Newbie in need of assistance with SoftSerial..

I am a college engineering tech student and I am trying to get three arduinos to pass values to each other and on the third one, take the values and print them on the adafruit LCD display. I currently have: Arduino Mega Arduino UNO R3 Arduino UNO R2

What we are trying to accomplish is: Converting a 1978 VW Bug into a hybrid. My job is to program the power controls for the vehicle. I have code samples here: cccvwbug.blogspot.com

Basically, I just need a very simple way to use existing data ports for serial communication and be able to re-map things as I need..

I would humbly appreciate and advice/guidance the community could offer..

Thank you, James Spier

Hi, welcome to the forum.

The Arduino Uno has only one (hardware) serial port, and that is used to upload a sketch and for the serial monitor on the computer. The Arduino Mega 2560 has four (hardware) serial ports, so that is the board that should collect data from others.
The serial port to communicate with the computer can be overridden with something else, but then you have to disable that to be able to upload a sketch.

If you want to do that automatically, then an output pin could be used to enable the extra hardware.
When a sketch is going to be uploaded, the Arduino board is first reset and the reset makes all pins turn into inputs. Suppose then the sketch could be uploaded. In the sketch you could use a pin to activate the extra hardware that takes over the serial port.

By the way, the Arduino Leonardo has one spare hardware serial port.

The SoftwareSerial library can create a serial port on other pins, but it has large consequences for the rest of the sketch.
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/SoftwareSerial