SWEET NEW METAL DDR PAD
Okay, I know that you are excited, but you’ve got to calm down! Even though this is the absolute sweetest DDR pad that you’ve ever seen you still can’t crap your pants. I know that all you want are some pictures, so here they are.
The pad took me approximately 15 hrs. to build, which really isn’t all that bad. The cost was about $120. If you’d like to build one of your own then the best site for instructions is http://www.geocities.com/ddrhomepad/ This pad is far superior to any other pad that you could buy. It’s just like playing at the arcade!
For anyone who is wondering, my pad works great! I can beat a lot of the maniacs like Hot Limit and No Limit and Japan with no problem. Every button registers everytime it gets hit! It really makes it like playing at the arcade because there is no problem with the buttons not registering sometimes like you get with other home pads. As you can see in the picture I have one of those plastic topway pads. It worked good for a while, but it was so loud that it required some moding. It gets used A LOT and it doesn’t work as good as it used to, but it’s holding up okay. It doesn’t compare to the metal pad though. The metal and the acrylic make it feel just like the arcade! We’ll see how it holds up in the long run since it is getting used here in my college dorm almost 24hrs. a day. As things break I’ll add stuff onto my tips section so you’ll all have a sense for what the most vulnerable parts are.
There are a few things that I would recommend to those that are serious about building one of these metal pads. Keep in mind, these are specific pieces of information that I would have liked to have when I went to build the pad. They are just added help that will supplement the info at ddrhomepad’s site.
1. When you are making the 5 metal squares, you have to make sure that the four screws that go into the corners are close enough to the corners that they allow for you to use long screws on the brackets. This would come into play on this step.
2. The cutting of the acrylic plastic was one of the hard parts. What ended up working for me was a skill saw with the fine tooth WOOD saw blade. You just need to go really slow, and put some tape on the corners so that they don’t break off.
– If you finished cutting your acrylic and it doesn’t fit, just use a grinder to trim the edges some. This worked like a charm for me since my dad has a bench grinder that could just shave off the edges a little.
3. I decided that I didn’t want to have a separate controller to select the song so I made a “control center.” This was fairly easy since I used the control board out of and old soft pad that had died. The control center just consists of 4 buttons that are equivalent to start, select, X, and O on the playstation controller.
4. The lights that come on when you step on the buttons were also easy to add since the control board came out of the soft pad. The lights are just LEDs that are sandwiched between the two pieces of acrylic.
5. Another tip for when you are hooking the brackets to the metal squares. I made the mistake of using the same screws for the brackets as I did the top of the pad. This is not good because they couldn’t become flush with the bracket itself. You want to get screws that are like the ones that come with the brackets, but that are longer so that it will be stronger, but still flush. This will make it possible to make the acrylic squares fit better and have a smaller gap on the edges.
THINGS TO FIX
Here is a list of the things that have gone wrong and broken with the constant use of the pad.
1. The first thing that started happening is the weather striping has started coming out. This is kind of my fault since I didn’t stick it on both sides. I figured that it would hold itself in with just one side stuck, but its started coming out. Once you get your pad all working and ready to go, go back and make sure the weather striping is stuck to bother the piece of acrylic and the peg board.
2. The key to making the acrylic last and not crack is to make sure that it is held in tight. You need to tighten the screws that go through the brackets and the acrylic pretty tight. To stop the acrylic from cracking when you put the screws through it and make it tight, drill holes all the way through first. Then when you put the screws through you can push hard to make sure the entire button gets all compressed together.
More to come….
I will NOT be keeping up with the thread on DDRFreak. If you have any questions that are specific to my additions to the basic design, then post it at my DDR discussion that is at my site ddr.crispycromar.com.