For my node project I had considered adding an LCD and switches to configure it and allow for those sorts of things and scrapped it for a webpage interface. Personally I prefer the LCD but it requires an enclosure of some sort to work well and adds some to the cost. The risk here is I design it the way I like it and no one is interested. Which is what happened when I designed the PropDimmer, its got a lot of high end features that I love but no one was really into it.Please also consider having as much "on board"/in-field manageability as possible. Using a simple 3 or 4 7 segment display, you could allow for status displays (the name of the board, firmware revision, etc), configuring simple things like DMX start address, and for kicking off test modes and/or set-up modes (all on, all off, ramp all up/down/repeat, cycle through one at a time, blink all, etc.). Although it adds a little bit of cost, the extra capability and usability it adds is seriously nice and really makes the controller (I cannot get anymore) one of the best DMX DIY setups out there.
We could/should be doing this for anything that is likely to be outdoors.It would be nice if we could also standardize on the enclosure (like a CG-1500 which I still have quite a few of, or the CG-2000 for mounting) as that makes life really easy also.
This is a double edged sword. If we add on-board programming via USB it means SMT parts or expensive modules. If we go the serial route it means you need a serial port, which is hard to find on PCs these days. If we provide a programming header you need to purchase a $20 programmer. So then what does one do? I'm indifferent I just want to know what people prefer.Switching to a prop means ANOTHER set of programming tools I need to get stuff for and remember how to use. Oh- on board programming capability is nice also