How to capture serial port data

How to capture COM port data using Serial Port Monitor?


Through the COM ports of your computers, you can connect to it all sorts of scientific equipment and industrial gear. From there you can automatically send all the necessary data straight to any sort of database, log, chart, spreadsheet, or other tools for display and analysis. This will keep you safe from transcription errors and will save a great deal of time.

But for that, you would need an application specifically designed for capturing the arriving data on the COM port. Serial data capture software might be a good fit. By the way, from this article, you can get some key information on the serial communication settings, s.a. baud rate, COM port number, stop bits, data bits, and parity. That’s particularly important for testing COM port.

Serial data capture software

Serial Port Monitor, a software utility produced by Eltima Software to capture serial data, will definitely come in handy with software/hardware debugging and development.
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Serial Port Monitor

Log and analyze serial port activity
4.8 Rank based on 41+ users, Reviews(75)
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  1. To start capturing serial data, one will need to download Serial Port Monitor, install and start the application. After that, a new session should be started.
  2. Select the “New session” option from the “Session” menu. Other ways are to choose “New” on the toolbar or press “Ctrl+N”. New session
  3. Select the COM port to monitor and the visualizers that will be displayed.

  4. Choose whether you would like to “Start monitoring now” or “Start in new window” for the immediate behavior of a new session. Start monitoring
  5. In “Capture options” specify the events you’d like to capture – Create/Close, Read/Write, Device Control.

  6. Select “Start monitoring” to begin the session.

  7. To save the session, select “Session → Save session/ Save session As” in the main menu. Also, you can click the “Save” icon on the main toolbar or press “Ctrl + S”. Export

Every view can be exported into the separate logs of various formats (HTML, ANSI/UNICODE TXT). Besides, serial data captured from the Table view can be saved to a CSV file and used in MS Excel. To export a view, select the “Export to” option in the view menu on the toolbar.

Serial Port Monitor customer's feedback

When trying to build a custom dashboard for a third party Li-Ion Battery Management System based on Texas Instruments BQ76940 and Atmel 8-bit line of microcontrollers, the integrated circuit manufacturer provided a "brief" description of the communication protocol. This description wasn't enough or complete, so analyzing the protocol transmitted while using the manufacturer provided a Windows-based dashboard was a must. Eltima's Serial Port Monitor with the capability of "sniffing" open serial ports on the Windows platform was the best tool to do the job. Now I can see in realtime the protocol flow and understand the documentation, saving me a lot of trial and error while programming. I'm very happy about having found this piece of software.

Eduardo Roldan (Linux Expert, DIYer, EV Enthusiast)

Why capture data from the COM port?


Tracking down a problem that might appear during the development stage of the custom application or a driver for a COM device and dealing with it in the shortest time would not be possible without the ability to capture serial data and store it for the later use and analysis.

Unfortunately, Windows does not offer any built into the OS utilities that would help achieve this. So, one would need to resort to the help of specialized, Serial port Monitor that would assist with capturing and examining the data exchange between RS232 devices and Windows applications

Key features of Serial Port Monitor


Serial Port Monitor, a software utility produced by Eltima Software to capture serial data, will definitely come in handy with software/hardware debugging and development.

RS232 data capture

Capture and view the data exchange between the connected serial appliance and the application which opens the corresponding COM port. The information is collected in real time once the data packets are being transferred.

Monitor lots of serial ports at once

An activity from multiple COM ports can be captured using Serial Port Monitor. Data will be displayed in logs on a first-in-first-out basis, which will be especially convenient for later analysis.

View and export data

Select one from the 5 available view modes: Table, Line, Dump, Terminal or Modbus to display data in the required form. Capture serial data to file to examine it when the most convenient for you.

Send data to a serial device

A built-in terminal will allow you to open/close RS232 ports and send specific types of data to a serial device, which will be an excellent method to check its response to a certain command.

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Serial Port Monitor
Log and analyze serial port activity
4.8 rank based on 41+ users
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