WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

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BenMadsen
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:39 pm

Primary issues/questions

1) Does the machine just connect to the wall via a simple standard power cord?

2) Some of the screws that hold the arrow brackets to the pad have rusted and fused to the steel bracket inside the pad. That makes the arrow bracket bulge up and makes the arrow really, really close to unplayable. Any ideas?

3) The sensors seem to be in really bad shape. I've only got one arrow off so far but all the screws and washers are really jammed and the sensor rattles all over the place. Got quite a fixer upper I think.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:04 pm

BenMadsen wrote:1) Does the machine just connect to the wall via a simple standard power cord?
Yup. Did it not come with a cord? Konami appears to ship them with a fairly hefty, long cord. Any cord will work, but I'd recommend finding one with at least 16AWG wire, rather than the more "normal" (these days), small 18AWG wire since the machine does pull quite a bit of juice.

You should only need one cord unless somebody has modified things to require more than one. This is sometimes done when people swap out the monitor.
BenMadsen wrote:2) Some of the screws that hold the arrow brackets to the pad have rusted and fused to the steel bracket inside the pad. That makes the arrow bracket bulge up and makes the arrow really, really close to unplayable. Any ideas
You mean the 'L' brackets? There are supposed to be spacers on the 3 screws that hold them in place to allow it to travel freely and not get bound up on anything. The inside of the stage structure should be painted. If things have rusted to the point where things don't move well, you've got probably severe water damage. You'll probably have to free them using a penetrating oil, strip it all down, re-paint, and build it back up if you want it to play "well". That will be time consuming. Just unsticking them and at least cleaning off the rust with a wire wheel or something will probably help a lot.
BenMadsen wrote:3) The sensors seem to be in really bad shape. I've only got one arrow off so far but all the screws and washers are really jammed and the sensor rattles all over the place. Got quite a fixer upper I think.
OK, now I'm confused. The sensors normally lay in a rubber 'U' channel. The 'L' bracket bears the weight of anything that may be on the panel and compresses the sensor. Travel is limited by the bracket coming to bear on the aforementioned screws and spacers. The sensor itself is rubber/plastic encased and should not "rattle" in any way.

It almost sounds like maybe you have a crap-o-cab (popularly placed by Namco) stage? Those used all sorts of weird hardware and conventional microswitches. They were notoriously unreliable and, well, crappy.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:52 pm

Plugged the machine up and it works for the most part, few issues. First, the aforementioned questions.

1) OK, I went out and bought a standard power cord because it did not come with one. This works fine.

2) No, I mean how each arrow has four corner brackets with two screws each. The brackets themselves screw into a similarly shaped piece underneath. The screw from one of the arrows has rusted severely and is like, fused into the screw-hole on the bottom piece.

3) I'm pretty sure it's a standard machine. The inside looks like this. http://www.ddrfreak.com/images/contrib/ ... pen-lg.jpg The screws I'm talking about are the ones that are under the sensors. You can see the washers attached. They are like, partially taken off and damaged, so it is only loosely holding the sensors in place.

Now...new issues.

4) The right side "right" button does not work or flash, all the other buttons work.

5) The RTC-RAM is dead, despite them promising that it worked.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:55 pm

Actually, now that I look closer at that picture, mine also has some sort of plastic piece in the middle of everything. I'll take some pictures to show you all what I mean.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:21 am

Oh, the "corner brackets". Those are direct metal to metal contact and could rust, I guess. The bracket itself should be stainless steel, but I don't think the stage structure it screws into is. The good news is that, since the bracket is stainless, it shouldn't have much more than surface corrosion and should come apart relatively easily. Just clean both pieces off with a wire wheel on a dremel or something since neither surface (underside of the bracket or the stage structure into which it screws) is visible when assembled.

