Saturday, February 26, 2005

More on servos from Louw Smit

Hi Claude

It was extremely gratifying to see the response provided by the team from Southern Hobbies. It would appear that here we have at least one hobby shop who seems to be prepared to stand up and be counted when the shit hits the fan. Hopefully more hobby shops will publically display this same empathy towards us 'mudllers'.

I would like to put a suggestion on the table in order to hopefully put this issue to bed. But allow me first to explain where I come from with my suggestion: I am currently busy building a new aerobatics kite for Josh, which is not only consuming a lot of time which I can ill afford, but certainly also a lot of financial and other resources. These resources include a set of five new 539 servos. Now, in view of this dilemma regarding the 539's, how do I go about keeping my effort and sanity intact? Do I take the chance of getting this new plane into the air, and hope and pray to the gods of aeromodel flying that the thing gets back to earth in one piece? I think not. And believe me, I am only one of probably very many out there who feel this way right now.

My suggestion would then be as follows: Firstly, JR, through their local distributor, will hopefully have enough gumption to stand up and admit that there was a problem on certain 539's, without admitting liability, of course. It is clear that one of the causes for reported 539 failures appear to be vibration-related, which suddenly mitigated against its use in choppers. And who is dumb enough to say that fixed-wing model aircraft are absolutely vibration-free? So vibration is an issue on fixed-wing craft as well. But hopefully the emphasis here is on 'WAS a problem' rather than 'still is a problem'. For JR & Co's sake, I sincerely hope that this is all past tense stuff.

Secondly, it is a fact that each servo has a number stamped on the casing, which means that the manufacturing batch/date can be traced by JR. What we then need, is for JR to say that batch 'XYZ' was suspect (which I am sure that they are aware of), and that any servo with this particular reference or batch number/s will be replaced, perhaps even irrespective of condition... Which then follows that if the 539's that I currently have, fall outside of the suspect batch/es, then I may be OK. If not, then they must be replaced with non-suspect stuff. Follow my drift? This exercise may (just) be slightly painful for JR, but take it for granted that it will not be anywhere nearly as painful as when a (hopefully not) fatality may occur that can be directly attributed to a (known?) suspect servo. And not to mention the pain of a modeler who has invested all his resources in a new kite, only to innocently see it being converted to matchwood instantly (twice in the case of one modeler that I know of...).

From experience I know that 'early' 539's have performed superbly to date, and it therefore follows that it should be possible again to have reliable units which can be used with confidence in future. But right now, we need JR & Co to stand up and state their case, and hopefully get this thing sorted out, one way or another.

PRF Cape Town

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