How to Use Linear Servos With RC Devices

Introduction: How to Use Linear Servos With RC Devices

About: At Actuonix, we have been designing and manufacturing linear motion devices for over a decade. We pride ourselves on making the best affordable linear actuators and servos on the market.

Linear Servos can be used in many different applications. Two of the most popular are Radio Control devices and Robotics.

RC Linear Servos work in the same way as standard rotary servos, only providing you with linear motion. This is ideal in applications that require more force or lifting power or applications where it may be awkward to mount a rotary servo.

There are several advantages to using linear servos over rotary including:

  • Increased lifting power
  • Easier to create leverage
  • Simpler design using linear motion rather than rotary

Robotic arms are a great example. Many awesome robotic arm projects have used rotary servos. The problem is that each successive stage of the arm must be mounted to the output shaft of the rotary servo. This makes for awkward engineering and an obvious weak spot in design.

Linear servos are also useful for customizing radio control projects. They've been used for sliding canopies, retractable landing gear for both planes and helicopters, and many other customizations.

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Step 1: Things You'll Need

To make a Linear Servo work in an RC application you will only need 3 things:

1. An RC Receiver and radio setup

Actuonix 'R' series linear servos will work with most RC receivers with Futaba being an exception. If you're running certain Futaba receivers such as the R6014FS that outputs 2.7 volts, you will need something to bring the voltage up to 5VDC Such as a Smart Fly Power Expander or Orbit Power Jack.

2. A Source of Power

You can power your receiver with either a battery pack or a D/C power supply. Make sure that your input voltage meets the manufacturer's specs.

3. RC Linear Servo

Pick up an RC Linear Servo that meets your stroke and force requirements. R series linear servos have an identical plug to a rotary servo and work just the same way. Be sure to pick up the correct one!

Step 2: Plug the Servo Into Your Receiver

Unless you are running the lower voltage Futaba, it's more or less plug-and-play. Make sure that you're plugged into the correct channel and that you've got all of your trims and exponential set where you want them.

You will find that the linear servo behaves just like a rotary servo except voila! Now you've got linear motion.

This video shows just how simple it is.

Thanks for reading. If you'd like more info on Linear Actuators and Servos, you can check us out at:




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