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24 January 2004 @ 06:25 pm
Blergh  
Rando has been diligently dancing on our metal pad for the last few nights. That is, until one of the arrows cracked. It didn't break all the way through or anything, but he thought it would be best to leave it alone until we could do something about it. I removed it today to take a look, and it turned out that the crack had resulted from a stupid manufacturing defect. When they'd put the pad together, some fuckup had left a loose screw inside, where it got stuck in the foam layer around the outside of the arrow. This produced a weak spot and, eventually, a small crack. This made me really wish that I'd read that DDR Freak metal pad thread BEFORE getting all psyched about seeing one on eBay with a "Buy Now" button. Back when I first got into DDR, your metal pad options were very limited. You could either get damn lucky and find an arcade machine or one of the rare official Konami metal platforms (needless to say, this route requires a ton of disposable income as well), or you could build your own (which I really don't have the time, equipment, and metal-wrangling experience to attempt). I'd seen a screw-together metal pad at Otakon, but it wouldn't have stood up to the ogre's stomping. Thus, when I came across a relatively inexpensive pad that was heavy and came in one piece and appeared to be solid, I thought it was an uncommon find. I'd had no clue that several different manufacturers were producing these things.

As far as I can tell, my pad is a Lik-Sang. It's not a total piece of crap or anything - its frame is solid and the electronics work fine and dandy - but the response is kind of weird (you have to step smack in the middle of the arrow, which really isn't a problem for Rando because he's a big guy with big feet, but it was screwing up my scores), and I thought I was going to get at least a few months out of the arrows before they'd start to give. Thankfully, there is something I can do to improve its sensitivity and durability. One of the guys who posted in the aforementioned thread has a MyMyBox pad, whose construction is quite similar to that of the Lik-Sang. When the arrows on his pad began to crack, he taped some 30-gauge duct metal on the bottom of each one, and they responded better and held up nicely as well. His website explains the process. My pad doesn't have any burn marks on the foil like his did, but I think the metal will really help.
 
 
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Englebert Slaptyback: Gir Thrusts!drjayphd on January 24th, 2004 11:36 pm (UTC)
Damn... maybe it's a good thing I'm not planning on going with metal pads until I have somewhere to set up a HYOOGE DDR/every console ever thing. But at this point, my soft pads are really only good for making into hard pads. At least a friend has good thick soft pads, and when I can, I'll get the LevelSix ones (I think PSX 2.1 pads).

And I'm probably in the same boat as Rando... my feet are just too big, and the pad tends to slide around, so I'm hitting the middle when I'm trying to hit up. ^^;;;
sinistarfithsinistarfith on January 25th, 2004 02:03 am (UTC)
Bummer about the pad. Lowe's carries a small selection of acrylic sheets if you're looking to replace the cracked arrow, though I'd recommend going with the Lucite-TUF variant (supposed to be much stronger than standard acrylic).

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Cobalt Flux and recently just finished creating a custom control box for it, since CF doesn't make Xbox control boxes yet. Based on their current rate of order fulfillment, I think it's going to be another two weeks.