Yogi’s Favorite saying is “I’m Smarter than the Average Bear,” and he proved it.
As he was roaming Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest Campground in Western Pennsylvania looking for unattended Picnic Baskets, he came across John “Rckcrwlr” Thornton, driving his new Axial Wraith. As Yogi welcomed the children that gathered around him, he had his big eyes peeled at Rckcrwlr and his cool rock racing Wraith! As he approached, he pointed at Rckcrwlr’s hands and motioned to hand him the transmitter.
Concerned about a “newbie-bear” running an RC rig, Rckcrwlr took time to teach Yogi how to use the the AX-3 Transmitter. After about 3 minutes, Yogi wanted to try it. Rckcrwlr put a new battery in the Axial Wraith and off he went. The only time Yogi had a bigger smile was when he scores a Picnic Basket full of Chicken, Biscuits and Danish.
Yogi first drove in circles that he got bored with. Quickly he was climbing wood piles, rocks and dirt hills. Yogi is a little heavy on the throttle and really had the Wraith moving. At one point he was chasing BooBoo with it.
Yogi had his fun and about that time, caught a whiff of a freshly opened picnic basket and was off on his next entertainment mission.
Congratulations to Scott Bridges of Sacramento, CA for finding the Axial Geocache #4.
Scott found the Axial Geocache #4 on September 11th, 2011 at 10:11AM.
Here is what Scott had to say about his adventure.
“My name is Scott Bridges and the first thing I want to say is THANK YOU!
You guys at Axial have started a new revolution in the word adventure! Today was one of the most exciting trips ever! The trip was me, my best friend Marcus and another buddy Paul and I know from the pictures that we all have 1/5 scale bajas and a short coarse truck but that didnt stop us. I recently went out 3 weeks ago and FINALY got the rock crawler I’ve been waiting for (the XR10). So bought it for my birthday but I havent had the chance to get the electronics I want and need to complete it. Its my first electric car and first rock crawler. I expect on completing it very soon because Ive been DYING to go out and crawl! Im from Sacramento, CA. We left my house at 4 am on sunday (9-11-2011) and arived at the dirt road turn off at 9:30am. I found the Geocache at 10:11 am after a very fun and exciting hunt. It was raining and was 41 degrees but that didnt stop us! I was on a mission! Thank you very much for the adventure of a life time and I hope you continue to strive to be number one! Axial I feel is raising the bar to a new limit and I hope you guys push other companys to join the Geocache adventure and keep raising the bar!”
It’s that time again to get active in the Axial Geocache Adventure. We have planted the AXIAL GEOCACHE #4 in a great location. We were out on a camping trip in the Sierra National Forest and figured it would be a great place to hide #4. Grab your Axial RC rigs and go have fun finding this cache and tell us about your adventure.
Axial Geocache #4 N37 12.410 W119 10.926 (it works dropped into googlemaps)
Once you find the box, it’s yours. This is a cache and carry find. Tread lightly and leave no trace.
What we want from you:
Name / Address / Email / Phone
Photos of you and your Axial Rig at the Geocache site.
Time / Date of when you found the Axial Geocache #4
What you get from us:
More prizes on top of the prize that you will find.
The Wraith is a very capable rig out of the box. But, as usual, there are ways to improve it’s performance to make it even better. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Wraith with minimal cash out of pocket, and a little time/effort spent at the workbench.
Soften up the suspension:
The Wraith’s suspension is a little stiff out of the box, if you plan on just bashing with it as is. If you add scale accessories, a driver figure, spare tire, use a standard 6 cell stick pack, etc. it is probably about right. I left my Wraith pretty much stock, and found myself wanting a little bit softer suspension for those high speed rocky sections of trail. First thing I did was grab two packages of our “black” super soft comp shock springs, Part# AX30223 x 2. I rebuilt all four shocks using our 30wt oil, our 3 hole shock pistons and soft springs. If you don’t have 3 hole pistons, you can drill the existing holes out in the standard 2 hole pistons so they are just a tad bigger. Making this modification almost converts the Wraith to a “droop” suspension set-up, meaning there is very little “up” travel to the shocks, it’s almost all “down” travel. Under the it’s own weight sitting on a shelf, my shocks sit about mid-way into their overall stroke. How is that better you ask? This made my Wraith a lot more stable at speeds, as it lowered the overall center of gravity. This mod also helps it floats over rocks at full speed a lot better too, because the shocks can cycle through their travel more efficiently. As the tires come off the ground at speed the shocks extend under the weight of the axles, which will help absorb that next bump in the trail. If I had to suggest only one modification to a fellow Wraith owner, this would be the tip I give them. It makes a huge difference in how the Wraith handles at speed and over jumps.
