ProModeler digital servos. Built better. Built to last!
Price: $44.99

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    Item #: DS140DLHV
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    You're looking at the DS140DLHV standard size digital servo. It operates on high voltage, is water resistant, and is fast as greased lightning! Best of all, it's priced to not break the bank and exists because of three nearly simultaneous conversations with customers.

    It all began when a fellow called seeking a fast servo for the throttle of his 40% Sukhoi. He'd had it a few months and the servo (not one of ours) had failed leaving him in a bad spot for the next 8 minutes of flight. As you know, that can seem like an eternity when there's a problem but fortunately, this guy's a pretty good pilot (the model's designed for aggressive 3D maneuvers). The point being he was never in any trouble but he admitted it was an unnerving experience. Anyway, on a friend's recommendation he called us.

    This seemed straightforward and I suggested one of our fast minis but he preferred a standard-size servo for the throttle believing it would better survive the engine vibrations. I've heard this a lot so I didn't argue and instead, pointed him at our high precision and fair;y fast DS305CLHV (305oz-in and 0.07 sec/60°). But he said he wanted something faster so next I suggested our speedy but pricey DS345BLHV (345oz-in and 0.05 sec/60°). Fortunately, because this particular fellow has deep pockets, he didn't blink at the cost (if you fly this class of model you know they can cost upward of $5000) but deep pockets aren't always the case with modelers, which got me to thinking. What if we took a DS360DLHV (360oz-in and 0.14 sec/60°) and did as we'd done when we created the DS270DLHV (270oz-in and 0.12 sec/60°) where we'd basically played around with the gear ratios? Essentially we'd given up a bit of torque to get a faster speed. The question being; could we make a really, really fast DL-servo if we traded off even more power (torque) in the quest for a lot more speed?

    Anyway, I'd no sooner hung up when an email arrived. This, from a long time (and very experienced) helicopter pilot. He mentioned being on a tight budget and wondered what we had that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg in the way of cyclic servos. Basically, this was the same requirement but for a different application - fast but once again - not spendy. Moreover, he brought up the idea of modifying a DS360DLHV to fit the bill (almost as if he'd read my mind).

    Then a few minutes later, another call; this time a fellow with a 74" Slick 580. This is a model, which if you're unaware, is very aggressive and ideal for 3D maneuvers. He mentioned the manufacturer recommended MKS1220 servos (320oz-in and 0.12 sec/60°) on flight controls plus an MKS1250 for throttle (144oz-in and 0.05 sec/60°). Thinking he would be well served by our DS305CLHV on flight controls because it's a lot faster (305oz-in and 0.07 sec/60°), plus a lightning fast DS110CLHV on throttle (110oz-in and 0.03 sec/60°), that's what I recommended.

    But then he said something, which instantly made me understand this was a very expert 3D-pilot. Basically, he said something along the lines of liking the idea of the DS110CLHV mini for throttle due to it being faster and having reduced weight (3D pilots are fanatical about weight), but you could have knocked me over with a feather when he said he was actually wondering about using our DS160CLHV mini (160oz-in and 0.06sec/60) on the flight controls instead of standard size servos (again, because of reduced weight). Now you have to understand, this was for a 74" model that's flown in very hard 3D maneuvers, and while yes, you can use the 160oz-in mini in models with with larger if the control surfaces aren't correspondingly huge, moving the control surfaces of the model he had in mind might be another story - it depends. That is, until he mentioned how he flew it.

    If you're familiar with our product lineup you know the DS345BLHV and DS470BLHV are sister servos (same servo, different gears, priced the same), ditto the DS160CLHV and DS110CLHV. E.g. they're basically the same servo except for gear ratios (where the trade off is more speed at the expense of torque - and vice versa). By the way, this is always true regardless of brand because of basic physics. Anyway, we price sister servos the same-same and knowing the recommended MKS1220 is slowish but strong while the DS160CLHV is essentially half the torque but twice the speed, I wondered if he'd misspoken.

