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How to Use Realterm Spy Mode to Monitor Serial Communication


How to Use Realterm Spy Mode to Monitor Serial Communication




Realterm is a serial terminal program that can be used for engineering, debugging, datalogging and capture of binary and other difficult data streams. It has an extensive command-line interface and an ActiveX/COM automation support so it can be used as a serial component by other programs. One of its features is the spy mode, which allows you to monitor the traffic between two serial ports or between a serial port and a TCP connection.


In this article, we will show you how to use Realterm spy mode to monitor serial communication between your program and a serial device. We will also explain how to download and install the Realterm spy driver, which is required for the spy mode to work.


Realterm Spy Driver Download



What is Realterm Spy Mode?




Realterm spy mode is a special mode that lets you see the data that is sent and received by another program or device through a serial port or a TCP connection. You can use it to debug your program, analyze the protocol of a device, or capture data for later processing.


To use Realterm spy mode, you need to have two serial ports on your computer, or one serial port and one TCP connection. You also need to install the Realterm spy driver, which is a virtual serial port driver that creates a pair of virtual COM ports that are connected to each other. The spy driver acts as a bridge between the real COM port and the virtual COM port, and allows Realterm to intercept and display the data that passes through.


How to Download and Install Realterm Spy Driver?




The Realterm spy driver is not included in the main Realterm download package. You need to download it separately from the SourceForge website[^3^]. The spy driver is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.


To install the Realterm spy driver, follow these steps:


  • Download the spy driver zip file from this link.



  • Extract the zip file to a folder on your computer.



  • Run the setup.exe file as administrator.



  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.



  • Restart your computer if prompted.



After installing the spy driver, you should see two new virtual COM ports in your device manager. They will have names like "RealTerm Spy Port1" and "RealTerm Spy Port2". You can change their names and settings if you want.


How to Use Realterm Spy Mode?




To use Realterm spy mode, you need to configure your program or device to use one of the virtual COM ports created by the spy driver. For example, if your program uses COM1 and your device uses COM2, you can change your program to use "RealTerm Spy Port1" and your device to use "RealTerm Spy Port2". This way, the data that is sent and received by your program and device will go through the spy driver and be visible in Realterm.


To start Realterm spy mode, follow these steps:


  • Launch Realterm as administrator.



  • Select "Spy" from the "Port" menu.



  • Select one of the virtual COM ports from the drop-down list. For example, if you changed your program to use "RealTerm Spy Port1", select that port in Realterm.



  • Click on "Open" to open the port.



  • Select the display format and options that you want from the "Display" menu. For example, you can choose hex, int, float, signed/unsigned, binary modes, colors, timestamps, etc.



  • You should see the data that is sent and received by your program and device in Realterm's window. You can also send data from Realterm to either side of the communication by typing in the "Send" box and clicking on "Send ASCII" or "Send Numbers".



You can also use Realterm's other features while in spy mode, such as capturing data to a file, setting triggers and events, using ActiveX 0efd9a6b88


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