Documentation for MinimalModbus

Documentation built using Sphinx 2014-06-22, for MinimalModbus version 0.6.



MinimalModbus is an easy-to-use Python module for talking to instruments (slaves) from a computer (master) using the Modbus protocol, and is intended to be running on the master. Example code includes drivers for Eurotherm and Omega process controllers. The only dependence is the pySerial module (also pure Python).

This software supports the ‘Modbus RTU’ and ‘Modbus ASCII’ serial communication versions of the protocol, and is intended for use on Linux, OS X and Windows platforms. It is open source, and has the Apache License, Version 2.0. Tested with Python2.7 and Python3.2.

Home page

Home page with full API documentation (this page if viewed on
Python package index (PyPI) with download (this page if viewed on Note that no API is available). The download section is at the end of the page.
The SourceForge project page with mailing list and subversion repository ( ).

General on Modbus protocol

Modbus is a serial communications protocol published by Modicon in 1979, according to It is often used to communicate with industrial electronic devices.

There are several types of Modbus protocols:

Modbus RTU
A serial protocol that uses binary representation of the data. Supported by this software.
Modbus ASCII
A serial protocol that uses ASCII representation of the data. Supported by this software.
Modbus TCP, and variants
A protocol for communication over TCP/IP networks. Not supported by this software, consider donating some Modbus TCP equipment.

For full documentation on the Modbus protocol, see

Two important documents are:

Note that the computer (master) actually is a client, and the instruments (slaves) are servers.

Typical hardware

The application for which I wrote this software is to read and write data from Eurotherm process controllers. These come with different types of communication protocols, but the controllers I prefer use the Modbus RTU protocol. MinimalModbus is intended for general communication using the Modbus RTU protocol (using a serial link), so there should be lots of applications.

As an example on the usage of MinimialModbus, the driver I use for an Eurotherm 3504 process controller is included. It uses the MinimalModbus Python module for its communication. Also a driver for Omega CN7500 is included. For hardware details on these process controllers, see Eurotherm 3500 and Omega CN7500.

There can be several instruments (slaves, nodes) on a single bus, and the slaves have addresses in the range 1 to 247. In the Modbus RTU protocol, only the master can initiate communication. The physical layer is most often the serial bus RS485, which is described at

To connect your computer to the RS485 bus, a serial port is required. There are direct USB-to-RS485 converters, but I use a USB-to-RS232 converter together with an industrial RS232-to-RS485 converter (Westermo MDW-45). This has the advantage that the latter is galvanically isolated using opto-couplers, and has transient supression.

Typical usage

The instrument is typically connected via a serial port, and a USB-to-serial adaptor should be used on most modern computers. How to configure such a serial port is described on the pySerial page:

For example, consider an instrument (slave) with Modbus RTU mode and address number 1 to which we are to communicate via a serial port with the name /dev/ttyUSB1. The instrument stores the measured temperature in register 289. For this instrument a temperature of 77.2 C is stored as (the integer) 772, why we use 1 decimal. To read this data from the instrument:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import minimalmodbus

instrument = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1) # port name, slave address (in decimal)

## Read temperature (PV = ProcessValue) ##
temperature = instrument.read_register(289, 1) # Registernumber, number of decimals
print temperature

## Change temperature setpoint (SP) ##
instrument.write_register(24, NEW_TEMPERATURE, 1) # Registernumber, value, number of decimals for storage

The full API for MinimalModbus is available on, and the documentation in PDF format is found on

Correspondingly for Modbus ASCII mode:

instrument = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1, minimalmodbus.MODE_ASCII)


It is better to put the details in a driver for the specific instrument. An example driver for Eurotherm3500 is included in this library, and it is recommended to have a look at its source code. To get the process value (PV from loop1):

#!/usr/bin/env python
import eurotherm3500

heatercontroller = eurotherm3500.Eurotherm3500('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1)  # port name, slave address

## Read temperature (PV) ##
temperature = heatercontroller.get_pv_loop1()
print temperature

## Change temperature setpoint (SP) ##

Correspondingly, to use the driver for Omega CN7500:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import omegacn7500

instrument = omegacn7500.OmegaCN7500('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1) # port name, slave address

print instrument.get_pv() # print temperature

More on the usage of MinimalModbus is found on

Default values

Most of the serial port parameters have the default values defined in the Modbus standard (19200 8N1):

instrument.serial.port          # this is the serial port name
instrument.serial.baudrate = 19200   # Baud
instrument.serial.bytesize = 8
instrument.serial.parity   = serial.PARITY_NONE
instrument.serial.stopbits = 1
instrument.serial.timeout  = 0.05   # seconds

instrument.address     # this is the slave address number
instrument.mode = minimalmodbus.MODE_RTU   # rtu or ascii mode

