My program reads the input and plays the appropriate note for 500 milliseconds. If I type in 'a', tone(8, 440, 500) will be called. I now want to add different note lengths so that in the future, I can play songs by sending code to Arduino. I was thinking that if 'a' is typed in, the program checks the next character. If it's a 1, it's a whole note. If it's a 2, it's a half note. My code doesn't work. What is wrong with it?

    char character=Serial.read();
    char leng=Serial.read();
    tone(8, 440, 1000);
    else if(leng=='2'){
    tone(8, 440, 500);

  • Welcome to Arduino SE! Could you please include the full code? – Avamander Mar 26 '16 at 23:25

Presuming that code is the interior of loop(), your Arduino will spin until a character arrives, that is, until Serial.available()>0 becomes true.

It then reads the character with Serial.read() and if it's an 'a' immediately does another Serial.read(). In general, some delay occurs between characters arriving via a serial interface. Whenever the serial buffer is empty, an immediate Serial.read() will return -1 instead of an ASCII character.

To fix this problem, test for availability of a character before doing the second read. For example, you could add

while (!Serial.available()){}

before the read, to delay until a character is available.


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