Monitoring Arduinos from one PC

Hello guys
First of all I don't know if this is the right subforum to ask this kind of question so excuse me if it's not.
My question is pretty straightforward. Can I somehow monitor more than one Arduinos from one PC? When I say monitor I mean checking the output of each board.
I know that I can plug all of them in a USB hub and then open different COM ports but I have seen a project live where he/she only uses one USB and monitors more than 5 boards and I was wondering how he/she managed to do it.
Any ideas?

paris_stent:
When I say monitor I mean checking the output of each board.

Please provide a detailed description of what you mean by "output".

paris_stent:
I have seen a project live where he/she only uses one USB

Please provide a detailed description of what you mean by "one USB".

paris_stent:
I was wondering how he/she managed to do it.

It would be really helpful if you provided more information about this project. Where did you see it? If it's on the Internet, please post a link.

What I am talking about is props for escape rooms. So for an example when a puzzle is solved the device will output “Riddle 2 solved” or something like “Riddle 5 has items 1,2,3 correct and 4,5 wrong” something like that.

Sadly I can’t provide more information about the installment I saw because I don’t know anything. I saw in another escape room I visited a couple of days before.
What I know is that he uses a custom made USB and he monitors all the boards. Custom made because he has a UTP cable coming from the boards going into and old casing from a flash drive. I don’t know what’s inside the casing. And that USB is at COM4 of that laptop.
I only mentioned that as an example.

I'll take a guess they are using RS-485. This is a multidrop serial communications system that is a good fit for this application and fairly common in the Arduino world. You can get RS-485 to virtual COM port USB dongles for easily connecting a computer to the network:


On the Arduino end, you can get shields (example) or modules to connect to the RS-485 network.

still the basic principle is one virtual comport per Arduino.
As it is a virtual COMport you can have dozens of them I guess going up to the max number of USB-devices you can have specified by the USB-bus specifications

best regards Stefan
any newbee can apply the most professional habit from the first line of code they write on their own:
add only ONE thing at a time. Test/debug that ONE thing until that ONE thing works reliable - repeat.
The sad thing is: only the REAL professionals write code this way.

Hi,
You could have your array of Arduinos hanging of RS-485 with a master Arduino communicating with the PC, only one com port.
The slave status can be evaluated by the master and a simple data packet sent to the com port.

Tom.... :slight_smile: