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150 Class Electric Helicopters 150 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.


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Old 03-29-2021, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DS 150/155 metal gears, are they worth it?

Hello,
I've flown 450~600 class helis for a while a long time ago and recently got myself a T-Rex 150X.

At least for 450 class, the metal gears in digital servos were absolutely essential at least for the tail servos. I am looking at the metal gears for DS 150/155 servos for T-Rex 150X and I want some opinions on it.

I am aware that people do make servo-gear saver mod and there are servo-gear saver horns (I bought 3 of them).

I intend to eventually use metal gears + servo gear saver horns for the sake of maximum durability + minimal damage to the servo motor.

I read that some people are just content with servo saver mod/horns but the metal gears have some decent reviews as well.

I want to ask people who have used them, are they worth it at the end?
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't speak for others, but some time ago I equipped all three servos with metal gears and servo savers.

I have not had a single servo problem and following my crashes (so far), I just adjust the misaligned servo arm and fly again.

My 150x continues to fly great! One of the best micros out there...
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nah. Back when I had a T-REX 150X, I just did the servo saver mod (cut a slit in the servo horn spline on the opposite side as the arm) and never had a stripped gear even with the original plastic ones. The servo saver mod effectively makes metal gears a waste of money, time, and weight.
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well this is exactly what I am split on. Some find it unnecessary with the servo saver mod, but some find it useful.

Right now it's 50:50.

For the 450+ classes, metal gears were extremely important because sometimes even just the vibration and fatigue can knock off a tooth and cause havoc.
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Old 03-29-2021, 05:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I did both mods and haven't had any servo issues since. Between the two mods, I'd say I have a bit more faith in the metal gears than the servo savers alone. I say this because I've had a whole pile of crashes that would have broken the stock plastic gears but weren't enough to cause the servo savers to, well, save my servos. So, in the majority of my crashes, it was the metal gears that saved my servos.

Beyond the Trex 150X, I also have two Blade 150Ss and two Fusion 180s that all have metal servo gears and no servo savers. After crashing them all a bunch of times, not once has a servo gear been damaged. Just my experience, I guess.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I did both mods and haven't had any servo issues since. Between the two mods, I'd say I have a bit more faith in the metal gears than the servo savers alone. I say this because I've had a whole pile of crashes that would have broken the stock plastic gears but weren't enough to cause the servo savers to, well, save my servos. So, in the majority of my crashes, it was the metal gears that saved my servos.

Beyond the Trex 150X, I also have two Blade 150Ss and two Fusion 180s that all have metal servo gears and no servo savers. After crashing them all a bunch of times, not once has a servo gear been damaged. Just my experience, I guess.
Would you say that metal gears doesn't risk damaging the servo motors? I am more concerned about burning out the servo motors than the gears, at least that was a thing for 450 helis. Back 15 years ago, I had to regularly replace tail servo until I switched to digital, coreless metal gear one if I didn't want a servo burning out in mid-flight randomly.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Would you say that metal gears doesn't risk damaging the servo motors? I am more concerned about burning out the servo motors than the gears, at least that was a thing for 450 helis. Back 15 years ago, I had to regularly replace tail servo until I switched to digital, coreless metal gear one if I didn't want a servo burning out in mid-flight randomly.
I have not encountered any noticeable wear on the servo motors. All my helicopters have metal gear servos, and they are all working fine. Crashing is so much more frequent and traumatic to the servos!
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have not encountered any noticeable wear on the servo motors. All my helicopters have metal gear servos, and they are all working fine. Crashing is so much more frequent and traumatic to the servos!
Say, a bit off topic, are there any decent alternatives to Align DS150/155 servos? Ones that may have the same dimensions but possibly better torque and built-in metal gears?

I think ~20+chf/servo is absurdly priced locally.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Say, a bit off topic, are there any decent alternatives to Align DS150/155 servos? Ones that may have the same dimensions but possibly better torque and built-in metal gears?

I think ~20+chf/servo is absurdly priced locally.
I don't know of any -- the challenge would be the little plastic bits that hold the servos in the heli's frame. But once you install metal gears and servo savers, you'll never have another problem with the servos.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I do intend to upgrade with metal gear + servo saver... eventually but servo savers only first. I just want to know if there are alternatives. I think for the little plastic tabs, I'm thinking that the gear box should be exchangeable with other servos as long as they are the same size because they seem to have more or less standardized structure.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I do intend to upgrade with metal gear + servo saver... eventually but servo savers only first. I just want to know if there are alternatives. I think for the little plastic tabs, I'm thinking that the gear box should be exchangeable with other servos as long as they are the same size because they seem to have more or less standardized structure.
Could be, but I don't know.
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Old 08-23-2021, 03:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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At the end, I decided to settle for only servo saver arms/mod and lubrication without saver arm/mod. One of the proprietary servo saver arm quite literally decayed after some hours of flight (bent and torn off literally).

I've also ironed out most of the bugs in the setup (2 dead servos, damaged main board, broken tail motor wires, bad soldering on main motor, bent tail. I was grumbling at the previous owner as I was replacing part by part due to horrible maintenance, still a good deal though) and crashes are so infrequent and light even the servo without saver mod seems to work fine.

I should also mention that I've also heavily lubricated the gears with motor oil so that the gears would slip and wear rather than chip and break. I clean and lubricate my swash plate and bearings monthly anyways, it's just an extra few seconds of maintenance.

I have to say, now that I have 30 batteries, parts are wearing down mighty fast and I am using glasses repair kit to secure screws for worn threads on aluminum parts. I had to toss one of the aluminum blade holder because even copper soldering couldn't save those threads.
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Old 10-10-2021, 02:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Okay, I think I came to a conclusion that the metal gears are not worth it because of the following:
1. Heavy lubrication in the gearbox even without servo saver mod prevents gear chipping most of the time.
2. Servo saver makes the arm to skip in a high stress flight, so they aren't perfect in long term.
3. Servo motor gets damaged in major crashes rather than the gears.
4. I log about ~60 flight hours for each servo before they start jittering and cause other electrical havoc (such as causing the flightboard to not bind, making otherservos to overheat from compensating for jittering while stabilized).

As much as I want to stay cheap, helis are helis and regular maintenance includes replacing servos and as soon as you don't crash so often anymore.
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