These can be overridden:

instrument.serial.timeout = 0.2

To see which settings you actually are using:

print instrument

For details on the allowed parity values, see

To change the parity setting, use:

import serial
instrument.serial.parity = serial.PARITY_EVEN

or alternatively (to avoid import of serial):

instrument.serial.parity = minimalmodbus.serial.PARITY_EVEN


Python versions 2.7 and higher are supported (including 3.x). Tested with Python2.7 and Python3.2. This module is pure Python.

This module relies on pySerial (also pure Python) to do the heavy lifting, and it is the only dependency. You can find it at the Python package index:

Download and installation

From command line (if you have the pip installer, available at

pip install -U minimalmodbus

or possibly:

sudo pip install -U pyserial
sudo pip install -U minimalmodbus

You can also manually download the compressed source files from (see the end of that page). In that case you first need to manually install pySerial from

There are compressed source files for Unix/Linux (.tar.gz) and Windows (.zip). To install a manually downloaded file, uncompress it and run (from within the directory):

python install

or possibly:

sudo python install

If using Python 3, then install with:

sudo python3 install

There is also a Windows installer (.exe) available. Just start it and follow the instructions.

For Python3 there might be problems with easy_install and pip. In that case, first manually install pySerial and then manually install MinimalModbus.

To make sure it is installed properly, print the _getDiagnosticString() message. See the support section below for instructions.

You can also download the source directly from Linux command line:


Change version number to the appropriate value.

Modbus data types

The Modbus standard defines storage in:

  • Bits
  • Registers (16-bit). Can hold integers in the range 0 to 65535 (dec), which is 0 to ffff (hex). Also called ‘unsigned INT16’ or ‘unsigned short’.

Some deviations from the official standard:

Scaling of register values
Some manufacturers store a temperature value of 77.0 C as 770 in the register, to allow room for one decimal.
Negative numbers (INT16 = short)
Some manufacturers allow negative values for some registers. Instead of an allowed integer range 0-65535, a range -32768 to 32767 is allowed. This is implemented as any received value in the upper range (32768-65535) is interpreted as negative value (in the range -32768 to -1). This is two’s complement and is described at Help functions to calculate the two’s complement value (and back) are provided in MinimalModbus.
Long integers (‘Unsigned INT32’ or ‘INT32’)
These require 32 bits, and are implemented as two consecutive 16-bit registers. The range is 0 to 4294967295, which is called ‘unsigned INT32’. Alternatively negative values can be stored if the instrument is defined that way, and is then called ‘INT32’ which has the range -2147483648 to 2147483647.
Floats (single or double precision)
Single precision floating point values (binary32) are defined by 32 bits (4 bytes), and are implemented as two consecutive 16-bit registers. Correspondingly, double precision floating point values (binary64) use 64 bits (8 bytes) and are implemented as four consecutive 16-bit registers. How to convert from the bit values to the floating point value is described in the standard IEEE 754, as seen in Unfortunately the byte order might differ between manufacturers of Modbus instruments.
Each register (16 bits) is interpreted as two characters (each 1 byte = 8 bits). Often 16 consecutive registers are used, allowing 32 characters in the string.
8-bit registers
For example Danfoss use 8-bit registers for storage of some settings internally in the instruments. The data is nevertherless transmitted as 16 bit over the serial link, so you can read and write like normal (but with values limited to the range 0-255).

Implemented functions

These are the functions to use for reading and writing registers and bits of your instrument. Study the documentation of your instrument to find which Modbus function code to use. The function codes are given in decimal in this table.

Data type in slave Read Function code Write Function code
Bit read_bit() 2 [or 1] write_bit() 5 [or 15]
Register Integer, possibly scaled read_register() 3 [or 4] write_register() 16 [or 6]
Long (32 bits = 2 registers) read_long() 3 [or 4] write_long() 16
Float (32 or 64 bits) read_float() 3 [or 4] write_float() 16
String read_string() 3 [or 4] write_string() 16
Registers Integers read_registers() 3 [or 4] write_registers() 16

See the API for MinimalModbus on

Using multiple instruments

Use a single script for talking to all your instruments. Create several instrument objects like:

instrumentA = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1)
instrumentB = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 2)

Running several scripts using the same port will give problems.

