Fairwind III by Kyosho - Page 9 - RC Groups
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Jan 15, 2013, 01:45 PM
Registered User
A word of warning when buying cheap high torque servos;

I found some 17kg standard size servos for about £10 or£15 from a well known supplier in the UK, so I bought two to put in my spares box,

I then used one as the sail arm servo on a land yacht, and for a little while it was fine but then it started to bind.
When I dismantled it I found that the plastic of the top cover was so soft that the gearing axles had distorted it, and cut grooves in the top , causing the gears to pull out of line and so to sieze.

Lesson Learned; I was delighted that I hadn't used it in a sailboat.

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Jan 15, 2013, 06:43 PM
Registered User

Re the TX - I presume you are looking at this one:

The 6 channel TX is programmed via a computer. You will need a cable to program it. The programming software is available on the HK website under the "Files" tab for that item

Cable is here - on back order at present:

I see there are 4 channel units in stock at present (intl store)

Shipping time - from the Intl store, a couple of weeks to me here in Australia. EMS shipping is expensive but only takes a few days.
You may find it better to do the batteries on a separate order - the shipping treats ALL batteries as LiPo and there are limited shipping options for shipments that include batteries.

Shipping cost - put the stuff in the cart and go through the checkout to the last step, you will get a number of shipping choices & prices
Jan 15, 2013, 07:06 PM
Registered User
Thanks, Mr. P!

Islander51, I'm not sure what to think about the sail servo choices. The price range is huge and it's often true that you get what you pay for. I don't mind paying $40 for a servo if that is what is needed, but others here have said I can get ones that will work for under $10.

