Sending a number through serial to arduino with ControlListener(library controlP5)

edited January 2016 in Arduino

I'm trying to send a number to an arduino through controlListener that monitors a dropdown menu.

Here's the code:

class MyControlListener implements ControlListener {
  int mode ;
  public void controlEvent(ControlEvent theEvent) {

    println((int)theEvent.getController().getValue()+1);  //debug
    mode = (int)theEvent.getController().getValue()+1;

The problem is that apparently, arduino doesn't receive the appropriate data type because when I check what it has received it shows a blank space. If I press the number with the keyboard it receives it ok. Here's an attempt to use the menu and with the keyboard:

ControlP5 2.2.5 infos, comments, questions at
Enter Test mode:
Press 1 for random mode
Press 2 for fixed time mode
I received:
Invalid optionI received: 2
Game mode selected = Fixed time mode

Here is the complete code:

 Adapted by code made by Elaine Laguerta  
 by Luis Andrés Gonzalez, January 2016
 Reads reaction time from Arduino over the serial port and save it to .csv file on your computer.
 The .csv file will be saved in the same folder as your Processing sketch.
 This sketch assumes that values read in seconds by Arduino are separated by a newline character.
 Special code numbers are specified to signal the game start, success and failure of accomplishing the task. 
 Each reading will have it's own row and timestamp in the resulting csv file. This sketch will write a new file each day.   
 The hardware:
 * A pushbutton connected to Arduino input pins
 * Arduino connected to computer via USB cord
 The software:
 *Arduino IDE
 *Processing (download the Processing software here:
 *The corresponding arduino code

// ==== Libraries and instantiations ==== 
import processing.serial.*;
Serial myPort; //creates a software serial port on which you will listen to Arduino

import ddf.minim.*;
import ddf.minim.ugens.*;
Minim minim;
AudioOutput out;

import controlP5.*;
import java.util.*;

ControlP5 cp5;
MyControlListener myListener;

Table table; //table where we will read in and store values. You can name it something more creative!

int numReadings = 1; //keeps track of how many readings you'd like to take before writing the file. 
int readingCounter = 0; //counts each reading to compare to numReadings. 

// Serial code numbers for specific events
int startCode = 9090; // code for game start
int earlyCode = 1010; // code for early button press
int lateCode = 7777; // code for late button press
String fillColor;
char letter;
String fileName;
String words;
boolean startLogging;

void setup() {
  size(500, 700);
  String portName = Serial.list()[1]; 
  //CAUTION: your Arduino port number is probably different! Mine happened to be 1. Use a "handshake" sketch to figure out and test which port number your Arduino is talking on. A "handshake" establishes that Arduino and Processing are listening/talking on the same port.
  //Here's a link to a basic handshake tutorial:

  // SOUND setup:
  minim = new Minim(this);
  out = minim.getLineOut();
  out.setTempo( 80 );
  // end SOUND setup.

  myPort = new Serial(this, portName, 9600); //set up your port to listen to the serial port

  table = new Table(); 
  table.addColumn("id"); //This column stores a unique identifier for each record. We will just count up from 0 - so your first reading will be ID 0, your second will be ID 1, etc. 

  //the following adds columns for time. You can also add milliseconds. See the Time/Date functions for Processing: 

  //the following are dummy columns for each data value. Add as many columns as you have data values. Customize the names as needed. Make sure they are in the same order as the order that Arduino is sending them!

  cp5 = new ControlP5(this);
  List modes = Arrays.asList("Random time mode", "Fixed time mode");
  /** add a ScrollableList, by default it behaves like a DropdownList */
  cp5.addScrollableList("Select session mode")
    .setPosition(200, 50)
    .setSize(250, 100)
    .setType(ScrollableList.DROPDOWN) // currently supported DROPDOWN and LIST
  myListener = new MyControlListener();
  cp5.getController("Select session mode").addListener(myListener);
} // void setup

void serialEvent(Serial myPort) {

  String val = myPort.readStringUntil('\n'); //The newline separator separates each Arduino loop. We will parse the data by each newline separator. 

  if (val!= null) { //We have a reading! Record it.

