The Simujabs Rudder Pedals are a cockpit hardware device for flight simulation designed to replicate the flight control rudder pedals found in the Boeing 737NG. Simujabs is based in Mallorca, Spain and the product was shipped to the United States.
Like the yoke, I have always wanted to replace my Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals after installing my JetMax SKTQ MIP. The Saitek are great for General Aviation purposes, but were too small and unrealistic for my 737 home cockpit.
ORDERING / PRICE (in Euros, rounded up)
€820 – Simujabs B737 Single Rudder Pedals
€31 – Paypal fees
€851 – TOTAL COST before shipping
I exchanged emails with Simujabs for about a week before I decided to place my order. Simujabs does not require payment until they are ready for ship, but due to the volatile Euro-Dollar conversion rates, I chose to pay in full right then. I was originally quoted 4-5 weeks build time for both the rudder pedals and yoke, and perhaps only 3 if their laser-cut supplier was ready.
Unfortunately, Simujabs continually suffered from a long list of issues and delays and, the rudder pedals took almost 2.5 months to be ready.
SHIPPING / PACKAGING
The pedals were finished in about 2.5 months, but I chose to wait to have them sent together with the yoke to save shipping costs. Eventually, four months later, they both shipped. They arrived via DHL 3 days later.
The rudder pedals arrived in sturdy wooden crate marked FRAGILE. There was no visible damage to this outer packaging.
Once opened, I found the pedals securely bolted to the crate.
I removed a couple side panels to get a better look at them.
It appeared to be in perfect shape, but I did find one of the rod end bearing (heim/rose) joints had popped off during shipment. You can see it circled in the photo below. It snapped right back on, so no harm done. Also, note the tab to allow these to be connected and linked to another set of rudder pedals in the future. Nice!
From this angle, you can see the mechanisms, pots, and gas dampers used inside the Simujabs rudder pedals. The green primer paint on the inside is a nice touch and prevents corrosion. You can also see the two forward mounting points at the bottom.
I did have to remove the INOX stainless steel footrest covers to expose the aft mounting bolts to get the pedals out of the box.
Since I screw everything down to my platform from above, I already see an issue here with the aft mounting points, and I will cover it in the Installation section below.
DRIVERS / MANUALS
The Simujabs Rudder Pedals simply use a SimIO USB Joystick interface card to connect to your computer. You can get any drivers, manuals, and software for SimIO products from the SimIO website if needed.
It does not come with any manuals, nor are there any online.
ASSEMBLY / INSTALLATION
The Simujabs Rudder Pedals were completely assembled right out of the box. They are crafted entirely from welded steel and extremely well made. Simujabs sent me a few photos during the construction, so I will include them here for information only.
The materials are all heavy duty and appear very accurate to the real aircraft. The colors appear to be a good match for RAL 7011 “Boeing Grey”. It does not include the upper adjustment/circuit breakers section.
I gave it a quick test fitting without the footrest covers.
However, when I tried to test fit it with the covers on, I ran into a problem. While the pedals are the accurate 500mm wide, and may fit perfectly under a full replica MIP, they do not fit well under the JetMax.
The Simujabs Rudder Pedals fit between the vertical panels fine, but there is a metal support base plate that runs under the pedals. While this plate strengthens the JetMax and allows for additional platform mounting points, it also narrows the available width at the floor. As I am hanging both my forward and aft overheads from the back of the JetMax, I do not want to remove any panel that helps secure it all to the platform base.
Here is the interesting part, this should never have happened. Before I ordered the Rudder Pedals, I asked the owner of Simujabs (Pedro Bibiloni) if his pedals would fit under my JetMax. He confirmed they would fit just fine, so I placed the order. Obviously, now that I have them, this is not the case. A solution was needed, so I started measuring.
I asked Pedro if he would send me new covers that were each 6mm narrower, and if not, send me the 3D CAD files and I would have them made myself. He chose to send me the DWG/STP files without mention of replacement covers, so I took that as he was not going to make them for me.
I then went to my local machine shop with the CAD files and one of the existing footrest covers. They easily replicated both of them in a 6mm narrower version for $160 USD.
When I told Pedro that I had them made, he replied “why have you done this?”. Apparently, he read my emails a little too fast and misunderstood. He apologized and we agreed to split the cost of these new footrests, refunding me $80 USD. No hard feelings, but this is business.
There are 4 tabs with holes drilled in them to facilitate mounting the assembly. However, the aft tabs don’t have much room to get any kind of screwdriver or drill in there. So, I drilled 5/16″ holes in the upper footrest supports to allow me vertical access to the mounting tabs. These will be hidden under the footrests anyway.
After that, it was as simple as mounting the pedals into place and replacing the footrest covers. Since these are not adjustable like the real plane, you may just want to put them in a position that is going to be most usable for most of your pilots.
DO YOU HAVE AN ABOVE-FLOOR YOKE?
