(Note: Wow, amazing how much press a mod I did in like 2 hours can generate!)
It’s Guitar Hero 4, I don’t care what anyone says.
Anyway, I had a request to build an alternative to the GH4 drum kit’s kick pedal for a person who uses a wheelchair. Tour apart the kick pedal and a few hours later came up with this:
Yes that’s right, it’s wrapped in electric tape.
Basically this turns the kick pedal into an air pressure diaphragm. You can now “kick” the bass drums by blowing into a tube.
Want to do this mod for a friend in need? Check out the easy how-to instructions after the break. Please note: this is for the Guitar Hero 4 (ahem WORLD TOUR) drum kit, not Rock Band. A Rock Band suggestion is at the end.
For yet another video of me acting like a moron while demonstrating my projects, click here.
OK let’s build this sucker. Rip apart a GH4 kicker pedal and you’ll find this metal disc in the base of it.
This is a piezoelectric sensor which creates a small voltage when impacted. What we’re going to do is make a small assembly that is sensitive to air pressure instead of… well… pressure pressure.
Ever buy this Goo Gone stuff? Well you should – it works great. Use some to get the glue off the top of the sensor.
OK next cut up some PVC pipe. You’ll need 2 pieces, each about 1.5″ long. The inner diameter needs to be wider than the sensor, in this case, about 1.25″. This assembly will be in 2 halves.
Next, glue some pieces of plastic onto the end of each piece of PVC. These are the end caps.
OK now run down to the hardware store and get a rubber hosing barb. Drill a hole into one of the end caps and glue the barb in but good. I’d suggest liberal amount of hot glue inside the pipe to make sure it’s well sealed.
Aforementioned liberal use of hot glue – hey it’s cheap.
Fun tip – if you cut yourself – perhaps while scraping off glue with a knife too close to your fingers – and the blood is getting all over your project, simply seal the wound with a bit of superglue. It works quite well, thanks for the tip Jesse!
OK now for the other half. Cut away the edge of the end cap so the cable can fit though. It may also be useful to drill some air holes so that this side of the assembly isn’t a vacuum.
Put the sensor and end cap on the other piece of PVC. The PVC should be short enough that you can still grasp and work with the sensor.
Now find a rubber glove or any similar type of material. Cut a small slit in the middle of it, then feed the sensor and wires through. Then glue the sensor over the slit onto the rubber to seal it airtight (seal up the slit).
Next stretch the rubbery material tightly around the PVC pipe and tape it down – you will note this is very much like making a drum in kindergarten. Be sure the sensor stays centered on the pipe.
Now tape the two PVC pipes together. I used electric tape for an airtight seal. Try blowing on the barb – you should feel the diaphragm “click”. This will simulate the foot pedal being kicked and voila – you have done it! Simply attach a tube of desired length to the barb and you are ready to rock.
Note: Use a tube with around 1/4″ inner diameter… if it is too small/thin it is difficult to get enough air pressure to trigger the switch.
The Rock Band drum pedal is somewhat simpler… it’s just a magnetic switch. To build something like this for it, do an online search for “pressure switches”, wire one to the pedal, attach a tube and go for it!