reading strings from serial port

hi all,

im after some code that will read an entire string (starting and ending with the * character) from a serial port and store it as a string, from there i would like to use a case or if statements to do other things based on the input string.

i've googled it but not had much luck, please help someone! i did find some code where people are reading single characters or integers.

someone please help or steer me in the right direction!

thank you in advance.

Some simple test code that you can substitute your "*" for the ",".

// zoomkat 10-29-10 simple delimited ',' string parce 
// from serial port input (via serial monitor)
// and print result out serial port
// CR/LF could also be a delimiter
// for IDE 0019 and later

String readString;

void setup() {
  Serial.println("serial-delimit-21"); // so I can keep track of what is loaded

void loop() {

  //expect a string like wer,qwe rty,123 456,hyre kjhg,
  //or like hello world,who are you?,bye!,
  while (Serial.available()) {
    delay(10);  //small delay to allow input buffer to fill

    char c =;  //gets one byte from serial buffer
    if (c == ',') {
    }  //breaks out of capture loop to print readstring
    readString += c; 
  } //makes the string readString  

  if (readString.length() >0) {
    Serial.println(readString); //prints string to serial port out

    readString=""; //clears variable for new input

Here’s another example,

// assumes a format like <???>
//    no checking for buffer overflow
//    will hang if ">" never received
//    only designed for an app that has nothing else to do
//    no null termination of packet as not specifically designed for strings
boolean in_packet = false;
char buffer[30];
int bptr = 0;

void loop()

      while(Serial.peek() == -1) {}; // wait for a character

      char c =; //reading from the serial

      if (c == '<') { // check for start of packet char, if not then ignore
            bptr = 0;
            in_packet = true;
            while (in_packet) {
                  if (Serial.available()) {
                        incomingData =;

                        if (c == '>') {
                              in_packet = false; // end of packet
                        } else {
                              buffer[bptr++] = c;

void handleData () {
   // deal with the data here