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Jan 19, 2012, 11:24 PM
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brand name servos vs chinese servos. does it matter?

ive been hearing people saying that a servo stamped with a brand name is just about as equal to a unknown chinese brand servo. i myself beg to differ. has anyone had any bad experience with hextronic 5010's? whats a hk servo that will rival hi tech, jr, and futaba? thanks people!
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Jan 19, 2012, 11:36 PM
Balsa addiction since age 3
ScottSails's Avatar
Originally Posted by out of stock
ive been hearing people saying that a servo stamped with a brand name is just about as equal to a unknown chinese brand servo. i myself beg to differ. has anyone had any bad experience with hextronic 5010's? whats a hk servo that will rival hi tech, jr, and futaba? thanks people!
Search a little on this column - you will find people swearing at them as well as swearing by them. I agree that there are "some' good ones, but with chinese attention to quality, products that are good today, might not be good in future. Products good last month might not be good now.

For planes I don't mind risking (no sentimental value, no significant cost, very little risk to others around me - small foamies for example) I use the "best" cheap servo I can find. I use the HXT500 and 900 from HK.

For any plane that does not fit into the above category, I use either Hitec or Futaba (because that is what LHS has by the way) and don't mind paying the price for something I believe will last (and works out of the box).

I have never had a servo fail in air but some would argue I dont fly enough. I have had servos fail on bench while setting the plane up - these were Chinese servos for what that is worth. I really do hope that more products "designed" in China actually get some QA processes behind them.

Jan 19, 2012, 11:54 PM
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thank you scott! i dont want to risk my baby. i hear solar servos are making hi tech's look pretty bad.
Jan 20, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Hi Gang,
Just thought I'd pipe up on this one. I've used both the Hex 5010's and also the HK 15138 which is similar to the Hx and also the Futaba 3004. For the way I fly I sure can't tell any difference. The 5010's are a bit noisy but when the engine is running you won't hear it. I've got both the 5010's and also the 15138's in a number of planes and they have been just fine. I also have used Futaba, Hitec, and JR's as well. If the servos you use are safe and you have confidence in them, I see no point in spending the extra on a name brand. If I were flying competition planes I suppose my opinions would be different, but for just going out and tearing up the sky they all work fine. As one of the club's instructors, safety is #1.
Jan 20, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Toppers's Avatar
Where do you think name brand servos are manufactured?

For me, it's all a question of QC.... I prefer to buy cheaper China brands (HK have served me well) and test it thoroughly in set up and pre-flights (as we should for any servos, regardless of name).

I get the occational dud, but it is quite rare and personally I feel I am getting better value with this approach.
Jan 20, 2012, 02:56 PM
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fmw's Avatar
I go with Toppers. I've used mostly Hitec. But, truthfully, I have had no more duds and reliability just as good from the Hobby King Servos. For instance, the 14MG are 14 gram metal gear servos that are comparable to the Hitec HS65MG. But they are only $8 each. So I put metal gear servos on everything. Why not? There is no doubt they are tougher than the plastic gear Hitec HS65.
Jan 20, 2012, 03:29 PM
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earlwb's Avatar
The inexpensive servos aren't too bad. I have been using them with pretty good success. But you want to order extra ones in case you have a bad one or more than one bad one. Also so far I have not tried using the cheap servos in a really good plane so far.

Usually the cheap servos use cheap everything, at the lowest cost they can get the parts and assemble it for. When you test the servos using a servo tester, the current draw is higher and the accuracy resolution isn't as good. It is common for the gears to not mesh all that well and the output arm may wobble more due to the poorly fitted parts. Some sometimes you get some nice gems out of the deal.

Now they are getting better in making nicer servos though. I had acquired a bunch of the magnetic induction digital servos a while back. Thse servos use a magnet sensor for positioning instead of the classic feedback potentiometer. When I first hooked them up to test, I didn't put on the servo arm, and the servos were so darn quiet, I thought that they were defective. They made very little to no noise as I moved the joystick back and forth.

In the small planes or park flyers, I have used a bunch of the Hobby King HXT 5 gram and 9 gram servos, and some of their 14MG types of servos too. The HXT 9 gram servos are so amazingly cheap. Now they may not be all that good at centering precision or speed and the resolution is a little coarse, but they do work fairly well.

But when it comes to a expensive large model airplane, it gets the better higher quality brand name servos in it. I don't want a expensive plane to fail because of cheap servos.

But maybe as time goes on, the cheaper servos from China will get good enough to trust in a better more expensive airplane. I just haven't gotten to that point yet to do it myself.
Jan 20, 2012, 03:32 PM
Real Time Recon
realtimerecon's Avatar
I lost a plane w/camera to a "cheap" servo, once....Never again....That cost me $700.00
Jan 20, 2012, 07:28 PM
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i guess since i really care about this project i should go the extra mile! its the very first time ive ever built an aircraft. i should at least make it a good PEACE OF MIND experience.

as a final word, peace of mind is what you pay for in the end. these are serious little machines - kite days are over lol cheers

ahh i love this hobby! thanks guys really.

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