Issues when running under Windows

Since MinimalModbus version 0.5, the handling of several instruments on the same serial port has been improved for Windows.

It should no longer be necessary to use ``minimalmodbus.CLOSE_PORT_AFTER_EACH_CALL = True`` when running on Windows, as this now is handled in a better way internally. This gives a significantly increased communication speed.

If the underlying pySerial complains that the serial port is already open, it is still possible to make MinimalModbus close the serial port after each call. Use it like:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import minimalmodbus
minimalmodbus.CLOSE_PORT_AFTER_EACH_CALL = True

instrument = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1) # port name, slave address (in decimal)
print instrument.read_register(289, 1)

Modbus implementation details

In Modbus RTU, the request message is sent from the master in this format:

Slave address [1 Byte], Function code [1 Byte], Payload data [0 to 252 Bytes], CRC [2 Bytes].
  • For the function code, the allowed range is 1 to 127 (in decimal).
  • The CRC is a cyclic redundancy check code, for error checking of the message.
  • The response from the client is similar, but with other payload data.
Function code (in decimal) Payload data to slave (Request) Payload data from slave (Response)
1 Read bits (coils) Start address [2 Bytes], Number of coils [2 Bytes] Byte count [1 Byte], Value [k Bytes]
2 Read discrete inputs Start address [2 Bytes], Number of inputs [2 Bytes] Byte count [1 Byte], Value [k Bytes]
3 Read holding registers Start address [2 Bytes], Number of registers [2 Bytes] Byte count [1 Byte], Value [n*2 Bytes]
4 Read input registers Start address [2 Bytes], Number of registers [2 Bytes] Byte count [1 Byte], Value [n*2 Bytes]
5 Write single bit (coil) Output address [2 Bytes], Value [2 Bytes] Output address [2 Bytes], Value [2 Bytes]
6 Write single register Register address [2 Bytes], Value [2 Bytes] Register address [2 Bytes], Value [2 Bytes]
15 Write multiple bits (coils) Start address [2 Bytes], Number of outputs [2 Bytes], Byte count [1 Byte], Value [k Bytes] Start address [2 Bytes], Number of outputs [2 Bytes]
16 Write multiple registers Start address [2 Bytes], Number of registers [2 Bytes], Byte count [1 Byte], Value [n*2 Bytes] Start address [2 Bytes], Number of registers [2 Bytes]

For function code 5, the only valid values are 0000 (hex) or FF00 (hex), representing OFF and ON respectively.

It is seen in the table above that the request and response messages are similar for function code 1 to 4. The same can be said about function code 5 and 6, and also about 15 and 16.

For finding how the k Bytes for the value relates to the number of registers etc (n), see the Modbus documents referred to above.

Debug mode

To switch on the debug mode, where the communication details are printed:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import minimalmodbus

instrument = minimalmodbus.Instrument('/dev/ttyUSB1', 1) # port name, slave address (in decimal)
instrument.debug = True
print instrument.read_register(289, 1)  # Remember to use print() for Python3

With this you can easily see what is sent to and from your instrument, and immediately see what is wrong. This is very useful also if developing your own Modbus compatible electronic instruments.

Similar in interactive mode:

>>> instrument.read_register(4097,1)
MinimalModbus debug mode. Writing to instrument: '\n\x03\x10\x01\x00\x01\xd0q'
MinimalModbus debug mode. Response from instrument: '\n\x03\x02\x07\xd0\x1e)'

The data is stored internally in this driver as byte strings (representing byte values). For example a byte with value 18 (dec) = 12 (hex) = 00010010 (bin) is stored in a string of length one. This can be created using the function chr(18), or by simply typing the string '\x12' (which is a string of length 1). See for details on escape sequences.

For more information about hexadecimal numbers, see

Note that the letter A has the hexadecimal ASCII code 41, why the string '\x41' prints 'A'. The Latin-1 encoding is used (on most installations?), and the conversion table is found on

The byte strings can look pretty strange when printed, as values 0 to 31 (dec) are ASCII control signs (not corresponding to any letter). For example ‘vertical tab’ and ‘line feed’ are among those. To make the output easier to understand, print the representation, repr(). Use:

print repr(bytestringname)

Registers are 16 bit wide (2 bytes), and the data is sent with the most significant byte (MSB) before the least significant byte (LSB). This is called big-endian byte order. To find the register data value, multiply the MSB by 256 (dec) and add the LSB.