I added up my shopping list today and it came to a hundred bucks before shipping. I was figuring I would have to spend more when I embarked on this project, so am well within budget even if I get a more expensive servo. But I'm not inclined to spend more than is needed.
Jan 15, 2013, 07:38 PM
~~~~/) ~/) Sierra MYC
Fairwind900's Avatar


> Mr Tom,

One of the things to consider when thinking about your sail servo is the kind of wind pressure you will be sailing. On the low end in one of my Fairwinds I have an Hitec HS 645mg on the upper end I use Futaba 3801's.

The Hitec 715bb works okay as something in the middle. I like the ease of modifying the Hitec servos to 180 degrees.


I also sail a Hobie AI. Fun boats.
Jan 15, 2013, 07:50 PM
Registered User

I am uncertain re the sail servo as I am unsure what the sail loadings are like on this particular boat - if it is the right physical size and meets the specs (as it appears to) then it would perhaps be worth a try considering the vast price difference. You could buy half a dozen of these for one of the other ones...

I have bought quite a few servos from HK for various reasons (mostly water, I have drowned a few) and they have all been fine apart from one of the very small 9 gram ones that was jerky out of the box - at $2 or so it wasn't worth chasing....
I now waterproof my own servos and have very little trouble if they get wet. Waterproofing process I use is here:
Servo waterproofing (14 min 20 sec)

Re your battery charging question - add this item to the cart; it has all the answers you need plus some more:

You can connect the 5 x AA pack to this harness directly.
For the 8 x AA in the transmitter - leave them in the transmitter to charge (transmiiter has a charging plug on right hand edge), use the correct plug on the harness (positive centre pin)
Jan 15, 2013, 08:23 PM
Rusty Nail's Avatar
Hi Tom, I also are placing a HK order for sail servos for my Nirvana.
I am dubious about the HK15328A as from comments in the Review section, a buyer was unable to get it to pull 4kg/cm.
"Hi Guys, What is the 'Actual' torque on this thing ? For me the servo has difficulty even pulling a 4-5 Kg (1 cm from the center of the servo) load using a pulley mechanism. I used 5-7 V power source. I even went to a 7.5 V power level, but not much difference."
Remember all servo manufacturers lie about torque, or measure it uniquely in their way at stall where it is drawing 5 amps!
Because of this it is important to buy on reputation rather than specifications.
A classic example of this is the ubiquitous "TowerPro M995" sold all over eBay. This is a high torque cheap servo that has been described as the worst servo in the world. Whatever the original reputation was, they have been cloned so many times that you would be an idiot to buy. However HK have the upgraded version MG946R which has 5 stars and good reviews.
Boomer recommended the BlueBird servo BMS-630MG which is grunty and for logged in customers has a buy now special price of only $16.62 (way less than the shown price). There is a lesser torque 620 that may be suitable to. There is a Youtube video of a BlueBird vs a Hitech where they perform similarly in torque, speed and centering, but the Bluebird fails after a few hours... BlueBird had a bad reputation for reliability in their small servos (as does the similarly named (Blue Arrow). With all model servos there is a failure rate that is down to luck (lack of quality control). A professional user of servos on this site has reported none of the hobby servos tested were up to specification for a product being developed.
So I recommend you buy a couple of servos so you have at best a backup and at worst one of the two will be working, and read the product reviews. Many of these high torque servos are used by the model car fraternity. For our use at least centering and resolution are not a problem on a sail servo, but critical in aircraft.
So I am going with a BMS-630MG for a first choice, and a MG946R for my backup. Shipping is ok for light objects, but make sure your order uses all the available freight weight by adding a few items you do need.
Make sure you get a few 3 channel receivers too (as this model has the failsafe).
The radio is available Stateside too, includes the cable, use a coupon and free shipping options.
Last edited by Rusty Nail; Jan 15, 2013 at 08:35 PM. Reason: coupons!
Jan 16, 2013, 05:29 AM
Registered User

Light air is for paddling or powerboats! If it's really blowing, I like to sail my Adventure Island. If I can't, I want to sail my RC boat in the pond just to get a fix. So the poor thing has been punished by strong winds every time I sailed it, and I mentioned a few pages ago having to round up in order to sheet in, as the servo that came with the boat was not strong enough to sheet in when loaded.

I think the one that came with the boat only swings 60 degrees, but that was enough to sheet in tight and let them out for a run. Why do you need 180 degrees?

Mr. P,

The thought of buying several for the price of one did cross my mind! My problem with that approach is that I don't want to work on my boat. I know many of you probably enjoy tinkering as much as sailing, something that I see in owners of full size boats as well. I'm not one of those. I want to play, and to keep the work to play ratio heavily favoring play. I'd rather install one higher-end servo and not have to replace it as often, if that's the trade-off here.

Rusty Nail,

I looked briefly at the TowerPro, but quickly found that horrible review and that was one reason to abandon the idea. The other was that when I looked really closely at the image on the Hobby King site, I'm pretty sure the label on top said TowardPro, not TowerPro. Ummm... what? I lost confidence in the brand.

Some of the failures reported were the result of vibration in RC toys with engines (planes and cars), which is not much of a problem in a sailboat.

Not sure what you mean about receiver fail-safe mode or why spare receivers are needed. Are receiver failures common? Since I sail almost exclusively in my small backyard pond, losing control of the boat will not put it in any danger. It will come to shore at some point and I can grab it.

I'll look around that hobbypartz.com site. Looks like I will probably qualify for the free shipping on orders over $100.

Thanks for all your help, guys! I'm sure you will be as happy as I am once the research and rebuilding phase is done here!
Jan 16, 2013, 06:11 AM
Rusty Nail's Avatar
Only reasons to mention the 3 ch receiver option is that most sites don't show that this will work with the CT6A , they are really small and cheap and, you can have the boom automatically swing out in event of a lost signal. More likely from battery problem in the transmitter than through any failure of the receiver itself, and they are such a bargain you may want to use them in other models.
Jan 17, 2013, 10:04 PM
Still showing up for breakfast
lilleyen's Avatar
Originally Posted by mrpenguin
Try turning rapidly into the wind while heeled well over and travelling fast - bow will come out most times....
I've done that in a stiff breeze.
The boat seems to almost leap briefly out of the water, or at least the front half does.
