Howdy all, first time poster here.
A couple months back I picked up an Arduino Uno and a Mega 2560, as well as a couple introductory kits. I have some limited experience with the BasicStamp and other very elementary BASIC language application. I scratch built a couple of simple autonomous robots based on the BasicStamp a few years ago. I am a hardware guy but light on software background, so my software skills are pretty weak, but I try to work my way through things.
I have been running through the basics with the Arduino. Blinking the LED, sensing temp, accelerometers, a ground up effort using a sensor suite (battery voltage, solar cell voltage, status of the charger / controller, temperature, barometric pressure) and report the results via simple Part 15 compliant RF link (the results are output as Morse code and key the transmitter to send the code). Small things that have so far been pretty straight forward.
While playing around and trying to learn how to apply serial communications and control of the Arduino the other day it struck me that I might have a project in the making.
I have a hardware obsolescence issue that I am trying to resolve. A piece of software that controls/interfaces to a radio receiver via a serial link is available, the source code is not available but the serial communications specification is. So I know how it talks to the radio it is trying to control. I want to use this to control another radio, one with a different, but also known, serial protocol. This other radio is an orphan, the vendors GUI has not been updated in 10 years and will not run on any modern OS, but the basic hardware is still quite capable. Both are RS232 but have different data structures.
The basics of the original radio the software is written to control and the radio I want it to control are similar, turn the radio on, tune the freq, set the receive mode, report back signal strength, etc. Essentially every action I need the radio to do the software already tries to do, but in a different format.
Would it be practical to use an Arduino (maybe 2, one configured for each end of the link) to communicate with the software, emulating the radio the software is configured to control, and then pass the commands on to the dissimilar radio I want to control? This seems like it would not be a huge deal, but I have a VERY limited understanding (yet) of how the Arduino handles serial data and if it would be capable of working with 2 full serial ports at the same time. I saw the Two Port Receive example in the Tutorial section, but that seemed to indicate it would have to alternate listening on each of the two serial ports.
Looking for thoughts on this before I dive in too deep.