Error checking is done using CRC (cyclic redundancy check), and the result is two bytes.


We use this example in debug mode. It reads one register (number 5) and interpret the data as having 1 decimal. The slave has address 1 (as set when creating the instrument instance), and we are using MODBUS function code 3 (the default value for read_register()):

>>> instrument.read_register(5,1)

This will be displayed:

MinimalModbus debug mode. Writing to instrument: '\x01\x03\x00\x05\x00\x01\x94\x0b'

In the section ‘Modbus implementation details’ above, the request message structure is described. See the table entry for function code 3.

Interpret the request message (8 bytes) as:

Displayed Hex Dec Description
\x01 01 1 Slave address (here 1)
\x03 03 3 Function code (here 3 = read registers)
\x00 00 0 Start address MSB
\x05 05 5 Start address LSB
\x00 00 0 Number of registers MSB
\x01 01 1 Number of registers LSB
\x94 94 148 CRC LSB
\x0b 0b 11 CRC MSB
So the data in the request is:
  • Start address: 0*256 + 5 = 5 (dec)
  • Number of registers: 0*256 + 1 = 1 (dec)

The response will be displayed as:

MinimalModbus debug mode. Response from instrument: '\x01\x03\x02\x00º9÷'

Interpret the response message (7 bytes) as:

Displayed Hex Dec Description
\x01 01 1 Slave address (here 1)
\x03 03 3 Function code (here 3 = read registers)
\x02 02 2 Byte count
\x00 00 0 Value MSB
º ba 186 Value LSB
9 37 57 CRC LSB
÷ f7 247 CRC MSB

Out of the response, this is the payload part: \x02\x00º (3 bytes)

So the data in the request is:
  • Byte count: 2 (dec)
  • Register value: 0*256 + 186 = 186 (dec)

We know since earlier that this instrument stores a temperature of 18.6 C as 186. We provide this information as the second argument in the function call read_register(5,1), why it automatically divides the register data by 10 and returns 18.6.

Special characters

Some ASCII control characters have representations like \n, and their meanings are described in this table:

repr() shows as Can be written as ASCII hex value ASCII dec value Description
\t \x09 09 9 Horizontal Tab (TAB)
\n \x0a 0a 10 Linefeed (LF)
\r \x0d 0d 13 Carriage Return (CR)

It is also possible to write for example ASCII Bell (BEL, hex = 07, dec = 7) as \a, but its repr() will still print \x07.

More about ASCII control characters is found on

Timing of the serial communications

The Modbus RTU standard prescribes a silent period corresponding to 3.5 characters between each message, to be able fo figure out where one message ends and the next one starts.

The silent period after the message to the slave is the responsibility of the slave.

The silent period after the message from the slave has previously been implemented in MinimalModbus by setting a generous timeout value, and let the serial read() function wait for timeout.

The character time corresponds to 11 bit times, according to

Baud rate Bit rate Bit time Character time 3.5 character times
2400 2400 bits/s 417 us 4.6 ms 16 ms
4800 4800 bits/s 208 us 2.3 ms 8.0 ms
9600 9600 bits/s 104 us 1.2 ms 4.0 ms
19200 19200 bits/s 52 us 573 us 2.0 ms
38400 38400 bits/s 26 us 286 us 1.0 ms
115200 115200 bit/s 8.7 us 95 us 0.33 ms

RS-485 introduction

Several nodes (instruments) can be connected to one RS485 bus. The bus consists of two lines, A and B, carrying differential voltages. In both ends of the bus, a 120 Ohm termination resistor is connected between line A and B. Most often a common ground line is connected between the nodes as well.

At idle, both line A and B rest at the same voltage (or almost the same voltage). When a logic 1 is transmitted, line A is pulled towards lower voltage and line B is pulled towards higher voltage. Note that the A/B nameing is sometimes mixed up by some manufacturers.

Each node uses a transceiver chip, containing a transmitter (sender) and a receiver. Only one transmitter can be active on the bus simultaneously.

Pins on the RS485 bus side of the transceiver chip:

  • A: inverting line
  • B: non-inverting line
  • GND

Pins on the microcontroller side of the transceiver chip:

  • TX: Data to be transmitted
  • TXENABLE: For enabling/disabling the transmitter
  • RX: Received data
  • RXENABLE: For enabling/disabling the receiver

If the receiver is enabled simultaneusly with the transmitter, the sent data is echoed back to the microcontroller. This echo functionality is sometimes useful, but most often the TXENABLE and RXENABLE pins are connected in such a way that the receiver is disabled when the transmitter is active.