The shock ride height after making this mod.
Aluminum servo horn:
Another great mod is going to an aluminum servo horn on the steering servo, that is compatible with Futaba servos. Using an aluminum arm instead of plastic is a lot more durable, and helps your steering track a little straighter in the rough stuff at speeds. The plastic steering linkage will still flex enough in hard crashes to protect your servo. Plus, the stock Wraith servo has metal gears which most RTR’s don’t have.
Steel ball studs:
For performance reasons, I like to replace any plastic ball studs with steel. Ball studs are the pivot points that allow your links to cycle through their travel. The steel ball studs will smooth out the motion on your suspension and steering links. Over time dirt will work it’s way into either set-up and wear parts out. But, with steel ball studs the dirt is less likely to hinder link movement. This mod works very well when done alongside the shock rebuilding tips I mentioned earlier. All you will need is 4 packages of our steel ball studs/flanged balls, Part# AXA1331 x 4. I don’t have a link for these, but your local hobby shop or online retailer can get the correct parts with that number.
The ball studs/flange balls.
Taking time to make these few adjustments will make a pretty big difference in how a Wraith performs, especially at speed on rough terrain. Happy Trails!!
I ended up switching from my hacked OG Honcho body and cage to a fresh semi-full body and cage. I think it looks a lot better now. I also switched to our 72-103mm comp shocks (AX30092). They work better for the high speed rough sections because of the volume of oil they hold compared to stock SCX10 shocks.
Set-up tips for installing and programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC.
1. Mount ESC in an area that is well ventilated, and isolated from vibration and shock.
2. Connect ESC wires to the motor(s).
3. Plug the receiver wire into the throttle channel on your receiver.
4. Before plugging the battery into the ESC, make sure your transmitter is on and that the throttle trim is set to zero.
5. Double check that the battery wires on the ESC are wired correctly, red on red and black on black. **Reversing the polarity will permanently damage the ESC**
6. Plug the battery into the ESC, with the ESC switch in the “off” position.
7. Apply full throttle on the transmitter.
8. Turn the ESC on while applying full throttle.
9. The ESC will emit a series of beeps through the motor with the “Red” LED.
10. Continue applying full throttle until the ESC blinks “Green” and emits a series of beeps to finalize the full throttle endpoint.
11. Once the ESC blinks “Red”, apply full brake/reverse, and hold.
12. The ESC will emit a series of beeps while blinking “Red” to finalize the reverse/brake endpoint.
13. Return the throttle to neutral and the ESC will emit a series of beeps to finalize the neutral point.
14. The ESC will emit one last series of beeps confirming the ESC is ready to go.
15. Apply throttle to make sure motor turns in the proper direction. To reverse the direction of the motor, switch the wires going to the motor.
1. If ESC set-up does not initialize while holding full throttle, try switching the throttle reverse switch on the transmitter. Also double check that the throttle trim is still set to zero.
2. Lipo “Cut-off” is set to “On” from the factory.
3. Use the “Castle Link” to access the advanced settings in this ESC.
Input Voltage – 6 cell NiCad/NiMH or 2cell lipo**
Size – 1.7″ x 1.24″
Weight – 45 Grams
Motor Limit – 19t
On-Resistance FET – .0018
Rated/Peak Current – 106A Peak
Braking Current – 106A Peak
BEC Voltage – 5.0V/2A Peak
PWM Frequency – 6KHZ
**You can run higher voltage batteries such as a 7 cell NiCad/NiMH or 3 cell lipo with the installation of a “Castle BEC”
Manually programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC
Here are a few tips for programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC, without a computer or “Castle Link”.
You can manually adjust 3 of the most important settings in the AE-2 ESC.
1. Lipo Cut-off
2. Drag Brake
Follow these steps to change settings on your Axial AE-2 ESC without a computer.
*Remove your pinion gear before calibration and manual programming as a safety precaution!*
STEP 1: Start with the transmitter ON and the ESC switched OFF and not connected to the battery.
STEP 2: Plug a battery into the ESC. Hold full throttle on the transmitter and turn the ESC switch ON. After a few seconds you will get the four rings in a row signaling full throttle calibration. Keep on holding full throttle. After a few more seconds, you will hear another four rings in a row. After the second group of four rings, relax the throttle to neutral. If you have successfully entered programming mode, the ESC will beep twice, pause, and repeat the two beeps.
