1

I'm new in arduino and not particularly awaken when it comes to code ;) . I'm developing a device SD logging Temperatures from 2 thermocouple . Hardware works well and I'm now trying to refine use of the LCD with a menu.

I want to be able to, while logging data on the SD card (lets say every second), browsing a menu to:

  • See current temperatures

  • see the max value from the measurements

  • see time already elapsed

  • etc.

I've used a menu code from (https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Uno-Menu-Template/)

The thing is when I enter a sub-menu(menuItem()), while I'm not out of this sub menu the code is not looping anymore, so data logging would be paused.

So my question is: how should I organize my code to be able to do a repetitive task in background(logging temperatures) while browsing a menu giving information and/or proposing actions (Stop datalogging, reset etc).

Here is the code from instructables modified to be used with adafruit LCD shield:

/***************************************************************************************
    Name    : LCD Button Shield Menu
    Author  : Paul Siewert
    Created : June 14, 2016
    Last Modified: June 14, 2016
    Version : 1.0
    Notes   : This code is for use with an Arduino Uno and LCD/button shield. The
              intent is for anyone to use this program to give them a starting
              program with a fully functional menu with minimal modifications
              required by the user.
    License : This program is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify
              it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
              the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
              (at your option) any later version.
              This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
              but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
              MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
              GNU General Public License for more details.
 ***************************************************************************************/
/*
   This program is designed to get you as close as possible to a finished menu for the standard Arduino Uno LCD/button shield. The only required modifications
   are to add as menu items to the master menu (menuItems array) and then modify/adjust the void functions below for each of those selections.
*/

// You can have up to 10 menu items in the menuItems[] array below without having to change the base programming at all. Name them however you'd like. Beyond 10 items, you will have to add additional "cases" in the switch/case
// section of the operateMainMenu() function below. You will also have to add additional void functions (i.e. menuItem11, menuItem12, etc.) to the program.
String menuItems[] = {"ITEM 1", "ITEM 2", "ITEM 3", "ITEM 4", "ITEM 5", "ITEM 6"};

// Navigation button variables
int readKey;

// Menu control variables
int menuPage = 0;
int maxMenuPages = round(((sizeof(menuItems) / sizeof(String)) / 2) + .5);
int cursorPosition = 0;

// Creates 3 custom characters for the menu display
byte downArrow[8] = {
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b10101, // * * *
  0b01110, //  ***
  0b00100  //   *
};

byte upArrow[8] = {
  0b00100, //   *
  0b01110, //  ***
  0b10101, // * * *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100, //   *
  0b00100  //   *
};

byte menuCursor[8] = {
  B01000, //  *
  B00100, //   *
  B00010, //    *
  B00001, //     *
  B00010, //    *
  B00100, //   *
  B01000, //  *
  B00000  //
};

#include <Wire.h>
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>

// Setting the LCD shields pins
#include <Adafruit_RGBLCDShield.h>
#include <utility/Adafruit_MCP23017.h>

Adafruit_RGBLCDShield lcd = Adafruit_RGBLCDShield();

void setup() {

  // Initializes serial communication
  Serial.begin(9600);

  // Initializes and clears the LCD screen
  lcd.begin(16, 2);
  lcd.clear();

  // Creates the byte for the 3 custom characters
  lcd.createChar(0, menuCursor);
  lcd.createChar(1, upArrow);
  lcd.createChar(2, downArrow);
}
//////////////////////////////////////////////
void loop() {
  mainMenuDraw();
  drawCursor();
  operateMainMenu();