For detailed information, see

Controlling the RS485 transmitter

Controlling the TXENABLE pin on the transceiver chip is the tricky part when it comes to RS485 communication. There are some options:

Using a USB-to-serial conversion chip that is capable of setting the TXENABLE pin properly
See for example the FTDI chip FT232RL, which has a separate output for this purpose (TXDEN in their terminology). The Sparkfun breakout board BOB-09822 combines this FTDI chip with a RS485 transceiver chip. The TXDEN output from the FTDI chip is high (+5 V) when the transmitter is to be activated. The FTDI chip calculates when the transmitter should be activated, so you do not have to do anything in your application software.
Using a RS232-to-RS485 converter capable of figuring out this by it self
This typically requires a microcontroller in the converter, and that you configure the baud rate, stop bits etc. This is a straight-forward and easy-to-use alternative, as you can use it together with a standard USB-to-RS232 cable and nothing needs to be done in your application software. One example of this type of converter is Westermo MDW-45, which I have been using with great success.
Using a converter where the TXENABLE pin is controlled by the TX pin, sometimes via some timer circuit
I am not conviced that this is a good idea.
Controlling a separate GPIO pin from kernelspace software on embedded Linux machines
See for example This is a very elegant solution, as the TXENABLE pin is controlled by the kernel driver and you don’t have to worry about it in your application program.
Controlling a separate GPIO pin from userspace software on embedded Linux machines
This could also be useful, but I guess that the time delay could be unacceptably large.
Controlling the RTS pin in the RS232 interface, and connecting it to the TXENABLE pin of the transceiver
This can be done from userspace, but will then lead to large time delays. I have tested this with a 3.3V FTDI USB-to-serial cable using pySerial on a Linux laptop. The cable has a RTS output, but no TXDEN output. Note that the RTS output is +3.3 V at idle, and 0 V when RTS is set to True. The delay time is around 1 ms, as measured with an oscilloscope. This corresponds to approx 100 bit times when running at 115200 bps, but this value also includes delays caused by the Python intepreter.
Have the transmitter constantly enabled
Some users have been reporting on success for this strategy. The problem is that the master and slaves have their transmitters enabled simultaneously. I guess for certain situations (and being lucky with the transceiver chip) it might work. Note that you will receive your own transmitted message (local echo). To handle local echo, see


This driver also supports Modbus ASCII mode.

Basically, a byte with value 0-255 in Modbus RTU mode will in Modbus ASCII mode be sent as two characters corresponding to the hex value of that byte.

For example a value of 76 (dec) = 4C (hex) is sent as the byte 0x4C in Modbus RTU mode. This byte happens to correspond to the character ‘L’ in the ASCII encoding. Thus for Modbus RTU this is sent: '\x4C', which is a string of length 1 and will print as ‘L’.

The same value will in Modbus ASCII be sent as the string ‘4C’, which has a length of 2.

The frame format is slightly different for Modbus ASCII. The request message is sent from the master in this format:

Start [1 character], Slave Address [2 characters], Function code [2 characters], Payload data [0 to 2*252 characters], LRC [2 characters], Stop [2 characters].
  • The start character is the colon (:).
  • The LRC is a longitudinal redundancy check code, for error checking of the message.
  • The stop characters are carriage return (‘r’ = '\x0D') and line feed (‘n’ = '\x0A').

Manual testing of Modbus ASCII equipment

You can make a small Python program to test the communication:

import serial
ser = serial.Serial('/dev/ttyUSB0', 19200, timeout=1)
print ser

print # Read 1000 bytes, or wait for timeout

It should print something like:

Serial<id=0x9faa08c, open=True>(port='/dev/ttyUSB0', baudrate=19200, bytesize=8, parity='N', stopbits=1, timeout=1, xonxoff=False, rtscts=False, dsrdtr=False)

It is also easy to test Modbus ASCII equipment from Linux command line. First must the appropriate serial port be set up properly:

  • Print port settings: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0
  • Print all settings for a port: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 -a
  • Reset port to default values: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 sane
  • Change port to raw behavior: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 raw
  • and: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 -echo -echoe -echok
  • Change port baudrate: stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 19200

