How well does the pad work?
B4U Glorious Style 412 Max Combo
I took this picture to show that
all the arrows work perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much did the metal pad cost?
It cost me about $135 to build. You can build a
cheaper version if you don't use the brackets and
sheet metal. But then you won't get that feel of an
arcade style pad because the sheet metal lets you do
slides and the lucite arrows fit underneath the brackets,
so your feet can feel exactly where all the arrows are.
How do you get the sheet metal on the pad so shiny?
That's my little secret. I've been giving out the secret
to those pad builders that have PayPal'd me some money
as a special thanks for their generosity.
How do you cut the sheet metal and lucite?
A good pair of tin snips to cut the sheet metal and a
jigsaw with a blade that cuts metal for the lucite. You
could also cut the lucite with a Dremel Rotary tool or
use a sharp tool to score the lucite many times on both
sides and then snap it off over the side of a table.
Where can I find cheap sheet metal?
Look in the yellow pages and look for "Sheet Metal
Fabricators". Some of these places have very cheap
prices and will even cut the sheet metal for you. At
Home Depot or Lowes you can use the cheaper sheet
metal that doesn't look as nice for the sheet metal
contacts. Look in the Duct and Ventilation area.
Where do you get the brackets?
The brackets are from Home Depot and they are 2 inch
Stanley corner braces (2 per package) I found mine in the
section with door parts. If you can't find them, I'm pretty
sure these are the right ones - Stanley brackets. You will
need 16 of them or 8 packs at $2.46 per pack.
What is foam core and where do I buy it?
Foam core is just styrofoam sandwiched by two pieces
of glossy paper. It is 3/16 of an inch thick. I bought it
from Walmart in the art and school supply section. It
was with the poster boards. You can probably find it at
any arts and crafts store. I've seen it at Michaels too.
What kind of wire should I use?
I used a 6 wire telephone cable, but that cable is hard
to find. Buy a Category 5 (Cat 5 for short) cable. There
are 8 wires in the cable. Home Depot sells some cheap
Cat 5 cable by the foot for only 14 cents per foot. You
will need at least 10 to 15 feet of cable.
How do I make the arrows more sensitive?
When your pad is brand new, the arrows might feel spongy
and not sensitive enough. But after many hours of playing,
the weatherstripping starts to wear out and the pad becomes
very sensitive. Make sure you cut the 1/2 inch gaps in the
weatherstripping to let the air escape. Also move the weather-
stripping to the outside edges of the pegboard. If the pad is
still not sensitive enough, you can try putting screws through
the bottom sheet metal on pegboard contact.
How do I build a stronger pad to accomodate more weight?
Instead of using 1 x 2 rails underneath the pad, use
1 x 3 rails throughout the whole pad. Or just add more
rails underneath all of the nine panels. For the bottom
piece of the pad, instead of using 1/4 inch peg board, use
1/2 inch plywood. Now it will be very strong and heavy.
Are the arrows and non-arrows the same height?
On paper, it looks like it doesn't add up. But, the
weatherstripping and foam core compress to only about
1/16 of an inch if you use the screws going down
through the brackets and tighten them very tight.
1/16" - lip of Stanley bracket
3/32" - lucite
0" - graphics
3/32" - lucite
1/16" - weatherstripping and foam core
1/4" - peg board
1" - MDF rail
Arrow = 1-9/16" inches
1/16" - sheet metal
1/2" - plywood
1" - MDF rail
Non-Arrow = 1-9/16" inches
Can I use aluminum foil for the contacts?
Aluminum foil will work, but because of all the abuse
the pad gets from jumping, the foil eventually rips and
sags causing double and triple hits per step. I used foil
in the beginning, but it became a hassle replacing the
foil when it ripped. So using sheet metal as a contact is
the best solution because it never needs to be replaced.
Why didn't you use microswitches for the arrows?
A DDR pad takes alot of abuse and microswitches can
break. Plus microswitches make a clicking sound that
can be annoying. By using sheet metal contacts that are
9-1/2 inches square, the whole arrow practically becomes
one big switch. This design lets you step anywhere on
the arrows and it will register a step.
What do you use for the X, O, Triangle and Square buttons?
The pad is wired into the controller, so the controller
is completely functional. I use the controller for the
menu and for selecting songs. I also use the controller
for the X, O, Triangle and Square buttons.
How good does the pad work?
The pad works perfectly, when you step on an arrow it
registers perfectly. You can do slides and you can feel
where the arrows are with your feet. So far I can pass
sixteen catastrophics (9 feet) on my pad - Electro Tuned
(the SubS mix), Matsuri JAPAN, Romansu no Kami-sama,
PARANOiA ETERNAL, NO LIMIT (RM Remix), CAN'T STOP
FALLIN' IN LOVE (SPEED MIX), BROKEN MY HEART,
DYNAMITE RAVE, AFRONOVA PRIMEVAL, B4U glorious
style, INSERTiON, Healing Vision (Angelic mix),
CAPTAIN JACK (GRANDALE REMIX), PARANOiA Rebirth
GRADIUSIC CYBER (AMD G5 MIX) and DEAD END.
Will the pad break?
The pad is very durable and the pad won't physically break.
But because of all the abuse a pad will take from stepping and
jumping, you might have small problems that are easy to fix like
a wire coming loose. The best thing about a home-built metal
pad is that because you built it, you will know how to fix it.
Does the pad work with the Playstation 2?
Yes, it will work for the Playstation and Playstation 2.
Does the pad work for the freeze arrows on DDRMax?
Yes, you can play DDRMax and the freeze arrows work.
Can you connect the pad to a PC and play DWI or Stepmania?
Yes, but you will need an adapter.
Will you build and sell me a metal pad?
This project is for someone who has alot of time and
enjoys building things. Because a DDR pad takes alot
of abuse, small problems will occur like a wire coming
loose. The problems are easy to fix, but if I sold a pad
there is no way that I can guarantee that it will always
work 100% for you all the time.
I have more questions, will you help me?
Post the question at DDR Freak. There are many
have built pads, that are ready to help.