Servo Positioning Blocks Come Adrift
“Hmmm – must be some kind of packing material, I’ll just throw them away.” WRONG!!
There are two small black rubber blocks that hold the two servos in position. They can occasionally come loose – sometimes during shipping.
If you could see (and you can’t unless you take the deck plate off), there are four small posts moulded into the underside of the deck plate at the location of each servo. They are sized to receive the four screw holes in each servo. The servos simply slip up on these four posts and are held firmly from twisting.
But the posts only hold the servos from moving in reaction to the load on the servo. They do not hold the servo up to the deck. That is where the rubber blocks come into play.
Even if the rubber blocks have become dislodged, the servos will still remain in place ? but only because they are hanging from their drive fittings above deck. The steering servo on the steering horn, and the sail servo on its drum.
Leaving the servos hanging on these fittings causes more friction and allows the servo to sit slightly away from its deck port – which will allow water in. It also allows the servo to wallow a bit which will not help their longevity.
We recommend that you check these rubber blocks periodically and if you find them adrift, wedge them beneath the servo and fix in position with a little rubber cement or silicon.
Replacing a Servo
Should you ever need to remove/replace your servos, first undo the deck fitting, and then remove the block. The servo will slip down, and off, the mounting posts.
Servo Teeth Broken
The sail servo (winch) in the RC Laser is extremely reliable, you are unlikely to experience any difficulties with it.
The steering servo (Hitec 300 model) does everything asked of it however the gears are nylon, and therefore subject to breaking if mishandled. Breakages will not occur while the boat is out sailing! Rarely are these breakages a warranty issue ? they are almost always the result of mis-handling.
Force applied to the rudder is transmitted back through the stainless steel rods to the servo. If that force is a jolt, the rods transmit that jolt directly to the servo horn and the teeth may shear off.
There are several common accidents that cause a shock to the rudder sufficient to rip the teeth off the gears. The most innocent is a fall off the stainless steel cradle onto the rudder. To avoid this, always put your boat in the cradle with the bow hanging well out (keel all the way forward inside of the cradle). That way, if the boat falls, it will fall forward – which will cause no damage.
The other method of eating teeth is the rudder being struck as a result of careless handling. To avoid this, always pick up your boat by the leading edge of the keel, just below the hull. Turn the bow down facing the ground, mast out in front of you where you can see it. Your arm is straight down by your side grasping the keel as mentioned. The rudder is lying flat against your shoulder where it is well protected from being struck.
Another caution; w hen packing your boat for shipment, or a long trip in its bag, always be very careful to put the tiller hard over and then pack the area behind the boat with foam. This will keep the tiller in the hard over position and prevent a sudden movement that could damage the teeth.
A simple way of testing whether you have stripped any of the teeth is to grasp the rudder (with both the radio and boat power switched off), and turn it gently from side to side. The resistance you feel and hear is the servo turning. If you feel/hear a skip, you have stripped some teeth.
If you find you do have damage, the good news is that o pening the servo is not difficult and the gears are easily replaced. The entire servo is also inexpensive and easily replaced.
To remove the servos out simply unscrew the one screw that attaches the deck horn/drum to the servo drive shaft. Then pull out the small rubber support block and out it comes.