Servo Testers......a must have in any RC toolbox!
You can't help but notice all the complaints posted on various threads here on RCG pertaining to disfunctional servos, whacky E-Tracts, inebriated prop blades, and motors & ESC's that just won't co-operate with each other! Suffering thru one of these catastrophic incidents when your plane is 400ft. off the ground can cause undo stress in most instances!
The solution....get a servo tester!
That way you can run a full diagnoses of the electrical system before you ever take the plane off the workbench. A good servo tester can determine if the problem lies in the servo itself, if the lead has a break, is the problem in your Rx, or is it some other mysterious gremlin? How exacerbating is it when you get to the field and in front of all your fellow pilots, you plug the battery in and a metal geared servo starts squealing, or worse yet, it catches on fire! As your plane lifts off the ground you discover that the left E-Tract doesn't know what the right one is doing? You're coming out of a dive and the motor starts making weird sounds, or worse yet, the prop comes un-glued....literally....more stress!
Most of the better servo testers on the market have at least 3 settings.
(1) Manual: Good for checking end-points and motor/ESC compliance.
(2) Neutral: Good for finding the center point of a servo.
(3) Auto: Good for running a servo thru a continuous cycle. This function is great for breaking in new servos, or simply measuring the duration. I run all my control surfaces thru this phase so I can monitor the throws, and help loosen up the hinges.
I have three testers:
Turnigy Servo Driver. It's exclusively a manual tester for checking end-points (I'm not sure you can get this one anymore?)
Turnigy CCPM Servo Tester. It has the 3 functions I mentioned. Both of these testers power off a 4.8v-6v source which means you can power them off a BEC. I use a discarded 5v/1.2A D-Link router power module I had laying around. (see vid)
GWS MT-1 Multi-Tester This is my primary tester. I have two, one in the shop, the other in my field box. The MT-1 has 8 major functions, from servos to RPM measurements. I'm not going to go into all the details of the MT-1, so I've included a PDF of the manual if you choose to check it out.
In the video I show how I can check the Top/Mid/Low points on Function1. I use F1 to check servos, E-Tracts, sequencers, Nav light systems etc. Function3 lets me check continuous cycling of servos. I use Function4 primarily to test my motor/ESC configurations. As you see in the vid. I can run up a motor for such things as checking prop balance, amp draw on various pitch changes (VarioProp), RPM/Kv ratings, and much more.
In the video I show just a few of the functions you can perform with a good servo tester.
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Last edited by Sandancer; May 04, 2013 at 11:16 AM.
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