SerialPlot – a Qt adventure on OS X

Preamble

This is probably going to be one of those projects that never ever gets properly finished, but that teaches a lot along the way.

First some background: Whilst following Paul McWorther’s IMU BNO055 course, I had a requirement for a serial plotter application, one that was better than the paltry offering built into the Arduino IDE (it autoscales too much and isn’t particularly configurable). In the video course, SerialPlot is used, a nicely functional Qt based Windows and Linux application, but there is no OS X port (typical!).

I had found previously (/RealtimePlotter), a nice Processing based plotter but… well, maybe I was being overly fussy, but I really wanted a native application.

Now, porting the fully functional SerialPlot from Linux to OS X could be a direction to go, but… meh…

Then, after more searching, I found a Github repository for another serial plotter, /SerialPlot, for OSX that is also, ironically, Qt based. Last commit was in 2011.

Knowing nothing about Qt, I thought I’d have a go at getting it working… on an old 2010 MBP running High Sierra (10.13.6), with Xcode 9.4.

WIP Status

Blocked by the qwt framework which isn’t seen.

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Switching between windows in the Arduino IDE on OS X

Preamble

The OS X version of the Arduino IDE annoyingly doesn’t have a Window menu, through which you could select which sketch Window has the focus.

So if you have multiple sketch windows open, one or more of which are full screen, then they are constantly obscuring each other and you find yourself having to constantly move windows back and forth, and/or minimising and maximising windows just to get at the correct window – which rapidly becomes a right pain in the arse.

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Virtual Arduino serial comms

Preamble

While working on Telemetry Viewer, see Java grapher for Arduino serial monitor, as I didn’t have a working Arduino, I wondered if I could fake some incoming serial comms so that it appeared that there was an Arduino connected which was sending sensor data.

I mean, how hard can it be? Surely using the UNIX underbelly of OS X, with a couple of redirections and pipes, it must be easy, right? Well, no, not so easy…

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Eclipse for Arduino

Preamble

After watching Curious Marc‘s video on the Teletyper console for Linux, see Using a 1930 Teletype as a Linux Terminal, I realised that I should be using Eclipse to program the Arduino, rather than the noddy and limited Arduino IDE.

However, this turns out to be not as easy as one would think. There are a number of different methods, all of which are a bit lengthy, especially if you aren’t familiar with Eclipse, and some of which are dead ends, out of date and/or deprecated.

Nevertheless, there is one method that stands out amongst them all… Sloeber!!!!

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