# PC Racing Pedals

I have very limited knowledge of electrical engineering and mechanics (I'm hoping to learn) so please forgive me if this is a stupid/noobish question.

I've been thinking about making a steering wheel and pedals for PC racing and sim games. I can't afford or justify paying the money that Thrust Master and Logitech want.

I've seen a way of doing the basics of what I want by hacking a control pad; extending the buttons by soldering some new wires to lead them to where I want. The pedals are giving me some trouble though. I'm hoping you guys can help me with this theory so I can understand how things work.

It looks to me like the pedals use a potentiometer mounted sideways so that as you press the pedal further down, it increases the speed. What I can't figure out is how that works. Its the top part of the pot that twists to vary the current (is current the right word here?) so how does a pedal that goes up and down, turn something that twists left to right?

You can see what I mean in this video: https://youtu.be/hzqB1ZTcAME?t=216

I'm not ready to build anything yet but I like to understand the theory so I have a better idea of how to build what I want.

Any help is greatly appreciated :D

• It seems like you're describing a mechanical engineering problem, but this is the electrical engineering stack. Try here instead. – brhans May 19 at 0:42
• It's great that this motivates you. It's also great that you aren't rich enough that you'd disrespect what you buy without any understanding of what went into designing and making it. So use all of this to be a better and more interesting person. Look for a kind of gearing. In this case, something like this: tubesandmore.com/products/gear-wah-potentiometer can be added to a pot. The pedal itself will have a curved-shaped ratchet arrangement that will "roll" the pot around as the pedal moves. There may be a need for another gear to get fuller rotation and other ideas to manage wear. – jonk May 19 at 0:48
• Technically, the potentiometer is changing the VOLTAGE being read. And as mentioned above, this is more of a mechanical issue. – Kevin Sullivan May 19 at 0:51
• think of a string wrapped around a cylinder – jsotola May 19 at 0:52
• Ah ok, I thought it might be more mechanical but as I'm trying to figure out how to make a working electronic, I thought this would be worth a shot here. @jonk Thanks for your reply, that helps a lot. I didn't know something like that existed. I'm sure I will be hanging around here more when it comes to the electrical side of things. I've had an interest in this kind of thing on and off for years but it always seems too advanced for me. I hope to get my head around this stuff and start making awesome things like you guys do! – Neil May 19 at 3:13