After 1991 or so, most of the major brands of servos became compatible with each other. You can use any of these brands of servos with any brand of receiver. Some brands of servos are really great for a particular use in a particular plane. There are companies that have servos available with a choice of connectors. If this is the case, be sure to request that the servo is equipped with the connector that is compatible with your receiver.

You can connect Futaba servos with an Airtronics receiver as long as the Airtronics receiver is designed to accept the Airtronics Z connector. However, you will have to cut off the flat polarizing tab that is on one side of the Futaba servo connector. You can connect Hitec & JR servos to a Futaba receiver but, be sure to observe the wiring color code when inserting the servo connector into the Futaba receiver so that you do not insert it with reverse polarity. For Futaba, Hitec, and JR receivers, the servo, battery and signal wires are properly oriented. However, the Futaba servo connectors are physically different because their servo connectors have a keying tab on the side which prevents the servo connector from being inserted into their receivers with the wiring polarity reversed. The other manufacturers' receivers will not accept the Futaba servo connector as long as the keying tab is present.

You can't reverse the direction of a servo (reversed servo) by swapping (+) and (-). If you do, you may burn out either the servo or the receiver or both. It's a lot easier to buy any of the newer transmitters that have servo reversing built-in.

As of December 1997, Airtronics is now shipping servos with an optional "Z" connector that matches the connector found on JR Radio and Hitec servos. Be sure to request that the servo is equipped with the connector that is compatible with your receiver.

If you have or are considering purchasing Airtronics radio equipment, you can read about the Airtronics 'Z' connector.

I usually cut off the little side tab on the Futaba connector with an Exacto knife if I want to use it with a Hitec, JR or Airtronics Z connector receiver.

Do not connect an Airtronics servo to any other brand receiver unless the Airtronics servo uses their newer Z connector! Do not connect any other brand servo to an Airtronics receiver unless it is designed to accept their Z connector!

Shown below are the three standard connectors that are used by Futaba, Hitec and JR. The Airtronics connector shown below is the connector that was used prior to the introduction of their Z connector. This connector is not compatible with the other Manufacturers' receivers nor is it compatible with the newer JR receivers that are designed to accept their Z connector.



Author Randy Carr