    Nope, he said, he knew exactly what he was asking! His point being, he added, that he flew 3D-maneuvers like Harrier Rolls at walking speed, and torque rolls at basically zero air speed (because this is essentially a hovering maneuver that may extend all the way to the ground), e.g. when the aerodynamic forces of the air were negligible. He further observed as how when he flew the model fast, he didn't really require much in the way of control deflection so 160oz-in (basically 10 pounds of force) would be just fine.

    Frankly, this is a fairly sophisticated viewpoint and few modelers make the intellectual leap between what the manufacturer recommends versus what their experience says because of the influence of keyboard experts (folks on the forums). Thing is, I remember filming at the 2002 TOC for modelSPORT magazine in Las Vegas when Chip Hyde won with his 35lb Double Vision using JR 8411 servos on a regulated 5V supply (155oz-in and 0.18sec/60°) so like this fellow, I knew most guys buy way too much servo for their project.

    So with that in the back of my mind, I allowed as maybe he had a point, but to be frank, because few modelers think outside the box like this guy, he'd surprised me. Basically, along with the previous conversations, he'd tickled my brain and I instantly resolved to see if what my heli-customer had suggested, would work. To recap; he'd suggested making a fast servo based on our uber-reliable and powerful DS360DLHV by using gear ratios more suited to a tail rotor servo. Tail rotor servos if you're not in the know, are a class of servo that are not particularly powerful but stupid fast.

    So after getting off the phone, first thing I fired up SolidWorks (the 3D CAD software where all our servos originate as a blank screen). After confirming a few things, I spent the afternoon in the workshop fiddling around with servos and gears and testing - lots and lots of testing. And note; that fellow went ahead and ordered the mini-size DS160CLHV for the flight controls plus a DS110CLHV for throttle along with our mini2standard adapter PDRSM2S (so they'd fit in standard size mounts). That was a six months ago and I heard from him again recently because he ordered servos for an exceptionally sweet 104" Extreme Flight Extra 300 project powered by a DA120 (he opted for DS345BLHV on ailerons, DS470BLHV on elevator, and DS630BLHV on rudder). Anyway, he mentioned being quite satisfied with using mini-size servos in his Slick 580, so a word to the wise, but I digress.

    So after a lot of testing, we pulled the trigger and this brings us to the results of the experiment, which I'm happy to report has been a complete success and resulted in this addition to our DL-family; the lightning fast but still powerful DS140DLHV. As usual for servos in this series, it's digital, standard-size, water-resistant (13 o-rings), and operates on high voltage (HV) meaning you can feed it from a 2S LiPo battery pack without concern. That, and it's built on the same tough hybrid case as our DS360DLHV. This means the foundation (the center case) is crafted of aluminum and the top and bottom case components rely on engineering polymer (plastic).

    Speaking of the center case, it's milled with cooling fins because we expect it to see heavy duty use (the entire center-section is CNC-milled from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum). The fins help with dissipating heat that can approach 30W under load. Meanwhile, the electronics cover (bottom) and the transmission section (top) are injection molded of impact resistant fiber-filled Nylon 6,6 (like what's used for a Smith & Wesson handgun frame). Plus, the upper section is reinforced with bronze hardpoints where the steel gear shafts fit in their pockets because it results in maximum durability.

    And this last is a big deal because when most guys think their gears are worn on ordinary servos, what's really worn is the case where the pockets (holes) have gone egg-shaped due to the loads. This results in the gear mesh going out of alignment and thus, just replacing gears without replacing the case means they're soon back in the same pickle, with servos showing excessive backlash - and all because they didn't address the real problem. With our servos, the bronze hard points wear decades longer than just plastic because it's more resistant. Small detail but important.

    Also, and again as usual, instead of using four cheap Phillips head screws to assemble it, the servo is assembled with 10 Allen-head fine-thread machine bolts because this results in a more rigid assembly (and we're back to keeping the gears in mesh so a more rigid case means servos that simply last longer). Plus it's got dual ball bearings and all-metal gears (for durability).

