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How do I choose my servos?

....for my slow poke build.

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Andy C07/10/2018 19:44:52
146 forum posts

With so much choice, I have no idea how to select what servos I need. Build is the slow poke sport 40 and will be powered by a 52 4 stroke and spectrum radios gear. Any help would be appreciated. Will be ordering online and happy to buy from any store including robotbird and hobbyking


Percy Verance07/10/2018 19:57:26
7918 forum posts
152 photos

Hi Andy

The Slow Poke won't require anything too demanding as far as servos go. I'd consider something like Futaba 3003's or 148's. HiTec HS 311's would also do nicely I'd have thought.....

cymaz07/10/2018 19:59:57
8441 forum posts
1160 photos

There is a massive search engine **HERE**

Andy C07/10/2018 21:00:58
146 forum posts

Thanks cymaz, but I have to be honest that search engine isn't much help to me as I don't know what the answers are to half of it.


I guess the standard answer is the Futabe 3003s which seem to be useful for most "normal" sized planes. What about throttle and ailerons where I would use smaller ones please?

Also, anyone got any thoughts on the non branded servos?

Thanks all

Jon - Laser Engines07/10/2018 21:18:11
4570 forum posts
168 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 07/10/2018 19:57:26:

Hi Andy

The Slow Poke won't require anything too demanding as far as servos go. I'd consider something like Futaba 3003's or 148's. HiTec HS 311's would also do nicely I'd have thought.....

totally agree.

Jon - Laser Engines07/10/2018 21:20:33
4570 forum posts
168 photos
Posted by Andy C on 07/10/2018 21:00:58:

Also, anyone got any thoughts on the non branded servos?

i dont use non branded servos, and frankly i wouldnt use certain brands as i am not impressed with their performance. I guess you have to balance cost to risk. Given that the servos already mentioned are all available for under a tenner its really not worth 'cheaping' out

Steven Shaw07/10/2018 21:31:25
294 forum posts
160 photos

Here is a servo torque calculator if you want to go to the trouble:


Percy Verance07/10/2018 21:44:11
7918 forum posts
152 photos


You'd generally use smaller servos in smaller models, where installation room is tight. Again, if there's room for a standard servo then fit one. The smaller servos - we're talking perhaps 50% size of a standard one - don't normally have robustly constructed gear trains, and consequently they can't take too many knocks or indeed large flight loads. I'd hesitate to use a tiny servo on an i.c. engine throttle, because the vibes will resonate down the throttle linkage and eventually kill the gears, if not the whole servo. I personally consider the throttle to be just as vital - if not more so - than the flying controls, so I always fit a good quality servo there. It's a policy which hasn't let me down in decades.......

Again Andy, generally speaking the smaller servos are more at home in electric models, where vibration and wear and tear is usually minimised.......

Try to stick with known brands. The pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap brigade offer huge stocks of bargain basement servos, but care is needed with some of them. Remember, your model might be at stake.......Like Jon I tend to go either Futaba or HiTec as a first choice. Airtek Hobbies often do an offer for 4 servos, which is usually the number you need to fit out a model.

And the Futaba and HiTec servos I mentioned earlier are available in ball raced or more powerful versions if you ever needed them Andy.






Edited By Percy Verance on 07/10/2018 21:59:28

Nigel R08/10/2018 13:17:06
2731 forum posts
448 photos

My standard answer for something this size is branded standard servos all round. As suggested already, S148 or S3003 Futaba, or Hitec 311 or 425. All are around 1.5oz size.

If you're doing one servo per aileron, I'd go for slightly smaller servos, Hitec 225s. About 1oz each.

Peter Miller08/10/2018 14:16:23
9847 forum posts
1157 photos
10 articles

If you go for small servos at any time always use those with metal gears. Standard size servos are fine with the normal plastic gears.

DaveyP08/10/2018 14:49:11
206 forum posts
47 photos

Agree with Nigel R, I use 311's for rudder/elevator and 225's for ailerons, but I do use Turnigy mini's for the throttle and rubber mount them on compressed fuel tube. nerd

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