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Real-time serial port plotter/logger.

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live-serial: real-time serial port plotter/logger

live-serial is a simple package that ties pyserial, matplotlib and csv together to create a real-time plotter and logger of serial port data. This is intended to make life easier for people who work with sensors who need to see real-time feedback when they interact with the sensors.


pip install live-serial

The package includes a script that starts the plotting and logging. Although the script is documented internally, the most common use cases are: COM3 -logdir C:\sensordata\

on a Windows machine, and: /dev/ttyACM0 -logdir ~/sensordata

for linux or MacOS. That command will open a live plotting window and log the port data to file simultaneously. To see a full list of examples and command-line arguments, type -examples.

Configuration Files

Although the command-line parameters are useful for many quick tasks, repetitive debugging of a multi-sensor serial port setup can be tedious. For these cases, we recommend creating a configuration file (an example is shown in sensors.cfg). This is also a great way to share configuration information with other team members working on the same project: they just need to change the port numbers in the config file for their system.

The documentation on configuration options is at API Documentation.

Running the Unit Tests

To run all the unit tests to make sure that your local setup is working correctly, you will need to have socat installed (for UNIX-based systems), or some virtual COM ports running (for Windows). socat is available via apt-get and brew. For Windows systems, you will need to find a virtual port generator (we have used before and it worked fine). On Windows, the COM ports are assigned by the OS, so we can’t label them for you. The scripts expect COM1 and COM3 to be the writeable, virtual ports (attached to COM2 and COM4 respectively). If that is not the case, the unit tests will not work out of the box for you. You can edit tests/ (~ line 20) and tests/ (~ line 15) to use different port numbers.

cd live-serial

API Documentation

Full API documentation is hosted at github pages.

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