    Anyway, this servo outputs 140 oz-in of torque and with a transit time of just 0.07sec/60° will perfectly fit the bill if you're interested in a throttle servo for your 40%, cyclic servos for a 600-class heli (and 700-class if you're a sport pilot), plus the flight controls of pretty much any model that needs blinding speed. Note; this is what's called a standard-size servo - meaning it fits most RC (remote control) models.

    Anyway, we've grouped added information you may need into various tabs. For example;

    • Specs - useful if you're curious about the raw numbers, dimensions, etc.
    • Comparison - will help guide you regarding specific product differences.
    • TL;DR - gets down into the weeds with the nitty gritty - it's for the detail-oriented.
    • Reviews - short and sweet with real names and places - no BS.


    INTRODUCTION:

    Part of what makes the ProModeler DS140DLHV better for your model is because unlike hobby-grade servos, it's built to meet military standards (and subjected to these tests).

    MIL-STD-810G-Part 16

    • Shock - Test Method 516.6
    • Vibration - Test Method 514.6
    • Rain - Test Method 514.5

    In part, this is due to the requirements of our primary customer. However, because we're modelers and have knocked a servo off a workbench, experienced crashes, and know a thing or two about engine vibration. it's built with 13 o-rings because like you, we know how a summer afternoon pop-up rain shower may drench a model before landing, plus we like splashing through puddles with a buggy, or flying off water with a float plane. It's why these tests are important for civilian users, also!


    Ownership Considerations:

    Serious modelers - whether they're flying precise maneuvers, or working a course with a buggy or sport truck - often opt for ProModeler servos because of superior centering performance. In part this results from our using MIL-SPEC components, but it's also due to our using a genuine Japanese Nobel-brand potentiometer versus a cheapo clone, inductive pickup, or some other cost-saving measure.


    DETAILS:

    If you're an electrical engineer you'll immediately notice we protect the PCB from vibration with a conformal coating. This stuff is applied to the PCB and oozes between components and once it sets is what lets our servos thrive in harsh high-vibration environments. This is an aerospace-grade technique and it makes ProModeler servos more valuable.


    Another area where a ProModeler servos stand out is protection from environmental contaminants, typically dust, water, and exhaust-oil. The assembly of the DS140DLHV is protected with o-rings - basically at every opening - even beneath the screw heads! We all know how pernicious water can be with respect to penetrating where we don't want it so that this makes ProModeler servos better than servos without this level of protection is a no brainer.

    As you learn how well the DS140DLHV servo is made you might reasonably expect this to be our most expensive servo, but it's not. Instead, this is our best general purpose servo. It's the servo that expert modelers select for a wide variety of sport and scale models.


    Ever taken a servo apart? The metal gears rotate on steel shafts. The end of the shaft fits in a hole in the case, what's called a pocket. In cheapo servos, the steel fits into a plastic pocket but in a ProModeler servo, there's a brass insert reinforcing the plastic. When you pay a little bit more for a ProModeler servo, this is part of the reason why. As long as it moves, we know modelers won't throw anything away . . . so we produce ProModeler servos with the expectation of a service life measured in decades!



    USE CASES:

    So who uses these servos? In light of the MIL-SPEC and MIL-STANDARD test methods, you won't be surprised to learn the government has driven a lot of our product development. They're our biggest customer. So are universities, plus commercial UAS operators in agricultural and pipeline inspection ops. We've branched out to the civilian world, so our customers now include hobbyists.

    This customer is often a highly experienced modeler, but also includes savvy beginners who realize just because the servo will first be used in 40-size trainer doesn't mean you throw them away when you transition to a higher performance model. Anyway, you may use this servo in a wide array of sport and scale models - with wingspans ranging from about 48" on up. And when we say 'on up', we're not kidding because the models in which the DS140DLHV may appear can be spectacular!


    SUMMARY:

    Servos like this one, e.g. offering 140oz-in of torque and transiting in the 0.07sec/60° are not available from other vendors. But even if you do find one that performs as well, good luck finding one as well built. To the point we believe there isn't a better servo - for the money - on the planet. Period. No other servo offers this level of power, precision, quality, plus tank-like durability (and nobody else lets you completely rebuild them yourself).

