Description

Few months ago, I wrote a tutorial about using head and tail in UART to receive and transmit data of unknown length. In that tutorial, I only used single UART to communicate with the computer. Now, in order to use some serial communication based sensors for eg- ESP8266, GPS, GSM, etc, we need to have one dedicated UART PORT to communicate with the sensor, and another UART PORT should be connected to the computer.

So, in this tutorial, we are going to manage 2 UARTs with Head and Tail method. Both would be able to receive and transmit data of unknown length. And after reading this, you will be able to use all those sensor, that require serial transmission.

In this tutorial, i am going to use STM32F446RE along with CUBEIDE and ESP8266. Which is a wifi device and works with serial transmission. Now for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that I don’t know what response is it going to send, after I supply any AT command to this device.

The setup part is very simple. In the figure below you can see that I have enabled 2 UARTs i.e. USART1 and USART2. Both of them have the BAUD RATE of 115200, and interrupt is enabled.

multiple uarts
multiple uarts

UART1 is connected to ESP8266 in a way that the RX pin of UART is connected to TX pin of WiFi, and TX pin of UART is connected to RX pin of WiFi. UART2 is connected to the computer in the same manner.

connection
connection

Some insight into the code

Before proceeding any further, my advice is that you once go through the concept of head and tail method. The tutorial is written HERE

After generating the project, you have to include the library files into the project. Basically UartRingbuffer_multi.c file will go in the src folder and UartRingbuffer_multi.h file will go in the inc folder.

#define device_uart &huart1
#define pc_uart &huart2

Above, the UARTs are being defined for the respective handlers. If you are not using uart1 or uart2, you can change them here. Don’t change the name, or else you have to make the changes everywhere in the code .

void Ringbuf_init(void)
{
  _rx_buffer1 = &rx_buffer1;
  _tx_buffer1 = &tx_buffer1;
  _rx_buffer2 = &rx_buffer2;
  _tx_buffer2 = &tx_buffer2;

  /* Enable the UART Error Interrupt: (Frame error, noise error, overrun error) */
  __HAL_UART_ENABLE_IT(device_uart, UART_IT_ERR);
  __HAL_UART_ENABLE_IT(pc_uart, UART_IT_ERR);

  /* Enable the UART Data Register not empty Interrupt */
  __HAL_UART_ENABLE_IT(device_uart, UART_IT_RXNE);
  __HAL_UART_ENABLE_IT(pc_uart, UART_IT_RXNE);
}

Ringbuf_init initializes both the Ring buffers. This must be called in the main file before working with Ring buffer.

int IsDataAvailable(UART_HandleTypeDef *uart)
{
	if (uart == device_uart) return (uint16_t)(UART_BUFFER_SIZE + _rx_buffer1->head - _rx_buffer1->tail) % UART_BUFFER_SIZE;
	else if (uart == pc_uart) return (uint16_t)(UART_BUFFER_SIZE + _rx_buffer2->head - _rx_buffer2->tail) % UART_BUFFER_SIZE;
	return -1;
}

IsDataAvailable checks if the data is available to read in the input buffer. The parameter, UART_HandleTypeDef *uart, is the UART where you want to check for the availability of the data.

This function returns ‘1’ if the data is available.

int data = Uart_read(pc_uart);

Uart_read reads the data from the input uart and save this data in the corresponding RX buffer. It also increments the tail, so as to indicate that the data has been read from that position, and this makes the position available to store new incoming data.
The parameter is the uart, that you want to read the data from.

Uart_write(data, wifi_uart);

Uart_write writes the data in the TX buffer to the input UART. After writing the data, the tail gets incremented and this makes up space for the new data to be stored in the TX buffer.

/* function to send the string to the uart */
void Uart_sendstring(const char *s, UART_HandleTypeDef *uart);

Uart_sendstring sends the input string to the input UART.