The screws rusting means they're probably not original. I think the original screws are stainless. If they're not stainless, they're quite heavily chromed which will similarly prevent corrosion. The key to getting them out is usually to make sure the head is completely free of gunk and using the proper size screwdriver. I usually use a small (1/8") flat screwdriver to clean the heads out. Dirt and other stuff tends to gum up in there. It will be fairly tedious to remove, but you shouldn't have to do it again if you make sure everybody playing it has relatively clean shoes, and it's required to get a good bite from the screwdriver. The screwdriver you need is a #3 Philips. Do not try to use anything else, or you risk stripping the head. If you can't get enough force with a manual screwdriver, you can try an impact tool, or get a #3 Philiips bit for a long breaker bar and give that a shot. If you decide to use power tools or a breaker bar, you will need to potentially use significant downforce to keep it from camming out which is, unfortunately, what Philips screw heads are designed to do. The last ditch is to drill the head off, freeing the assembly, then tackle the remaining screw shank with an extractor. If THAT fails, you'll have to drill it all the way out and re-tap at the next larger size. I've never had to do the latter on any of my machines, though I have had to clean up some threads due to cross-threaded screws (which may be why yours are bound up, not rust).

What you've linked to is definitely a real Konami machine. I've played on that exact stage, in fact. It happens to be a Japanese cabinet, but the Korean cabinets (very different design internally) were paired with the same stages likely made in Japan.

It's quite common for many of the screws retaining the 'L' bracket to be missing. Mine's missing about half of them. I've actually been meaning to have some proper spacers made up since they are not a standard size. If you want some, I can let you know what the price works out to be. The screws are a standard (metric) size, and IIRC the washers are, too. You can buy them in bulk at somewhat reasonable prices from places like McMaster-Carr and Fastenal, though you won't get the fancy chromate plating the originals had (just upgrade to stainless and call it a day).

That button not flashing means it's probably just burned out. It's wired up along with the other two start/select buttons for 2P, so it wouldn't be anything electrical other than perhaps the wires running specifically to that button along the chain. They're standard wedge-base lamps. I think you want a 194. Do NOT use a 168; it will fit, but it is too high power and will overheat. The 168 also takes so long to come up to full brightness that you'll never actually get it there with how short the game normally leaves it on.

RTC-RAM, well, they're almost all that way now. It's vaguely possible that it died during the couple of weeks it took to get it to you. I have the parts to fix them on hand, if you want, but the soldering required is quite non-trivial. Konami was quite mean in their PCB layout when it comes to re-working that part.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:41 am

MonMotha wrote:Oh, the "corner brackets". Those are direct metal to metal contact and could rust, I guess. The bracket itself should be stainless steel, but I don't think the stage structure it screws into is. The good news is that, since the bracket is stainless, it shouldn't have much more than surface corrosion and should come apart relatively easily. Just clean both pieces off with a wire wheel on a dremel or something since neither surface (underside of the bracket or the stage structure into which it screws) is visible when assembled.

The screws rusting means they're probably not original. I think the original screws are stainless. If they're not stainless, they're quite heavily chromed which will similarly prevent corrosion. The key to getting them out is usually to make sure the head is completely free of gunk and using the proper size screwdriver. I usually use a small (1/8") flat screwdriver to clean the heads out. Dirt and other stuff tends to gum up in there. It will be fairly tedious to remove, but you shouldn't have to do it again if you make sure everybody playing it has relatively clean shoes, and it's required to get a good bite from the screwdriver. The screwdriver you need is a #3 Philips. Do not try to use anything else, or you risk stripping the head. If you can't get enough force with a manual screwdriver, you can try an impact tool, or get a #3 Philiips bit for a long breaker bar and give that a shot. If you decide to use power tools or a breaker bar, you will need to potentially use significant downforce to keep it from camming out which is, unfortunately, what Philips screw heads are designed to do. The last ditch is to drill the head off, freeing the assembly, then tackle the remaining screw shank with an extractor. If THAT fails, you'll have to drill it all the way out and re-tap at the next larger size. I've never had to do the latter on any of my machines, though I have had to clean up some threads due to cross-threaded screws (which may be why yours are bound up, not rust).

