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Author Topic: DDR dance pad wiring question  (Read 1754 times)

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unclet

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DDR dance pad wiring question
« on: December 04, 2003, 10:23:02 am »
I have an opportunity to get a real arcade DDR dance metal pad like you find in the arcades (ie: not the plastic DDR mats or the flimsy DDR metal pads they sell on Ebay for only $90).    If I get this, I want to be sure I can interface this thing to play the DDR games I have on the PC.   It would seem that if each of the nine DDR dance pad squares have their own wires coming from them, then I can simply connect these wires to a keyboard encoder (KeyWiz, Hagstrom, etc..) and then plug the encoder into my computer and play.   Is it this easy?

I remember past discussions in this forum regarding this topic making people beware that registering an UP and DOWN arrow at the same time but not be able to be interpreted correctly, but I think that was just if someone decided to use a gamepad hack in which the actual gamepad would not allow UP/DOWN presses at the same time.

I just want to make sure I can get this DDR arcade thing working and connected ot my PC.  Please tell me what you suggest and whether my assumptions are correct.

Thanks
UncleT

Lilwolf

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2003, 10:58:00 am »
You will have no trouble going through a keyboard encoder.

The only trouble is that 96% of the pads (any form) are for the playstation.  The ps->usb converts often wouldn't allow you to send up and down at the same time.   (so the trouble is in the converter, nothing else)

I don't know how the electronics on in an original arcade one works.  But you should be able to rewire it and remove any custom circuits and use a keyboard encoder and  be fine.  

Donger

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2003, 11:59:26 am »
My experience with the DDR emulators is that they are a bit off with the timing.  The differences are really minute, but they are the difference between "perfects" and "goods".  You'd be better off making the platform compatible with the Playstation, and purchase the console game.  

If you wanted to use it with the PC, there are always converters.

Donger

SirPoonga

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2003, 12:12:01 pm »
Donger, it's not the simulator, it's the stepfile.  I noticed some stepfiles are off on timing.  You can adjust that in the stepfile if you think it is off.

Also stepmania is pretty flexable, you can adjust the ranges of time for when it is considered a perfect, etc..


Unclet.  Yeah, most people wire a pad to a psx controller and use a psx->usb convertor.  You have to make sure you get a convertor that works with DDR.  goto http://www.ddrmaniax.net forum and there is a pinned thread about adaptors.

unclet

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2003, 02:53:24 pm »
Lilwolf:
I was assuming each arrow on a true arcade DDR metal pad assembly would have buttons of some kind (or some PCB boards under each arrow) which would allow me to solder two wires to it and connect those into an encoder (similiar to wiring up a pushbutton to an encoder).   You talk about circuits and I am confused....

Actually, I was really hoping there would be wires coming from the DDR assembly which would connect to each of the pertinent arrows which are allowed to be stepped on.  This way, it would be real easy to use an encoder and I would not have to disassemble the DDR pad to solder stuff inside to make my own wires.

Donger:
I have a DDR game on the PC which I can played via the "arrow keys" on my keyboard.  I would think I could simply treat each of the DDR pad arrows as a button and map them to a keyboard key press of UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT and thats it.   I am not sure what you mean by DDR emulator.....I just wanted to see if I could play my PC DDR game by steping on the arrows instead of pushing keys on a keyboard.  Are you referring to my PC game as the emulator?  If so, I would have thought the game would behave exactly like it does as if I was using the keyboard keys instead of using a keyboard encoder.  I really do not want to buy a playstation console.

SirPoonga:
I do not understand why you mention psx (does this mean playstation ?).  Why would I want to hack the DDR pad assembly to a psx controller for the sole purpose of converting back into a USB interface to my PC.   Wouldn't a cheap keyboard encoder allow me to do what I want?   I am confused about why you recommend interfacing through a psx controller to go eventually out USB...please explain what the benefit would be.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2003, 02:55:49 pm by unclet »

SirPoonga

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2003, 03:19:59 pm »
you can do a keyboard hack.  Since ther are only ever 2 buttons being pushed at the same time for one player ghosting isn't a problem.

bluGill

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2003, 10:08:29 pm »
From what I've heard, pads are prone to static build up, which soon frys some controllers.  Before doing anything I'd make sure my conroller wasn't sensitive.  I'd hate to mod a cheap keyboard only to fry it a day latter, too much effort wasted.   I don't know if an encoder would be better or not.   (I'd hate to fry an expensive encoder more than a cheap keyboard, but either wastes far too much effort)  

Donger

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2003, 04:32:28 pm »
SirPoonga - yep, I realize that its the files that are off, and not the emulator.  However, I just found that there were too many variables to get the "perfect" timing down.  Stepmania admittedly wasn't available when I was in my DDR phase.

Unclet-  I can think of a few reasons why you'd want native Playstation (PSX) compatibility for the platforms:

1) Cost - Its just as cheap if not cheaper to obtain the dualshock ps1 pads and 2 usb converters.  I believe snaaake sells the ps1 pads for cheap (please correct me if I'm wrong, thanks).

2) Games - You can play alot more DDR games (eg. DDR Max) on either the PS/PS2 than the PC.

3) Future Versatility - so you don't have a ps or a ps2 now.   In about one year, the ps2 prices will be 100 bucks.  In 2-3 years, your nephews & nieces will be giving their old systems away to you.  You might as well plan for the future now.

If the price and effort are similar, why not do the project that will give you more options?  The most difficult part would be to find the right converters.

Donger

unclet

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Re:DDR dance pad wiring question
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2003, 08:34:38 pm »
SirPoonga
where on www.ddrmaniax.net is the pinned thread about adaptors?

  
 

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