[Noisebridge-discuss] Step-on buttons

Taylor Alexander tlalexander at gmail.com
Wed Jan 19 13:17:18 PST 2011


Actually, creep is deformation due to constant stress over a long
term, and metals aren't really subject to creep at room temperatures -
it's mostly plastics. If you hang a weight from a piece of plastic, it
will stretch over time, even if the weight is much less than the yield
strength of the plastic.

Fatigue is deformation due to repeated stress, where creep is
deformation due to constant stress. Neither will really be an issue
for this - the likely problem would be regular ol' yield failure - IE
someone just bends the thing from stepping on it too hard - if the
metal isn't thick enough.
-Taylor

On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM, Sean Cusack <sean.p.cusack at gmail.com> wrote:
> The metal term you are looking for is "creep" :), and no - I haven't got any
> of this yet over 2-3 years of moderate use.
>
> I think I used 18ga. galvanized steel. Its tricky to solder - use an acid
> core solder and some extra flux if you need it - should make your life much
> easier. The weather stripping needs to be along the outside of the sheets
> since the middle is where all the bending action happens. You can also sub
> in foam board if you want to save even more cash, but then you do need to
> cut it into strips which can get annoying. The panels are roughly 12" x 12"
> squares.
>
> I put acrylic tops on the panels that shielded a decal so they would look
> pretty. It should be easy enough to implement this as an LED diffuser or
> something if you want them to light up!
> Sean
> On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM, David Kelso <david at kelso.id.au> wrote:
>>
>> Interesting. That sounds like a nice cheap way to do things. What kind
>> of metal / thickness did you use? Was there any problem with the metal
>> losing its spring after time? (I know there's a materials engineer out
>> there who can tell me the correct term for that)
>> Was the weather stripping around the outside of the metal sheets? Or
>> through the middle?
>>
>> On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 1:16 AM, Sean Cusack <sean.p.cusack at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > I've made my own DDR pad as well (a loooooong time ago). 2 sheets of
>> > metal
>> > separated by weather stripping. When you stand on one piece of metal, it
>> > bends and touches the other one. When you lift up your foot, the piece
>> > of
>> > metal unbends, and breaks the connection. I've got a AA rating on a 9
>> > foot
>> > song (and some weird japanese voice on the video game told me he could
>> > "feel
>> > [my] moves all over his body!!") before using this technology when I
>> > used to
>> > DDR like all the time (Sean = nerd), so I think its pretty robust, and
>> > super
>> > cheap.
>> >
>> > You can just run a wire as far as you need it to go to connect each of
>> > them
>> > together.
>> >
>> > Sean
>> >
>> > On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM, David Kelso <david at kelso.id.au> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Yes, sorry, I should have been more specific.
>> >>
>> >> I'm trying to make a big grid of buttons that you could stand on to
>> >> sequence music. Each button would be separated by a few feet, so those
>> >> dance pads aren't quite the right analogy. However I would definitely
>> >> be interested in hearing about how they work internally. Light up
>> >> would be great, or some sort of feedback, so that users would know
>> >> when they're standing on it correctly.
>> >>
>> >> Budget is as cheap as possible while still being reliable - I'm trying
>> >> to spec out the costs for a couple potential projects, and deciding
>> >> which I should be going with. Quantity wise, it would be a grid with a
>> >> multiple of 8 buttons. So somewhere between 32 and 64 buttons.
>> >>
>> >> I'm liking the sound of an optical switch with a spring loaded perspex
>> >> platform. Sounds like it would be durable and easy to light up. Thanks
>> >> for the suggestion Taylor.
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 6:20 PM, Reed Kennedy <reed at flatrabbit.org>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > David,
>> >> >
>> >> > If you really want to know more about DDI's pads, I can fill you in.
>> >> > Or you can just come look at 'em.
>> >> >
>> >> > Could you tell me more about what you're trying to accomplish? How
>> >> > many buttons? What's your budget? Etc...
>> >> >
>> >> > Reed
>> >> >
>> >> > On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 4:59 PM, Taylor Alexander
>> >> > <tlalexander at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> >> I know the people that did DDI basically had to make their own
>> >> >> buttons, and even then I think they wore out (though I'm really not
>> >> >> sure, its been like 2 years since I had a 5 minute convo about those
>> >> >> buttons with someone).
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I always figured that you could make them optical - make them spring
>> >> >> loaded, and have them break a beam of light going to a photo
>> >> >> interrupter when they get stepped on - so nothing mechanical gets
>> >> >> any
>> >> >> unnecessary stress on it. That should last forever.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> But I'm sure someone knows an easier solution.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> -Taylor
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 3:54 PM, David Kelso <david at kelso.id.au>
>> >> >> wrote:
>> >> >>> Hey all
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> I'm looking for some large buttons that would activate when you
>> >> >>> stand
>> >> >>> on them. Preferably heavy duty enough to survive burning man. Would
>> >> >>> be
>> >> >>> great if they lit up too. Does anyone know where to buy such
>> >> >>> things?
>> >> >>> Or even what I should be searching for? If not, any suggestions on
>> >> >>> how
>> >> >>> to build something like that?
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> david
>> >> >>> _______________________________________________
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>> >> >>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> >> >>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >> >>>
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>> >> >>
>> >> >
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>> >
>> >
>
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