AVR8 + Ethernet => GridConnect ATC-1000 ?

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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?

 

 

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Lee

I used the Lantronix UDS-1100 for an Access Control project and it worked really well.  We had ten of them throughout the campus and after we got the network routing straightened out with their IT group never had a problem. 

 

Jim

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There's some spurious trailing characters stopping that link working.

 

Try this: http://gridconnect.com/serial-et...

 

 

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The price point looks good.
Sometimes the VCP (virtual com port) can suck. Like the computer blue screening when the lan connection is broken.
I've previously used a stack of Advantech ADAM4572 units. These are a bit more expensive.
Perle have some good product - very flexible but can be tricky to set up. Support is very good. Protection on the RS485 ports not so good. Most brands are not so good with this apart from Advantech. If there could be the possibility of >7VDC being applied to the rs485 (by mistake) add external protection.
Price - more to the premium end

Last Edited: Thu. Jul 2, 2015 - 10:48 PM
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I've used the Lantronics virtual comm ports for years to monitor data center room temp and access door activations, as well as remote lab instrument connects with good results.  

 

 

Jim