change between Telnet and Raw modes. This is not a bug! The telnet connection lets two copies of Realterm talk to each other on the same machine. Just set the first to "server:telnet" and the second to " This is very useful for testing and experimentation. By defualt Realterm should be using the Hex fonts below. The terminal can be changed from Terminal Font button.

Only fixed pitch fonts show, and only some of these seem to be satisfactory. Lucidas Console and Fixedsys are good starts. Our Hex fonts are included. The Installer should install the fonts for you automatically. You can also go to the windows font installer in Control Panel to install it.

The hex font contains all 8 bit values. There are 3 different fonts in the. FNT file. This is very useful for seeing control codes, invalid hidden codes and errors, in serial comms. It's equally useful in a programmers editor. You can now get just the fonts from the downloads page. If you can convert these fonts for use with Linux or another OS, please do! If you would like to add a larger size to the font, please do. Pin states can be set manually.

Set means data flow is enabled. Incoming data can be captured to file. Capture files can be post-processed. Realterm can be hidden, and capture controlled from the tray icon. Data lines can be Timestamped.


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For more about capturing from the commandline see: Do then Quit. It can either capture "direct" or via the terminal window. This means less processor load, screen draws etc. This is best for embedded type uses. Char Count and CPS chars per sec are displayed during capture. Sometimes it is easier to look at binary data when it is saved as hex. So each received char is converted to two hex chars and saved to file.

This option only works with Direct Capture. Some users leave Realterm capturing for long periods. Files can grow very large, or be unwieldy to find data in. Restart and AutoName V3. Previously this was done via a batch file. When the capture file is closed, it can be post processed by a batch file. This could be used to:. These are completely separate from the Capture function and provided by the Turbo Async comport component.

These are a reports from a dignostic queue. The Log buffer is long and Trace buffer long V2. Select hex if you need to see non-printing chars. Custom timestamp format can be set by right-click on Timestamp checkbox. Timestamping is very useful for data logging, or where you want to know when an occaisional string arrived. This is most useful for comma separated CSV type text data.

Terminal Software

Timestamp is triggered by CR or LF. Matlab timestamps are given to the PC's clock resolution, this should be 10ms for NT and later and 55ms for Win98 and earlier. Using Matlab timestamps should give you finer resolution than 1 second. UnixHex is provided for convenience when all the data being captured is in hex.

It also has some slightly odd behavious like not including the HMS value what it is Note that Unix, Matlab, and format yymmddhhnnss will sort in data analysis. System and other customary date formats do not sort. Timestamping also slows down file capture somewhat, so it is probably not ideal for very fast and dense data streams. Read the popup Hints carefully. They give lots of information especially in the Send tab! Both ascii and binary strings can be sent. See table below. Literal disables the escape sequences and send just the string.

Sent chars aren't echoed to the terminal. V2 If half-duplex is set, then sent strings will be shown on the terminal. You can also strip spaces from sent data. This is useful for the I2CChip adaptor. While it ignores spaces, they take time, and buffer space, and won't be used in the final application.

It ignores all chars that aren't hex. You can just enter hex, with commas and spaces if you want. ASCII character with hex value hh Look at the popup menu to see what local Hotkeys exist. Global Hotkeys can be enabled from the SendStrings popupmenu. This allows F key to send the strings from anywhere in Windows - even when Realterm does not have focus or is minimised. If Literal is checked, then the string is sent raw. Before V3. You can add a variety of CRC's and Checksums to the end of the send string. See the drop down list.

You can dump a file directly to the port. If you want to send binary values you need to create your file with a binary or hex editor. Two delay settings are provided to add delays after each char, and at the end of each line. EOL is denoted by CR at present. This affects file dump, but not sending char sequences above. For example you can make a simple, one line file that commands a multimeter to read a voltage. Set repeats to 0, so it will loop for ever, and delay to ms, and Capture. Now the data will be read to file every 1 second.

Using Capture and SendFile from the commandline, you can log data and control intruments directly from the commandline, without extra software.

This will send "commands. This is all you need to do to turn say and RS multimeter into a datalogger. This is most useful for CSV type text data. See capture section. Realterm cannot read I2C without these external devices. Realterm is an easy way to use it. Using the ActiveX interface you can easily send strings from excel or other apps. Using the Echo port provides a way to make hardware devices that can be controlled over the internet. Common commands you want to send to play with the adaptor are provided by the controls.

Tray Icon & Popup Menu

Using this you can quickly try out an I2C adaptor or 1-wire device. The I2C-2 tab has controls to support a number of common IC's. The main port can be passed through or echoed to the Echo Port. This is partcularly useful when the echoport is a TCP port. This allows a real serial port to be aliased across the network. Lets say the remote unattended machine It runs Realterm at startup with a command line like this:. This makes a telnet connection to the remote machine.

Now you can sit at your desk, and control and monitor the remote serial device. When there is a connection, chars are echoed. When the connection is broken, or the buffers are full for some reason, it simply stops attempting to echo chars. When the connection is broken, the server end just waits for another connection. At the client end, the port need to be manully restarted.

If you are using the activeX interface you can check the open property to see if the link is up, and use it to re-establish a dropped link. The Monitor checkbox lets the terminal window display both sides of the conversation ie both the data received through the ain port, and the echo port. You must make sure that this doesn't interfere with the operation of the handshake lines.

Echo port an connect a physical port to the newtwork. Com0Com can make vcp's with numbered ports - Realterm can use these, and named ports which RT cannot use. Com0Com can also make 3 and N way connections that can be used to create a tap that RT can connect to, for monitoring. Realterm has two ways to monitor serial communications, and let you see the RXD and TXD data interleaved in the same terminal window:. Spy mode allows you to monitor the communications between a program running on your PC and the com device, by installing a device driver to intercept the port messages, Spy mode must be activated before opening the comport, and the comport must be closed before spy mode can be released.

Spy button is on the port tab. Note that you cannot currently capture the spy mode. However you can copy and paste from the terminal window. Monitor mode is useful to monitor communications between external devices by connecting to the RS cable. The Echo port can be used to give you a second receiver. The data is put into the terminal screen, in a different color.

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Now you can see both sides of the conversation. The interleaving on screen, only shows you when the data arrived at Realterms handlers. The indeterminate delays in Windows mean that you can't rely on the sequence being exactly as it happened. Obviously with slow data, or decent gaps between send and receive, it will work better than with very fast data streams. You need a special adaptor with 2 plugs for the PC's 2 serial ports. Now Realterm echos as normal, but the terminal window displays the data from both directions. Future versions will allow command strings and hotkeys. Realterm doesn't save its settings.

Instead it is set up from either the command line, for basic setups, or using its extensive ActiveX interface. It is also possible to send commands to a running instance of Realterm from the commandline. These examples show the command-line params you can use. Generally they set the corresponding widgets. For radiobuttons and checkboxes, a number selects the state. For booleans eg visible use either 1 or 0. Double quotes inside strings are possible V3.