Last year we took a multiplayer snake game to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire. Two of our members collaborated on a set of directional stomp pads to control the game. Here’s how they did it!
Notches and wire chases were cut in to the side frames of the pads using a rounded router bit.
The frame pieces were assembled with wood glue and brad nails, then the notches for the LEDs were painted to avoid having to paint them with the LEDs in place. Next the LEDs were soldered together and glued in to place with hot glue. Hot glue was also used to hold the wiring in place inside the wire chases.
3/4″ OSB Subfloor material was used for the bases to provide a good solid base with some weight to it. These pads needed to be able to take a lot of stomping.
The contacts in the stomp pads are sheets of galvanized flashing, held apart by some thin weatherstripping. The weatherstripping compresses when a player stomps, closing the switch. The contact sheets were glued in place with contact cement (heh). The bottom sheet was glued directly to the OSB baseboard. The top contact sheet was glued to the underside of a piece of 1/8″ acrylic. The acrylic gives a bit when stepped on, which adds a little sensitivity to the pad.
Holes were drilled in the top center of the contact sheets for wire connections. The wires were twisted through the holes for a good connection and secured in place with solder.
Two layers of 1/8″ acrylic were used for the upper part of the pad. The lower one provided the actual switch, the top provided an easily replaceable stomp surface. The space between can be used to hold printed artwork, but the opportunity to use the laser at FCCH was too good to pass up.
The lower sheet has the contact glued on its bottom side, and a coat of flat black spray paint on top. The top sheet was engraved on its underside with with the arrow pointers.
Screw holes were drilled in the The acrylic sheets to screw them down to the base. The holes were made a little oversized so that the screws could be sleeved with silicone fish tank tubing. The tubing helps protect the acrylic from the screws and allows the sheets some freedom to move a bit. The screws were adjusted to provide a uniform pressure and sensitivity on all the pads and they were ready to go!
More details on the complete project are available on the FCCH github repo.