  Serial.print("Loop");
}
///////////////////////////////////////////////
// This function will generate the 2 menu items that can fit on the screen. They will change as you scroll through your menu. Up and down arrows will indicate your current menu position.
void mainMenuDraw() {
  Serial.print(menuPage);
  lcd.clear();
  lcd.setCursor(1, 0);
  lcd.print(menuItems[menuPage]);
  lcd.setCursor(1, 1);
  lcd.print(menuItems[menuPage + 1]);
  if (menuPage == 0) {
    lcd.setCursor(15, 1);
    lcd.write(byte(2));
  } else if (menuPage > 0 and menuPage < maxMenuPages) {
    lcd.setCursor(15, 1);
    lcd.write(byte(2));
    lcd.setCursor(15, 0);
    lcd.write(byte(1));
  } else if (menuPage == maxMenuPages) {
    lcd.setCursor(15, 0);
    lcd.write(byte(1));
  }
}

// When called, this function will erase the current cursor and redraw it based on the cursorPosition and menuPage variables.
void drawCursor() {
  for (int x = 0; x < 2; x++) {     // Erases current cursor
    lcd.setCursor(0, x);
    lcd.print(" ");
  }

  // The menu is set up to be progressive (menuPage 0 = Item 1 & Item 2, menuPage 1 = Item 2 & Item 3, menuPage 2 = Item 3 & Item 4), so
  // in order to determine where the cursor should be you need to see if you are at an odd or even menu page and an odd or even cursor position.
  if (menuPage % 2 == 0) {
    if (cursorPosition % 2 == 0) {  // If the menu page is even and the cursor position is even that means the cursor should be on line 1
      lcd.setCursor(0, 0);
      lcd.write(byte(0));
    }
    if (cursorPosition % 2 != 0) {  // If the menu page is even and the cursor position is odd that means the cursor should be on line 2
      lcd.setCursor(0, 1);
      lcd.write(byte(0));
    }
  }
  if (menuPage % 2 != 0) {
    if (cursorPosition % 2 == 0) {  // If the menu page is odd and the cursor position is even that means the cursor should be on line 2
      lcd.setCursor(0, 1);
      lcd.write(byte(0));
    }
    if (cursorPosition % 2 != 0) {  // If the menu page is odd and the cursor position is odd that means the cursor should be on line 1
      lcd.setCursor(0, 0);
      lcd.write(byte(0));
    }
  }
}


void operateMainMenu() {
  int activeButton = 0;
  while (activeButton == 0) {
    int buttons;

    buttons = lcd.readButtons();

    switch (buttons) {
      case 0: // When button returns as 0 there is no action taken
        break;
      case 2:  // This case will execute if the "forward" button is pressed
        buttons = 0;
        switch (cursorPosition) { // The case that is selected here is dependent on which menu page you are on and where the cursor is.
          case 0:
            menuItem1();
            break;
          case 1:
            menuItem2();
            break;
          case 2:
            menuItem3();
            break;


        }
        activeButton = 2;
        mainMenuDraw();
        drawCursor();
        break;
      case 8:
        buttons = 0;
        if (menuPage == 0) {
          cursorPosition = cursorPosition - 1;
          cursorPosition = constrain(cursorPosition, 0, ((sizeof(menuItems) / sizeof(String)) - 1));
        }
        if (menuPage % 2 == 0 and cursorPosition % 2 == 0) {
          menuPage = menuPage - 1;
          menuPage = constrain(menuPage, 0, maxMenuPages);
        }

        if (menuPage % 2 != 0 and cursorPosition % 2 != 0) {
          menuPage = menuPage - 1;
          menuPage = constrain(menuPage, 0, maxMenuPages);
        }

        cursorPosition = cursorPosition - 1;
        cursorPosition = constrain(cursorPosition, 0, ((sizeof(menuItems) / sizeof(String)) - 1));

        mainMenuDraw();
        drawCursor();
        activeButton = 2;
        break;
      case 4:
        buttons = 0;
        if (menuPage % 2 == 0 and cursorPosition % 2 != 0) {
          menuPage = menuPage + 1;
          menuPage = constrain(menuPage, 0, maxMenuPages);
        }

        if (menuPage % 2 != 0 and cursorPosition % 2 == 0) {
          menuPage = menuPage + 1;
          menuPage = constrain(menuPage, 0, maxMenuPages);
        }

        cursorPosition = cursorPosition + 1;
        cursorPosition = constrain(cursorPosition, 0, ((sizeof(menuItems) / sizeof(String)) - 1));
        mainMenuDraw();
        drawCursor();
        activeButton = 2;
        break;
    }
  }
}


