The DS360DLHV is a high voltage (HV) digital servo built on a tough hybrid case of aluminum and plastic. Equipped with dual ball bearings plus metal gears for durability, it outputs 360 oz-in (+20 pounds of force) and has a transit time of 0.14sec/60°. It's what's called a standard-size servo - meaning it fits most remote control models - and it competes with similar products from other manufacturers. At $49.99 it's in the middle of the pack price-wise but as you compare and contrast it with other guys it becomes obvious this servo plays in a different league. As you learn what goes into making it, it becomes the servo against which you measure the others because it's not only worth every penny of the price, but redefines the difference between what something costs vs. what it's worth.
Part of what makes the ProModeler DS360DLHV better than competitors is
that unlike hobby-grade
servos, it's built to an aerospace standard. You'll find this in a host
of details but perhaps nowhere as salient as learning it's military-grade - meaning unlike its competitors, this one is subject to testing to these published military standards:
- Shock - Test Method 516.6
- Vibration - Test Method 514.6
- Rain - Test Method 514.5
part, this is due to the requirements of our primary customer. However,
it's also because we're modelers, like you. This means we have
experience with the effects of impact damage due to crashes. Or how
engine vibration propagate throughout an air frame. And especially
regarding the damaging effects
of water within a servo, i.e. when a summer afternoon pop-up
rain shower may drench your model before you can land. Basically,
ProModeler servos are built better so they're more valuable because
they're crafted to survive and thrive the abuse encountered in the real
an experienced pilot, centering is the single most
important thing of all. Competition pilots - especially those who fly
maneuvers - prefer ProModeler because we use MIL-SPEC components plus a
genuine Japanese Nobel-brand potentiometer while others are satisfied
with a cheaper clone, an inductive pickup, or some other cost saving
potentiometer. Also, important for IMAC and pattern competitors who fly a
lot and thus, go through their servos each winter, we offer
spares. And not just the case and gears like everybody else, but the
really important spares - to include the potentiometer and servo motor,
plus little things like o-rings, bolts, and even the label. This means
you're not forced to return your
servos to us for service. After all, modeling is a hobby and
soldering - if not already within your skill-set - probably soon, will
Anyway, this is an important consideration for competitors for whom 30 flights within a week (week in, and week out) is de rigueur.
If you practice 3X a week and twice on weekends then you know
potentiometers, even million-cycle ones like we use, are a wear item.
Since replacing a potentiometer is easy (a matter of three solder
joints) competitors find our attitude refreshing because it's just a
minor service and doing it yourself means saving money!
most guys won't ever fly enough to wear out our servos . . . but isn't
it nice to be able to buy
these bits and restore your servos to like-new performance? Bottom
line? These ownership considerations are game changers in the world of
civilian-use servos. And once you notice thoughtful touches like Allen
head bolts vs. Phillips head screws, detail oriented modelers find yet
another reason to prefer ProModeler servos.
The DS180DLHV servo is
perfect for most 40-62cc size models but note; it's been expressly
crafted to meet your needs whether you're a beginner looking for your
first set of high quality servos, a highly experienced sportsmen, or an
all out pro.
you're an electrical engineer you immediately notice we protect the PCB
from vibration with a conformal
coating instead of a little square of foam rubber. Referred to as
potting compound on the civilian side, we call it monkey-snot because
it's such a sticky mess to apply. 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 worth more.
area where a ProModeler servos stand out is protection from
environmental contaminants, typically dust,
water, and exhaust-oil. The assembly of the DS180DLHV 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 DS180DLHV 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. For example, savvy pilots - ones who grok what
Eastwood meant (in the role of Callahan in Magnum Force) when he said, "A man's got
to know his limitations." - will opt to use these for models as
large as a 120cc gasser. Especially when they're intended for sport use
versus 3D. For example, for performing old-school aerobatic maneuvers like loops, point-rolls, stall turns, as well as occasional snap maneuvers and Lomcovák.
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!
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
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
DS180DLHV may appear
can be spectacular!
For example, look at the photo below. This is a
scratch built (meaning the plans began as a blank sheet of paper, and
every rib, former, stringer, longeron, leafing and trailing edge -
everything except avionics engines, etc. are built from bits and pieces.
This, versus coming out of a box pre-assembled or from a kit! Anyway,
this is a model of the WWII Bristol
Blenheim. It weighs in excess of 44 pounds! Just look at the details -
like the rivets, the pitch change mechanism on the dummy props, venturi
which on the real aircraft powers the turn and bank indicator (and other
vacuum gauges). Peer inside the cockpit and recognize the work of a
master modeler, a pro's pro. Then consider the work of years has been
entrusted to DS180DLHV servos. And while it spans more than 144" and
weighs more than 46 pounds!
This master craftsman also groks servo selection. In choosing the DS180DLHV
digital servos he perfectly demonstrates understanding of the
requirements based not just on how large and heavy the model is, but on
how fast it flies and
the size of the control surfaces. Most importantly, because this is a
one-of-a-kind scale model involving years of effort and planning, we are
humbled that he's put his faith in ProModeler servos. Do you think he
understands the difference
between what something costs versus what it's worth? There's a lesson in
heart, servos offering 180oz-in of torque and transiting in the
0.17sec/60° range are fairly common. It's the sweet spot in performance for most manufacturers. We believe finding another that
offer everything these do is impossible 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). So if you're
an experienced modeler, and if you are mechanically 'ept' this is yet another consideration (if you can do
basic soldering but naturally, you can also send them to us for R&R if
you aren't comfortable doing these things).
components. Better servos. The formula is simple. Decisions regarding
what goes into ProModeler servos aren't made in accounting to optimize
price and profit, but in engineering. This servo isn't sold for $20
because it costs more than that to make, but in light of what goes into
it - $30 is a pretty reasonable price. Simply put, they are the best
servos available at this price point. Add a set to your cart now, you're
going to love them!
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
into stuff some find too tedious to read, don't overlook this tab.
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!
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 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.
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