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Serial Port Visual Basic Example Code: A Simple Guide to Communicate with Serial Devices


Serial Port Visual Basic Example Code: How to Communicate with Serial Devices in VB.NET




Serial port communication is a common way of interacting with devices such as modems, sensors, microcontrollers, and other peripherals. Serial port communication involves sending and receiving data over a serial interface, using a standard protocol such as RS-232 or USB.




Serial Port Visual Basic Example Code



In this article, we will show you how to use Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) to communicate with serial devices using the My.Computer.Ports class. We will provide some serial port visual basic example code that demonstrates how to send and receive strings from the serial port. We will also explain some of the concepts and methods involved in serial port communication in VB.NET.


What is My.Computer.Ports?




My.Computer.Ports is a class that provides access to the computer's serial ports. It is part of the Microsoft.VisualBasic.Devices namespace, which contains classes that allow you to interact with devices connected to your computer.


My.Computer.Ports allows you to perform various operations on the serial ports, such as:


  • List the available serial ports on your computer;



  • Open and close a serial port;



  • Set and get the properties of a serial port, such as baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, etc.;



  • Send and receive data from a serial port;



  • Handle events that occur on a serial port, such as data received, error occurred, pin changed, etc.



To use My.Computer.Ports, you need to import the Microsoft.VisualBasic.Devices namespace in your code:


Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic.Devices


How to send strings to serial ports in VB.NET?




To send strings to serial ports in VB.NET, you need to follow these steps:


  • Determine which serial port you want to use. For example, COM1.



  • Use the My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort method to obtain a reference to the port. This method returns an object of type System.IO.Ports.SerialPort, which represents the serial port. You can specify the name of the port and optionally other parameters such as baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, etc. For example:



Dim com1 As IO.Ports.SerialPort = My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort("COM1", 9600)


  • Use the WriteLine method of the SerialPort object to send a string to the serial port. This method appends a newline character to the end of the string. For example:



com1.WriteLine("Hello world")


  • Close the serial port when you are done using it. You can use the Close method of the SerialPort object or use a Using block to automatically close the port when it goes out of scope. For example:



com1.Close()


' Or


Using com1 As IO.Ports.SerialPort = My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort("COM1", 9600)


com1.WriteLine("Hello world")


End Using


How to receive strings from serial ports in VB.NET?




To receive strings from serial ports in VB.NET, you need to follow these steps:


  • Determine which serial port you want to use. For example, COM1.



  • Use the My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort method to obtain a reference to the port. This method returns an object of type System.IO.Ports.SerialPort, which represents the serial port. You can specify the name of the port and optionally other parameters such as baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, etc. For example:



Dim com1 As IO.Ports.SerialPort = My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort("COM1", 9600)


  • Create a loop for reading lines of text from the serial port until no more lines are available. You can use a Do loop or a While loop for this purpose.



  • Use the ReadLine method of the SerialPort object to read the next available line of text from the serial port. This method returns a string that contains the data read from the port. If no data is available or if a timeout occurs, this method returns Nothing.



  • Use an If statement to check if the ReadLine method returns Nothing. If it does, exit the loop. Otherwise, process the string as needed.



  • Close the serial port when you are done using it. You can use the Close method of the SerialPort object or use a Using block to automatically close the port when it goes out of scope.



Here is an example of how to receive strings from serial ports in VB.NET:


Function ReceiveSerialData() As String


' Receive strings from a serial port.


Dim returnStr As String = ""


Using com1 As IO.Ports.SerialPort = My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort("COM1", 9600)


' Set timeout value.


com1.ReadTimeout = 10000


' Loop until no more data is available.


Do


' Read next line from serial port.


Dim Incoming As String = com1.ReadLine()


' Check if nothing was read.


If Incoming Is Nothing Then


' Exit loop.


Exit Do


' Otherwise append string to return value.


Else


returnStr &= Incoming & vbCrLf


' End if statement.


End If


' End loop.


Loop


' End using block.


End Using


' Return string value.


