MS SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel - Part 5

Pedal-to-the-Metal Action
After reading about 3-4 reviews on the MS Sidewinder FF Wheel, one of the main complaints was that the pedals moved about quiet a bit, i.e., they were very stable and they tend to slip depending on the type of flooring they are sitting on.

"... the ball of the heel should always be on the pedal base and not lose contact with it."

In actual fact, the foot pedals are quite light. This presumably explains why they tend to move about a bit. There are some rubber stoppers on the bottom of the pedal base and these will help in preventing the pedals from slipping away when you step on them. Fortunately for me, my foot pedal lies on tiled flooring and the rubber stoppers do a good job in securing the pedal’s base to its spot. I think it also helps if you get the pedal action correct. I believe the pedal action should be like this – one should rest the ball of the heels on the pedal base and use the upper half of the foot to step on the pedal while leveraging on the ball of the heel. This means that the ball of the heel should always be on the pedal base and not lose contact with it.

pedal_bottom.jpg (6369 bytes) depressed_pedal_view.jpg (5475 bytes)

My wife had a go at the wheel and she complained that the pedals were shifting about. When I looked at how she stepped on the pedals, I realized why the pedals were shifting about. She was moving her entire foot up and down on the pedal as if she was stamping on a cockroach. Obviously, that kind of action would make the pedal base move about based on the uneven force pushing at the back end of the pedal base. When I explained to her that her action was wrong and told her the correct way, the pedal base stopped moving.

"This two-legged approach will probably be disastrous in real-life driving but I find that it gives me better control in racing games... this mirrors the "toe-heel" action of professional race car drivers which serves to maintain power to engine when braking into a corner."

The pedals "throws" were not too long. Both the brake and the accelerator pedals were angled at about 45 degrees and had about another 30 degrees movement arc. In essence, the pedal becomes nearly horizontal were depressed fully.

pedals_front.jpg (6402 bytes) pedal_back.jpg (4807 bytes)
pedal_left.jpg (5397 bytes) pedal_right.jpg (5059 bytes)

There are also two ways of approaching the brake & the accelerator pedals. In real life driving, I use only the right leg for both pedals. This means that one pedal can only be pressed at a time. However, when I am using the wheel to play my driving games, I tend to use my right leg for the accelerator and my left leg for the brake pedal (more often than not, the brake pedal also serves as the reverse function for the car). This two-legged approach will probably be disastrous in real-life driving but I find that it gives me better control in racing games. Perhaps this mirrors the "toe-heel" action of professional race car drivers which serves to maintain power to engine when braking into a corner.

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