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~!~ The Lazy Man's Authentic Drum Pedal Mod! w/ Pics ~!~
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: ~!~ The Lazy Man's Authentic Drum Pedal Mod! w/ Pics ~!~ Reply with quote

As many of you have already read, this thread is about how to make an inexpensive and effortless authentic bass pedal to use for Rock Band. However, since I originally posted this mod months ago, there have been a few modifications to the formula that increase efficiency and professionalism. Therefore, I'm updating this first post with the new and improved way to create your own bass pedal! (For those of you who want to read the original post or began creation using the first design, the original post has not been removed, but simply moved to the bottom of this post.)



~Easily Build Your Own Authenic Drum Pedal For Cheap!~


For this mod, you really only need to buy three things. A drum pedal, a mono audio cable, and a Normally Closed alarm sensor.

The Drum Pedal:
For the drum pedal, really any drum pedal will work, or at least you can make it work. This is such a simple mod I can't imagine any drum pedal not working. I purchased my pedals at a local music shop for about $30-$35 a piece. If you want insanely high quality, you're going to want to jump into the $150 price range, but for the sake of using an indestructible and cheap pedal, go for the lower-end one.


The Mono Audio Wire

This is a simple audio wire with a mono jack already installed on the end, and with the ends of the wires pre-stripped. Luckily, you can buy these babies at your local Radio Shack.

The product number is 42-2434.

Call your local Radio Shack and give them that number and ask if they have them in stock. If they don't, you can order them online here: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103854&cp


The Alarm Sensor:


Where to buy:
http://www.smarthome.com/7113.html
http://www.itcelectronics.com/product_info.php?cPath=1172_1338&products_id=12353

The important thing here is that you need a NORMALLY CLOSED alarm sensor. Most alarm sensors are "Normally Open," and those absolutely won't work. The reason being is that Normally Closed sensors complete a circuit with the two sensors are within close proximity, which is exactly what we need to achieve. Normally Open actually open the circuit when in close proximity, which = bad.

one you get these three parts you're almost finished! Seriously! The idea here is to mount the two sensor on the drum pedal in a way that they are in close proximity (about 3/4" away) when the pedal is fully pressed down. Here are some super-simple steps. (Alliteration is fun!)

1) Connect the stripped audio wire to the sensor with the screws. Simply wrap each stripped wire around each screw and tighten the screws to firmly secure the wire in place. (It doesn't matter which wire you connect to which screw.)

2) Test the connection. Plug the mono jack into your Rock Band drum set, turn on Rock Band, and go to the song selection screen. Bring the two sensors close together and it should change the categories in how the songs are ordered.

3) Mount the wired sensor on the bottom of the pedal using duct tape. Put it somewhere that the top part of the pedal won't hit it. Make sure it's safe where it is.

4) Press the pedal down, and place the free sensor on the underside of the top of the pedal and find out where it would begin to complete the circuit. Mount it there with duct tape. This is the only really tricky part. You need to mount them just right (which is why we're using duct tape first) or the pedal might be too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Proceed in testing out your duct taped pedal.

5) Super glue your wired sensor in place. Once again, just make sure nothing can hit it or the wire.

6) Check the perfect spot for the top sensor, and once happy, glue it into place. Let it dry for about a half hour before using it.

7) Test out your pedal in a real song! If it works, proceed to step 8. If not, snap off the sensors and go back to step 3.

8) Enjoy your brand new Rock Band bass pedal!

9) ???

10) PROFIT!


Here are some pictures of the latest pedal I have made. (This is the model I am currently selling.)












Recommendations:
If you already have a spare bass pedal, use that. If you're determined to buy a new one, get something cheap. Really, all bass pedals will work and it only goes by your own preference.

If you get a bass pedal that's under $100, odds are it'll be attached by two medal beams, and able to sort of shift back and forth on heavy carpet. This isn't a problem, seeing as how all of the pedals I've made are like this. If you're playing on thick carpet, the best thing to do is to get a piece of thin wood (like plywood or particle board) or a thin piece of metal (like a stolen streen sign) and mount the pedal to that just using duct tape. You want to use duct tape because if you ever need to transport your pedal, it'll be easier to disassemble.

The newest pedals I've made (the ones that are for sale) have a 100% hit ratio, and a 0% double-hit ratio. This is accomplished by loosening the spring on the bass pedal and putting the sensors basically as far apart as possible while still completing the circuit (when the pedal is pressed, obviously.)

