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The documentation says:
Because all the tied methods block, they should ALWAYS be used with timeout settings and are not suitable for background operations and polled loops. The sysread method may return fewer characters than requested when a timeout occurs. The method call is still considered successful. If a sysread times out after receiving some characters, the actual elapsed time may be as much as twice the programmed limit. If no bytes are received, the normal timing applies.
Timeouts are also discussed further down in the documentation. They are also used in some of the demos. Good luck.

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In reply to Re: issues reading from serial port by PodMaster
in thread issues reading from serial port by EvanK

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