DIY: Repairing a Rock Band Kick Pedal

Rock Band is quite an entertaining game it brings everyone together to click and clack their way to high scores and have a good group moment. Unfortunately people also get a bit carried away and often the casualty to the outing is the kick pedal on the drum kit. For some reason Harmonix didn’t exactly gauge how much people would really play the kit, as a result kicks started breaking like crazy and people started wandering to find replacements or decent fixes.

While there are many popular methods out there to fashion your own MDF plate or even metal plate and screw it in, not everyone is that savy and sometimes a splint and some tape might be the best option available.

driverail

Enter the handy fix, steel hard drive rails, they’re about $2 on the internet (Directron.com) and they’ll do well for this fix, I already had a pair in my parts box so I went ahead from here.

The Rock Band kick pedal generally breaks just before the spring, the plastic is unsupported and just floats for the most part while there’s a huge amount of tension that comes out of the toe portion. Using a rail on each side one is able to form a strong support that absorbs the flex and distributes it through both sides. If your RB1 kick hasn’t broken yet then this is even more ideal so that you can save it before it does.

The first thing to do though is pull off the steel tabs at the top of the rail, these will just get in the way of things later on, once the tabs are off we’ll go forward.

The rails we used were just over 1/2 an inch wide, as a result they dont go far enough over to actually interfere with the spring. place the rail with the edge just supporting the outside of the pedal, basically hooking it as a guide if you’re not sure if it looks right check out the attached pictures, the goal of the rail is to have about 50% of it on each side of the break in the plastic, if the bottom is hitting just slide it until it closes properly, keep in mind that if the pedal can’t make a complete press then it wont register. At this point I used packing tape to secure the single rail just slightly so it wouldn’t flop off, duct tape or electrical tape should work just as well, make sure that it’s secured first before proceeding to do the same to the other side of the pedal, one rail isn’t enough to support it and things will only get strange from there.

If the pedal is being a pain to cooperate you can bunch up some socks or grab a shoe and shove it at the end of the pedal, this should bring it back to alignment with the base section of the broken pedal. If need be ask someone to help hold things still as you strap it down with tape.

Once both sides are secured, start applying longer strips of tape on the top and bottom of the pedal, wrap it about 3-4 times tightly and things should be good to go. Push down on the pedal with your hand and the pressure should be absorbed with no more flex from the breaking point.

This is a bit of a quick and dirty guide but for $2 and some tape I don’t think we can polish that much. This current fix has been steady in heavy use for about 3 months now. I have to thank Franks for the initial info on how to get things working again.

DIY Quad Core PC for under $500

Lately it seems I’ve been building a lot of systems, many being systems on a budget to get the most power for their money right now. While some may leap on me and note that I should just start pimping out Intel and saying the i7 is the only way to go, I’m not gonna do that simply because for under the price of an i7 920 and X58 motherboard you can build an entire system minus OS and we’re about to prove that right now.

It’s not the prettiest of choices but it gets the job done.

  • Case: HEC 6C28BBX585 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power: HEC 585W Power supply
  • Motherboard: ASRock A780GMH/128M AM2+ / AM3 MATX
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz AM3 Tri-Core
  • GPU: Powercolor AX4850 512MB PCIe
  • Memory: Crucial 4GB DDR2 800 (PC6400)
  • Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Optical: LG 20X DVD -/+ RW Burner SATA

Our Newegg wish list for this system: Link

The ASRock board is a shortcut here, many reports confirm that the model is able to use ACC to unlock the 4th core on the 720BE as such the user is able to score a 2.8GHz Quad core on the cheap and the whole build on Newegg runs $481.93 in comparison the i7 920 with zotac motherboard runs $483.98 not including video / ram / hdd / etc.

I would say that for the college gamer this is a decent rig to have around, it’ll be reliable and it’ll be able to play the newest games for the next few years with maybe a new video upgrade as that 4th year rolls around. Really for anyone on a budget this system should deliver quite a punch.

It would be cool if we could actually produce and test this machine first-hand but unfortunately budget isn’t allowing for that right now.

The Wheelman (PC) Review

Vin Diesel is a man of many interests, the guy steps into any field and invests himself in it quite a bit, with The Wheelman Vin brings this around again as moves straight out of box office hits are included right into his latest joint title with Midway (and Ubisoft).

The Wheelman as a result comes off as a bit of a fun title, there’s blind action that dominates the game, things like air-jacking and the focus attacks are entirely show driven and pay off well for the gamer since they’re often relied upon only when things get heavy, in the midst of a police chase or faction dispute these items are remarkably helpful and great to watch.

The game works to keep the player in some form of transportation the whole time though, without a proper ride the game is dull and a bit slow to say the least, things really were made to be passed at 100mph simply because the game world is so expansive and detailed.

Players wondering about the story need not look very far, the game pits players as an undercover mole playing wheelman to multiple crime cartels in Barcelona trying to uncover details of a greater heist rumored to be able to change the entire landscape of the city once it goes down. The fortunate part is that while this is a rather important event, it’s not all there is to things, players are also catered to with a list of other things to do in the city such as cab rides laying waste to the city to break records, escort missions and so on. In the end there is a main storyline waiting at home impatiently while you stumble in wreaking of burned cars and gun powder but it doesn’t urge you to indulge it, the game simply pokes the user to continue their path of pitting rival cartels against each other to establish a uniform breakdown.

In the PC version of the game players are treated to some impressive visuals, unfortunately they need the hardware to back it up, players that have gotten by on older Intel systems and AMD systems will note that the game might chug just a bit, this is more or less a porting issue, Ubi / Midway made no attempt to include a remotely helpful options menu to tune down the visual aspects of the game, given that it is a UE3 based engine the game should be able to scale quite well actually. The problem is that it seems they rushed it out of the door and hoped that the enthusiast market might carry it through. I would recommend a Core 2 / Phenom based system for CPU power, install the game on at least a SATA drive with 3.0Gbps capability and have a fairly recent video card to power it all since the video stream simply eats up system resources and goes into a slide show if players aren’t packing enough power.

Overall is this a game to get? If you have a fairly strong PC that you built recently it should work fine, if not skip the PC version and get the console edition instead, chances are the streaming issue isn’t really existent on the platform which would make it a lot easier to enjoy.

Wheelman (PC) 8.0 / 10