What you've linked to is definitely a real Konami machine. I've played on that exact stage, in fact. It happens to be a Japanese cabinet, but the Korean cabinets (very different design internally) were paired with the same stages likely made in Japan.

It's quite common for many of the screws retaining the 'L' bracket to be missing. Mine's missing about half of them. I've actually been meaning to have some proper spacers made up since they are not a standard size. If you want some, I can let you know what the price works out to be. The screws are a standard (metric) size, and IIRC the washers are, too. You can buy them in bulk at somewhat reasonable prices from places like McMaster-Carr and Fastenal, though you won't get the fancy chromate plating the originals had (just upgrade to stainless and call it a day).

That button not flashing means it's probably just burned out. It's wired up along with the other two start/select buttons for 2P, so it wouldn't be anything electrical other than perhaps the wires running specifically to that button along the chain. They're standard wedge-base lamps. I think you want a 194. Do NOT use a 168; it will fit, but it is too high power and will overheat. The 168 also takes so long to come up to full brightness that you'll never actually get it there with how short the game normally leaves it on.

RTC-RAM, well, they're almost all that way now. It's vaguely possible that it died during the couple of weeks it took to get it to you. I have the parts to fix them on hand, if you want, but the soldering required is quite non-trivial. Konami was quite mean in their PCB layout when it comes to re-working that part.
Here are some specific pictures.

1) When they first brought the cabinet into the house.
http://imgur.com/IimQRMx

2) Inside of the second arrow I took apart (which is having significant playing issues, some of the sensors are nearly impossible to get to register). Obviously I have not had a chance to clean it yet.
http://imgur.com/ctPSUj9

3) and 4) Closer look at the screws. I think that I will need to buy a smaller sized screwdriver to fit it inside the pad. The one I'm trying to use is too long to get down in there and I don't want to attempt to unscrew them at an angle. Obviously this pad has seen heavy, heavy wear. Will take a lot of cleaning to make this sanitary. Hopefully with a smaller screwdriver I can tighten these screws again, since they are all probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the way out, and just barely hold the metal piece above the sensor. I think the problem with the sensors is likely both because of all of the dirt and grime I have yet to clean, and also the incredible looseness of the screws holding that bracket in place.
http://imgur.com/mfpVJ6q
http://imgur.com/1HxaF9X


In response to your previous post. The bracket itself is fine, it is the stage structure which has rusted, you are correct. There are many replacement screws on the pad, so I'm sure you are again correct, and it is a replacement that is rusted down. I can take the bracket on and off easily, the stage structure is just really rusted and "bulges" out a bit from where the top of the screw is just a big fused mess. I've had luck getting more of the actual screws out of the machine, enough to where I can get into all of the arrows I believe. That is good news, at least. I bought several replacements screws today, but there were not many available since, as Ho said, they are in the specialty section.

When you say the screws retaining the "L" bracket, do you mean the "L" bracket such as the brackets on the corners of the arrows? Or do you mean the one inside of the arrows such as the ones I've linked in pictures 3 and 4?

The right button on the 2P side doesn't just not light up, it doesn't work at all, like a wire is not fully attached possibly. I don't have any idea which wire inside the machine corresponds to those buttons, maybe there is a chance it has been shaken loose?
Last edited by BenMadsen on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:42 am

Also, I'm not the least bit familiar with soldiering, but I have friends who are. Is it a very risky process? If so, I can live with typing in the unlock codes each time, I do not want to risk ruining the machine.