If you also have an above-floor yoke like my matching Simujabs Yoke, you may run into a couple of problems. For those with under-floor mounted yokes, neither of these issues should be a concern.
In my case, the USB connection for the yoke is on the forward face of the base. Since the yoke fits right up between the pedals, there is no space to connect the yoke’s USB cable. I had to drill a large 5/8″ hole in the face of the Simujabs Rudder Pedals to give the cable a path to pass through.
Here, you can see how the USB cable from the yoke passes through the rudder pedal base.
Also, there are no holes in the Simujabs Yoke base for the aft mounting points of the pedals. I had to drill two additional holes in the yoke base plate to be able to fasten the pedals down.
I would think that Simujabs would have some kind of allowance for this in their design, especially if you order both the yoke and pedals together. Otherwise, perhaps ask the customer if they will be using a yoke with a forward USB connection and then pre-cut a sizable hole.
INTEGRATION / OPERATION
There is a single Mini USB connector at the back of the pedals that connects to your PC’s USB port using the included cable.
My pedals came configured to use the SimIO SC-PASCAL7 Project Player software and included a specific custom .INI file to set all the calibrations and button assignments.
NOTE: The ProSim737 Avionics Suite does natively support SimIO boards, but does not handle the flight control inputs. Either FSUIPC or FSX directly will be needed for this.
Since I did not want to install even more software on my main FSX PC, I decided to reprogram the SimIO board firmware to emulate a Windows USB joystick. You can get this ‘joystick’ firmware and the SC-PASCAL7 software from the SimIO website.
If you do this before you install them, it is easily done by flipping the pedals over and connecting the SimIO board to your PC.
Then, I completed the following steps:
- Hold down both micro switches SW1 and SW2 on the board
- Release SW1, then after 3 seconds, release SW2
- Install and open the SC-PASCAL7 program
- Select the board from the left menu. In my case, it was SIMIOJOY000059, your number may vary
- Click PROGRAMM… in the right menu
- Click OPEN FILE and browse to the SIMIO_JOY_BOARD.hex file
- Click PROGRAMM. It only takes a few seconds to update the board. When finished, the SimIO card will reset and now show up in Windows as a joystick input device.
Now in Windows, I right-clicked on the new joystick called SIMIOJOY000059 and selected ‘Game Controller Settings’ , then ‘Properties’. From here I tested of the functions correctly.
- X Rotation = Left Toe Brake
- Y Rotation = Right Toe Brake
- Z Axis = Rudder
Since I had converted the SimIO board back to joystick firmware, I was able to simply use FSUIPC to set each axis to the proper function.
Operating the pedals is as expected. I do recommend you have a seat that does not move (such as my old rolling office chair). The toe brakes require a reasonable amount of effort to move and you don’t want to be rolling away. This caused me to go out and purchase a real Ipeco 737 Pilot Seat sooner than I thought.
Pedro Bibiloni is the owner of SimuJabs and he directly answered all communication promptly, but had to be prodded a bit. The product has worked as expected so I have never had any support issues with Simujabs, but there have been a few misunderstandings along the way. One of which cost us both $80 (the altered footrests above). This may be due to English not being his primary language and likely building most of this alone.
The Simujabs Rudder Pedals perform admirably and and look fantastic. The rudder pedal movement is silky smooth, but the toe brakes take a decent amount of pressure to operate. It does use rotary/slide potentiometers instead of Hall Effect sensors, but that is OK. There are minimal dead zones and they center well.
At the far extremes of rudder travel, there is a little binding and it slightly affects the toe brake operation. However, you will seldom use that much rudder in flight or on the ground anyway. In all my flights, I have yet to run into this.
The construction materials are top-notch and the craftsmanship is excellent, but there were a couple design deficiencies that can be corrected. Neither of them affect the operational action of the pedals themselves, they were just installation issues.
These rudder pedals are much more realistic than the outgoing Saitek pedals and have a lot more travel & input resolution. Overall, a very decent set of 737 rudder pedals.
In the end, the Simujab Rudder Pedals are a good addition to any simulator cockpit. The mechanical bits are extremely high quality, very solid, and will surely outlast the simulator. However, the delivery time far exceeded the promised date, I had to drill a few unexpected holes, I had to make new footrests to fit correctly, and the toe brakes are not easy to modulate. For these reasons, the Simujabs Rudder Pedals muster up an 7 out of 10.
UPDATE: After many, many flights with these pedals, I am having a hard time with the toe braking. You see, brake pedals typically are easy to push at the beginning and become firmer as you press harder. Think about your car brakes, a plane is not much different. This provides positive feedback and allows you to modulate the brakes better.
My Simujabs Rudder Pedals do the exact opposite. It is harder to get them moving, and once off neutral, there is little resistance at all. Since a plane has differential braking, this makes for some interesting stops and slows during taxi. The pedals are still a very good product, but this cost them another score point, from an 8 down to a 7. I hope Simujabs will fix this in further designs.