DDR Dance Pad Part 1

There was a point and time where I was addicted to Dance Dance Revolution.

I began using Stepmania after not wanting to spend a ton of quarters at the arcade, and ran the core songs from all of DDR and In The Groove. I became more of an ITG addict than DDR over time. As time progressed, I wanted to have my own pad, because the keyboard wasn’t good enough.

So what to use that isn’t as crappy as a soft pad or those thick foam ones? Metal pads. BUT.. I’m a cheap college student. I can’t afford a $200 pad. Plus, I love to make things 🙂 It’s REALLY EASY to build one of these pads that work just as well as the original arcade ones. All they are are really big momentary switches.

Here’s the progress I’ve made so far:

I got this going based on what I’ve seen on these sites (If these links stop working, use archive.org to view them):

Arcade Style Dance Dance Revolution Metal Pad

The proverbial pile-o-parts:

Sheet of Pegboard (leftovers in our house)

(2) 1/2″ sheets of 2′ Square plywood (Home Depot)

(2) 1″x2″x6′ pine strips (Home Depot)

1/8″x16″x6′ Polycarb scrap (Junkyard)

0.030″x13x7′ Stainless Sheet (Junkyard)

(16) 2″ Corner Braces (Home Depot, and pricey..)

A Gamestop brand Xbox soft pad (Cash Converters, dirt cheap)

The pad is the exact one depicted in the inventgeek link above. Speaking of which..

After 8 screws, the casing on the pad comes off, and you see how the board is attached to the pad. It’s all weird thin contact pieces that just tape onto the board traces. Easily removable. In fact, the whole board is easy to take off. 2 screws, and some finger force on the molded plastic bits and it’s out. Be sure to clean the black residue on the contacts before trying to solder.

Now that the board is removed, time to start working on the actual pad!
0310082157-00Here are the non-stepping pad pieces. They need to be cut to 10.875″ (or 10 7/8″). These will be covered over top with the stainless steel.

I called it a night after this as I shopped in the morning and had other errands to run today. More to come!


Jon is a recreational runner of many, many distances, a music lover at heart, seasoned veteran of combat robot fighting, and a frugal (stingy) shopper of everything. He's a proud husband, and clean and sober since 2012.

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