ProTek Black Label 170SBL Servo Review
There are good servos, then there are GOOD servos, and the new lineup of Black Label servos from ProTek are aimed at the very top. Recently we got a chance to use (read- abuse) a ProTek 170SBL, a top-of-the-line brushless powered servo that has great specs for 8th scale or monster truck use. After weeks of bashing, what did we find out? Keep on read’n to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pics By: T-Money
Operating Voltage- 4.8 to a max of 8.4V
Speed- 0.09/60° sec at 6V, 0.08/60° sec at 7.4V
Dynamic Torque- 458 oz-in at 6V, 535 oz-in at 7.4V
Static Holding Torque- 395 oz-in at 6V, 440 oz-in at 7.4V
Weight- 72 grams
Motor Type- Brushless
Output Shaft- 25 tooth
Dimensions- 40 x 28.4 x 37.8mm
Part Number- #PTK-170SBL
Set-Up Notes- We ran the ProTek in two different vehicles. The first was our review Losi TEN SCBE 1/10th scale buggy while the second was an ARRMA Kraton 1/8th scale MT/truggy. The Kraton was sporting a stock power system on 4 to 6S LiPo while the SCBE had a Castle brushless system running off 3 to 4S.
How It Drives- Ok, so this is the category that really matters. When you lay down serious cash on a servo, you expect it to perform in a premium manner. Yes, that was the case with the 170SBL.
While it doesn’t have the fastest speed specification on the market, we found out test unit to be extremely fast, especially back to center. Not only did this make both of our test platforms turn better, it really helped the AVC on the Losi. With the ProTek servo the AVC on the Losi did its job much better than with the stock/slow servo.
As far as torque goes, the ProTek had way more torque than we could use in either of our test vehicles. At a dead stop the ProTek easily slammed the tires lock to lock, just like it did at high speed. And that is no small feet, big ole’ 8th scale MT tires have a lot of rotating mass when going 60 mph and the ProTek had more than enough torque to give our ARRMA all the steering it wanted.
We found the 170SBL to also be quite smooth. Perhaps not the smoothest we’ve ever tested, but close. The servo did a fine job of smoothly sweeping from full lock one direction to full lock the other, which came in especially handy when driving at the track.
Durability- After slamming into various obstacles and giving the servo some good old fashioned abuse, the ProTek still works fine. Of course we were running servo savers on both vehicles, but if you’ve ever driven a 1/8th scale truggy like the Kraton much, then you know how hard a vehicle of that type can be on servos. To boil it down, our test servo did not have an easy life and is still working the same as it arrived.
The ProTek uses a brushless motor for power which is supposed to make it more efficient and give it longer life. Brushless motors are all the rage in high-end servos and the unit in the 170SBL worked well for us.
Ever break the ears off a servo? Yes, we have too. The ProTek comes with an all aluminum case to help get rid of heat, as well as to make it bomb proof. Good luck breaking an ear off the ProTek, we could not during our testing regimen.
The specifications say nothing about being waterproof, nor did we test it in any water.
The lead wires are detachable and we found that quite handy. It made our installs easier and allows you to easily change the wiring if it goes bad, or to use a different length for a custom install.
What was the real highlight on the 170SBL? Centering. The ProTek centered perfectly every time and with very little noise.
Final Verdict- The ProTek Black Label 170SBL worked extremely well for us. It certainly had high-end performance and did not break during the rigors of our testing.