STEP 3: The programming sequence is always presented in sequential order and always starts with the first setting (None) within the first section (Voltage Cutoff). The first beep(s) signifies which section of the programming you are in and the second beep(s) signifies which setting is waiting for a “yes” or “no” answer. As you go sequentially through the options, you will need to answer “yes” by holding full throttle, or answer “no” by holding full brake until the ESC accepts your answer by beeping rapidly. Once an answer has been accepted, relax the throttle back to neutral for the next question. After a “no” answer is accepted, the ESC will then present you with the next option in that section. After a “yes” answer is accepted, the ESC knows you aren’t interested in any other option in that section, so it skips to the first option in the next section.
Settings and explanations
The following section explains all the settings available to you via manual programming and what each one does to change the reactions of the ESC in order to tune it to your specific preferences. More settings are available via “Castle Link”.
1. Cutoff Voltage
Sets the voltage at which the ESC lowers or removes power to the motor in order to either keep the battery at a safe minimum voltage (Lithium Polymer cells) or the radio system working reliably (NiCad/NiMH cells).
Setting 1: None
Does not cut off or limit the motor due to low voltage. Do not use with any Lithium Polymer packs!
Use this setting ONLY with NiCad or NiMH packs. With continued driving, the radio system may eventually cease to deliver pulses to the servo and ESC, and the vehicle will not be under control.
You will irreversibly damage Lithium Polymer packs with this setting!
Setting 2: Auto-LiPo (Default)
This setting allows you to go back and forth between 2 and 3 cell LiPo packs without having to change the cutoff voltage for each one. The ESC automatically sets the cutoff voltage correctly for a 2 or 3 cell pack when that pack is plugged in.
2. Drag Brake
Sets the amount of drag brake applied at neutral throttle to simulate the slight braking effect of a neutral brushed motor while coasting.
Setting 1: Drag Brake OFF
Vehicle will coast with almost no resistance from the motor at neutral throttle.
Setting 2: Drag Brake 15%
Very Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle
Setting 3: Drag brake 25%
Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle
Setting 4: Drag Brake 40%
More braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.
Setting 5: Drag Brake 50%
Fairly high braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.
Setting 6: Drag Brake 100% (Default)
Full braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.
3. Brake / Reverse Type
Sets whether reverse is enabled or not, and exactly how it can be accessed.
Setting 1: Reverse Lockout
This setting allows the use of reverse only after the ESC senses two seconds of neutral throttle. Use it for race practice sessions and bashing, but check with your race director to see if this setting is allowed for actual racing.
Setting 2: Forward/Brake Only
Use this setting for actual sanctioned racing events. Reverse cannot be accessed under any circumstances with this setting.
Setting 3: Forward/Brake/Reverse (Default)
Reverse or forward is accessible at any time after the ESC brakes to zero motor RPM.
Here are a few tips for upgrading the steering on your Wraith. The stock Wraith steering components are pretty stout right out of the box. But, upgrading to aluminum components will give you a little extra piece of mind when it comes to sweating breakage while out on the trail. Here’s a quick “how to” for upgrading your Wraith’s steering set-up to aluminum components.
A picture of the new parts needed.
Where’s the beef? All the components needed removed from their packaging. You will only need 8 of the 10 screws in part’s bag AXA115. Some of the self tapping plastic screws will no longer be needed.
Start by removing the wheels and tires from the front axle.
Loosen the M3 set screw in the drive hex, then remove it and the drive pin from the stub axle.
Next remove the 2 screws holding the steer arm on the knuckle.
Using a 2mm driver, remove the 2 screws that hold the knuckle on the C-hub.
Now remove the 2 self-tapping screws that hold the C-hub on the axle housing.
Slide the new aluminum C-hub into place and attach using the existing hardware.
Remove the bearings and stub shaft from the old plastic knuckle, and install them into the new aluminum knuckle.
After installing the steel kingpin sleeves into the knuckle, slide the knuckle into place on the C-hub and tighten it down using the new M3x10mm button head screws. Make sure the knuckles are oriented properly, and are attached to the proper side of the axle housing. And as with the stock knuckles, the double captured arms aren’t used.
Use two more of the new M3X10 screws to re-attach the steering arm to the knuckle. If you are running the stock wheels, you can add some small spacers under the knuckle steer arm in order to take a little of the stock “toe in” out. If you are running our XR10 beadlock wheels, there isn’t much room for this mod.
Last thing we need to do for this side in re-install the cross pin and drive hex.
Now repeat the above steps for the opposite side on the front axle.
And you’re done, time to go hit the local rock pile!!
