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A Servo with lots of grunt

Looking for a servo with a lot of grunt? This jumbo servo uses a robust 12V motor/gearbox assembly to give you real muscle.

By Ross Tester

Your typical model servo is capable of very fine adjustment over a range of about 90° or so. It measures about 40 x 20 x 35mm, weighs about 50g and has a torque somewhere around 5kg-cm (some a bit more, some a bit less).

Our new "Jumbo" servo is also capable of very fine adjustment over a 90° range. It comes in at 180 x 110 x 110mm, weighs about 1300g and has a torque somewhere in the kg-m range (no, we couldn't measure it!). Suffice to say it's a tad more than "typical" model servos!

Possible applications

What on earth would you want that sort of muscle for? Here are just a few applications that we thought of – you can probably think of many more (in fact, right now there are readers throughout the South Pacific thinking "at last! Now I can.....").

  • Robotics - no longer are you limited to piddly little designs. Build a monster!
  • Radio control of large (eg, 1/4-scale or even bigger) models - steering, brakes, etc which require some real power.
  • Remote (as distinct from radio) control (ie "fly by wire") in real boats, cars, etc - eg, the rudder, trim or even throttle control without the usual mechanical linkages.
  • Rotator for a radio or TV antenna; even a satellite dish azimuth/elevation positioner.
  • Remote gate or door controller.
  • Heavy duty pan or tilt controller for a remote camera or camcorder - eg, unattended wildlife photography or surveillance work.
  • Remote (or even local) electronic control of valves or flow control devices, especially if they are in hazardous areas.
  • Flue, vent or high hopper window openers/closers.
  • Remote winch or sail furling on a real yacht (you add the hardware!)
  • Perhaps (obviously with additional electronics) even navigation control with feedback from a GPS unit (as published last month in SILICON CHIP).

We're sure we have merely scratched the surface of ideas for this one. It's one of those projects that is a solution waiting for an application – and there are literally countless applications.

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