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I had a hard time in finding the correct settings to get reasonable output from a coin selector which sends its data over a serial line. In the end, minicom came to the rescue and pointed me on the right track.
So, if you need to do something similar, these settings may help you.
Replace ttyUSB0 with your device file, 9600 with your baud rate, 5 with your read timeout (10ths of a second), and 1 with the minimum numbers of characters you want to read.
You can then open the device file like you are used to do, example:
DATA="`xxd -ps -l 5 \"$DEV\"`"
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