The cabinet condition seems to be VERY good, asides from the 2P right button not working. The left speaker on the marquee also has a very faint whine, but you can't hear it if any audio is playing through the machine at all.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:13 am

The 'L' bracket is the, well, L-shaped bracket that is inside of each arrow on each of the four sides. It rides on three screws + spacers + washers and is what transfers weight from the top of the stage down to the little rubber sensors along each side. You will surely need a "stubby" screwdriver to really work on those screws, yes. Basically, if you don't have a reasonably complete toolbox, you'll probably find yourself wanting to get one if you plan on working on a DDR machine. Those screws may look loose, but you might find that they are not. They should NOT hold the bracket snug to the side of the stage structure. The spacers should allow that bracket to slide freely.

You have "greenie meanie" sensors from Channelbeat or similar. They're pretty much crap. Expect to have to replace them, unfortunately.

Your stage is very dirty and rusted. It almost looks like it may have been in a flood. Cleaning it out well should help with performance.

As to your button, it's possible that the quick-connects have come loose. More likely, somebody was working in there and just forgot to reconnect them. Pull the front panel off, and it should be pretty obvious if that's the case.

As to the RTC-RAM, the soldering required is an absolute pain in the butt. The last (and only) one I tried the swap on, I broke, but I was trying to do it without my full bench worth of tools. You will NOT be able to do this with a $10 iron from Radio Shack and a cheap solder sucker.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:27 am

MonMotha wrote:The 'L' bracket is the, well, L-shaped bracket that is inside of each arrow on each of the four sides. It rides on three screws + spacers + washers and is what transfers weight from the top of the stage down to the little rubber sensors along each side. You will surely need a "stubby" screwdriver to really work on those screws, yes. Basically, if you don't have a reasonably complete toolbox, you'll probably find yourself wanting to get one if you plan on working on a DDR machine. Those screws may look loose, but you might find that they are not. They should NOT hold the bracket snug to the side of the stage structure. The spacers should allow that bracket to slide freely.

You have "greenie meanie" sensors from Channelbeat or similar. They're pretty much crap. Expect to have to replace them, unfortunately.

Your stage is very dirty and rusted. It almost looks like it may have been in a flood. Cleaning it out well should help with performance.

As to your button, it's possible that the quick-connects have come loose. More likely, somebody was working in there and just forgot to reconnect them. Pull the front panel off, and it should be pretty obvious if that's the case.

As to the RTC-RAM, the soldering required is an absolute pain in the butt. The last (and only) one I tried the swap on, I broke, but I was trying to do it without my full bench worth of tools. You will NOT be able to do this with a $10 iron from Radio Shack and a cheap solder sucker.
As always, thanks for the detailed and helpful responses. You are making this repair project seem much more realistic.

How far should I screw the screws into the L bracket then? You can see how far they are screwed out now with the difference in pictures 3 and 4. Maybe they are in a good position already, then. I have many tools, but am honestly not very experienced with using much more than the basics. I'll go buy a small screwdriver tomorrow. The small screws on the inside are a #3 phillips? I just ordered all new Stainless steel screws from amazon to replace the poor condition screws on the arrow brackets.

Ahh, I've heard of ChannelBeat only through their sensors being terrible, so that makes sense. I was entirely expecting to have to replace all 32 sensors. The company I bought the machine from made it clear they were in very poor condition. My friend is giving me 8 new sensors on Monday, and I'll put those on the inside of each arrow as recommended. I'll then go ahead and order tonight 24 new sensors, I've heard if you order them from China they are much less expensive, but take forever to arrive. Would you have any idea where to order quality sensors from, China or US?

Yeah, or was heavily rained on or something similar. Any advice on scrubbing all of this rust off? I've read several tips on removing rust, but am unsure which is the safest and best alternative to scrubbing all that off.

I'll try taking the front panel off and seeing if that is the case. I assume it just unscrews and removes easily?