    Better components. Better servos. The formula is simple. Simply put, this is the best servo available for the money. Add a set to your cart. Do it now because you're going to love them!


    Other Resources

    For detailed specifications and dimension drawings, select the Specs tab above. Also, there's an even-handed look at the competition in the Comparison tab. Meanwhile, TL;DR is chock full of nitty-gritty details - where we disassemble and show you this servo side-by-side with a popular competitor. If you love delving deeply into stuff some find too tedious to read, don't overlook this tab.

    Note: operating voltage is 4.8-8.4V, but optimal performance is obtained with a 2S LiPo instead of a BEC. This is because LiPos deliver the required current without voltage spikes, noise, or otherwise adversely affecting the delicate avionics (25C or better is recommended). After all, synthetic orange colored Tang may have gone to the moon, but it doesn't compare to freshly squeezed orange juice. Same thing when it comes to feeding your avionics!

    Details count. Inside and out.

    PLACE HOLDER GRAPHIC - THESE ARE SPECS FOR A DIFFERENT SERVO. WE'LL UPDATE THIS LATER.


    Seeking to make a great servo for sport pilots, we created the DS360DLHV by using the case-design of our top-of-the-range DS305CLHV coreless motor servo, and matching it to a super-reliable 3-pole iron-core motor. The end result is precise and powerful - with all the nice bits of speedy coreless motor servos - minus the pricey motor. If you're a sport pilot (versus 3D where 90° throw in the blink of an eye is required), this servo strikes a perfect balance between price and performance.

    Engineered-polymer upper and lower case with brass inserts - the DS360DLHV foundation, the center case, is CNC-machined from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. Like a radiator, it keeps the powerful HV-motor nice and cool. To save weight we use fiber-filled Nylon 6,6 (an engineering-polymer like that used in a Glock handgun) because it's strong and impact resistant. And to ensure it's durable, we use brass inserts in the pockets for the steel gear-shafts.

    - Bronze inserts where the steel gear shafts ride in the polymer upper-case ensure long lasting precision gear-mesh.

    Gear train - all metal gears makes this servo strong. The 25-spline (Ø5.96mm) output shaft is Futaba compatible for convenience. Material selection makes it tough. Exotic titanium-ceramic (TiCN) armoring of the 7075-T6 output gear (same aluminum-alloy used in components of the upper receiver of an M-16 rifle) means this massive gear has an 800% increase in wearing surface hardness. Combination-gears mate C86300 manganese-bronze with 4140 chrome-moly steel for optimum strength and wear characteristics.

    - TiCN/7075-T6 output gear, plus bronze/4140 chrome-moly steel combo-gears perfectly match durability with strength.

    O-rings - have you noticed how some really expensive servos don't have o-rings? The claim is electric models make them superfluous. Since getting caught in a pop-up rain shower isn't unheard of, and re-purposing servos into a nitro-powered model a year later happens all the time . . . do you buy that line of reasoning? We figure it's because the manufacturer pockets a few extra bucks but leaving o-rings out comes at your expense. Is keeping water, fuel, and exhaust residue out of your servo important to you? Wanna know why the S160DLHV is fully o-ringed? Simply because our engineers make these decisions - not our accountant!

    - Now you see them, now you don't . . . fully captured hidden o-rings make the case resistant to water, fuel, and oil.

    Nitty gritty - it's said the measure of a man is what he does when nobody is looking - take our servo's measure the same way. Ever disassemble a servo? They typically use four long-ass Phillips head screws, which come up from the bottom, sandwich the center section, and actually thread into the plastic top-case, right? However, an S160DLHV is built better. How? To begin, we use grade 12.9 Allen-head machine-thread bolts instead of el cheapo screws. Six come in from the top plus four more from the bottom, and instead of sandwiching the center case, the ten bolts actually thread into the aluminum. The result is a far more rigid assembly that's so much better . . . it's not even fair to compare!

    - Note how an S160DLHV servo is assembled with Allen-head machine-bolts vs. el cheapo Phillips-head screws!

