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I love Microsoft Visual Studio! So I have created many utilities in for my own personal use in embedded day to day calculations & stuff. Mostly they are coded in Visual Studio.NET 2010 , but I also have some from Visual Basic 6. VB6 does not install okay on Windows 7 so now I prefer .NET 2010. Some of them I am providing here, so that they can be of use to anybody who might need them :)

Baud Rate Calc

This is a utility for performing calculations related to Baud rate generation & timer operations for 8051 family of microcontrollers. When configuring timers in 8051 for serial communication, almost always you have to perform repeated calculations to find what value must be loaded in the timer to achieve a particular baud rate with a given frequency. So here it is, you input the crystal frequency & required baud rate, this will give you the desired parameters for the timer:


    Screenshots of the, ahem, great program.

In the second tab, next to Serial Comm, there is another option for timer calculations. Here you select timer mode, frequency and TH & TL values, then it will give how many counts elapse before the timer overflows. Much detailed help is given in the PDF manual attached at the end of this page. I hope it is of good help to you :)

Serial Port Monitor

For 3-4 years I have used Windows XP for embedded software development. In XP, you have a built-in utility called HyperTerminal for serial communications with the target. But this great feature was depreciated in Win 7. So I looked for something else, maybe a third party application, which can communicate over the serial port.
I googled but the apps I found were lacking in one aspect or the other. For instance, I used to have Bray's Terminal v1.6 on XP, but it had only COM1 to COM4 ports! On any modern laptop, COM ports can run in dozens, as there are numerous virtual Bluetooth COM ports. So it was out of question. Some other so-called 'advanced' serial monitor programs begged for money. Again it was out of question (well specially for me ;) I just wanted something simple that just meets my requirements and nothing fancy. So I decided to code it myself in VB.NET 2K10. Here is a screenshot:

The thing I like about this is that I can implement whatever features I want e.g how many COM ports appear in the drop down list. For now, I am happy with up to COM24. Tell me if you want more :)

However you will need Microsoft .NET Framework 4
for this program to run on your machine (Win 7 or XP). Download the Standalone Installer from here. It is around 50 MB. Depending on your system (most probably on Win XP), you might also need Windows Installer 3.1 as a prerequisite to Microsoft .NET Framework. Download it from here. Its size is around 2.5 MB.

The link to the program is given at the end of this page as Serial Port Monitor.rar.

Guess what, Bray wasn't sitting idle all this time :D Only today I saw he has a new web address and a newer version (v1.9) of his Terminal program. Now he too has gone upto COM64 ;) I have downloaded & used it and it is even more feature rich than before. One thing I liked about Terminal, before also, is the idea of Macros in it. You can save them, edit them, and send just with a click. But now a severe problem also is there: it takes too much time to start after you open the exe. This is because it scans the available COM ports and that is time consuming. It might be fancy, anyhow I'll stick to using mine only ;)

I will be posting more programs here as I code more in Visual Studio. NET. Until then, tell me about any new feature you want, any suggestions/ideas, or bugs with these utilites. I can be contacted at dexterslab.projects<at>gmail.com.

Updated: 21-Apr-2K12

Baud Rate Calc.rar
Munish_4 Kumar,
Apr 20, 2012, 5:40 AM
Serial Port Monitor.rar
Munish_4 Kumar,
Apr 20, 2012, 7:52 AM
Munish_4 Kumar,
Apr 20, 2012, 5:47 AM