It’s inevitable, if you drive your R/C’s like they should be driven they are going to get dirty. Like everything else worth having, they will need to be cleaned/maintained. Especially if you drive your rigs in mud and water. While some people view this as a chore, it must be done to get the most life and best performance out of your rig and it’s inner workings. Here’s a short list of tips to help you clean/maintain your R/C’s in less time.
If your vehicle is waterproof, then a hose can be the best way to wash your vehicle off when it is really dirty/muddy. But, be aware that rust will set in on any steel surface eventually. WD40 can work great for keeping rust at bay, if you spray your metal parts down after being submersed in water, or hosed off. Another thing to keep in mind is WD40 will break grease down over time. So, re-greasing the gears and bearings is recommended regularly. You don’t need to re-grease everything after every cleaning. But, it may be a good habit to get into in order for your inner metal components to last as long as possible.
This is the method I use the most. If you own, or have access to, an air compressor. This is one of the best methods to clean an R/C car in my opinion. You should be able to remove any dust, or clumps of dried mud without much drama. I would like to stress that safety glasses are a must for this method. Last thing you want to happen is to start blowing off your rig, only to get blasted in the eyes with dirt and debris. Not fun! After you blow off the bulk of any stuck on dirt and mud, you can use a brush to finish the clean-up. I went to the local hardware store and bought a pack of 3 assorted sized paint brushes. It is nice to have an assortment of sizes, the small brushes work extremely well in tight areas.
This is another method I have seen used by some nitro racers. The Pledge actually shines your whole car up nicely, similar to using Armor All on your 1:1 vehicle. The oils in the Pledge will actually help keep rust at bay as well. Basically, you spray your whole car down with Pledge, and wipe everything off with a shop rag. Try not to saturate your electronics either, if they are not protected by a box or balloons. If the electronics aren’t protected, spray the cleaner on your rag, then wipe your vehicle down.
Motul “Shine & Go” is another spray on cleaner that can be used to clean your rigs after a hard day on the trails. It is originally designed for cleaning plastic fairings on motorcycles, and interiors on 1:1 vehicles. But, it also works really well for cleaning RC cars and trucks, especially lexan bodies and panels. Just spray a light coat on and wipe down with a clean rag, for that shiny “new” look. Use in a well ventilated area, and avoid soaking your electronics.
Following these tips should help keep your rig clean and in good working order, without taking you away from your next adventure for too long.
Axial Adventure Field Kit Recommendations
As our ever evolving hobby sees us moving further into the outback, exploring the wild while driving our radio controlled adventure rigs, we have developed a healthy lifestyle of getting some physical excursive without making it another “to do” chore! But as we are hiking further with our r/c rigs away from our 1:1 rigs, we are further away from our tool boxes and spare parts inventory and hydration. Like overland expeditions, they carry enough supplies to last the duration of the planned trip, plus a little extra for the unexpected. Thus we have adopted this same principle in our R/C adventure crawls. Instead of overloading the SCX10 Honcho or Dingo and now the Wraith, we pack our supplies in our Camelbaks.
These are must have items in your carry bag, for those day long excursions. Nothing is worse than making plans to go out with friends for an epic R/C adventure, only to get shut down early because of breakage. This can be avoided if you have the proper spare parts, and tools to fix any issues that may come up. Vital must have’s are metric drivers and assorted miscellaneous tools. I always carry 1.5mm, 2mm, and 2.5mm drivers in my field bag, as they are the most common tools needed for repairs. Socket tools are also another nice item to pack, but a pair of needle nose pliers can become your universal “adjustable wrench” for tightening up Nylock nuts. A knife or X-acto is another must have item, you never know when you will have to repair your winch line or tow strap. Small Philips and Flat-head screw drivers are another nice item to have, unless your vehicle has all hex hardware. And let’s not forget spare AA’s for transmitters, because you won’t get far with a dead radio. I also usually bring a small towel, for wiping greasy parts down if I have to make a major repair. Do yourself a favor, to avoid spending nights in the doghouse, don’t grab your wife/girlfriends good towels from the bathroom. Grab an old towel, or buy some rags at the local auto parts store.
I pack everything I need in a back-pack, or Camelback. Camelbacks are nice because you can carry tools, spare parts, sun block, aspirin, band aids, plus a snack and beverage all in one self contained unit.