To send out a Modbus ASCII request (read register 0x1001 on slave 1), and print out the response:

cat /dev/ttyUSB0 &
echo -e ":010310010001EA\r\n" > /dev/ttyUSB0

The reponse will be something like:


Trouble shooting

No communication

If there is no communication, make sure that the settings on your instrument are OK:

  • Wiring is correct
  • Communication module is set for digital communication
  • Correct protocol (Modbus, and the RTU or ASCII version)
  • Baud rate
  • Parity
  • Delay (most often not necessary)
  • Address

The corresponding settings should also be used in MinimalModbus. Check also your:

  • Port name

For troubleshooting, it is recommended to use interactive mode with debug enabled. See

If there is no response from your instrument, you can try using a lower baud rate, or to adjust the timeout setting.

See also the pySerial pages:

To make sure you are sending something valid, start with the examples in the users manual of your instrument. Use MinimalModbus in debug mode and make sure that each sent byte is correct.

The terminiation resistors of the RS-485 bus must be set correctly. Use a multimeter to verify that there is termination in the appropriate nodes of your RS-485 bus.

To troubleshoot the communication in more detail, an oscilloscope can be very useful to verify transmitted data.

Local echo

Local echo of the USB-to-RS485 adaptor can also be the cause of some problems, and give rise to strange error messages (like “CRC error” or “wrong number of bytes error” etc). Switch on the debug mode to see the request and response messages. If the full request message can be found as the first part of the response, then local echo is likely the cause.

Make a test to remove the adaptor from the instrument (but still connected to the computer), and see if you still have a response.

Most adaptors have switches to select echo ON/OFF. Turning off the local echo can be done in a number of ways:

  • A DIP-switch inside the plastic cover.
  • A jumper inside the plastic cover.
  • Shorting two of the pins in the 9-pole D-SUB connector turns off the echo for some models.
  • If based on a FTDI chip, some special program can be used to change a chip setting for disabling echo.

To handle local echo, see

Serial adaptors not recognized

There have been reports on problems with serial adaptors on some platforms, for example Raspberry Pi. It seems to lack kernel drives for some chips, like PL2303. Serial adaptors based on FTDI FT232RL are known to work.

Make sure to run the dmesg command before and after plugging in your serial adaptor, to verify that the proper kernel driver is loaded.

Known issues

For the data types involving more than one register (float, long etc), there are differences in the byte order used by different manufacturers. A floating point value of 1.0 is encoded (in single precision) as 3f800000 (hex). In this implementation the data will be sent as '\x3f\x80' and '\x00\x00' to two consecutetive registers. Make sure to test that it makes sense for your instrument. It is pretty straight-forward to change this code if some other byte order is required by anyone (see support section).

Changing close_port_after_each_call after instantiation of Instrument might be problematic. Set the value minimalmodbus.CLOSE_PORT_AFTER_EACH_CALL=True immediately after import minimalmodbus instead.

When running under Python2.6, for some conversion errors no exception is raised. For example when trying to convert a negative value to a bytestring representing an unsigned long.


Send a mail to

Describe the problem in detail, and include any error messsages. Please also include the output after running:

>>> import minimalmodbus
>>> print minimalmodbus._getDiagnosticString()

Note that it can be very helpful to switch on the debug mode, where the communication details are printed. See the ‘Debug mode’ section.

Describe which instrument model you are using, and possibly a link to online PDF documentation for it.


The details printed in debug mode (messages and responses) are very useful for using the included dummy_serial port for unit testing purposes. For examples, see the file test/

More implementation details are found on

Unit testing

Unit tests are provided in the test subfolder. To run them:


Also a dummy/mock/stub for the serial port, dummy_serial, is provided for test purposes. See

The test coverage analysis is found at To see which parts of the code that have been tested, click the corresponding file name.

Hardware tests are performed using a Delta DTB4824 process controller. See the test subfolder for more information.

More details on the unittests are found on


Apache License, Version 2.0.


Jonas Berg,


Significant contributions by Angelo Compagnucci, Aaron LaLonde, Asier Abalos, Simon Funke, Edwin van den Oetelaar, Dominik Socha, Luca Di Gregorio and Michael Penza.


If you find this software useful, then please like it on Facebook via

You can also leave a review on the SourceForge project page (then first make a SourceForge account).

Please also subscribe to the (low volume) mailing list (see so you can help other users getting started.


Text revision

This README file was changed (committed) at $Date: 2014-06-22 00:02:44 +0200 (Sun, 22 Jun 2014) $, which was $Revision: 197 $.

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