Build an Arcade Style DDR Pad

1 - materials and tools
2 - solid panels
3 - ddr pad base
4 - acrylic panes
5 - supports and switches
6 - wiring the ddr pad
7 - finished ddr pad

5 - Supports and Switches

To build the supports needed for the switches, cut 2x4 lengths long enough to fit between the 2x4 supports for the panels. Use them to create a frame in the well for the arrow panels. Now you should have support for all four sides of the arrow well.

You'll notice that these supports in the picture are not as wide as a 2x4.  I cut the 2x4s in half lengthwise to allow for more room in the center of the arrow panel.  You can do that or use 2x2s (or just use the 2x4s and not have as much space).

I bind these to the bottom plywood piece with the same method I used to put the main 2x4 supports down.
Cut triangles of 3/4" plywood that will fit under the corner braces. Leave enough room under the edge for the acrylic edges. Bolt the supports down in the corners with just enough room to squeeze the corner braces in. Take into account that the sheet metal might not be bent completely to 90 degrees. The corner braces will be tight, but the acrylic can still be loose if you trim it right.
The center of this image is just a description.  In reality, it would be the empty center section of the arrow well.  This depicts what you see as you look down on the arrow well similar to the picture in the previous step.

Weather stripping is in grey going along the edges providing a restoring force to keep the acrylic lifted. Mending brackets are in blue.  They are just 2" metal strips with holes for two screws at either end. Each side of the arrow well has two mending brackets: one connected to ground and one connected to the arrow wire in an alternating fashion.

The description in the center with the washers under the mending brackets describes how to configure the switches.  It says to stack some washers, and set the mending bracket with its holes over the centers of the washers.  Bolt the mending bracket down through the washers with the stripped end of the line pinched between the washers and mending bracket.
Place the acrylic panels in the wells, and make sure that they can move fairly easily vertically. Be sure to do this with the corner braces on. If it can't move easily, trim it until it can.  Because of variances in construction, I suggest that you now mark which acrylic panels fit best in which arrow well so that you can keep the best fits mated.

When this is complete, cut 16 sheetmetal strips at 1 1/2 X 6 inches and attach them underneath the bottom piece of plexiglass so that when it contacts the mending brackets, it will connect the circuit.  You need four strips per arrow and align them so that they would rest above the 2x4 edges we built within each arrow well.

You can use spray adhesive or mounting tape to secure the sheetmetal to the acrylic.  The mounting tape will help to reduce noise.
This is a pic I took to show how the pad would look completed. It wasn't really finished in this picture. I still needed to add the switches and bolt the screws into the corner brackets. It's just set up for looks in this picture.
If you would like to suggest something or comment on my metal ddr pad design, please email me at