Why "RC" servo?

Calamitie

Member
Hi all,

I've been wondering for a while why servos are generally called "RC servos" (not simply "servos"), because adding "RC" to the title makes beginners confused about what they actually do (are they radio-controlled, are they servos, or special servos, etc).

Is there any logical reason for why they are named "RC servos" when they have no "RC" components built-in (as far as I know :p)

Thanks in advance :)
 

leftyretro

New Member
Hi C;

Yes, R/C refers to radio control servos. These are hobby (consumer) based servos that have been around for decades designed for R/C airplanes, cars, boats, etc.

They are not generally ever used in industrial applications. They are much cheaper then industrial servos mostly because of their high volume production Vs industrial servos.

They are avalible in many sizes and quality grades and can be quite affordable starting at < $20 USD on up depending on options of bearing type, gear material, motor style, analog Vs digital control electronics, etc. They are quite fun and easy to work with.

PS: Also R/C servos also all use a standard pulse width position method (1-2 msec, 20 ms refresh) that is used with most all radio control transmitters/recievers. Industrial servos have no such standard interface.

Lefty
 
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hippy

Senior Member
What catches me out when someone says "I have an RC problem", as I'm never sure if they will mean radio-controlled or a capacitor being fed by a resistor.
 

Calamitie

Member
Thanks for the quick response as usual :p

I understand what you mean about the industrial applications of a servo retrolefty, but I still don't think it's very logical that they are called "RC" servos (misleading in my opinion), but I guess it could be justified by the universal standard (which uses the same pulsing as RC).

@Hippy; get a new rule added to the forum to stop the "RC" confusion :p
 

leftyretro

New Member
Thanks for the quick response as usual :p

I understand what you mean about the industrial applications of a servo retrolefty, but I still don't think it's very logical that they are called "RC" servos (misleading in my opinion), but I guess it could be justified by the universal standard (which uses the same pulsing as RC).

@Hippy; get a new rule added to the forum to stop the "RC" confusion :p
Well technical jargon and abbreviations can always be hard on newcomers. R/C would be a better abbreviation then RC and just stating, "I have a servo and I was wondering...." would just create questions or assumtions in error on what kind of servo, as in the industry there are many many different kind of servo mechanisms.

Lefty
 

Dippy

Moderator
A bit like S/M and SM - Switched Mode or Surface Mount.
We won't explore the third meaning for SM though.
 

Michael 2727

Senior Member
Dippy I thought a few in here would be interested
in Smart Media cards.

( I have never contemplated using a PP3 9V Battery
on a Picaxe directly)
 
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BrendanP

Senior Member
The term 'RC servo' is usually used to distinguish them from the 'C. of E.' servos. I think the practice originated in Northern Ireland.
 

Wrenow

Senior Member
If you think "RC Servo", which is a servo designed for the Radio Control hobbyists (and is designed to take position commands from a standard Radio Control receiver pulse) is confusing, what must you think about the board within the RC Servo which takes the servo control pulse, reads the positioning pot, and applies power to the motor to move the servo arm to the commanded position being called the "Servo Amplifier." It does PID positioning, not amplification. But, such is life.

After all, it is a servo specifically designed for RC (or R/C, if you prefer) applications. What else you gonna call 'em?;)

Cheers,

Wreno
 

Wrenow

Senior Member
"Hobby servos" is more ambiguous, as there are several kinds of hobby servos, just like there are lots of hobbies. Robotics, for instance, is experimenting with the Openservo concept, which uses different protocols, as does the digi series. The CNC machinist hobby (yes there are hobbiest CNC machines), as another example uses an entirely different servo system, often in conjunction, I understand, with steppers. Interestingly, the openservo community refers to the compatibility with R/C servo commands....:)

Since it is designed for the R/C community, to be used with standard R/C receiver commands, it still sounds like the right name to me. Regardless, it is what it is, and I doubt we are going to change the thousands of R/C hobbiests or the hobby shops out there to call them something else.

But, that is just my tuppence, YMMV.

Wreno
 
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