Hacking DDR Pads

Continuing my series of console controller hacks, I decided to wire a DDR pad into my SNES/PC. Why? I mean no dancing games could use it right? Of course none could. But no I can play Xtreme Bokosuka Wars.


The pad I chose was the cheapo MadCatz pad. If you were to get something like the Naki pad or another that lights up, don't panic, you can still use those too. AND you can keep the lights working. All you need is a Radio Shack 4x AA battery case.

The PSX delivers a constant 3~5VDC on pin 5 of the controller. Use a continuity tester to find where pin 5 connects from the connector to the PCB inside. Solder the red wire of the battery case to that pin. Then solder the black wire to ground. Voila, it works fine.

Now, flip your pad over (so the picture side is down) and take out the 6 screws. Carefully lift off the back and have a look. If you have something like a naki pad, stuff will probably be falling out everywhere at this point. MadCatz is a bit better made. Well, cheaply fixed I should say. They have a LOT of 2 way tape holding down the foam connector pad.


Gently peel back the foam pad to have a look. You'll see 11 connectors running in from the pad matrix. The matrix is very delicate, don't hurt it or it won't like you anymore. If you notice it looks like 2 sets of 5 with abigass one in the middle. Now thinking of the far left as pin 1:

01 - START


03 - RIGHT


05 - UP


07 - DOWN


09 - LEFT

10 - X (the button)


So find the closest point outside the pad area that you can solder to. In the MadCatz pad this is easy as almost every single line runs to a very obvious solder point. Solder your wire there.

Now you can connect these to the board of any other controller you want to have yourself a DDR mat for use anywhere. Of course, if you really want to do it right, wire it straight to the signal combining IC chip used in your gampad of choice. While I don't have the pinout for a genesis one (though I may do that soon) you can use my other post for info on the SNES.

If you can get it down to wiring right to a chip, you can fit everything right back inside the pad's casing. I reccomend cutting the original plastic block off the PSX cord that you've now removed for your project, then scrape out the PSX cord bonded inside, fill it with household cement, and wrap it around your new cord. Wrap it in scotch tape ot keep it together and run a blow-drier over it on a warm setting for about 5 mins. This is usually enough to make it set up. Now you can put that inside the spot where the cord comes out and have a perfect looking pad

If you have a pad that needs a power supply for LEDs, I reccomend running the wires out your case and to some kind of Radio Hack project box. That way you can easily open it up whenever you need to put in new batteries. You can run the entire cord out to it too. This would probably work well if you can't reduce the connectors to a single chip and require a full pad.

Since my PC has a SNES port and not a Genesis port, that's the route I chose. Below are pic sof my work and the pad in use.

Be creative with this and have fun


Lots of wires.


Notice the ground from your pad and the ground from the controller cable have to connect to the same ground on the chip. Wires missing were L & R which I didn't use.


This shows a hot melt on the wires ot make sure nothing comes loose. After this I twisted the wires together into a thin cord and looped it around the side storing the chip to the right of the board where there was a large cavity in the plastic.


Ninja Gaiden is the shit.
This is really cool, but I don't really see the purpose... Why would you want to play with a DDR pad for a normal game? That's just incredibly hard to do and not very fun nor fast enough for reflexes.
Originally posted by Jaded God@Mar 3, 2003 @ 04:24 AM

That's just incredibly hard to do and not very fun nor fast enough for reflexes.

That's exactly why I'd want to play with it. It brings ridiculous challange to once easy games and builds mad reflexes and coordination. Try playing some Street Fighter 2 with the pad and you'd understand. Even your average RPG becomes difficult to control. Performing complex rotating motions is a million times harder than stepping to a beat.
Lol! Thats a good way to give some life back to old games :cheers

Are you playing upside down with your hands? That looks though
Originally posted by Jaded God@Mar 4, 2003 @ 06:45 AM

DBOY i didnt know you were a female? lol thought you were male.

I'm not sure if I should be insulted or flattered by that. I think it's safe to say you've never seen a wuxia film before. Some of those dudes have hair down to their knees.
ackh Simple mistake... All I did was look at the picture... It was an honest mistake I couldnt see the DBOY's face
I am sorry DBOY.