The Heavy Metal Matador (rydain) wrote,
The Heavy Metal Matador

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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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