*Adventure Field Kit: Highly recommended items to be in your bail-out bag at all times:
Axial SCX10 Honcho and Dingo
 Driveshafts [AX80011]
 87t Spur gear [AX30672]
 Axle housing [AX80003]
 Plastic shock hoops [AX80025]
 Plastic knuckles [AX80004]
 Plastic C hubs [AX80012]
 Package of body clips [AXA1059]
 LoctiteTM Thread Lock
 Spare wheel hex drive pins [AX30163]
 Short M3 set screws [AXA180]
Keep in mind this guide is meant for stock RTR vehicles, but most parts listed above are nice to have handy on those long trail runs. Also, as you upgrade parts, there will be less to carry too. For example once you have installed aluminum knuckles and C’s, there is usually no need to carry extras as the chances of breaking them are almost non-existent. All the above parts can be ordered through your local hobby shop using the part numbers provided. Time to get your adventure on!!
R.E.C.O.N. Crawlers held their latest installment of the G6 Challenge at Cisco Grove Camp Ground this past July 30th. Since invigorating the scale scene with the G6, Brian Parker has been continually perfecting the formula for fun. This one was not to disappoint. Even at the event Mr. Parker was still dreaming of ways to make future events even better. Does this guy ever sleep?
When the daylight finally arrived, drivers were greeted with 3 stages totaling 275 trail markers to navigate. Brian’s goadl was to stop the trend of sprinting through the stages. He wanted drivers to slow down and enjoy the experience of the challenge. This was achieved several ways. One way was through no passing zones. Drivers could not pass unless a vehicle was disabled. Another way was by setting an ‘average stage time’. Drivers that went under the time received 3 minute penalties for each minute under and 1 minute penalties for each minute over. On the shorter 50 marker stages, drivers were slowed down by either the slippery river rocks or hiking a steep unmolested grade. On the 175 marker stage, there was simply no way to sprint unless you were an Olympic Marathoner.
This event got its name because each driver was dealt a poker hand. Drivers received two cards at registration and one card after completing each stage. Winner of the Poker Run Challenge scored a cool $100. As usual, there were time bonuses given for special skills sections. Skill sections at the Joker’s Wild included a boat recovery zone, log pull, sled pull, and driver marksmanship challenge. Both rigs and their drivers would need a full gas tank if they were to complete this challenge.
Brian Parker discusses Joker’s Wild and future G6es late into the night. I finally turned in around 2 a.m. I don’t think he slept.
Drivers were up early for the 8 a.m. tech. Lots of drivers showed up, over 50 preregistered.
It was all smiles at the registration tent.
Rigs lined up and waited for the signal to start.
BigJoeDuckSlayer told me he’d give me $50 if I used a pic of his Wraith, so here it is.
Enter this culvert at your own risk because…
…lots of gnats and mosquitos waited for you at the other end.
A ‘jungle’ section of the 175 marker course
G6 Vet, BrokenNib traverses a stream
My stage buddy, DragonTurbo3 finds himself on the lonely ‘Hell’s Highway’ where temps reached into upper 90s.
Not a stage buddy, more of a trail buddy.
After 175 markers, driver’s had to test their marksmanship with this airsoft rifle; sharpshooters earned time bonuses.
The river was down, so drivers got to sample the slick rock. Water makes beautiful artwork out of this stone.
Hottie with a Wraith.
She had tons of scale accessories including a look-alike Barbie in the driver’s seat.
What’s that website on her laptop?
DanW had some issues with his rig. I think this may have been a blown radiator hose.
A boat waits in the ‘recovery zone’ to be retrieved.
A dip in the creek before heading down Hell’s Highway.
Some 1.9s struggled with this sand pile, but the Wraiths didn’t seem to have any issues.
Trail Marker #134!!! Don’t think you’re getting close. You still have 41-Trail Markers to go.
Cole Bailey winds his Axial Samurai Stage Assassin through G6 Central. He stopped for a soda and a smile.
Ascot wearing ChasinBaja was envious of this Land Rover.
Trail Marker #163, getting closer.
The success of this event was evident by several sightings. The first was that almost 50 drivers drove over 60 miles to get to the event and many brought their families to watch and camp out. The second was all smiles and friendly chatter on the trails. I heard drivers giving advice on good lines to take and saw several drivers stop to help out fellow drivers who were broken or out of gas. The third was when a couple families walked all the way over from their campsites to see what all the trail markers were about. Judging by facial expression after their children saw the trucks running the G6 Challenge, I think I know what they will be asking for at Christmas. If you have not participated in a Parker run R.E.C.O.N. G6, it’s time you got yourself an SCX10 and did so. You will not regret it.
3rd Place – James Skiles
2nd Place – Sam Trujillo
1st Place – Justin Halbohm
Finishing prize winners. Prizes donated from RCCountry, Bruce Peage, Dean Hsiao, PLE Engineering, and Rock Armor