By Mike Garrison
Whether it's wheel nuts, wings, tools, tracks, trinkets and/or anything in between, the LiveRC staff gives their testimonial and review of each every Thursday morning!
ProTek RC 170SBL Black Label High Speed Brushless Servo (High Voltage)
ProTek RC is the proprietary brand of A Main Hobbies, however, in recent years it has become one of its own with a long list of products available around the globe – not just the AMainHobbies.com online store. In the fall of 2016, ProTek added the 170SBL Black Label High Speed Brushless Servo to their high-end servo range. Shortly after, I was given the opportunity to try the new servo, and to provide a “lifespan” review of the 170SBL servo, I have been running it in and out of various vehicles over the past year.
The ProTek RC 170SBL features an aluminum black anodized case on the outside, and is equipped with full metal gears and dual ball bearings and high voltage circuitry and brushless motor inside. The servo includes 150mm and 300mm length detachable servo leads. Claimed to have at 7.4V (2S LiPo battery power) a .08 transit speed and 535 oz-in of torque.
Installation of the ProTek 170SBL is easy, and the different length plug-in leads included are extremely handy when working towards a clean wiring job. Not to mention, if the lead is damaged or torn, replacement wires are available. 150mm and 300mm length wires are included, and an optional 70mm is also sold separately.
The overall look of the ProTek 170SBL is very clean, and looks “rich”. The aluminum case adds a significant amount of heavy-duty appearance over some less aggressive looking plastic servo cases.
I have run this servo in nearly every form of off-road racing vehicle ranging from 1/10-scale stock 2wd buggy, mod 4wd buggy, and all the way up to nitro 1/8-scale buggy. While it works very well in all of the different scales, I felt as though it worked best for 1/10-scale mod 4wd buggy class and 1/8-scale vehicles where weight is not as crucial. The 170SBL weighs nearly 20 grams more than a low-profile alternative, such as the ProTek 160T.
I have yet to have an issue with the servo in terms of performance or durability, with countless laps racing, practicing, and bashing on the track. The servo has not overheated or faded during long races, it is very quick and consistent to return to center, and has required no re-adjustment, tweaks, or maintenance despite the long-term abuse it has received.
At $160, this is not the cheapest servo you will find, nor is it the most expensive. If you are a racer looking for one servo that offers the versatility and performance desired for a variety of scales and different vehicles, I have found no reason to say the 170SBL isn’t worth the money.
- Aluminum case looks very stylish and is very durable.
- Removable servo lead wires in various lengths makes installing, routing, and achieving “clean wiring” very easy.
- Capable of providing the high speed, torque, and reliability desired in both 1/10-scale and 1/8-scale vehicles.
- Did not overheat or fade after 60-minute run in a 1/8-nitro buggy – tested as both throttle and steering servo.
- Quickly and consistently returns to center, even after nearly a year of abuse.
- No breakage, glitches, or issues have been experienced.
- Rubber protection boot on servo lead wire can be a little tricky to fit into place. I actually trimmed off the boot to avoid the hassle, and have had no issues without it.
When it comes to servos, I want something that provides not only speed and torque, but more importantly something that is consistent, reliable, and can withstand what few times I may crash or smash into something (by “few” I mean hundreds and hundreds of times over and over). The ProTek 170SBL has met and surpassed all expectations by looking good, working great in all applications I put it in, has not glitched or broken once, and is still as consistent and quick as the day I received it.