need to click the green rocker switch until it turns red
to break the serial connection from your micro, just to
keep the micro’s data from interfering with the
manually input data. Then, you’ll need to click on the
small Plot icon on the toolbar (the one that looks like
a computer monitor) to get plotting going. Finally,
bring up the Logs(Debug) Immediate window and
click the Clear Log button to start fresh.
To manually enter commands and data, simply key
them into the rectangular area at the bottom of the
window and push the Enter key (Figure 9). We’ve
started with the !RSET instruction in order to clear the
plot area and to reset the plot to time zero. We
followed this with six groups of analog data, with each
group having three values. You can see the reset
instruction and the six analog data groups in the main
window, along with the matching plotted lines that are
created by the analog data.
Each line has its own color to identify it, with
black as channel 0; red as channel 1; and blue as
channel 2. You can have up to 10 analog channels —
each with their own color. Of course, you can change
those plot line colors, but that’s a subject for another
The point about entering analog data manually or
in code is that MakerPlot treats any string of numerical
ASCII characters that are separated by a comma and
terminated with a carriage return as analog data; no
other prefixes or suffixes are necessary.
It’s a little different for digital data. With digital
data, you need to prefix the 1 and 0 ASCII string with
a percent (%) character followed by the data itself,
then a carriage return. Figure 10 is such an example.
Again, we started with the !RSET instruction and keyed
in five sets of digital data, although we could have
gone up to 32. You can mix analog and digital data
along with instructions and messages together. That’s
the beauty of this simple yet powerful debugging tool.
Up until now, we’ve been in Plot mode. For this
next example, we’ve switched to Terminal mode
(Figure 11). The display changes to yellow to alert you
to the changed display mode. This is yet another way to
see what’s coming in from your micro’s serial link.
Here, you can see what MakerPlot sees as the
!READ(Slider) instruction is followed by the analog
setpoint and pot values, then the digital values for the
pushbutton switches and the setpoint crossing level.
To get a better idea of how the Logs(Debug)
Immediate window works, go to the MakerPlot website
and follow this path Basic Plotting Video ➔ Logs(Debug)
Immediate Tab. Here, you can see what happens in the
window with live data coming in; it will give you a much
better handle on how it can work for you.
To sum up, you’ve been introduced to the
Logs(Debug) Immediate window for two reasons. The
April 2014 49
Figure 9. Manually entering instructions
and analog data.
Figure 10. Manually entering instructions
and digital data.