Ah, in that case I would definitely destroy my machine lol. I'll just enter the codes each time.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:39 am

The screws should be tight against the spacers. If they are not tight, they will come loose. These see a lot of vibration during play and should be torqued relatively tight. Due to the constrained space and Philips head, torquing them correctly (and I have no idea what kind of torque spec to give you - the manual does not provide one) is difficult, so using a mild thread locking adhesive ("Loctite") is often recommended. The purpose of the spacers is to let you torque down that screw, so it won't come out, while allowing the bracket to travel freely. There are three of them in a triangle arrangement so that the bracket cannot tilt and subsequently bind up.

As far as spacers, I've tried buying them from China and had no luck, but then I did only try one place. They took forever to arrive, and, in the end, they weren't actually much cheaper than stateside options due to the outrageous payment related fees (wire fees on both ends, currency conversion fees, etc.) and high shipping. The ones I got also didn't work very well. In fact, the ones I was attempting to replace due to poor performance often worked better than the new ones. Honestly, I'd just say to buy them from Betson. Their product is pretty consistently high quality. If you buy a whole stage worth, you can often talk them down a little on the price, but be warned they will not be cheap in any case.

As to getting rid of the rust, I'm somewhat unsure how extreme to go since I can't really tell how bad it is from your pictures aside from "the worst I've ever seen inside a DDR machine". If it's super bad, I'd be tempted to strip the whole stage of every piece but the structure, scrape it with some coarse steel wool or a putty knife, go at what's left with a wire wheel or wire brush, pressure wash it (why not, while you've got it stripped) and DRY IT (!!!), then either lightly oil whatever you end up with or re-paint it, then put it all back together. That's pretty extreme, though.

Front panel is just a few screws, yes. They should all be visible and obvious.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:25 am

I bought all new stainless steel screws from amazon for the two pads, so I can get rid of the nasty ones. I also got recommendations for sensors and bought 24 of them (one of my friends is giving me 8 new ones he has extra in monday).

I opened the front panel and the wires to the button were indeed disconnected. However, when I slide them in place, I can't find any way to lock them in, and it just slides out at first button press. Any idea how it is supposed to lock in or do you think something is broken? I looked at it for a while and couldn't find anything.

I don't think I'm going to go for the 100% mint condition option and just try to get the majority of the rust and wear off.

After resetting the machine and unplugging it several times it IS saving the unlock codes. Maybe they just factory reset it between taking the pictures and shipping it. Thats good news at least.

Pads are really bad, but they register if I stomp like an elephant. Managed to FC witch doctor and cartoon heroes by sacrificing my legs lol.

Lights seem to work fine. Excited because I think all of the problems are realistically fixable.

Oh. The sensors u bought were not too bad. I got 24 with 4 day delivery from China for about $250. Which was much less than I expected.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:39 am

There is supposed to be a little nub on the inside of the quick connect that clicks into the little hole on the switch and light side. If the connector system has been cycled repeatedly, this often wears out. You can sometimes re-create that little nub with a small screw driver and the strategic application of some force to the other side, but sometimes you have to replace the quick connect. You should at least be able to get it to stay on fairly well, even if not "positively" by friction fit. If it's loose in that regard, you can just use a pair of pliers to slightly crimp the barrels of the wide-side connector so that they tightly grip the tab when you mate the two connectors. Of course, make sure they're the same size. It's possible somebody replaced one side with something that has the wrong size connector. I believe all of this stuff uses 0.187" quick connectors, but I could be wrong. 0.250" and 0.110" are also common.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:11 am

Made a lot of progress on the machine today.

Cleaned off the cabinet and marquee impeccably, and they look excellent. I noticed when playing a bit on the machine today that the top right corner of the monitor is lightly discolored, I'm assuming from something magnetic. Before I press the degauss button, is there anything I need to know?

I took apart the 1P up arrow and completely familiarized myself with the layout and structure of the inside of the arrow. I also went and spent about $60 on various cleaning supplies. I took the sensors out and cleaned them all off, cleaned the rim, base, plastic guard, pads the sensor lays in, screws, L brackets, bottom of the arrow, and used spray arrow to blow out any remaining junk. Then I used a wire brush and scraped off the majority of the rust. This arrow was the particular one that had the totally rusted up bracket, and I applied some "Rust Remover" product to it, it is currently working, but it seems like it is doing a fine job. The inside of this arrow is super clean and it feels great to see the transformation.

