Analog Input visualizer application

I’ve created a simple set of Arduino/Processing programs for visualizing the raw values of the analog inputs on the Arduino.

(screencap only shows 2 inputs active).

The Arduino portion of the program is very simple, it just reads in the analog inputs and writes raw values to the serial port as a set of comma separated values. It uses a very simple handshaking method to send the data.

The Processing portion reads in the data from the serial port and graphs it on the screen, tracking the min and max values.

Both pieces of code are hardcoded for 6 analog inputs, as I was using this with a Duemilanove, but it is trivial to change to more/less AIs.

Here’s the code for the Arduino:

  prints value of each analog input to serial port as comma seperated values:
    AI 1, AI 2, AI 3, AI 4, AI 5
  d.jurnove 2009

void setup() {

void loop() {
  int sensors[6];

  if (Serial.available()>0) {; //discard first byte 
    for (int i = 0; i < 6; i++) {
      sensors[i] = analogRead(i);
       if (i <5) {

Here’s the Processing code:

  Plots analog inputs as read in from Arudino

  d.jurnove 2009

import processing.serial.*;

Serial myPort;
final int linefeed = 10;

//maximum number of sensors to display
final int maxSensors = 6;

//raw analog input values from controller
int raw[];
int rawMin[];
int rawMax[];

//values scaled to fit screen
float scaledVal[];
float scaledMin[];
float scaledMax[];
float prevScaledVal[];

//min/max values of analog input from controller
final int minAnalogVal = 0;
final int maxAnalogVal = 1024;

//colors used to draw sensor graphs
color colors[];

int xCursor = 0;

//length of each line segment in graph, 1=1 pixel
final int plotLineLength = 1;

PFont myFont;
final int fontSize = 12;

final int drawDelay = 10;

boolean madeContact = false;

void setup() {
  //println( Serial.list() );
  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[7], 9600);  
  //initialize raw vars
  raw = new int[maxSensors];
  rawMin = new int[maxSensors];
  for (int i = 0; i<rawMin.length; i++) {
    rawMin[i] = 2147483647;
  rawMax = new int[maxSensors];

  //initialize scaled vars
  scaledVal = new float[maxSensors];
  scaledMin = new float[maxSensors];
  for (int i = 0; i<scaledMin.length; i++) {
    scaledMin[i] = 2147483647 ;
  scaledMax = new float[maxSensors];

  prevScaledVal = new float[maxSensors];

  //set colors used for each sensor display
  colors = new color[maxSensors];
  colors[0] = color(255, 0, 0); //red
  colors[1] = color(0, 255, 0); //green
  colors[2] = color(0, 0, 255); //blue
  colors[3] = color(255, 255, 0); //yellow
  colors[4] = color(0, 255, 255); //teal
  colors[5] = color(255, 0, 255); //purple
  PFont myFont = createFont(PFont.list()[12], fontSize);
  size(800, 600);

void draw() {
  //erases text area
  if(madeContact==false) {
    //start handshake w/controller
  } else {
    //draw text header
    text("Analog Input Monitor v1.0", 2, fontSize);
    //draw text output for each sensor
    for (int i = 0; i < raw.length; i++) {  
      text("        Analog Sensor " + i + ":" , 2, fontSize*(2*(i+1)));
      text("               Raw: " + raw[i] + "       Min: " + rawMin[i] + "       Max: " + rawMax[i], 2, fontSize*(2*(i+1)+1));
    //draw each graph line segment
    for (int i = 0; i < scaledVal.length; i++) {
      //current value
      line(xCursor, height-prevScaledVal[i], xCursor + plotLineLength, height-scaledVal[i]);   
      //min value
      line(xCursor, height-scaledMin[i], xCursor + plotLineLength, height-scaledMin[i]);
      //max value
      line(xCursor, height-scaledMax[i], xCursor + plotLineLength, height-scaledMax[i]);
      prevScaledVal[i] = scaledVal[i];
    if (xCursor > width ) {
      xCursor = 0;

void serialEvent(Serial myPort) {
  madeContact = true;

  String rawInput = myPort.readStringUntil(linefeed);

  if (rawInput != null) {
    rawInput = trim(rawInput);
    int sensors[] = int(split(rawInput, ','));
    //print("raw: ");
    //read in raw sensor values
    for (int i=0; i<sensors.length; i++) {
        raw[i] = sensors[i];
        rawMin[i] = min(rawMin[i], raw[i]);
        rawMax[i] = max(rawMax[i], raw[i]);
        //print(i + ": " + raw[i] + "\t(" + rawMin[i] + "|" + rawMax[i] +")\t");
    //print("scaled: ");
    //scale raw sensor values
    for (int i=0; i<sensors.length; i++) {      
      scaledVal[i] = height * (raw[i] - minAnalogVal) / maxAnalogVal;
      scaledMin[i] = height * (rawMin[i] - minAnalogVal) / maxAnalogVal;
      scaledMax[i] = height * (rawMax[i] - minAnalogVal) / maxAnalogVal;
      //print(i + ": " + scaledVal[i] + "\t(" + scaledMin[i] + "|" + scaledMax[i] +")\t");

  //request more data from controller 

Hope someone finds this useful! I used it to see how my photoresistor sensors reacted while I was building a basic Braitenberg light-averse robot.

Are you using the for loop and array to break up the analog input?

I'm trying to write a piece of code to send the data from an analog port to the serial monitor so I can calibrate a distance sensor. I'm having trouble finding a good way to break the 1 to 4 digit int from the port into bytes for the serial port.

I would have thought it wouldn't be hard to put a function in the softwareserial library to take strings, which would be the much easier way to do it, but it seems to have not been done yet.

I would have thought it wouldn't be hard to put a function in the softwareserial library to take strings, which would be the much easier way to do it, but it seems to have not been done yet.

The NewSoftSerial library, and the older SoftwareSerial library, are derived from the Serial class, which is derived from the Print class. The Print class DOES have methods for writing strings, which the Serial class inherit.

so I'd be looking deeper into the old granny classes to find the inheritance to call for what I want?

I was just thinking though that the write()function sends data, and since later on the main talking will be with processing, I'll probably not be doing too much with print.

I'll figure it out eventually. :P