CARF Diablo 3D servos

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Selecting servos for CARF Diablo 3D, a thrust vectoring jet

When CARF introduced the Mephisto, the jet world was stunned because mounted aft of the thrust tube was an innovative ultralight vector assembly delivering thrust steering (rudder/elevator) without sacrificing ultra-turbine performance.

In one fell swoop, world class post stall maneuvers with giant turbine powered models became a 'thang' . . . and of course, sans a huge propeller blasting on the tail surfaces and the cacophonous clamor of primitive chain saw derived engines!

However, the fly in the Mephisto-ointment was its most unique feature, its majestic size. This, because at over 3m in length (123"), and though equipped with compact 3-piece wing (but spanning a substantial 2.6m, or 106" post assembly), and going well north of 40lbs wet, even folks driving a Suburban were tapping out. In short, transporting one of these beasts requires a trailer.

Thing about trailers is, where do you store it? Especially when many Home Owners Associations frown on trailers, and such, living outside! And beyond that, trailers require more planning before use than just opening the back and loading up. So naturally, modelers soon began clamoring for Mephisto-looks and performance - but - in a more compact package. One they could readily fit within a minivan, or SUV.

Realizing a Mephisto's majestic size was also an Achilles heel for some, and how this also meant limiting CARF's market reach, their innovative designers immediately turned their focus to a more specialized aircraft . . . an everyday-size 3D jet. And by everyday-size meaning something significantly easier to store/transport/assemble.

Thus was the genesis of the Diablo 3D. Best of all, by using the proven vector from the Mephisto, they created a smaller aircraft with perhaps better than Mephisto-like performance. Moreover, one that is significantly more compact, easier to transport, and lighter. And if it may be said, immensely simplified for such an acrobatic jet because it features a 2pc plug-in wing, and bayoneting stabs. Added to which, it's breathtakingly light at just 26-28lb dry!

And to quantify smaller, they really did a bang up job because at just a touch over 2.4m (96") long, it can be packed away in significantly less space than Mephisto (or packed down to 2.2m or 86" by simply removing the canopy hatch). Meanwhile, spanning an impressive (2080mm, or 82") the aircraft delivers sparkling performance with a 210N engine.

Bottom line? This means Diablo 3D fits many of the kinds of vehicles modelers own, no trailer required! Of course, this begs the question, where does ProModeler come in?

Well, as is usually the case, it all began with a query from an existing customer. One already familiar with our servos, who wanted our servo recommendation. So here's it how it went . . .

Q. I’m building a 3D jet called a CARF Diablo 3D. It's like a baby Mephisto but powered by a compact 210N turbine instead of a 300N unit. In fact, it uses the same thrust vector unit. Anyway, because I'm going to be using a gyro, I'm wondering which servos you'd recommend for flight controls as well as the vector?

A. We're familiar with Mephisto, a ginormous jet where DS1155BLHV servos are recommended for the horizontal stabs and flaps, DS635BLHV are recommended for ailerons, plus one of our DS205 for nose wheel, plus our DS505BLHV for the rudder (along with a pair of DS845 for each axis of the vector).

So with Diablo 3D being significantly more compact (in the fixed wing world, going from Mephisto to Diablo 3D is about like going from a DA222 powered 40% CARF Extra to a DA120 powered 33% version). Being significantly more compact, whilst using the same vector, definitely changes things! Also, while our best recommendation remains similar to Mephisto, we have more budget friendly recommendations for Diablo so keep reading.

Beyond keeping the vector from the Mephisto, these guys really burned the midnight oil in trying to build a more compact model you could easily fit in your truck or SUV and use to fly several times a day and succeeded!

CARF's recommendation are for 2x 45-50 kg (700oz-in) and 6x 30-35 kg digital servos (485oz-in) and depending on who you are and how you fly, you may need to use more, or less than their recommendation because one-size does NOT fit-all in our opinion.

So what follows is our servo recommendation, which we rank as good, better, and best, but pay close attention to how we guide based on skills and risk taking activities. This, because the thrust vectoring jets are all about fun and thus, are made to be played with . . . hard!

Good - good stick, but not especially a risk taker, and very thoughtful about spending

Better - above average stick, plans to play hard with his 3D jet

Best - the guy who flies noon-time demos for club events - serious hooligan

If you wonder about vectoring servos, eyeball their speed.

Note; if you find our model numbers something of a mystery, then breaking the code is simplicity itself because the numbers and letters actually mean something in plain English;

  • DS - Digital Servo
  • xxx = rated torque in oz-in
  • BL = Brushless motor
  • HV = High Voltage (through 8.4V)

So we're putting you within the ballpark of their recommendation with maybe a slight (but not severe) bit of overkill in the better category. As for hooligans and our best recommendation, we stand by this.

Also, don't be afraid of using hybrid case DS360DLHV and DS415BLHV servos if you're not a top expert and/or hooligan because they're built with durable all-stainless steel gears (303 bulls and 18/4 pinions) so they're plenty strong *and* long lasting.

Bonus points if you spotted the bronze bushings reinforcing the case in the photo. These are a tip off for the eagle-eyes amongst you of just how well built these servos are despite their modest pricing.

Finally, if you need extensions, we offer them in twisted 20AWG with rugged and ultra flexible silicone jackets (click the link and the selection opens in a new tab so you don't lose your place). We also have 2S battery packs ranging from 650-6000mAh which are equipped with dual DuPont connectors and an XT30 connector for starting and/or receiver duty, plus lovely alloy arms CNC-machined of 7075-T6 aluminum and tapped for M3 hardware, for your convenience.

Finally, when it comes to servo arms, look at our backlash compensating horns with an H-beam profile (for he same reason Carrillo uses it for their uber strong rods). These are made of 7075-T6 instead of601-T6 because the former is stronger than many mild steels, while still being super light so you get outstanding strength without forking over a lot of dough and with plenty of mount positions.

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