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Old 27th July, 2004, 05:36 AM
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DDR players

Dance Dance Revolution, the dancing game with your feet, not double date rate :-). Just wondering if there are any DDR players here. I started playing about a year ago when my girlfriend jokingly said this game was fun. I play a lot now after work and am turning into that crazy sweaty kid in the arcade. My first attempt at a homemade pad finally died, and now its take 2 soon as I figure out a better plan. I don't see many players around, hoping one is here. If you never played, try it, its very addicting, and a great way to get a good workout. I attached a pic of my old pad which finally broke after many many repairs.
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DDR players-ddr1.jpg   DDR players-ddr-button.jpg  
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Old 27th July, 2004, 12:38 PM
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I keep intending to make a half decent dance stage, but I've never got around to it. The biggest issue I have is preventing damage to the switches from someone stomping on 'em
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Old 27th July, 2004, 04:09 PM
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I'm actually thinking of making a metal one. The only issue I have is cutting the metal and poly carbonated panels. The only tools I have are dremel, drill, and jig saw though. Either that or try to make new sensors for my old pad that aren't just the foil and foam contacts. Looking at home depot, I was thinking I could somehow use floor tiles and aluminum tape to make them.

I had this thing in my dorm room, it got a lot of abuse. I would always have to replace the buttons with spare ones taken from other parts of the dance pad I bought, until I ran out. It's kind of hard to because you can't solder the plastic buttons.

Quote:
The biggest issue I have is preventing damage to the switches from someone stomping on 'em
me too, when I played in the arcade a few days ago some kid was like 'chill out your shaking the whole machine' :-)
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Old 27th July, 2004, 10:24 PM
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I was looking at using optical pickups. That is an LED that shines light at a photosensor, via a gap. The 'pad' above would have a little bit of plastic that would drop into the gap, blocking the light from passing. That way there's no mechanical wear on the sensor system, and I could probably get away with using some kind of rubber mount on the 'pad' itself to provide the little bit of movement it needs. It'll also help to absorb some of the shock to prevent it being passed down through the floor.
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Old 27th July, 2004, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
I was looking at using optical pickups. That is an LED that shines light at a photosensor, via a gap. The 'pad' above would have a little bit of plastic that would drop into the gap, blocking the light from passing. That way there's no mechanical wear on the sensor system, and I could probably get away with using some kind of rubber mount on the 'pad' itself to provide the little bit of movement it needs. It'll also help to absorb some of the shock to prevent it being passed down through the floor.
That's an awesome idea for the sensors. I was going to use this guys idea for the metal frame, and make some sort of buttons using just foam and metal contacts. http://www.angelfire.com/d20/ddrhomepad/ My tools are limited though, I only have a rotary tool, cheap jig saw, drill, soldering iron, and wrenches/screw drivers. Cutting the materials is my only concern, as well as making responsive buttons that won't break. I knew I should of kept some of my old computer cases, the steel sides could of been used. I just need to make final plans and see how much all the materials cost. If I can find a way to recycle my semi soft pad I would rather use that, as it is now it's just a huge piece of white plastic with buttons covered in plastic and clear tape on top. I kept the controller part so I can use that for anything homemade.
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Old 27th July, 2004, 11:00 PM
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It's actually how a ball mouse tracks it's rollers, so I can't claim credit.

An alternative might be to pick up some surface mount switches, and place one in each corner of a 'pad'. You'd need to have something that'd prevent the switches from being hammered though. I was considering a wood block next to each of the switches to act as an end stop. As long as there's something compressable (say rubber again?) above or below the switches to take most of the imact, then it should be fairly responsive. The rubber would then take any of the excess loading off the switches, and for those heavy moments, the wood block would act as a hard stop when the rubber can't cope. My only concern would be if the 'pad' weight would be enough to trigger the switches on it's own.

The reason I suggested a switch per corner, is that way even a step on the very corner of a pad would be registered. All four switches that handle a pad would be wired in parallel so that any one of them could close the contact.


Edit: Optical sensors are cool, because they're totally non-contact. That way they never wear out - although it's possible they get dust in them, which can affect performance if enough ends up in there!
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Old 27th July, 2004, 11:08 PM
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How would this work? Having hollow rubber pads which are like thick flat balloons and air tight except for a hose. The hoses from each pad could be connected to an external box which would sense any air pressure change on each hose.
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Old 27th July, 2004, 11:14 PM
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Yeah, that's another alternative too. I've never done anything with pressure switches, but as long as they don't leak any air, it'd be cool. My biggest concern would be that it wouldn't take too much of a leak to cause problems.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 03:10 AM
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well i got back from home depot, they dont carry sheet metal :-(. 2x4s and plywood are pretty cheap though. The 4 momentary switch idea seems practical, the optical one is cool. I know they are in mice, i was gonna ask were I could get them, but either switches or just metal contacts is the way I want to go.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 03:00 PM
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What about using reed switches? You could put the reed switch in the base, and little magnetic strips in the foam. The magnets would activate the reed switches when they got close enough.

