Megunolink is a powerful tool for hobbyists and engineers designed for monitoring, serial data plotting, and logging for embedded projects. These kinds of tools are very useful since the Arduino community is growing as well as the number of DIY and commercial applications.
The MegunoLink tool is designed to talk with a series of microcontrollers and especially with Arduino boards. Used together with Arduino IDE, both tools allows you to develop and monitor a large area of serial data as well as simulating serial protocols for devices that are not embedded in the physical system.
In this article, I explore almost all-important features of the MegunoLink software and I give you some reasons to use this software when you need a powerful monitoring tool in your microcontroller projects.
The tool offers sufficient features to help you with creative microcontroller applications and let you to monitor at any level the embedded project. MegunoLink was designed with a customizable interface where you can create a control center to visualize in real-time any serial streams from embedded systems, Bluetooth, and network based (UDP) devices.
The MegunoLink features include:
- Time based and XY data plotting;
- Message based monitoring and logging;
- Coordinate mapping;
- Custom user interfaces with our Interface Panel;
- Plus many more!;
Ease of Use
It is very easy to download and install the MegunoLink Pro. After just a few installation steps you can finally receive the message of “Setup Successful”.
When I run for the first time the program I had a deja vu feeling, since the GUI it looks like many Windows development and monitoring tools used by me. This is good!
With a simple and intuitive interface, you don’t need any documentation to start working with the program. Any of the software features can be used with simple drag-and-drop gestures.
The MegunoLink provide a series of tools to help you with serial data plotting, monitoring and logging. The combination between Arduino IDE and the MegunoLink creates a very powerful system for both hobbyists and professional users to develop a wide range of embedded projects based on the Arduino single board computer and several other microcontrollers.
Few words about the MegunoLink tools:
- Table – the ‘Table’ is a visualization tool able to display data in tabular form. It allows you to both set and get corresponding values from the table;
- Message Logger – after you select a connection that you have set up in the Connection Manager, you can open the ‘Message Logger’ to visualize the data from a particular connection, or to save the data received;
- Message Monitor – this tool allows you to filter or tag the messages received across the connection with the Arduino;
- Monitor – this feature shows all received data on a particular connection, either Serial or UDP;
- Connection Manager – this tool allows you to add or remove UDP and COM port serial data connection, and at the same time to specify the options of the connection;
- Program Device – this is a programming tool able to write HEX files for Arduino;
- Mapping – a powerful tool for GPS application. The Mapping feature provided you a visualization screen where are displayed on a map the data received from GPS sensors;
- Button Panel – with support for text controls, buttons, number and sliders, this tool allows you to create a custom graphical user interface able to send serial messages to your device;
- Interface Panel – with the same support for buttons and other several controls, the Interface Panel was designed to allow users to build a custom interface control for embedded programs including the Arduino;
- Plotting – with several features such as auto-scrolling, pause, or zoom for ‘Time plots’, the plotting features let you to create graphs based on data received from microcontrollers;
Help & Support
A tool cannot be useful without a comprehensive documentation and an appreciated support via email or a forum. The MegunoLink provide both help and support, but these services are somehow limited. For example, you can receive a premium support with priority email, feature additions, and bug fixes only for the MegunoLink Pro Commercial version, but I’m sure that if you’re a hobbyist and have in plan to work with the MegunoLink Pro Personal version you can cover all the issues that may occur using the basic support from the MegunoLink team.
The MegunoLink team provides you several examples and documentation from where you can learn how to use the tool with the Arduino board, and at the same time to discover all the features in real-life applications.
The MegunoLink tool is free for 30 days after you have to pay a license fee to continue the work. You can choose between two versions. One version is for personal use only at a price of US$19. 95, while a commercial version allows you to have a premium support and additional features at a price of US$89. 95.