SerialBufferRK (community library)


Name Value
Name SerialBufferRK
Version 0.0.3
Installs 47979
License MIT
Download .tar.gz
All Versions 0.0.3, 0.0.2, 0.0.1

SerialBuffer for Particle platform

Example Build Testing

Device OS Version:

This table is generated from an automated build. Success only indicates that the code compiled successfully.

Library Read Me

This content is provided by the library maintainer and has not been validated or approved.


Serial buffer for the Particle Photon, P1, and Electron to make dealing with receiving data, especially at higher data rates, more reliable by implementing a larger buffer.

Full browsable API documentation is available.

SerialBufferRK creates a thread to continuously read from the hardware serial port and copy the data into a thread-safe ring buffer. You can choose the size of the ring buffer.

You could then read the data at your leisure out of loop. The USART serial buffer is only 64 bytes, but by using a much larger buffer (say, 4096 bytes or even larger) you can greatly reduce the likelihood of lost data.

Using it

If you are using Particle Build (Web IDE), search for the library SerialBufferRK and add it.

From the Particle CLI you can add the library to your project (CLI or Particle Dev Atom IDE) by using:

particle library add SerialBufferRK

Add the header file if necessary:

#include "SerialBufferRK.h"

In many cases you will use it with system thread enabled mode. It's not required, however. While the serial buffer uses threads, it does not require the system thread.


You need to allocate a SerialBuffer object, typically as a global variable.

SerialBuffer<4096> serBuf(Serial1);

This allocates a 4096 byte serial buffer connected to Serial1.

Make sure you add a call to serBuf.setup() from setup()!

// You must call serBuf.setup() from setup!

Whenever you would read from Serial1, you should instead read from serBuf. This includes using things like available() and read() as well as the Wiring/Aruduino functions like find(), readStringUntil(), etc.

int c =;

You should read all of the bytes available, calling until read() return -1 or use available() to determine if there are available bytes to read.

You do not need to use serBuf for writing, though you can if you want.

Make sure you never mix reads from serBuf and the actual serial port (Serial1, etc.) as the data will be corrupted.

You still need to initialize the serial port, you should do that from setup():


Full Example

#include "Particle.h"

#include "SerialBufferRK.h"


SerialLogHandler logHandler;

// Allocate a serial buffer of 256 bytes attached to Serial1
// call instead of
SerialBuffer<4096> serBuf(Serial1);

unsigned long lastDisplay = 0;
int totalReceived = 0;

void setup() {

// You must call serBuf.setup() from setup!

void loop() {
while(true) {
int c =;
if (c < 0) {


if (millis() - lastDisplay >= 5000) {
lastDisplay = millis();"totalReceived=%u", totalReceived);

Test Code

In the examples directory, there are two examples for testing:

  • 2-test-receiver-SerialBufferRK
  • 3-test-sender-SerialBufferRK

You can test the library by connecting two devices RX -> TX and TX -> RX and running one sender and one receiver.

The sender and receiver use the same linear congruential generator pseudo-random number generator with the same seed, so the data can be verified by lots of different bit change sequences are tested.

Monitor the serial output on the receiver.

The left column is the runtime in milliseconds. numReceived is the number of bytes received in a 5 second period. That's constant so I know the sender is keeping the serial pumping at full speed. maxInBuffer is the maximum number of bytes buffered on a call to loop. In this test, the receiver is just sitting there idle (but cloud connected) so the max isn't high. However with only a 64-byte buffer you have so little margin for error before losing data that buffering is basically a necessity at 230400.

0050334900 [app] INFO: numReceived=115385 maxInBuffer=27 totalReceived=1161326111
0050339900 [app] INFO: numReceived=115385 maxInBuffer=24 totalReceived=1161441496
0050344900 [app] INFO: numReceived=115385 maxInBuffer=31 totalReceived=1161556881
0050349900 [app] INFO: numReceived=115385 maxInBuffer=27 totalReceived=1161672266

This test ran overnight and 1,161,672,266 bytes (1 GB) of data was received without errors or missing bytes at 230400 baud.

Version History

  • Increased the stack size to 512 bytes. It could cause the device to hang on the P2 with 4.0.0.
  • Fixed a thread initialization problem that mostly affected Gen 3 devices with newer Device OS versions. Make sure you add a call to serBuf.setup() to setup()!

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