    val = trim(val); //gets rid of any whitespace or Unicode nonbreakable space
    float sensorVal = float(val); //parses the packet from Arduino and places the valeus into the sensorVals array. I am assuming floats. Change the data type to match the datatype coming from Arduino.
    if (sensorVal == 0000) {
      println("Logging started");
      startLogging = true;
    if (float(val) == startCode) {
      out.playNote( 0.0, 0.4, "C3" );
      out.playNote( 0.2, 0.2, "C4" );
    } else if (float(val) == earlyCode) {
      println("You pressed the button too early!");
      out.playNote( 0, 2, "A1");
    } else if (float(val) == lateCode) {
      println("You pressed the button too late!");
      out.playNote( 0, 2, "A1");
    } else if (!Float.isNaN(sensorVal)){
      print("Your reaction time was: ");
      out.playNote( 0, 0.2, "C4");
      out.playNote( 0.2, 0.2, "C4");
      out.playNote( 0.4, 0.2, "C4");
    } else {

    if (sensorVal != startCode && !Float.isNaN(sensorVal) ) { // if it's NOT the start number but it IS a number
    //if (sensorVal != startCode && startLogging == true) { // if it's NOT the start number but it IS a number
      TableRow newRow = table.addRow(); //add a row for this new reading
      newRow.setInt("id", table.lastRowIndex());//record a unique identifier (the row's index)

      //record time stamp
      newRow.setInt("year", year());
      newRow.setInt("month", month());
      newRow.setInt("day", day());
      newRow.setInt("hour", hour());
      newRow.setInt("minute", minute());
      newRow.setInt("second", second());

      //record sensor information. Customize the names so they match your sensor column names. 

      if (sensorVal == earlyCode) {
        newRow.setString("sensor1", "early");
      } else if (sensorVal == lateCode) {
        newRow.setString("sensor1", "late");
      } else if (Float.isNaN(sensorVal)) {
        // if its not a number, don't log it
      } else {
        newRow.setFloat("sensor1", sensorVal);

      readingCounter++; //optional, use if you'd like to write your file every numReadings reading cycles
    //saves the table as a csv in the same folder as the sketch every numReadings. 
    if (readingCounter % numReadings ==0) {//The % is a modulus, a math operator that signifies remainder after division. The if statement checks if readingCounter is a multiple of numReadings (the remainder of readingCounter/numReadings is 0)
      fileName = "data/" + str(year()) + str(month()) + str(day()) /**+" - " + str(table.lastRowIndex())*/ + ".csv"; //this filename is of the form year+month+day+readingCounter
      saveTable(table, fileName); //Woo! save it to your computer. It is ready for all your spreadsheet dreams.
} // void serialevent

void draw()
  if (fillColor == "red") {              // If the serial value is 0,
    fill(255, 0, 0);                   // set fill to black
  } else if (fillColor == "green") {                       // If the serial value is not 0,
    fill(0, 255, 0);                 // set fill to light gray
  } else if (fillColor =="yellow") {
    fill(255, 255, 0);
  rect(50, 50, 99, 99);

void keyTyped() {
  // The variable "key" always contains the value 
  // of the most recent key pressed.
  if ((key >= '0' && key 


  • From the experience i had using processing and arduino is that there are 2 major things that always messed up the code and caused to glitches and ramdom values in the serial were: - using print or println to gebug would print to the serial as well and mess up everything - or sending and reciving values over ther serial at the same time maybe one of these is messing your code up.

  • edited January 2016

    In this case it's not any extra or uncontrolled serial events. The events occur when I planned, and I know exactly they are sent/received. The problem seems to be that there is a mismatch between what is sent through and what arduino admits as a signal. Just in case, I'm sending the block of code that reads the serial in the arduino sketch.

    if (Serial.available()) {
          char ch =;
          Serial.print("I received: ");
          if (ch >= '1' && ch < = '2') {
            if (ch == '1') {
              gamemode = RANDOM_TIME;
            } else {
              gamemode = FIXED_TIME;
            Serial.print("Game mode selected = ");
            answered = true;
          } else {
            Serial.println("Invalid option");
  • I solved it. I revamped the arduino side to convert the incoming byte to int and then operate the logic.


    if (Serial.available()) {
          incomingByte =;      
          int number = int(incomingByte);
          if (number == 1) {
            gamemode = RANDOM_TIME;
          } else if (number == 2) {
            gamemode = FIXED_TIME;
          } else {
            Serial.println("Invalid option");
          Serial.print("Game mode selected = ");
          answered = true;


    class MyControlListener implements ControlListener {
      int mode ;
      public void controlEvent(ControlEvent theEvent) {
        //println((int)theEvent.getController().getValue()+1);  //debug
        mode = (int)theEvent.getController().getId()+1;
        int mode= ((int)(theEvent.getController().getValue()))+1;
  • edited January 2016

    @luisandresgonzalez, unfortunately this forum got a problem w/ /* comments.
    So it'd be nice if all of us could replace all occurrences of that by /** instead.
    Otherwise everything turns green everywhere! Already edited & fixed those for ya now! O:-)

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