For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a portable DMX testing device. The hardware is based off of the Arduino platform and utilities the max485 to convert the serial data to RS-485 for DMX, a 16×2 LCD for the display, and a 16 button keypad matrix for the input. The unit can be powered by four AA batteries or from a USB adapter. The keypad is originally intended for use in telephone test equipment. A few printed labels on the keypad map the buttons for lighting use.
The hardware appear to work pretty well on the different dimmer packs and relay boxes that I have tested it with. It currently only has the ability to transmit DMX, but receiving DMX in entirely possible.
The software is still in development and has a few bugs and is missing a few features, such as having the option of displaying the values as a percentage or as its decimal value. It is also currently missing the ability to record and recall saved looks from the universe edit to make it easier to use while out in the field.
After developing this prototype I have ran into the limits of the small screen and the limited buttons on the keypad. I would like to build a second prototype with a larger screen, perhaps one that is 20×4 and add a few function buttons under the display that can be remapped on the fly.