Return returnStr


' End function.


End Function


Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to use Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) to communicate with serial devices using the My.Computer.Ports class. We have provided some serial port visual basic example code that demonstrates how to send and receive strings from the serial port. We have also explained some of the concepts and methods involved in serial port communication in VB.NET.


We hope that this article has been useful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.


Summary




In this article, we have learned what is serial port communication and how to use VB.NET to communicate with serial devices. We have seen how to use the My.Computer.Ports class to access the serial ports on our computer. We have also seen how to use the OpenSerialPort, WriteLine, ReadLine, and Close methods of the SerialPort object to send and receive strings from the serial port. We have provided some serial port visual basic example code to illustrate these concepts. We hope that this article has helped you to understand and use serial port communication in VB.NET.


How to send binary data to serial ports in VB.NET?




To send binary data to serial ports in VB.NET, you need to follow these steps:


  • Determine which serial port you want to use. For example, COM1.



  • Use the My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort method to obtain a reference to the port. This method returns an object of type System.IO.Ports.SerialPort, which represents the serial port. You can specify the name of the port and optionally other parameters such as baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, etc. For example:



Dim com1 As IO.Ports.SerialPort = My.Computer.Ports.OpenSerialPort("COM1", 9600)


  • Create a byte array that contains the data you want to send. For example:



Dim data As Byte() = &H01, &H02, &H03


  • Use the Write method of the SerialPort object to send the byte array to the serial port. For example:



com1.Write(data, 0, data.Length)


  • Close the serial port when you are done using it. You can use the Close method of the SerialPort object or use a Using block to automatically close the port when it goes out of scope.



How to clear the input and output buffers of the serial port in VB.NET?




The input and output buffers of the serial port are used to store data that is received from or sent to the serial device. Sometimes, you may want to clear these buffers to discard any unwanted or outdated data. For example, you may want to clear the input buffer before reading new data from the serial port, or you may want to clear the output buffer after sending data to the serial port.


To clear the input and output buffers of the serial port in VB.NET, you can use the DiscardInBuffer and DiscardOutBuffer methods of the SerialPort object. These methods discard any bytes that are in the input or output buffer respectively. For example:


' Clear input buffer.


com1.DiscardInBuffer()


' Clear output buffer.


com1.DiscardOutBuffer()


How to access the underlying stream of the serial port in VB.NET?




The underlying stream of the serial port is an object of type System.IO.Stream that represents the data flow between your application and the serial device. You can access this stream using the BaseStream property of the SerialPort object. This property returns a reference to the stream that you can use to perform advanced operations on it.


For example, you can use the BaseStream property to read and write binary data using a BinaryReader or a BinaryWriter object. You can also use it to perform asynchronous operations using a Task or an AsyncCallback object. You can also use it to set or get custom properties of the stream using reflection.


Here is an example of how to access and use the underlying stream of the serial port in VB.NET:


' Get reference to underlying stream.


Dim stream As IO.Stream = com1.BaseStream


' Create a binary writer for writing binary data.


Dim writer As New IO.BinaryWriter(stream)


' Write some binary data.


writer.Write(&H01)


writer.Write(&H02)


writer.Write(&H03)


' Flush writer.


writer.Flush()


' Create a binary reader for reading binary data.


Dim reader As New IO.BinaryReader(stream)


' Read some binary data.


Dim b1 As Byte = reader.ReadByte()


Dim b2 As Byte = reader.ReadByte()


Dim b3 As Byte = reader.ReadByte()


' Close reader and writer.


reader.Close()


writer.Close()


Summary




In this article, we have learned how to use VB.NET to communicate with serial devices using the My.Computer.Ports class. We have seen how to use the OpenSerialPort, WriteLine, ReadLine, Close, DiscardInBuffer, DiscardOutBuffer, and BaseStream methods of the SerialPort object to send and receive data from the serial port. We have provided some serial port visual basic example code to illustrate these concepts. We hope that this article has helped you to understand and use serial port communication in VB.NET. 4e3182286b


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