I have a project that require for the main computer to do most of the processing then for it to send the X and Y coordinates of this processing to the arduino. This at the time didn't seem very hard but now that I have started to dive into serial some more I am completely confused. All of the example I have seen for serial only consist of 1 set of numbers and rather confusing.

The Arduino code I kinda want to go like this http://pastebin.com/aLJfEExw (I know this is probably completely wrong but I am pretty lost right now)

The Python code is this right now http://pastebin.com/4aN4dnSC

If you guys could help explain this better for me it would be amazing. I understand that my code is probably wrong. So if you guys could provide an example of how to send the two different sets of int's it would be amazing. Because I am completely and utterly lost.

2 Answers 2


I wrote a communication protocol for arduino to node.js over Serial. I sent a buffer of bytes using Serial.write() and read it into a buffer. This allows you to send as many numbers as you want. To send long (16 bit) numbers, you simple need to loop over two at a time combining:


long int a = 0x9A44;
uint_8t b = ( a & 0xFF00 ) >> 8;
uint_8t c = a & 0x00FF;


a = ( b << 8 ) & 0xFF00 | c & 0x00FF
  • For a small bandwidth, this is more than sufficient.
    – xyz
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 16:56

I looked at your code, but the main problem seems to be that you have not defined the problem, and it is thus not possible to definitively answer.

The conventional solution to this would be to send 2 numbers with separator (usually space) followed by a newline. I know Arduino does not have an inbuilt function to do this, but you could write one. http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/SerialEvent shows one way this could be done.

Another approach is to send bytes (how long is each number? I would guess 16 bits) so you would send 4 bytes and on reception assemble them into 2 16 bit integers. Whether you need to ensure the data is synchronised depends on your problem. If you are sending continuous data this is essential, and you could use the kind of compelled sequence signalling you seem to be implying.

From the code it looks like you are sending from a Raspberry Pi. If I were doing this I would probably use I²C (at least over a short distance).

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