If you wanted to get really sophisticated, you could use Hall effect switches.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 03:15 PM
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Yeah! I hadn't thought of using Hall effect switches - that's a neat idea, and saves the hassle of the optical path too.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 09:53 PM
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I'm going to look more into those hall switches. I found some online cheap, I'm assuming it would take some tuning to get them right? Do they work like a normal switch, do they need power?

Find sheet metal is going to be harder that I though here, home depot and lowes dont carry it, so I'll have to find a metal shop or something.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 10:44 PM
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If you go to Korea, you'll see guys playing DDR for money. Seriously. They love that over there. I like it a lot too. It's pretty cool and I have to admit, it is addictive. My kids used to play a lot of it, but lately, they're more into racing games.
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Old 28th July, 2004, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberey66
I'm going to look more into those hall switches. I found some online cheap, I'm assuming it would take some tuning to get them right? Do they work like a normal switch, do they need power?
They need power. You can pull that off the original controller easily enough though. They basically switch on when the magnetic field is strong enough, and switch off when the field strength has reduced.
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Old 29th July, 2004, 12:55 AM
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Oh wow! Just did some Googling on this. Hall effect sensors have come a LONG way since I messed with them 15 years ago. Back then you could buy a chip that was JUST the sensor. You then had to build the analog electronics that was needed to read the voltage changes and make sense out of them. These things they've got now are pud to use!

Yep, Hall effect switches would DEFINITELY be the way to go.
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Old 29th July, 2004, 03:31 AM
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The buttons on my usb controller put out 4.8 volts. I wonder if I can use these, http://www.newark.com/NewarkWebComme...3909474&QText=, or these http://www.73.com/a/0613.shtml. I really want to do this, the only wear would be whatever material I use for cushioning. I could put 1 switch in each corner, and I'm assuming this would make adding leds under the buttons easier. I could have 2 switches side to side, one for the controller and seperate power source for the lights. I need to order some electronics parts anyways, so if I can find a surplus vendor with them, i'll add them to my order.

I'm thinking to far ahead though, I need to find cheap sheet metal suppler first. You don't need the metal, but it looks a heck of a lot nicer than plywood. Home depot has little peices of cheap aluminum, idk if I can get away with that instead of steel.

Thanks for the ideas, I appreciate the help. :-)
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Old 29th July, 2004, 03:55 AM
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The only thing I'd be concerned about is getting the magnet close enough to trip the switch without actually contacting it while getting the field through the sheet metal (steel tends to conduct the field, as I'm sure you know). 50 gauss is a pretty strong field.

Lowe's should have some pieces of steel and aluminum sheet back in their section with doorknobs and such (at least the one here in Joplin does).
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Old 1st August, 2004, 05:00 AM
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I sold out, someone locally has a metal pad for cheap, and I'm getting it tomorrow morning. I'll still build one as whats ddr with just one pad, and I need 2 for my apt during the school year. Now I'm just on the lookout for scrap wood and metal. Being on the engineering campus, I'm sure I could find the stuff to make the frame. The only thing I really need to worry about is the switchs.
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Old 1st August, 2004, 05:52 AM
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I was thinking presure sensors. But that might be a little squishy for you. you take a piece of electricly conducive foam and it makes an ok one. I think that the optical idea wold work best. YOu wold just have to get it tuned once and then itd work. Also two pieces of sheet metal close to gether could work. If you steped on the top one you wold get a circo=uit.
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Old 2nd August, 2004, 07:09 AM
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I'll post pics on my pad soon, I just need to upload them with my phone. It' just uses a square with two zig zagged traces crossing each other. The top is poly carbonated panels with foil under them. The foil just shorts the traces and makes a circuit, like gamepad buttons do, just on a larger scale. The pad also has 6 leds in each arrow which is cool. It cost me the same price as building one would, so I had to buy it.

I stole an idea from this pad though, it has a seperate control box with a 15 pin connection. I traced out the pins and I'm putting that connection on my usb controller instead of getting a psx-usb adapter. If I make a pad, its better to use the seperate control box, that way you can make one control box for different connections, psx, usb and just switch the box, not the whole pad.
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