I struggled with getting the Example code for the ASCII characters running and I got all kinds of weird ASCII characters on the screen instead of the ASCII chart on the Serial Monitor.
The program uploaded fine, but the Serial Monitor behaved strangely. This is on the Mac Leopard OS X
I tried all the the stuff that was written earlier. That could be your problem, but in my case the issue wasn't with the USB or using NewSoftSerial.
I figured that the problem could be solved by change the Baud rate. The default Baud rate of 9200 is incorrect at least for my computer. By playing with the drop down list of baud rates, the correct baud rate turned out to be 19200 baud.
I didn't even know I had a problem.
The default Baud rate of 9200 is incorrect
Most computers have a default Baud rate of 9600.
The Baudrate of the Host (your Mac) AND the Arduino board must be the same and have valid value, eg. 9600, 19200, ...
How do you check the baud rate of Arduino board? Some of the code starts with setting the baud rate to some value.
But, I found that setting the serial port to a higher baud rate works.
Chiefly, my solution was to play around and I found that 19200 worked the best. So, should I assume the Arduino board is the same? Also, should I be changing the lines of code to reflect the changed baud rate. Meaning will the code run less optimally if not set right?
Also, should I be changing the lines of code to reflect the changed baud rate. Meaning will the code run less optimally if not set right?
Err, the code will run the same regardless of what the baud rate is set to. The only difference is sending will either be faster or slower, depending on what the baud rate is.
The Serial.begin(x) needs to be the same baud rate you are using on your computer. Otherwise, they probably can't talk to each other.