Tools and Prep

We'll start by making the dance pad itself, then add the bluetooth part!

Tools

  • Utility knife and Scissors
  • Soldering iron
  • hot glue gun -optional, contact spray might work better honestly
  • Wire strippers and snips
  • Conductance tester- Multimeter

Design Note

A traditional dance pad has 10 buttons, but for the sake of simplicity and portability this design only incorporates the 4 most important buttons, UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT. In Android with the "Beats" application which can be found in the Play Store, it is easy enough to touch the screen to select a song. Backing out of songs is for wusses, so that button can also be excluded. The other last 4 buttons are honestly redundant unless navigating through the console game menus.

Preparation

Cut the sign board into 8 (11"/ 28cm) squares. With sign board its useful to leave extra space and trim down to the cells. In a high quality version, 4 rubber sheets and 4 Plexiglass sheets might be a good substitute.

Cut the foam into 16 small rectangles (about 1" x 2") , exact size depends on the type of foam used. Soft more, hard less, fairly soft foam is used in this pad. Hard or thick foam may make the pad difficult to use. Real pads use perforated sheets of thin (1/4") foam, this works well if thin foam sheets can be found. The redundant buttons on old pads provide good sheets. The directional key foam on store bought pads normally is the first thing to wear and lose resiliency. Making a faulty or unreliable pad. Another idea to separate the pad contacts might be short and wide springs given they are insulated from the contacts and fastened properly.

8 pieces of aluminum foil are needed to act as the pad contacts. About 70-90% of the square size is sufficient. In a higher quality version it would be nice to use sheet metal. Drilling holes for the contact wires fishing them through and soldering in place. In this case contacts will be "secured" with foil tape. It works well enough, but for how long is another question.
No really, cut away from yourself. It's a good idea
This guide was first published on Mar 07, 2014. It was last updated on Mar 07, 2014. This page (Tools and Prep) was last updated on Jul 15, 2019.