First steps

After a lot of measuring, drawing, thinking and picking out pieces of wood the test build of a first full pad has finally started!

Access to an original pad meant it was easiest to just copy all the sizes from here. The tiles being the most important to get right.

Tomorrow the rest of the parts will arrive and it is possible to try and get this one pad working and pretty looking. When the pad is complete and everything fits and works the newly compiled knowledge can be applied to the making of the second pad.

*stomp*

“You are hereby cordially invited to stomp the heck out of it!” – RM

One of the main challenges that comes to mind when building a machine like this is the dancepads. A bad pad can ruin not only your high score but also your playing-experience.

Of course for the time being a foldable softpad was considered, since it not only helps to focus on building the actual cabinet, but also makes a very portable solution for the times you don’t have a big van.

After some testing, it was found out that a foldable softmat makes the game quite hard to play when playing faster or more complicated songs. Not only did it shift everywhere (the weights helped only so much), but there was almost no physical feedback as to where you’re putting your feet down. Maybe I’m spoiled, playing on a proper machine, but to give the experience a low treshold, this did not seem like the way to go.

Because nailing this thing to a piece of wood would look really trashy (and defeat the portability perk) and hard pads are a – very expensive and b – hard to come by on this side of the ocean it was decided we would build our own pad.

There are many existing designs out there, some very expensive and complicated, others just not suitable for this goal (ie. not very portable, too breakable). So a custom design it will be. It will take some R&D to get it just right, so where else to begin than the switching mechanisms?

Some tinkering with copper tape and solder and a quick working prototype was made. The plastic edges were added to make it vertically mountable, because what better way to test the durability of the mechanism than to actively use it as a kickswitch?

Lets see how she holds up.. 🙂

 

We are live!

“I’ll bet you a bounty (candybar) you won’t have this thing running before christmas.” – DD

One of the big attractions (literally as well as figuratively) at our local hackerspace is a real Dancing Stage machine. With all it’s noise and blinking lights it’s hard to ignore.

Of course this machine would have the same effect on any gaming / music / other event. Taking this machine to these events however would:

a – rob the hackerspace of it’s loud blinky presence;
b – raise the risk of damage and wear to the machine;
c – break the backs of whomever was to transport the machine.

Arrows in Motion

The idea was born; building a machine that’s compact and lightweight, yet sturdy and still loud, blinky and attractive. All this in time for christmas. I will get that bounty..