Terminal Program for Windows 8

Hi, Can anyone recommend a terminal program that works with the Arduino using Windows 8. I would like to prevent the terminal window from shutting down when I upload a sketch. I need the terminal program and the IDE to use different COM ports. Thanks.

I doubt if that is possible. Which Arduino board are you using and how many serial ports are connected to the computer ?

Thanks for the reply. I am using an Arduino Uno. Device manager says I have two com ports. COM 3 is connected to the Arduino. COM 1 says it is a "Communications Port". I don't know if that would be available to connect to a terminal program.

The Arduino has only one serial port, and it is connected to the computer via usb.
You can add another one with a SoftwareSerial library, but you need a serial-ttl-to-usb converter.

I think the COM1 is a serial port in your computer. Perhaps it’s on the back, or perhaps it is not used at all.
The Arduino doesn’t need that. Those serial-ttl-to-usb converters are very common.

The SoftwareSerial libary has many restrictions, but it makes it possible to have a serial port open with a program on your computer all the time.
http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/SoftwareSerial

There are other boards, like the Arduino Leonardo. That one has a spare hardware serial port. Or the Arduino Mega 2560, which has three spare serial ports. You still need that serial-ttl-to-usb converter.

I have myself never had a problem with the disappearing serial monitor while uploading a sketch. Perhaps it will be an option someday to automatically open the serial port after uploading.

I've been looking at the links you suggested.

Adafruit's tutorial was also helpfull: https://learn.adafruit.com/ftdi-friend/overview.

Is it correct that when I install the driver's, the drivers will connect the new USB port to an available COM port?

The thrust of the Adafruit tutorial is to program the ATmega bootloader - not what I want to do. How would I use this connection to open and communicate with the Arduino using another terminal? Again, this brings up the question of a terminal program. Can I use the command prompt in some way?

Another, related project, that prompts my questions is that I want to learn to write a make file, and compile and upload a program without the Arduino IDE. The IDE is great - I just want to learn the alternatives. My hangup is, how do I replace the Arduino IDE serial monitor . Older Windows systems had a terminal program but not so with 8.

Thank you again for your help.

You have to ask others for a good open source serial monitor. I forgot the name.

There are ways to compile and upload from the command line in linux. I don't know if that is up to date and I don't know if that is available in Windows.

You can use the Power Shell in Windows to communicate with a serial port.

The serial-ttl-to-usb converter has RX and TX pins and GND. With the SoftwareSerial you create (software) Rx and Tx pins on the Arduino. So you can connect those three to communicate with a terminal program on the computer.

About drivers for the serial-ttl-to-usb converters: Sometimes Windows doesn't need drivers. Sometimes Windows needs drivers that are included when you downloaded the Arduino IDE. Sometimes you have to look on the manufacturer site for the drivers.

I have used Realterm on Windows 7, I believe it will work on 8.

Edit, see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/terminal-basics/real-term-windows