Bunker Project Log

20 Aug

Cobalt Flux sux

The Cobalt Flux pads in their Bunker habitat:

ddr-front-deployed

Back in the day, I got Mrs. G a copy of Dance Dance Revolution for the Playstation, and she was hooked. This was a game should could beat my ass on consistently. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through a single song.

This of course, made her happy. So I, being “best husband evar” went out and bought her as much DDR crap as I could find. At the time, this included Konamix, and Disney Mix. Once she got tired of that, I stepped it up a notch and hit all the import shops in town. I bought 3, 4th, and 5th mixes, all at a hefty markup, and invested in a hard pad.

Now, the thing about DDR is, the pad is the game. The stupid vinyl plastic thingies that come bundled slide all over the floor, or just plain break after a month of play. The hard pad is supposed to fix this. This one didn’t. Sure, it stayed put, but sounded like a friggin 50 caliber machine gun when you played on it. To add insult to injury, half of the button presses didn’t register.

So I, being “best husband evar”, did some research, and found some MyMyBox metal pads which were even more expensive, and set them up. They worked awesomely, and were pretty quiet… for about 2 days. When I ripped one of the squares apart to see what the deal was, I found that the contacts were made up of aluminum tape on the plexiglass square itself, contacting a large printed circuit on the base. With each step, the aluminum tape was being ground up, and deposited all over the circuit, causing the switch to always be closed.

Now, it was an obsession. I, being “best husband evar” made it my goal to get my wife the best DDR pads known to man, no matter how much they cost! (Within reason.) This was the time that I found Cobalt Flux.

At the time, Cobalt Flux was not a household name. All I had to work from was a few posts on DDRFreak that said that they were the best pads known to man, short of an actual arcade set. Plus, they were expensive, really expensive… like, high school car expensive. So you can imagine my hesitation.

However, being “best husband evar” I took a gamble and ordered them. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Then I sent an email and asked them how long it would be, and explained that I was having a big party and wanted to have them there and this and that and the other. They responded within a day, and said they were on the way.

And they were, and they were awesome, and she loved them, and I loved them.

So I went downstairs one Saturday morning, and finally made it through my first song. Then the next, and the next. I finally stopped three hours later, dripping with sweat, but loving the DDR master of beginner mode that I had become.

Fast forward to five weeks ago, when I was setting up my beloved Cobalt Fluxi for a party. Suddenly, one of them was completely unresponsive. Oh noes! My Flux had finally failed me. I did a little investigation and found that the pad itself was just fine, but the control box, the intermediary between the pad and my PS2/Xbox/PC was shot. I was relieved, but a little irritated, knowing that it was still an expensive proposition.

So I promptly forgot about it. Even though I had these awesome pads, DDR always got the gas face from the troglodytes that frequent Bunker Parties, so I figured it didn’t matter anyway.

So what happens? The next (and hugest ever) party happens. And someone wants to play… you guessed it… DDR. How do I explain that it “broke the week before”, and I, crappiest host ever,  just ignored it as if DDR wasn’t the most important cultural phenomena of the Naughts?

After that humiliation, my first order of business was to order that cursed control box, and by hook or by crook I was going to have it at the next Bunker Party.

That was three weeks ago.

This was an email exchange on the morning of yesterday’s party

Me:

Hi guys,

I ordered a control box over 3 weeks ago, and it is still in “being built” status. Is this normal?

Thanks!

Them:

At this time, that is normal. We have been backed order on the controllers do to a shipment not making it to us on time. Your order will be going out shortly! If you have any further questions feel free to ask!

Thank you for your understanding!

In other words, no DDR at the Bunker Party. Again.

In the words of my buddy El Greco:

“They screwed me man.”

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