    Packaging - nestled within a high density foam insert for protection, each S160DLHV servo arrives packed in a jewel case. Since good looks never hurt, we use red polymer to show off our brand and laser-etched our logo into the polished aluminum center-case. These servos look great - think in terms of the fit and finish equal to, or better than, servos selling for more than $200. Bottom line? For the craftsmen who appreciates our high standards because we pay attention to the smallest detail, we hope you'll be as proud to install them in your model as we are to make them.

    - We proudly brand our product with the ProModeler logo . . . and hope you'll be as proud of them as we are.

    Better components. Better servos. The formula is simple.

    Most of us have felt that lurch of panic as we dropped a servo during installation and snatched it off the floor to inspect for damage. It's this shared experience as modelers, which led us to build the DL-family of servos to an aerospace-standard.

    For example, to better mitigate against shock (and vibration), we use what the military refer to as a conformal coating to protect the delicate electronics components mounted on the PCB (printed circuit board), Compared to the square of foam rubber used in hobby-grade servos, we call the white stuff smeared over the electronic components monkey snot because it's such a sticky mess to deal with during application. Which do you think is better?



    Anti-vibration and impact protection are a big deal to our military customers. Perhaps you aren't flying a million dollar UAV, but if you simply want better servos for your pride and joy, monkey snot is one reason they rely on ProModeler servos.

    Also important is how we use MIL-SPEC components - plus the best motors and potentiometer money can buy. These are critical for the best centering performance possible. Yet nothing is quite so telling as this simple fact . . . you can actually buy these components from us. While hobby-grade servos offer cases and gears, serious pilots appreciate being able to go a step further without returning them for service.

    Granted, sport pilots probably don't fly enough to wear them out in a decade but competition pilots - ones who get in 4-5 practice-flights 3X during the week (plus the same, or more, on weekends) can wear them out inside a year. If your winter-project list includes returning your servos for R&R, but you can make three solder joints as well as the factory technician, then you can save money. Why? It's because we know DIY is a big part of the hobby. If you appreciate being able to bring your servos back up to snuff without breaking the bank, then ProModeler servos are probably better for you, also.


    Restoring like-new performance with a simple job like replacing a potentiometer (with three easy to solder joints) while forcing you to return them for service only to charge 'almost, but not quite enough' to make it uneconomical isn't what ProModeler is about.

    Meanwhile, do you believe in better engineering? We do too. Unfortunately, unless you open it up to look after buying, the other guys don't make it very easy to know what you're actually getting. If you appreciate attention to detail, yet another thoughtful touch (one that ensure your investment in these servos delivers value) are the bronze bushings reinforcing the gear shaft pockets.

    To recap, not only is the molding for the polymer pocket more robust on our case, but the bronze inserts reinforcements are there so your servos will last, and last, and last! Bottom line? Understanding the difference between something's price and its value comes down to grokking the details.

    Along the same lines, a big difference for why experienced modelers prefer ProModeler servos and something priced about the same is found in how the center section is made. One the one had an injection molded piece, on the other one that's better because it's made of aluminum so the motor cools better when you're working the servos hard, has cooling fins for shedding heat more quickly, and is drilled and tapped to accept fine thread machine-screws for the ultimate in rigidity.



    Finally, eyeball all the major components laid out side-by-side. We suspect it's rather easy to see why your next set of servos should be from ProModeler. If you're especially sharp eyed you'll have noted the assembly uses 10 Allen-head bolts with machine-threads instead of 4 Phillips head screws with cheese-cutter threads. You'll see how each has an O-ring - and - threads into aluminum instead of plastic. You also also know to look out for gears represented as metal but which include a plastic gear so fragile they sell replacements in 3-packs. You also understand that servo manufacturers that shove a cheap piece of foam beneath the electronics cover and call it good aren't just shortchanging you, but playing roulette with your model by paying less than perfect attention to vibration protection.



    As you get a better idea of what to look for, you buy smarter. It's as simple as discerning the differences between hobby-grade and professional-grade. So let's tie it all together. Better parts. Better servos. The formula is simple. It's a no-brainer and paying the same, or more, for another brand just because it's what others do is a non-starter with savvy modelers. You've found the servos you want for your next model.