So I'm trying to read an 8-byte character string from an I2C device and print it to the serial console. This raw 8-char array is not terminated when it comes from the device, so I'm pretty sure I need to manually terminate it. Unfortunately, when I go to print the resultant string, the serial monitor just fills up with line breaks. Could someone take a look at this code and tell me where I went wrong?

uint8_t* HT_Controller::readMultiple(uint8_t reg, uint8_t num)

    Wire.requestFrom(i2cAddr, num);
    uint8_t* data = new uint8_t[num];

    for(int i = 0; i < num; i++)
        data[i] = Wire.read();

    return data;

char* HT_Controller::getManufacturer()
    uint8_t* data = readMultiple(REGISTER_MFR, NUM_MFR_BYTES); //Read the bytes from the controller
    char* dataTerminated = new char[NUM_MFR_BYTES + 1]; //Our new array that will have a null char at the end
    memcpy(data, dataTerminated, NUM_MFR_BYTES); //Copy the bytes into the new array
    delete(data); //We're done with the original array, remove it from the heap
    dataTerminated[NUM_MFR_BYTES] = 0; //Add that null char. NB: we don't need to '+1' the index because arrays start at 0, not 1

    return dataTerminated;

And here's how it's used in the main sketch:

void loop()
    char* data = mc1->getManufacturer();
  • Hint#1: Check the parameter order for memcpy(), cplusplus.com/reference/cstring/memcpy. And try writing code without all the heap usage (new/delete). Feb 9, 2019 at 16:33
  • @MikaelPatel how can I avoid heap usage, keeping in mind this is for a library? Feb 9, 2019 at 16:38
  • Hint#2: Use the stack and pass return values by reference. e.g. "char dataTerminated[NUM_MFR_BYTES + 1]; readMultiple(REGISTER_MFR, NUM_MFR_BYTES, dataTerminated);" Feb 9, 2019 at 16:45
  • @MikaelPatel wait but isn't returning a pointer to a local array a no-no? Feb 9, 2019 at 16:58
  • Oh I think I see what you mean now Feb 9, 2019 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Your memcpy is backwards.

   #include <string.h>

   void *memcpy(void *dest, const void *src, size_t n);

So the line:

memcpy(data, dataTerminated, NUM_MFR_BYTES); //Copy the bytes into the new array

should be:

memcpy(dataTerminated, data, NUM_MFR_BYTES); //Copy the bytes into the new array

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