Spotting a 1990 Porsche 911 leaves no doubt it inspired the 2010 model. And the same holds true with the 2020 version. This is because Porsche recognizes an ongoing need in the market for this particular car. Their engineers are tasked with making often subtle yearly iterations, which over time make each subsequent 911 just that little bit better.
Apple does the same thing, but with a twist. While Porsche no longer offers you a new 2010 version of the 911, you can still walk in and buy an iPhone 8. This, years after it was obsoleted. Why? It's because for a lot of folks, it's still plenty good enough . . . and it's nearly half price!
We strive to emulate both philosophies. It's why you can still buy this S160DLHV, which was actually our 2nd foray into the 8-10 pound class (note, this is far and away the sweet spot in the servo market). How much better is the DS180DLHV than the S160DLHV? Enough so that over the
course of maybe 5 years, it begat the DS90,
DS130, DS140, DS180, DS270, and DS360DLHV. Thing is, the S160 remains such a solid servo, every time we pull the plug on production, market demand forces us to make . . . "just one more batch!" And this has been going on since 2012!
Anyway, if you fly model airplanes, the DS180DLHV is clearly the better choice because of the cooling fins (in airplanes servos move a lot more than in cars and boats). But for a lot of applications, the S160 remains compelling because it's got good bones. By this we mean the center section is still CNC-machined from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. Also, because this was also our first servo to use 10 Allen-head machine screws for assembly instead of Phillips head screws (like our S140DLHV) it is similarly rigid. It's also got the modern implementation of 13 o-rings like the DS180. Heck, even the lack of cooling fins isn't a deal breaker for many because few of our competitors have yet to incorporated this improvement into their servo!
All this probably explains why the S160DLHV remains a favorite for budget build boats, buggies, and even some trucks if no longer model airplanes. Basically, like with an iPhone 8, it may not matter to you that it's not the latest and greatest because 10 pounds is such a good all around unit of force. Anyway, like the 180-family, this is a standard-size servo, and at 66g it weighs a similar amount. Best part? It's offered at the very budget friendly price of just $24.99.
Moreover, unless you're comparing it to another ProModeler product, it's still way the heck better than a lot of servos in this class. For example, despite rapidly closing in on a decade of service, when you compare
it to similar products from competitors you'll still see a ton of things we do better than they do. This, despite the passage of a fair bit of time. Like how many competitors have zero o-rings. Or how they still use as all-plastic case and Phillips head screws! Even our pioneering use of an epoxy conformal coating is unmatched. And don't forget, this was the first servo to get Swiss-machined bronze inserts for reinforcing the polymer case at the shaft bores so it's durable!
Honestly, there's still a lot to like and bottom line? It's a pretty decent spec servo - with tank-like durability - for applications where the latest and greatest aren't called for. Eyeball what you get, compare it to anybody else's offering for the same 25 bucks, and we suspect you'll see why we just can stop making it. So how well does it match up with your requirements?
Features at a glance:
- CNC-machined 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum motor-section
- Engineering-polymer - über-strong Nylon 6,6 - like a Glock handgun
- 10 grade 12.9 Allen-head machine-bolts vs. el cheapo Phillips-heads
- All metal gears - stronger, last longer, and more crash resistant - 25T
- SAE65 bronze gear-shaft inserts - super case reinforcements
- Reliable 3-pole iron-core motor- very durable
- Million-cycle Nobel potentiometers - like in our top-of-the-line servos
- HV - high voltage rated - straight 2S LiPo, or up to 8.4V from a BEC
- 13 each fully-captured o-rings
- Dual ball bearings ensuring many years of precision
- Epoxy potting compound for better vibration resistance
Nominal Voltage*: 6.0 - 7.4VDC
Operating Voltage: 5.5 - 8.4VDC
Torque: 130 - 160 oz-in
Speed: 0.16 - 0.14 sec/60°
Dead band: 2µs
NOTE: deciphering the parts code - PDRS160DLHV means:
- PDR = ProModeler
- S =Servo
- 160 = oz-in - torque
- DL = digital
- HV = high voltage
*Nominal voltage - for a LiPo cell, it's 3.7V/cell (or 7.4V for a 2S pack). Yes, a 2S pack fresh off charge reaches 8.4V - but the voltage depresses nearly as soon as you load it. This is why we offer specs at nominal voltage. What this means in a practical sense are specs generated at real world voltages because inflating specs is a fool's game (and a matter of questionable ethics). Remember, the figures don't lie . . . but the liars figure!
Seeking to make a great servo for sport pilots, we created the S160DLHV by using the case-design of our top-of-the-range S120BLHV brushless-tail rotor 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 a quality brushless case - minus the expensive motor. In short, this servo strikes the perfect balance between price and performance.
Engineered-polymer upper and lower case with brass inserts - the S160DLHV 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.