DIY Rudder pedals..?

With so many clever and skilful people around here I am looking for some kind of advice.

I would like to extend my sim experience with rudder pedals. I am getting tired of the twist slowly.
But with my current budget it is imposible to put aside bundle of bucks to buy new set.

So I am thinking of DIY. My idea is something simple, something like VKB T-Rudder. I dont need toe breaks and am looking for something compact not requiring much space. I dont have any machinery but I can build something for sure.

If you have any idea or if you have seen anything like that in DIY form then I would be thankful for your inputs. Or is it more wise to save and wait? :slight_smile:


Having built two sets of rudderpedals, I can probably help :slight_smile:

What kind of material do you have in mind? Wood? Metal?

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How about PVC pipes? Dont laugh :wink: here is my first and last prototype. It is dated back to 2009. Single potentiometer, connected via gameport.

The ergonomics was obviously bad and I went back to the twist eventually


I would say the material is not so important but I have some tools for connecting the pipes :slight_smile:


Hm… Are they rigid enough?

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Oh boy… I can see where this is going. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Maybe 1/2" steel conduit? That would also mean you’d have options when it comes to connectors?

Rigidnes of the PVC pipes depends mostly on the wall thicknes and there are few options. The one used on my prototype were really not enough rigid. Also the diameter was too small.

Steel conduit can work also. But the rotating part with PVC is easier to acomplish I would say, its just pipe inside another pipe.

Or even copper pipes. Found this



Metal pipes would probably do better. You need a reciprocating mechanism, pushing one pedal the opposite way of the other. I wonder if that small pulley wheel will suffice…

Here’s how I did it. I made a small model from popcicle sticks to show the mechanism. It’s a tried and tested design. It has the added benefit of allowing for centering spring mounts on one of the joints, and the angular sensor on the other. You could even add a cam.

And, as you can see, it’s easily crafted from wood or MDF :wink:


Well, now even my pet Hamster can have better rudder than me… :confused:


Thats really cool @Troll, thx for the idea and concept. How many popsicles you had to sacrifice? :slight_smile:

But as I mentioned initialy I am playing also with the limited space here. Thats why my inspiration is the VKB T-Rudder concept. With t-rudder you dont need to stretch your legs so much.

I think your concept can be adapted the way that the [angled] foot rests will be removed and the foots will rest directly on top of the side [plates]. But wondering if the ‘sliding movement’ will be acceptable for the brain.

Many pedals use this basic construction.
The MFG Crosswinds, the old Thrustmaster Elite pedals, my BRD F2 pedals, Slaw pedals, etc.
A lot of real aircraft have pedals that work in the same way.
So I have no doubt you brain will adapt :wink:

Also, the advantage to DIY is that the size can be adjusted to your liking.

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Thats of course. What I was actually trying to describe is on the below picture. This way you can place it as close to the chair as possible (no need to stretch your legs) and the foots will rest on top of the side plates.

This is little, I would say, not standard. I mean when your legs are little stretched, you are pushing the rudder pedals. With the foots on top of the pedals you are doing ‘sliding’ movement.

On the other hand it can be later fitted with angled foot rests / toe breaks to make them push for yaw :slight_smile:

There is still one shortcoming. Movement requires some space in front and behind where the t-rudders does not require this space as they move verticaly.


I think I see what you are getting at.
When used from an office chair, the pedals will be too close to comfortably move the feet. Better using a toe brake type of movement for the rudder.
In that case I’d go with a crank type mechanism for the reciprocating motion of the pedals. Much like the T-rudders do. I have little faith in that wire and pulley solution…
Another bonus with a crank solution is that the crank pivot is an excellent position for the angular sensor.

Yes the crank solution should be better as you described. Now to figure out construction of the crank and what to use to conect it to the pedals. Keeping in mind the KISS approach - Keep It Short&Simple :slight_smile:

Well if you made it two opposing pulleys, ideally with 2 wheels each so they pull straight and not at an angle…

Yes, but I’m still not convinced. I think a crank mechanism will be both easier to build, and sturdier.

I’d use a threaded rod and ball joint links, like these.

PVC pipes ready and waitin’

But hey, the chinese guys were quicker. Hm, bicycle pedals, clever…




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