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Arduino Serial Plotter – New Tool

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The latest release of the Arduino IDE 1.6.6 comes with a new tool called Serial Plotter. This tools gives you the ability to visualize your data in a plot that is updated in real time.

Before you continue reading this project, I recommend reading the following tutorials: 

How the Arduino Serial Plotter Works

The Arduino Serial Plotter is a Tool that comes pre-installed with your Arduino IDE (version 1.6.6 and above) that takes incoming serial data and displays them in a plot.

The vertical Y axis adjusts as the value of your serial data increases or decreases. The X axis has 500 points and each tick of the axis is equal to an executed Serial.println() command.

This means that the plot is updated every time you use the Serial.println() command with a new value .

plotter arduino

Download the Arduino IDE version 1.6.6 or above

In order to use the Serial Plotter tool you need to download the latest version of the Arduino IDE, at the time I’m writing this blog post is version 1.6.6.

Arduino with DHT11 Temperature and Humidity Sensor

To test the Serial Plotter tool I’m going to build a simple circuit that measures the temperature with the DHT11 sensor.

You need the following components to make this circuit:

  • Arduino (eBay)
  • DHT11 (eBay)
  • Breadboard (eBay)
  • 10K Resistorrsz_dht-11

Here’s how to connect the DHT11 to an Arduino:

humidity_schematics

Pins:

  • VCC (3V to 5V)
  • Data OUT
  • Don’t connect
  • GND

Source code

Here’s the code you need for this project:

  1. Download the DHT11 library here
  2. Unzip the DHT library
  3. Rename the extracted folder and remove the “-“. Otherwise your Arduino IDE won’t recognize your library
  4. Install the DHT11 in your Arduino IDE
  5. Restart your Arduino IDE
  6. Go to Files / Examples / DHT_SENSOR_LIB / DHT Tester
  7. Upload the code

How to Open the Serial Plotter

Go to your Arduino IDE, select “Tools” and from the drop-down menu open “Serial Plotter” (see Figure below).

Serial plotter screenshot

Demonstration

In this project the Arduino is measuring the temperature in degree Celsius (°C) and printing those readings into the Arduino Serial Plotter as shown below.

zbzHgt

This tool is very limited right now and there isn’t much you can do with it at the moment, but I hope we can see new improvements and a wider range of features very soon!

I hope you found this tutorial useful.

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Thanks for reading,

-Rui Santos

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