A line of our controllers connects to the real world with
AVR8 USART -- FTDI -- USB -- (typically) Windows laptop -- monitor/control app
This was enhanced for "remote control" via an Xbee wireless module. (The Xbee enabled by default. When the USB is plugged in for "local control", a signal from the FTDI is routed to the Xbee to disable it.)
AVR8 USART -- Xbee -- wireless -- Cradlepoint router -- cell or network -- (typically) Windows laptop -- monitor/control app
In certain industrial situations with stainless steel tank farms and/or steel-framed buildings, the "-- wireless --" above is problematic in getting a reliable signal to/from the Cradlepoint. Repeaters are tricky and not inexpensive. So we are exploring replacing the "-- wireless --" with a wired Ethernet connection to the Cradlepoint.
One model that caught our eye is the GridConnect ATC-1000 http://gridconnect.com/serial-et... The layout then becomes
AVR8 USART -- RS485 -- ATC-1000 -- wired -- Cradlepoint router -- cell or network -- (typically) Windows laptop -- monitor/control app
This approach would require very minimal hardware changes on the controller family and no firmware changes. Price isn't too bad.
Opinion/experience of GridConnect products in general?
Opinion/experience with the ATC-1000?
Opinion/experience with other brands/models that might be recommended instead?