I did try mounting a practice pad on my drum set and putting the sensors on the beater and the pad, but I actually saw a decrease in notes hit. Obviously, it felt a little more real, though.

Accomplishments:
Double-bass hits in Tom Sawyer on Expert
99% of the bass hits in Flirtin' with Disaster on Expert
Over 30 hours of playtime with the pedal without it malfunctioning.
Update: I took my pedal mod to a gaming convention where it was wailed on for 3 days straight by over 1000 people, and it still works great!


~Dac


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----EVERYTHING BELOW THIS LINE IS FROM THE OLDER POST-----
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This is a spin on the reed switch method for modding a bass drum pedal, and is more reliable, easier to set up, and cheaper!

So, one of the items I asked for for Christmas was a bass pedal. (I don't have any spares.) Sure enough, I got it. Just an average $35 bass pedal, nothing special (you can probably get it at Guitar Center). Well, following the directions of the people who made reed switch pedals, I went to Radio Shack, bought a reed switch, some wire, a mono adapter, and the rare earth magnets. This put my total price at a little over $16. Not bad.

Now, I suck as soldering, but I pretty much set everything up entirely correctly. I had a few problems here and there, but the end result worked. However, it seemed to miss just a few notes here and there that weren't my fault. Well, my dad saw the mod I was making and said he had a suggestion. He's a locksmith, so he had a spare alarm system magnetic sensor. I was intrigued.

It basically works the same way as the reed switch, only it already has everything all put together with it's own magnet. (It's designed for alarm systems.) Better yet, there's no soldering required. There are two screws that allow you to pinch the wire in. Check out the picture below.



The way that sucker works is when those two pieces to the right (not the mount on the left) are in close proximity, it completes a circuit. So after screwing in the wire and attaching a mono plug, you're done. Just mount it with some duct tape, and you're good to go.

You can buy that sensor here: http://www.smarthome.com/7113.html
The important aspect here is that the circuit is "Normally Closed"
"3/4-Inch Magnetic Contacts, Normally Closed"
For Canadians, purchase the sensor from The Source: http://tinyurl.com/25nhpr (Phr34k)

If it doesn't say that, it's not the right thing. You used to be able to buy these at Radio Shack, but I don't think you can anymore. You can get them from that website for three bucks. For wire, I just used an old extension cord wire I didn't need, and the mono adapter was, like, 2 or 3 bucks. So in total, it'll only cost about 6 dollars, and since you do less work, it'll end up being far more sturdy and professional-looking. Besides a bit of duct tape, you can't even tell my bass pedal is modded!

I put this entire mod together in under 10 minutes, and it works much better than the stock pedal. Here are some pictures. (Protip: To make it look even more professional, attach sensors with epoxy instead of duct tape. =P)












Total process of setting it up:
-Acquire bass drum pedal
-Purchase Magnetic Contacts, Normally Closed
-Acquire some wire. (An old extension cord will work)
-Purchase a mono adapter from Radio Shack. (Like, 2 or 3 bucks.)
-Attach one end of wire to the bottom sensor by stripping the wire and screwing it in place.
-Attach the other end to the mono adapter, either by soldering or simply by connecting the two wires and hot-gluing them in place.
-Attach the base sensor to the bottom of the pedal using epoxy or duct tape
-Press the pedal close, and find the furthest distance from the top of the pedal that the sensors will complete the circuit. Attach the top sensor.
-Plug in and rock out!

It's good to have an ohms meter handy, just to make sure all the connections are good.

Accomplishments:
Double-bass hits in Tom Sawyer (with one pedal) - Expert
Full combo on Creep - Expert
99% on Green Grass (with only 4 missed bass pedal hits, due to user) - Expert

For lazy and cheap people like me, this is the way to go.

~Dac


Last edited by Dacvak on Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:54 pm; edited 16 times in total
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LVNomad  
 




Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 bucks? Ill give it a look.

Thanks!
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disquette  
 




Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dacvak, very nice mod there. It was fun doing the soldering, but if I had to do it over again, I'd probably go with this system, assuming those pieces aren't too big or weighty (I like things that are easy).

Thanks much for posting this!
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, I found an SD card reader for my parent's computer, so I updated my first post with pics and a more detailed explanation.

Enjoy!

