Two steps forward, one step back

While the software and interface parts of the project are coming along nicely, the first full test of the dancepad was not quite satisfactory yet. This might have been either a problem with latency in the controller, or a problem with the button mechanisms. Seeing one of the buttons was being especially stubborn, I suspect the latter.

It might just need some tuning and tinkering, but while we figure that out we’ve got enough time to do a little more research. Maybe even take a little looksie inside the buttons of the original pads for inspiration..

Solder and penguins

If you were to believe the horror stories, you would think getting OpenITG to work under Linux would be quite a pain. License-wise it would be a better option though.

In the end, building from source was the way to go.
After a test with all the interfaces the button prototype was disassembled.

The first pad-button was tested with OpenITG (mapped to the start button) and after some tinkering it worked like a charm. Now for three more and we have a working dancepad!

Buttons!

While the dancepad prototype is slowly starting to look (and work) like a dancepad:

The first bits of hardware regarding lights and buttons have started to get in as well.
A two-player gamepad emulator is used to handle buttons. If the latency of the controller is acceptably low it will be handling pad buttons as well.
Lights are handled by the wellknown PacDrive LED-driver from Ultimarc, since it’s natively supported by OpenITG.
Marquee-lights will be handled via a 4 channel relayboard, wich is triggered by the PacDrive.

The choice for these interface-cards came from a need to keep maintenance simple. The problem with custom hardware is that it’s harder to replace/fix and support is harder to get.

See below for a pretty cardboard prototype and a very professional low light video of the prototype in action: