Simplest Setup

Trying to play with the Micro Maestro and it just does not seem to be working. My intention is to use this while plugged into USB.

Based on what I have read I should be able to simply plug this into USB, attach a servo, and then I am off to the races.

Am I making horrible assumptions here?

Let me also list things that I have tried…

  • Different Servo
  • Different Computer (thought there could be an issue with the drivers)
  • Tried Powered USB hub, thought there might be too little power
  • Was uncomfortable sitting and working so I got a workbench so I could work standing up (bench is wood)
  • Looked for any newbie information
  • Cursed at the device for about 5 minutes

Hi, Ted.

It sounds like you are not using a battery to power your servos. Unfortunately, it is not possible to power standard servos off of a USB port because the port only can supply 500mA and typically servos need approximately 1A. The Maestro User’s Guide has a section on powering the Maestro. You might find this blog post on servos, and the others helpful.

- Ryan

I think I get what you are saying. Just start hooking up random power sources.

Ok. Would a 9V battery be sufficient?

A 9V battery is almost certainly wrong in two ways. One, the voltage is too high for most standard servos. Two, 9V batteries are bad sourcing a lot of current. The battery section of this blog post about servos should be helpful in figuring out your servo power source.

- Ryan

Ok. Instead of reading that I plugged in a cordless phone battery and it started smoking.

This is why I bought extra servos. What exactly would you use for this? Assume I know nothing about electronics, volatage, amps, etc.

Well never mind. It is destroyed. That was $20 well spent.


I can’t tell if I should be taking this discussion seriously or not. If it is real, I’m sorry that your Maestro was destroyed, but that’s exactly the result you should expect when you connect things randomly to components like this.

- Ben

I am 100% serious.

It actually ended up ok. I disconnected, then reconnected it and everything was ok somehow.

I ended up with some cheesy cordless phone battery that is 3.6v 700mAh? If that makes sense.

It is alive somewhat, which is reason enough to celebrate.

Anyone reading this. If you just bought the servo controller and thought you were ready to go, not really.

If you are knowledgeable and careful you probably read the manual where it says you need an external power source.

If you are like me, and just rushed into this without any planning, then yea you are gonna need something to power this. USB isnt going to cut it.

I did use a cordless phone battery from Target. This was a last resort. I did try radio shack and Hobby Lobby neither had anything different.
It works, but I can tell its not going to last very long so probably a better solution is a rechargeable battery for RC cars not to exceed 6V.

I am not an electrical engineer, I just think this stuff is fun. If you want to say “RTFM” please don’t waste your time.

I’m sure most people would know about what they’re buying before buying on impulse.

An easy way to power it is to use a BEC(battery eliminator circuit) from an ESC(electronic speed controller) connected an appropriate battery as the pins plug directly into the maestro. Otherwise use a 5v power supply with a current rating over 1A.

You ask us not to waste our time by telling you to read the manual while simultaneously asking us to waste our time by essentially reading the manual to you? Despite your denials, I still suspect you are just trolling.

- Ben