Jan 17, 2013, 10:12 PM
Still showing up for breakfast
lilleyen's Avatar
I'm a big fan of Hitec servos.
Cost a bit more but last longer.

I use a 645MG for my Nirvana rudder and and a 985MG for my sails.

May be overkill, but I too like to only do things once, when building or repairing.
Jan 18, 2013, 07:31 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Rusty Nail
Boomer recommended the BlueBird servo BMS-630MG which is grunty and for logged in customers has a buy now special price of only $16.62 (way less than the shown price).

So I am going with a BMS-630MG for a first choice...
I was looking at that servo on Hobby King and the listed price is $30.90.

While I was looking at it, a little window popped up in the corner of the screen saying something like: "We noticed you have been looking at this item for a while and want to offer it for a special price of $16.25. This is a one-time offer, good only if you add it to your cart now and do not remove it."

Seemed like a good deal, so I added it to my cart and then went and put all the other items on my list into my cart.

This is the result:

I went to check out and when I got to the shipping options page, a pop-up window informed me that more shipping options might be available if I did not have so many batteries in the order. OK, I removed the 8 AA batteries from my cart to see what would happen.

What happened was, the price on the sail servo reverted to $30.90. I never removed it from my cart. Also, the shipping options were the same.

I put in a request with HK support describing this problem and asking whether I can get the servo for the sale price.

Almost two days went by, and this morning I got a response from Rachel at HK saying only this:

Thanks for contacting the HobbyKing Support Team.

Thanks for emailing support.
If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Other questions? That does not answer my first question. I checked my cart and the price on that item still shows $30.90.

Two days for a non-response is unimpressive and the situation has more than a whiff of bait-and-switch.

I sent a response back saying that I'm ready to order if they will honor the offer made to me, and that I'm ready to shop elsewhere if they will not.
Jan 18, 2013, 08:15 AM
Registered User

This time I got a reply back very quickly. My problem has been deemed solved.

Please be advised that the "one time offer� special price is happens by system randomly, so if you can not catch it or check out successfully that means you lose it already, some other customers would have the same issue, some can catch it and go through successfully at once while some customer missed it or can not check out successfully because the one time offer is random.
That's the end of my relationship with Hobby King. Well, except for the part where I spread the word about this bait and switch...
Jan 18, 2013, 09:36 AM
Lipo Power
BrushlesHeaven's Avatar
I know this is off the thread topic, sorry but I have to say this:

It is Hobby King Tom!!!! Welcome aboard one way street fast track...
They are morons.... They are one way street all the time...
I had exactly the same problem with them....
They get money and that is it!!!!!!!!!!
They do not speak English, no customer support training, no this, no that, nothing....
When you shop there, you or anyone, please set your mind properly and remember when you have issue you are done there!!! Never mind the shipping cost..

Sometimes it is better to give your LHS few more bucks.... In English...
Jan 18, 2013, 11:10 AM
Boomer1's Avatar
Buying from Hobbyking.com is like gambling to a degree. There are a number things you learn about buying from them. Once you get to be a Platinum level member you will generally get their lowest price on items when you log in.
I have purchased that servo for the $16 price with no problem. That pop up window is an impulse trick that can work if you are quick enough -
You can cancel orders with them if you act right away, and open a case with Pay Pal.
When you shop HK you have to learn about their shipping options. They only show when you select proceed to pay. At that point they show you their different shipping choices based on weight and cost and shipping time. You can select the best one for your needs, then the system should show you your actual total costs.
If you don't like what you see - select the trash can at the right of the price of the item. That deletes that item from your cart.

The words "customer service" have no meaning to HK in general. Knowing how they work is half the battle. They do have some decent items and prices - you just have to know how to "play" their game!

Most of us have learned a lesson or two from them. Learn the rules and how they play and HK is not all bad! They are what they are, and know that nothing that is written or said has any affect on them. They don't care.

I copied and pasted in below the page I described above. The trash can image doesn't copy but here shows as XX. At this point if the price was not as offered you can cancel the total transaction buy selecting the trash can. Once you do that a window pops up to tell you your cart is empty.

Quantity Stock Product description Price Weight
OK BMS-630MG - BMS-630MG Super Strong Servo 13kg / .17s.. $16.25 82 XX
TOTAL: $16.25 82g
Related products
You might also need these items.
Turnigy AA LSD 2400mAh Low Self Discharge (ready t IN STOCK $1.59
Futaba/JR Connector caps (5pcs/set) IN STOCK $0.98
This list does not include local warehouse or live shipping rates.
Click 'Continue' to see your actual shipping options
QAM Air Mail (LiPo Friendly) 7-30 Days 100g $3.79 17g left.
International Air Mail ($40 limit) 0 - 100gr $2.99 18g left.
International (Registered) Air Mail 0 - 100g $3.99 18g left.
USPS Priority Mail 2-3days 0-450g (Within USA) $4.99 368g left.
EMS Express to USA (under 500g) $21.99 417g left.
UPS Express 3 Day (USA) 1kg $34.93 917g left.
Air Parcel (UNITED STATES) 0g - 999g $16.33 917g left.
SingPost AirParcel 2kg / 7-21Days $39.89 1918g left.
Self collection in Lakewood United States warehouse $0.00 99917g left.
Last edited by Boomer1; Jan 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM.
Jan 18, 2013, 05:25 PM
Rusty Nail's Avatar
It's not a once only offer.
If you do not log on with your name and wait, it will probably pop up again, cause they do not know they have already offered it.
I am fairly sure that if you then open another window and log on you can place it in your watch list and it will stay that price even if you log off.
Also they have a buddy scheme that allows you to get a discount on up to three of an item. There is a forum for these codes on here and sites dedicated to dissemination of these. If you search for that servo you will find it offered for the $16.25 price.
Now you can order the 6ch transmitter (cable separately from lots of places including ebay) and maximize your order for weight. There are always bits and pieces you will find. Like a rubber boot for the switch.
You may already have a suitable power supply for the charger. I used a 16v 3.36A 2.5mm ID power plug centre positive, surplus laptop power supply. It only has to be high powered for charging very large batteries.

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