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I do IT for a living... For the most part I enjoy it but one thing I really dread is dealing with serial devices. Documentation is seldom thorough and with a million settings (baud rate, parity, flow control, stop bits, everyone's custom flavor of wiring, 9 vs 25 pin ports, etc) it can be a real headache. Then a cable gets damaged & who knows how that thing was wired? Sometimes a background in safe cracking seems like it might be helpful.
So I decided to start converting some of the serial devices at work to Ethernet. I tried two WIFI to serial devices before this and abandoned those missions - in the end it seemed that the cure was worse than the disease.
WIFI would have given us a lot of future flexibility with positioning devices on the manufacturing floor, but one thing I didn't consider was how quickly the WIFI standards change. For example, one converter only supported 802.11b. I didn't want to have to change out these devices every time WIFI standards change and have to deal with the integration issues all over again. With WIFI continuing to gain popularity around the shop we need to be able to upgrade that without worrying about a ton of dependency on old standards, so in retrospect Ethernet was the right way to go anyway.
Third time was a charm. This device is amazing... The web GUI is very well developed, documentation is solid, and it looks to me like this thing could be tweaked to connect to any permutation your serial device might need. After spending days (literally) trying to get the other devices to talk to the serial interface on one of our scales, I had this one up & going in less than five minutes (no exaggeration). Bittersweet!
If you're trying to figure out which one of these devices to buy, look no further. This is the right one for the job, no wonder it is #1. Good luck with your serial project!