Build your own pedals
The aim of this article is to present one method of building pedals for flight simulators, racing games etc. for an IBM PC. I wanted pedals to enhance flight simulators but didn't feel that I wanted to spend over £80 for the cheapest that were available, having also heard that the cheap plastic ones break easily. I didn't want to make up something with bits of wood nailed together so set off in search of almost ready made pedals!
In the end I settled for the cheapo step machine type pedals. No use for exercise because they really need to be hydraulic but great as a starting point for pedals! At the time, these things were advertised in the newspapers for around £15 and they consist of square section steel with big pedal area and springs. Turn them round the other way to face away from you and you have almost complete pedals.
Firstly, you need to obtain your pedals. This may prove to be the hard part as the "step" craze is over but then again, this may allow you to get them at a lower price. I found mine at a local Sunday market but I suggest you scour the car boot sales, surplus shops and the like.
Having obtained your pedals you will need about 2 hours to complete them.
You may wish to disconnect the springs from the pedals, depending on your choice of pedals, they may be too stiff or you may prefer the feel with springs connected. With springs connected you might even get fit whilst sitting at your PC!
I chose a slide potentiometer because I felt that it would be easier to mount, here's my arrangement:
There's no reason why you couldn't use a rotary potentiometer instead though.
Finally, there's the wiring to take care of. Your existing joysticks will play a part in deciding precisely how you have to wire them up.
All information here presented © David Taylor 1996, e-mail David