Where to use Digital vs Analog Servos in RC Vehicles

In the previous article, we covered the differences between the Analog and Digital servo. In this article we are taking that a step further and we are going to look at specific applications.

Applications Best Suited for Digital Servos

Digital servos are best used in an application that requires best performance. Two factors must also be kept in mind. Digital servos will not be the cheapest option and will also be power hungry. Make certain that your budget can allow for a digital servo and that you have enough power from an ESC or battery to supply the digital servo.

Primary reasons you would select a digital servo over an analog servo are for maximum holding torque, smooth torque delivery, and fast servo response time. Digital servos are best used for primary control functions that allow an RC vehicle to change direction. Here is a list of applications that would benefit from the advantages a digital servo has to offer.

  • RC Car Steering Servo
  • RC Airplane Flight Control Surfaces
  • RC Helicopter Swashplate Controls
  • RC Boat Steering Servo
  • RC Boat/Car Throttle Servo (Brake function on the Car as well)

Applications Best Suited for Analog Servos

Analog servos are a cost effective option where performance is not required. Below is a list of applications where Analog servos would work well.

  • RC Car Transmission Gear Selection Servo
  • Differential Case Locked vs Open Selection Servo
  • RC Airplane Gear Door servo

You are probably wondering at this point about all primary functions for RC applications being best suited for a Digital servo. When considering performance this is absolutely true, however, it does not mean that Analog servos don’t work. In fact there are many applications that use Analog servos on primary controls.

Analog servos can be used for primary controls for smaller scale radio controlled vehicles. It is not recommended to use analog servos on larger scale vehicles simply from a safety stand point.

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