DIY rudder pedals

So I have a longing to have a pair of rudder pedals, due to my lack of money I cannot attain this item. I do however have woodworking metal works and tools to make a pair. I have a general idea of how to make the pedals themselves but putting in a potentiometer boggles my mind. Any help would help me and make me much happier.

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:


Hello, and welcome!

There’s a thread already, on the topic.
We’ll be happy to assist!

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A potentiometer is a little device that has 3 electrical pins on it, it measures the resistance between two isolated tracks on the inside, a little sled moves over these tracks and creates the full circuit. when the sled moves it changes the resistance(and thus voltage if your current is stable). this is then measured by a chip that gives a software signal and voila. You’ve got the eletronics down :wink:

Okay it takes a little more, but consider using a HAL sensor, this sensor measures changes in a electromagnetic field and thus only requires a magnet mounted on the moving part and no physical bits to wear(potentiometer degrade over time in joysticks).

I guess I’ve only given you a ton of questions more to worry about… :stuck_out_tongue:


Well that is for sure, but it does help quite a bit. Let me give a run down of my new questions.

  1. How would one go about installing and getting a chip?
  2. What is a HAL sensor?
  3. I have an old joystick I suppose I could get the potentiometer out of it right?

Thanks it will be useful.

First of all, a Hall effect sensor registers magnetic fields, and is the sensor of choice for controllers, these days.
They can be bought really cheap online, and just need a magnet on the axis they are supposed to sense.
They are contactless, so they don’t wear out, and they are a lot more precise than a potentiometer.

I made my own angular sensors out of Allegro 1302 Hall sensors, a diametrically polarized hollow magnet and a bearing.

There are other designs, such as using a Bic pen and two magnets, like here

I then used a joystick interface board, from Leo Bodnar. The Allegro 1302 is a direct replacement for a potentiometer, so if you have an old joystick to donate the electronics, you could just solder the Hall sensor to that board. If not, then this is a useful interface board BU0836A 12-Bit Joystick Controller [BU0836A] - 27.50GBP : Leo Bodnar, Simulator Electronics

If you want to try this idea, I can send you a magnet and a Hall sensor. I bought a bunch… :slight_smile:

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This explains it very well! There’s also a few other methods like using a arduino based board to interface with a PC. Leo Bodnar just works though.

And also you can use directly some contactles sensor out of some legacy joystick. I am using the Cobra M5 which has magneto resistive sensors. See the other thread…

Pretty solution; looking for the diametrical magnets. Where did you get them from?

Thanks, Gordon

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Hi Gordon and welcome to Mudspike!

I got mine here

But you can find them everywhere. Just google diametrical ring magnets.

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Thanks; got some on order; should be here soon. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the Allegro Hall Sensor…

How to mount it? Or how to solder it?
What’s the application?

No, I have a nice way to mount it; the electrical part is where I’m hazy.
I anticipate it talking USB, but other than that general idea, I’m not sure where to go from there.

Oh; the application is rudder pedal position sensing.

It’s a direct replacement for a potentiometer.
Check out Leo Bodnars place. He sells controller boards for different sensors and switches.

no potentiometer to replace; I am building from scratch.


No, but you can get one of the bodnar controller boards, or do the teensy/arduino route and use MMJoy2, like I do, and hook it up just like a pot.
Let me know if I can be of help.

copy; thanks. this started out as a cheap DIY version of Milan’s Crosswind - should have spent the $350…

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OK: if i get one of these Pro Micro 32U4 things you can give some guidance?

LOL! Yeah… When I built my own controllers I always wonder how guys like Milan, Baur and Slaw, can make and sell their stuff so cheap!

I think so… I’ve only used the teensy controller, but the Pro Micro seems to be compatible with the MMJoy2 code.