Hex to String Conversion C++/C/Qt?


I am interfacing with an external device which is sending data in hex format. It is of form

> %abcdefg,+xxx.x,T,+yy.yy,T,+zz.zz,T,A*hhCRLF
  • CR LF is carriage return line feed
  • hh->checksum
  • %abcdefg -> header

Each character in above packet is sent as a hex representation (the xx,yy,abcd etc are replaced with actual numbers). The problem is at my end I store it in a const char* and during the implicit conversion the checksum say 0x05 is converted to \0x05. Here \0 being null character terminates my string. This is perceived as incorrect frames when it is not. Though I can change the implementation to processing raw bytes (in hex form) but I was just wondering whether there is another way out, because it greatly simplifies processing of bytes. And this is what programmers are meant to do.

Also in cutecom (on LINUX RHEL 4) I checked the data on serial port and there also we noticed \0x05 instead of 5 for checksum. Note that for storing incoming data I am using

//store data from serial here
unsigned char Buffer[SIZE];  

//convert to a QString, here is where problem arises 
QString str((const char*)Buffer); of \0

QString is "string" clone of Qt. Library is not an issue here I could use STL also, but C++ string library is also doing the same thing. Has somebody tried this type of experiment before? Do share your views.


This is the sample code you can check for yourself also:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <QString>
#include <QApplication>
#include <QByteArray>

using std::cout;
using std::string;
using std::endl;

int main(int argc,char* argv[])
    QApplication app(argc,argv);
    int x = 0x05;
    const char mydata[] = {
         0x00, 0x00, 0x03, 0x84, 0x78, 0x9c, 0x3b, 0x76,
               0xec, 0x18, 0xc3, 0x31, 0x0a, 0xf1, 0xcc, 0x99};
    QByteArray data = QByteArray::fromRawData(mydata, sizeof(mydata));
    printf("Hello %s\n",data.data());
    string str("Hello ");
    unsigned char ch[]={22,5,6,7,4};
    QString s((const char*)ch);
    qDebug("Hello %s",qPrintable(s));
    cout << str << x ;
    cout << "\nHello I am \0x05";
    cout << "\nHello I am " << "0x05";
    return app.exec();
8/11/2009 8:41:07 AM

Accepted Answer

If your 0x05 is converted to the char '\x05', then you're not having hexadecimal values (that only makes sense if you have numbers as strings anyway), but binary ones. In C and C++, a char is basically just another integer type with very little added magic. So if you have a 5 and assign this to a char, what you get is whatever character your system's encoding defines as the fifth character. (In ASCII, that would be the ENQ char, whatever that means nowadays.)

If what you want instead is the char '5', then you need to convert the binary value into its string representation. In C++, this is usually done using streams:

const char ch = 5; // '\0x5'
std::ostringstream oss;
oss << static_cast<int>(ch);
const std::string& str = oss.str(); // str now contains "5"

Of course, the C std library also provides functions for this conversion. If streaming is too slow for you, you might try those.

3/31/2016 5:03:01 PM

QByteArray text = QByteArray::fromHex("517420697320677265617421");
text.data();            // returns "Qt is great!" 

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