Servo continuous moving lifespan

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I’m using a Raspberry Pi, a PCA9685 controller, and a servo to control the air intake lever on my woodstove based on stove and room temperatures. My code adjusts the servo position every 2 minutes and there is no force from the stove lever on the servo except when it’s moving to a new position (and the servos were perfectly quiet when idle). The system runs 24/7 and is working great. Except that now two servos have burned out – the first lasted 6 weeks and the 2nd one only 4 (seems the internal electrics failed, all the gears are fine). Are servos designed to be “on” 24/7 for months at a time? If not, is there a way to turn the servo off via the PCA9685 controller to lengthen its lifespan?

  • Nothing to do with the Pi. There should be a better stackexchange site for the question. – joan 10 hours ago
  • 1
    The expected lifespan should be specified in the documentation. If they don’t last as long then (a) they’re crap or (b) you exceed the maximum ratings while using them. – Dmitry Grigoryev 4 hours ago
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    Common servos are built for radio controlled models and are not designed for 24/7. Expect to pay much more for better rated actuators. – NomadMaker 2 hours ago
  • Well, there are 101 tricks, Rpi or non Rpi, to make your servo last longer, or for ever: (1) Use metal geared servos, they worth your extra money, (2) Use not so crappy servos. let me know the web link of your servos, if they are the brand recommended by most Ri official tutorials, I am happy to give an evaluation basic on spec reading and do a stress test for you. (3) Your remark “no force from lever” is very likely WRONG. Show me a photo and I can estimate the force applied to your poor servo, and perhaps suggest how to reduce the loading on the servo, … Cheers. – tlfong01 2 hours ago
  • You might like to read the following article, saying that the industrial grade servo’s MTBF is round 20k hours: So crappy toy motors is hard to say 🙂 Lifespan of a Servo Motor blog.repairzone.com/lifespan-of-a-servo-motor – tlfong01 15 mins ago
  • As the expert says, lower servo speed lengths servo life span. So perhaps you thing you can try is the following: (1) Modify your Rpi python program to slow down the servo speed by moving servo in many small steps instead of one big steps. For example, if you want to move the servo from say 90 degrees to 180 degrees, you don’t specify the duty cycle for 180 degrees. Instead you say, 95, 100, … 180 degrees. – tlfong01 1 min ago   Edit
  • There is an Amtel 4 bit mcu inside the servo, adjusting the carbon film pot which is sort of feedback control. So if you move the carbon film pot contact slowly in small steps, the wear and tear, also fiction causing heat might be smaller. This way, even crappy hobbyist servos MIGHT last 3 times longer, … 🙂 – tlfong01 1 min ago   Edit

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