I am using pyserial library to deal with serial communications between my CM4 and a particular device. This are my settings:

_baudrate = 9600
serial_port_B = serial.Serial(port='/dev/ttyAMA1',baudrate = _baudrate, parity=_parity, stopbits=_stopbits, bytesize=_bytesize, timeout=1)

And I read the port with:

serial_message_B = serial_port_B.read()

When the equipment that I am talking to has the same settings, all works fine but when the equipment changes settings I don't get any error on my read(). For example, if the parity changes shouldn't I get an exception for parity error? or if baudrate changes some type of error? Stranger is that if equipment changes the parity from EVEN to ODD I still get the message if my parity is EVEN, no errors, but if equipment changes parity to NONE and I am with EVEN I get nothing.

Any thoughts?

  • 1
    "Any thoughts" yes - you don't understand serial communication. If parity is wrong you may get error 50% of the time but rarely on 7 bit. Speed differences are NOT detected. If you REALLY want to check look at ioctl
    – Milliways
    Sep 29, 2022 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


Once upon a time parity was used as an error detection technique on unreliable analog transmission systems using electromechanical hardware.

Early electronic systems circa 1960 implemented parity to interwork with these but since ~1970 this was largely ignored in favour of more reliable techniques. Even in the 1970s I don't think I ever used parity. It is rarely used on current systems although UART implementations make parity errors available.

If your sender sends 7 bits and the receiver receives 7 bits you will get 7 bits. If the parity is wrong or missing you will still get 7 bits but 50% of the time parity will be wrong but AFAIK pyserial has no mechanism to report this.

On a digital transmission system error rate is so low it is unnecessary to check an knowing it is wrong doesn't help. Most microcomputers do not use parity; 8bit NP is usually the default.

It is possible to detect baud rate (I wrote a few adaptive serial routines in the 1970s but these generally require access to the raw logic levels). This is infeasible when logic is outsourced to UART hardware.

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