Still haven't had a chance to work on the right button on the 2P side of the cabinet, but I bought a pair of pliers that I'm hoping I can use to get it clipped in.

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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by MonMotha » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:29 am

Generally speaking, you can just whack the degauss button. You're not going to hurt anything, though it may seem like it at first.

A few things you may want to know, though:
  1. People often replace the monitors and don't or even can't hook up that degauss button. If your monitor is a replacement, you may need to find some other way to engage the degauss function.
  2. When you hit the button, you may hear a pretty awful sounding "bwraappp" noise. This is the degauss coil and nearby magnetic bits vibrating from the intense alternating magnetic field that the degauss coil creates and is normal.
  3. You have to hold the button down for a few seconds to do anything useful. Just whacking it and letting go quickly will actually make things worse.
  4. The degauss coil gets quite hot during operation. There is normally a thermistor to prevent it from being engaged for too long, but if this part is malfunctioning for some reason (not common, but it does happen), it is possible to burn up the degauss coil resulting in a potential fire. If you just hold the button down for a few seconds, you'll be fine in any case. You should be able to see the effects diminish as you hold it down. Once the effect is minimal - about 4-5 seconds - just let go.
Sometimes the degauss coil built in to the monitor is not strong enough, especially if nearby metal bits like the monitor mounts have become magnetized. You may need a hand-held degauss coil to remedy this. Look up the "degauss dance" if you decide to use one. Believe it or not, Fry's has one on the shelf, but you can get one cheaper online for sure.

If there are nearby external magnetic fields such as from large speakers, etc., you may not be able to effectively remove the discoloration using the degaussing feature only. You can either relocate the offending magnetic field source, or you can try strategically placing magnets to counteract them.


While you're at all this, you may as well take the opportunity to correctly set the monitor. Hopefully yours has been treated nicely and still has some oomph left in it. If the contrast knob is cranked all the way up like many are, well, sorry. You can either leave it there, since the mid setting is now probably too dim, or return it to the middle (there's a detent to center it). If you really want to tune up all the color gains and whatnot I can describe how to do it, but it can be a pretty tedious process.

The biggest setting to get correct is brightness. Believe it or not, higher is not better and will actually not really make the monitor look brighter. Cranking brightness will just make it look muddy and washed out as black becomes gray. It's also easy to set and has a "correct" setting. Just bring up the color check from the test menu and turn up brightness until you can see the bottom bars that are identified as supposed to be invisible, then turn it back down until you just barely can't make out the last bar that's identified as ideally being invisible.
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Re: WTB: DDR Extreme Arcade Machine

Post by BenMadsen » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:15 am

Today's Update!

Cleaned out the rest of the 1P arrows. Good lord they were disgusting. Took me about 4 hours to be satisfied with them all. Shuffled around some sensors (the new ones I ordered aren't here yet), and the pads work much better. Out of curiosity, is the reason the Channel Beat "Mean Green" sensors suck so much is because they misfire? The sensitivity of the sensors is surprisingly good, but I'm having issues with lots of misfiring and "double" activating. Oh well, just curious, new sensors will be here soon.

I degaussed the monitor and it worked easily the first try, screen looks brand new.

However, the pads are at least in playable condition, even if they still have their issues I can usually full combo 7s. Few scores on some random playthroughs.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJxdT7CWoAAfq7p.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJxdVGPWIAEPEWp.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJxdWKCXAAA6ggG.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJxdXPjWIAAsSTT.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJx2ileWoAAYMzJ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJx2pIzWUAArbrJ.jpg

Fun to be able to AAA things again, even if they are easy!

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