// If there are common usage instructions on more than 1 of your menu items you can call this function from the sub
// menus to make things a little more simplified. If you don't have common instructions or verbage on multiple menus
// I would just delete this void. You must also delete the drawInstructions()function calls from your sub menu functions.
void drawInstructions() {
  lcd.setCursor(0, 1); // Set cursor to the bottom line
  lcd.print("Use ");
  lcd.print(byte(1)); // Up arrow
  lcd.print("/");
  lcd.print(byte(2)); // Down arrow
  lcd.print(" buttons");
}

void menuItem1() { // Function executes when you select the 1st item from main menu
  int activeButton = 0;

  lcd.clear();
  lcd.setCursor(3, 0);
  lcd.print("Sub Menu 1");

  while (activeButton == 0) {
    int buttons;

    buttons = lcd.readButtons();
    switch (buttons) {
      case 16:  // This case will execute if the "back" button is pressed
        buttons = 0;
        activeButton = 1;
        break;
    }
  }
}

void menuItem2() { // Function executes when you select the 2nd item from main menu
  int activeButton = 0;

  lcd.clear();
  lcd.setCursor(3, 0);
  lcd.print("Sub Menu 2");

  while (activeButton == 0) {
    int buttons;

    buttons = lcd.readButtons();
    switch (buttons) {
      case 16:  // This case will execute if the "back" button is pressed
        buttons = 0;
        activeButton = 1;
        break;
    }
  }
}

void menuItem3() { // Function executes when you select the 3rd item from main menu
  int activeButton = 0;

  lcd.clear();
  lcd.setCursor(3, 0);
  lcd.print("Sub Menu 3");

  while (activeButton == 0) {
    int buttons;

    buttons = lcd.readButtons();
    switch (buttons) {
      case 16:  // This case will execute if the "back" button is pressed
        buttons = 0;
        activeButton = 1;
        break;
    }
    }
  }

I thank you for your help, and hope it will be helpful for others

3

The key is that the menu code must never wait as the operateMainMenu() function does. Instead, it has to test the buttons, do a required task, if any, quickly, and return. This means it depends on being called very frequently so it can respond to the buttons quickly, but also must return quickly when there is nothing to do. You make those calls from your loop() function, typically.

Look at the Arduino example, "BlinkWithoutDelay". In that example everything is decided by reading the time - millis(), where in your case, you'll be deciding by testing and reacting to the buttons. Just remember never to loop to wait for an input; just test for it once and act on it or just go away if it isn't there.

Your loop() function will do nothing but give each "worker" routine an opportunity to do something:

void loop(){
   menuRun();
   dataLogRun();
}

, for instance. Each of those functions gets a frequent opportunity to do one of its tasks - or not - and return, so the next one gets a chance. A loop like this one runs extremely frequently when there is nothing to do, meaning both the menu function and the data-logging function can be very responsive when something is needed.

  • Thanks for the answer! I didnt had the time to test but I understood the concept. I will get back at you if something is not working. – Vincent Dec 14 '18 at 13:22
  • Sure - and let us know how it works out. – JRobert Dec 14 '18 at 13:42
  • I've simplified the menu (no sub menu) and it is mostly working. Now I have problem regarding memory, the SD logging crash because of lack of memory(IDE warning when compiling). When remove unnecessary code line (Serial. print), it succeed to open and write txt file, but when I try to, read txt file in the serial monitor, it displays squares ?!! But regarding The logic of your answer, I get i and was able to apply it. Would it be interesting that I post my code? – Vincent Dec 18 '18 at 15:45

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