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rc sailboats racing

rc sailboat sail servos

We have done more experimenting with HiTec ultra torque digital programmable servos for use as the sail servo in the T37. More skippers are moving to these remarkable servos. The digital ultra torque servos are the same outside dimensions as the standard size analog servos, but the digital servos carry a big punch. In conditions where it might be difficult to pull the sails in with the analog 645 ultra torque servo and might even require a momentary partial luff, the 5645 servo yanks the sails right in tight. The HS645MG analog servo is rated at 133 oz. inches of torque at 6 volts, the HS5645MG digital servo is rated at 168 oz. inches of torque at 6 volts, and the HS7954SH digital servo is rated at a huge 333 oz. inches of torque! Wow!  This 7954 top of the line servo truly has twice as much power as you will ever need and it is definitely over the top, but on the other hand it is pretty neat. There certainly isn't even a flicker of hesitation no matter what the wind is doing at the moment. One drawback is that the standard sail arms aren't necessarily strong enough for all of this extra torque with the 7954 servo. The upgraded stainless steel and aluminum sail arm for the 7954 servo costs an additional $13 and the servo itself is $97.50. Everyone who has the 5645 servo feels entirely satisfied with its power and only a few skippers have installed the 7954 servo just for the fun of seeing what it will do.

One important aspect of these digital servos is that they can be programmed for up to 120 degrees of swing instead of the standard 90 degrees of arc. Any digital servo you get from Tippecanoe Boats will be already programmed for the maximum swing. Along with the double throw sheeting system in the racing setup for the T37s, the extra swing on the servo gets your sails out almost perpendicular to the centerline and pulls the main in to a centered position and the jib in to create a perfect slot. When you also program your digital transmitter, you can increase the throw on the servo even farther to almost 180 degrees, although beyond 120 degrees there really isn't much further gain in how far in or out the mainsail can be sheeted. Programming the digital servos is easy once the Chinese instructions that come with the progamming device have been decoded. A small programmer connects to your PC with a USB cable and is available from HiTec for just over $20. This is entirely adequate unless you want to be able to program servos for other skippers while at the pond in which case you may want the stand alone programmer which sells for around $100. One note: if you are trying to program the 7954 servo, this is a high resolution servo and cannot be programmed for more swing until you reset the resolution to normal instead of high resolution. This is easily done by clicking on the box that says High Resolution in the programming window that appears on your computer screen. The box then reads normal resolution. The instructions don't happen to mention this detail and until you switch the resolution your efforts to increase the sweep will not take hold on the 7954. The 5645 is a normal resolution servo so the resolution does not need to be reset to program the 5645 servo for maximum swing.

The wonderful attraction of the T37 continues to be that it is a wooden boat that is quickly and easily built and turns out a gorgeous yacht that is very fast and exciting to sail. When a group gets together to race, each boat is distinctive and unique. Each boat is a reflection of the skipper's personal vision. Many of the T37s that are being built today are truly works of art, fast and functional but definitely expressive and very beautiful!

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