Review SimJack Mini pedals

Analysis of the most affordable load cell pedals.

by Adrián
0 comments 8 Minutes Read
review simjack mini

A few months ago, we've been testing a set of three pedals that are quite well-known in the Chinese market, specifically on AliExpress (knowing the opinions that many people have on this matter). These pedals from the brand SimJack have become one of the cheapest on the market by installing a load cell in the brake. Below, we'll share our review of the SimJack MINI that we've concluded after these months of testing.

Initially, after years of using Logitech pedals and testing PXN ones, we believed it was time to make a leap to a higher-quality peripheral with more significant features, acknowledging the importance of having good control of the car with our feet. Intrigued, we set out to investigate which pedals on sale had a load cell and were the cheapest we could find, but initially, we must understand the importance of a load cell in a SimRacing brake:

The load cell, also known as a force sensor, plays a crucial role in the braking experience in SimRacing. Unlike traditional brakes that rely on potentiometers or switches, the load cell provides a more precise and realistic experience by translating the force applied to the pedal into an electronic signal that simulates the brake resistance in a real vehicle. In this case, we have 150kg on the load cell.

Benefits of the load cell:

  • Precision: The load cell provides an accurate measurement of the force applied to the pedal, allowing for finer control and better braking modulation.
  • Realism: The gradual and responsive response of the load cell simulates the feeling of braking in a real vehicle, enhancing immersion in the SimRacing experience.
  • Consistency: The load cell provides a consistent response over time, unlike potentiometers that may wear out or lose precision with use.
  • Durability: Load cells are generally more durable than potentiometers and other types of brake sensors.

Well, in this case, we found several Reddit posts discussing pedals from the SimJack brand. We must be clear that there are two models, SimJack MINI (the ones in our review) and SimJack PRO. The latter are highly based on the Heusinkveld Sprint.

First impressions


As we mentioned earlier, we were in search of pedals superior to the ones we were using, and at first glance, they caught our attention, so we acquired them. Surprisingly, the packaging was quite good, much better than we expected. Inside the package, it contains the three pedals, a USB to USB-B cable, the PCB, an Allen key, sufficient screws and nuts, and a small grounding cable for an issue we will discuss later.

simjack mini

Certainly, you can choose the throttle and brake version, without a clutch.

Plug & Play


Once taken out of the box and mounted on the cockpit (and yes, you'll need a cockpit to mount these pedals and apply the necessary force), it's time for configuration. In this case, we had certain doubts because these pedals don't have any software where you can configure pressures, curves, dead zones, or anything similar. The PC automatically detects them as "SimJack MINI Pedals," but beyond that, you won't have any software. The grounding cable we mentioned is used to prevent false inputs; in my case, I haven't had to use it.

To calibrate these three pedals, you can use a program called "DiView," which the more experienced users will know about. Primarily, what it does is calibrate the pedals at rest, their mid-range, and their end.

diview

DiView Calibration

This calibration is very simple; we leave you a short video from Sim Racer Corner where it explains it perfectly.

Download DiView from the Heusinkveld website itself.

It's true that there will be a group of people who will want to edit pedal curves, and it's a negative point not to have proprietary software where these different things can be edited. However, we are talking about pedals manufactured by a single person and sold at a very reduced price. Really, due to the calibration, I would consider it plug, calibrate & then play, so it's a plus point.

Adjustability


The pedals themselves are quite comfortable. They are constructed with a 3mm thick stainless steel plate, and in terms of adjustability, although they have different positions, the plate where the foot rests is somewhat limited in position. On the backside, we have a couple of nuts that move the pedal mechanism with respect to the base, with up to four positions for the inclination.

On the other hand, we have the possibility to move the spring for a tilt that feels comfortable and to make the travel more direct. Once adjusted to our preferred position, we head to the simulator.

You have the option if you want to change each spring and the elastomer included. In fact, the Heusinkveld elastomer kit is compatible with these pedals.

Feeling


Regarding compatibility with simulators, I haven't encountered any issues. I've tested with the most well-known ones like Assetto Corsa, iRacing, ACC, rFactor 2, Forza Motorsport, and none of these have given any problem. They have been calibrated perfectly, and some even allow for more configuration.

As for the sensations, it's a whole new world. Let's remember that we come from more ordinary pedals, for entry-level users like those from Logitech or PXN. These pedals provide an unimaginable precision and control of the throttle and brake that I hadn't achieved previously. With RaceLab telemetry active, you can feel a smoother, but indirectly more precise progression.

At first, I thought it would be much harder for me to get used to the force I have to apply on the throttle, and especially the force required on the brake, but after a few hours, even if you're not 100% accustomed, you improve lap after lap.

Socks or shoes?

This question arose after several hours of using the pedals, and although I personally have a clear answer, I cannot recommend anything.

In my case, for these pedals, I prefer to use shoes with a thin but hard sole. This allows me to apply enough force to use 100% of the brake and have somewhat more progressive control on the throttle, but with socks, although it's not extremely comfortable, it's true that you feel every percentage.

If you're going to use shoes, I recommend the type I mentioned. If you'll be using socks, make sure they're not just regular ones and are somewhat thicker.

Conclusion: Is it worth it?


After using these pedals for a few months, my answer is yes, but no.

What do I mean by this? I mean that I strongly recommend this type of pedals if you want more precision in both acceleration and braking, but I would recommend the SimJack PRO instead. For a small percentage more in price, you get three pedals superior to this model, with a load cell of up to 200kg, and probably much better sensations.

Do these pedals make you faster?

That depends on you. In my case, I have been able to verify that yes, due to the wider precision they provide and not having the need to use the brake at 100% to stop the car, I can play with trail braking more easily and I am clear about what percentage I am using when braking. But everyone is different; you can be extremely fast with the most basic pedals you find and you don't have to buy others. It's up to you.

Purchase link for SimJack PRO/MINI

*This purchase uses an affiliate link; the price for you will be the same, but we receive a small commission.

*The links contain affiliate links, for which we receive a small commission for sales. The price for you will be the same.


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