Plot Data from an Arduino, or other serial source

 In Documentation

MegunoLink Pro can plot data received from an Arduino, or any serial source, by parsing specially formatted messages. Currently two types of plots are supported:

  • Time plots, which are similar to a chart recorder, showing a number plotted against time. Time plots support auto-scrolling, which keeps the edge of the time axis set to the current time so that old values scroll off the left of the plot. All the data is retained though. You can zoom out, or pause the plot, and see the earlier data.
  • X-Y plots, which take two values from the microcontroller. One for the x (horizontal) axis and the other for the y (vertical) axis.
Plot data against time, or xy

Data sent from an Arduino program is graphed on a time plot (left) and an x-y plot (right) using MegunoLink Pro

Both types of plots support multiple series, so you can show graphs of several different values at the same time. They both also support channels. Channels let you use several different plots in the same project, with different data going to each.

The easiest way to send data to the plots is using the TimePlot and XYPlot classes in our Arduino Library. If you are not using an Arduino compatible device, or prefer to send raw messages, the plotting message reference describes the message format expected by the MegunoLink Pro plot visualizers.

As well as sending plot data, both time and xy plot libraries support setting series styles, axis labels and plot titles.

Exporting Plot Data and Plots

MegunoLink has two options for exporting data from plots:

  1. as an image of the plot, or
  2. as the data values that are plotted.

In each case the exported image or data can be saved to a file or copied to the clipboard.

To copy or save an image, right click on the plot and choose Copy or Save Image As…. You can also use MegunoLink’s scheduled reporting tool to save an image of the graph periodically — every few minutes, hours, or whenever you select Send reports now from the reporting menu.

To export the plot data, select the Copy Chart Data button on the plot toolbar; select the Save Chart Data button to save the plot data to a file. In each case the data is exported as comma separated values that can be imported into software such as Microsoft Excel or Matlab for further analysis.

Save/copy plot data

The save/copy plot data buttons can be found on the plotting visualizer toolbar

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