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So who's doing this reviewing then?
Well I've been building and flying or driving radio controlled models for over 40 years and during that time I like to think I've built up a reasonable amount of knowledge.
I'm also a qualified electronics engineer who has worked in radio frequency, analog, digital systems and software for more than three decades. In fact I designed and built my first RC set back in 1969.
For the past nine years I've also been involved in the design and manufacture of some rather sophisticated engine technology and UAV flight control systems.
So, chances are I've been there, done that and have a huge pile of tee shirts to prove it.
Right now I'm heavily into 3D flying and enjoy all aspects of the RC hobby. I may be old but I don't feel it.
In the Pipeline
Here's just a little bit of what's to come on this site...
RC explained: Demystifying terms such as PCM, PPM dual conversion, single conversion, full-range etc., this feature will explain it all.
Cheap Chinese Engines: Just how good are those cheap Chinese glow and gas engines that sell for half the price of their "brand-name" equivalent? I put several to the test.
Build your own radio gear?: Back in the old days, building your own RC gear was not uncommon and now the arrival of 2.4GHz has made it practical again.
Review: TowerPro/Hextronic MG995 servo
YES, IT GETS WORSE!
As if to prove my point, the brand-new and unused servo I dismantled to take these pictures was already suffering from stress-related fatigue.
In the picture below you can see that the (white) signal wire from the servo lead has already almost broken right off -- and that was probably just from the shaking it got while being transported half-way around the world in a cardboard box.
This kind of poor design and assembly quality is simply unacceptable in a servo intended for RC model use -- at any price.
How well do they work?
Let's forget the construction and reliability issues for a moment and focus on how well these servos actually work.
Well there's no disputing the fact that they have a reasonable amount of torque -- although nowhere near the amount claimed in those hype-laden ads.
The big problem with the MG995 however, is the unbelievable amount of overshoot these servos have.
What is overshoot?
Well if you command the servo to move to a particular angle it will actually travel well past that angle then back-up to the correct place. That's not good.
The reason for this overshoot is another of the servo's downsides -- it's very, very heavy for a standard-sized servo.
Much of this excess weight comes from the heavy gears and motor being used. Unlike better quality brands of servos such as Hitec and JR, the MG995 doesn't use lightweight aluminum alloy gears. Its gears are made from much heavier stuff and those heavy gears take much longer to accelerate and decelerate when the servo is commanded to move.
To make matters worse, that's not a lightweight coreless motor - it's a heavy three-pole cored motor and that adds even more to the inertia of the mechanics in this servo.
Unfortunately, the electronics isn't up to the task of rapidly starting and stopping that heavy motor and gearset -- hence the overshoot.
But wait -- it gets even worse!
The pots used in these servos are a thin-film carbon type that wears very quickly.
When I fitted one to a 40-sized profile model it was only a matter of weeks before it became very erratic and showed poor centering due to pot-wear.
I also noticed that the MG995 introduces large amounts of electrical noise onto the battery lines and this can cause range and glitching issues with some receivers.
I'm sorry but I can't think of anything good to say about the MG995 servo. It is a really bad servo from start to finish.
If you see them advertised on eBay or elsewhere, please don't be tempted to buy them, you'll just be jeopardizing your model and perhaps the safety of people nearby when you fly.
TowerPro/Hextronic MG995? AVOID, AVOID, AVOID
See.. I told you I wouldn't pull any punches with the reviews on this site.
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Updated: 20 Sep 2012
Here's a blog that will keep you informed just what's going on behind the scenes at RC Model Reviews and also tells you a little more about myself.
23 Mar 2010
How come there's no compatibility between different brands of transmitters and receivers? Why can't you use a cheap Chinese receiver with your Futaba FASST radio?
4 Mar 2010
Since this has become a very frequently asked question, I've posted this simple guide to getting your product, or a product you're thinking of buying reviewed here at RCModelReviews
Useful information on what's inside your servos and how they work.
Important facts you should know about the oils that are used in our model engine fuels.
How well do five different 2.4GHz systems stack up when hit by interference? The answers are here, with more to come.
Yes it does work on model airplanes but there are some limitations involved with this bargain-basement radar speed gun.
These are possibly the world's worst servos, find out exactly why you should avoid these boat-anchors at any cost.
It's cheap but can it really stack up against other glow engines in the .90 market? Find out in this review.
How does this cheap 9-channel 2.4GHz radio system perform when compared to big-name systems that can cost two or three times as much? Have the Chinese finally developed a real contender with the iMax 9X?
Does all this 2.4GHz stuff have your head spinning?
I've done my best to demystify the whole subject so if you feel like a bit of learning, this is the stuff for you!
How can you tell when your engine needs new bearings? Who has the best prices and service on replacements? Just how do you change them? Get all that information and watch a great video tutorial anyone can follow.
The Chinese are now churning out a huge number of very reasonably priced no-name servos. But are they any good?
Nicad, NiMH, Li-Ion, LiPoly, LiFePO4, A123... the range of different battery types has never been greater. So how do they differ and what type should you be using?