Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Sending strings in packets

In Software on Sep 29, 2010 at 00:01

Prompted by a question on the forum, I thought it’d be a good idea to write an extra “PacketBuffer” class which makes it easy to fill a buffer with string data to send out over wireless.

This new packetBuf.pde sketch in the RF12 library shows how to set up a packet buffer, fill it with some string data, and send it to other nodes in the same net group:

Screen Shot 2010 09 27 at 11.23.09

If you want to use the PacketBuffer class in your own code, just copy the dozen lines or so from the above example. The code is very small, because all the heavy lifting is done by the standard Arduino “Print” class.

The code includes logic to report incoming packets, which are also assumed to always contain text strings. To try this example, you’ll need at least two nodes, of course. Here’s output from the two I tried this with:

Screen Shot 2010 09 27 at 11.01.55

And the other side (not at the same time):

Screen Shot 2010 09 27 at 11.02.42

But having made this demo, I have to add that in general it’s not such a good idea to send out everything in string form. It takes (much) more code and RAM to deal with strings, and the receiver cannot easily convert everything back to numeric values. Then again, if you just want to send out strings to report or process on the PC, then the above may come in handy.


  1. interesting. I just found out RF12_config returns the Node-id or 0 when there’s no configuration in the eeprom. is a bit behind since that states the function to be void.

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