~Dac

[edit] No, they're not big at all. Check out my pics. Also, they're extremely light. I think the ones on the website are even smaller and lighter. It's basically just a reed switch that's solderless and comes with its own magnet. =D
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swifterz  
 




Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know of a store that might carry these for pickup instead of having to order online?
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swifterz wrote:
Anyone know of a store that might carry these for pickup instead of having to order online?


The only reason my dad had them was because he's a locksmith, and from what he told me, there's nowhere else (besides ordering from a catalog) that you could get it.

You could call in local hardware stores, but these are made specifically for alarm systems that work on a Normally Closed circuit, which is like rare of rare, so stores typically wouldn't have it.

The one I have was from Radio Shack from, like, the 1990's. I called Radio Shack and they no longer sell it. I really think buying it online is your best bet.

But that brings me to my next point... Do you think there would be any market for pre-modded bass pedals? I was thinking about buying a bunc of these, wiring them myselve, then selling them for about $50 a piece. (Since the bass pedal, alone, costs $35). Hmmm... Maybe it's a bad idea. I don't really want to make money, I just want a way to get people modded bass pedals.

~Dac
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TokiWartooth  
 




Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

put me down for one of em, that is if you do it. i already broke my regular one. durn foot is too strong for cheap plastic.
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Siberian  
 




Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't this one also work?

http://www.smarthome.com/7352.html

Sounds like it's smaller then the one in your post and it's operational distance is shorter so it would be easier to mount. And if I'm reading it correctly it's the same type of circuit.
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Siberian wrote:
Wouldn't this one also work?

http://www.smarthome.com/7352.html

Sounds like it's smaller then the one in your post and it's operational distance is shorter so it would be easier to mount. And if I'm reading it correctly it's the same type of circuit.


No, this would not work. It's missing the key ingredient, which is a Normally Closed circuit. See how it says: "Compatibility: Works with nearly all standard, hardwired alarm systems"

Most alarm sensors work on a normally open circuit, meaning when the two sensors are not within range, the circuit is completed. (Sounds stupid, but that's how alarms work.) It's absolutely crucial to get one that says Normally Closed, because otherwise, it'll work exactly opposite.

~Dac
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LVNomad  
 




Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

really need pics. I mean these are things that attach to windows normally. Id like to see "logistically" how to mount
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LVNomad wrote:
really need pics. I mean these are things that attach to windows normally. Id like to see "logistically" how to mount


Ummm... Look at the first post? There are pics, like, right there.

~Dac
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Siberian  
 




Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dacvak wrote:
Siberian wrote:
Wouldn't this one also work?

http://www.smarthome.com/7352.html


No, this would not work. It's missing the key ingredient, which is a Normally Closed circuit. See how it says: "Compatibility: Works with nearly all standard, hardwired alarm systems"

Most alarm sensors work on a normally open circuit, meaning when the two sensors are not within range, the circuit is completed. (Sounds stupid, but that's how alarms work.) It's absolutely crucial to get one that says Normally Closed, because otherwise, it'll work exactly opposite.

~Dac


Ya, I gathered that from your post but the product description of that item says:

"Contacts are closed when magnet and sensor are together."

That sounds like the circuit you are describing.
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Dacvak  
 




Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it's possible that it would work, but if you look at the item description, I think it's like an inch and a 1/4 long, which is actually bigger than the one I posted. Plus, you want to be sure about the "normally closed" thing, and if it doesn't specifically say that, then it might not be it.

I would say, just to be sure, go with the one I posted. It seems to be a bit smaller and just as inexpensive.

~Dac
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LVNomad  
 




Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dacvak wrote:
LVNomad wrote:
really need pics. I mean these are things that attach to windows normally. Id like to see "logistically" how to mount


Ummm... Look at the first post? There are pics, like, right there.

~Dac
DUH!!!

Cheers.
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biggiemokey  
 




Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

probably a stupid question, but i dont know anything about electonics. just want to know if this wire would work: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103854&cp=&sr=1&origkw=1%2F8+audio+wire+one+wire&kw=1%2F8+audio+wire+one+wire&parentPage=search

it says to stripped wireS, but it sounds like theres only one wire input on the contact so it seems like it wouldnt to me. im not into soldering so id like to use that wire with the preattatched 1/8 plug.
also, how does it "screw in"? the picture on that website looks like theres no connection, i feel like id figure it out if i had it but maybe not
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