/* Copies the entered number of characters (blocking mode) from the Rx buffer into the buffer, after some particular string is detected
* Returns 1 on success and -1 otherwise
* USAGE: while (!(Get_after ("some string", 6, buffer, uart)));
*/
int Get_after (char *string, uint8_t numberofchars, char *buffertosave, UART_HandleTypeDef *uart);

Get_after gets the numberofchars (number of characters) after the input string is received in the incoming stream of data. These characters would be saved in the buffertosave buffer. Once the characters are received, the function will return a ‘1’.
It must be used in the if loop so that it can wait for the characters to be received. As the function is looking for the characters in the incoming data, the tail value in the RX buffer also increments here.

/* Copy the data from the Rx buffer into the buffer, Upto and including the entered string
* This copying will take place in the blocking mode, so you won't be able to perform any other operations
* Returns 1 on success and -1 otherwise
* USAGE: while (!(Copy_Upto ("some string", buffer, uart)));
*/
int Copy_upto (char *string, char *buffertocopyinto, UART_HandleTypeDef *uart);

Copy_upto Copies the data from the Rx buffer of the given uart, into the entered buffer. But it will copy until the entered string is reached.

/* Wait until a paricular string is detected in the Rx Buffer
* Return 1 on success and -1 otherwise
* USAGE: while (!(Wait_for("some string", uart)));
*/
int Wait_for (char *string, UART_HandleTypeDef *uart);

Wait_for will wait until a predefined string is received in the Rx buffer of the entered uart. If it does, than the function will return 1.

/* Look for a particular string in the given buffer
 * @return 1, if the string is found and -1 if not found
 * @USAGE:: if (Look_for ("some string", buffer)) do something
 */
int Look_for (char *str, char *buffertolookinto);

Look_for will look for a particular string inside the given buffer. If the string is found, it will return 1.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD FULL CODE AT THE END OF THIS POST

In case you are using a microcontroller, which gave you error on Uart_isr function. Errors like DR and SR are not present, replace the Uart_isr code with the following file Uart_isr.c

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Working

First of all I have defined the new names to the uart handlers as shown below

#define pc_uart &huart2
#define wifi_uart &huart1

Next we need to initialize the ring buffer in the main function

Ringbuf_init();

In the while loop, if the controller receives the data from device, it will send it to the PC. And if it receives the data from the PC, it will send it to the device. This way it will act as a mediator in between device and computer.

 while (1)
  {
    if (IsDataAvailable(pc_uart))
    {
     int data = Uart_read(pc_uart);
     Uart_write(data, wifi_uart);
    }

    if (IsDataAvailable(wifi_uart))
    {
     int data = Uart_read(wifi_uart);
     Uart_write(data, pc_uart);
    }
  }
esp8266 response
esp8266 response

AT+GMR command is sent from the computer to the controller. Which, on receiving this data, will send it to the device. The device sends the response, which is again received by the controller and than sent back to the computer. That response is being displayed on the picture above.

Now the the very important function i.e. Get_after. Basically, it gets the entered number of characters after the predefined string is detected in the incoming data.

  while (1)
  {
	  if (IsDataAvailable(pc_uart))
	  {
		  int data = Uart_read(pc_uart);
		  Uart_write(data, wifi_uart);
	  }

	  if (IsDataAvailable(wifi_uart))
	  {
		  if (Get_after("AT version:", 8, buffer, wifi_uart))
		  {
			  Uart_sendstring("AT VERSION=", pc_uart);
			  Uart_sendstring(buffer, pc_uart);
		  }
	  }
  }

In the example above, we want to get 8 characters after the string “AT version:” in the received data, which is sent from wifi_uart. And these characters will be saved in buffer. After the characters are received, the if loop will be executed, and these characters will display on the serial terminal.

get_after function
get_after function

As you can see above, the contents of the if loop being displayed on the serial terminal along with the 8 characters that we received. Note that, the tail in the RX buffer increments while the data is being checked for the string, so you have to use this function very carefully.

Check out the VIDEO Below
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DOWNLOAD

You can buy me a coffee sensor ūüôā

download the CODE below

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