Jeeping with EctoVentures in Johnson Valley

Jeeping_EctoVentures_JohnsonValley
We were fortunate to be able to set up our base camp at the Lasernut Compound for the weekend which made for a great meeting spot. Our plan was to check out a new event called Rocktober taking place in Johnson Valley and to pre-run a route for HB Performance Offroad that we would be leading on Sunday. On Friday once camp was set we headed out to check out some new ground and then head over to Fissure Mtn Trail and run it from north to south. On Saturday we took a bit of a challenging way to get over and run Lower Big Johnson and then we headed over to mess around on Chocolate Thunder. And of course Saturday night included campfire story time with some friends that were out camping with us. On Sunday’s daybreak, we met for a quick drivers meeting at the Lasernut Compound and then headed over to Fissure Mtn. via a slightly challenging route. As we finished Fissure Mtn we stopped for lunch and decided to head over to Chocolate Thunder via Tack Hammer. As we set into the rocks on Chocolate Thunder we had a vehicle suffer a broken brake caliper bracket which forced us to band-aid him, turn back and head for home.

 

See more from EctoVentures on Facebook

 

314A5396 314A5400 314A5439 314A5463 314A5505 314A5512 314A5527 314A5546 314A5565 314A5583 314A5602 314A5625 314A5650 314A5664 314A5673 314A5695 314A5774 314A5784 314A5790 314A5824 314A5870 20171020_101651 20171020_112036 20171020_125712 20171020_125902 20171020_162655 20171020_162738 20171020_185826 20171021_103559 20171021_134012 20171021_140936 20171021_160423 20171022_090258 20171022_090303 20171022_090323 20171022_095126 20171022_101650 20171022_103500 20171022_104009 20171022_110826 20171022_112657 20171022_112859 20171022_112933 20171022_113212 20171022_120746 20171022_121012 20171022_133635 20171022_134008

 

Video documentary of the Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek

SCX10_II_Rubicon_trekADV
Words/Photos: Rodney Wills

Back in 2013, we published a series of blog posts that I wrote documenting our efforts to take a bone-stock 1/10th scale Axial AX90028 SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR out of the box and drive it over the world renowned full-size Rubicon Trail.

Our Rubicon Trek took place in October of 2012, and those blog posts reflect each day’s events from start to finish. What those blog posts did not show is the video footage documenting this trip – until now! We have two video’s; one at 9-minutes long talking about the trip over video footage and the second one at 55-minutes that shows a lot more footage for your milk & cookies viewing pleasure.

The photos from that trip was purely secondary to the docu-trip as they were shot with a little Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS pocket camera carried in my pocket. The video camera and heavy duty tripod was the “heavy equipment” weighing in at 19-lbs. I did not shoot every square inch of the 15+ mile trail, so there was a lot of shoulder time with the camera as getting in-and-out of the Jeep was not practical as we had all the camp gear and equipment spread out in the Jeep once we were on trail. Regardless of the rigors I personally went through, I am very stoked to have the opportunity to plan, execute and document this trip. These videos reflect the Axial SCX10’s pure performance capabilities.

Need a jump-link to those previous blog post?
http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts?cat=814

 

Todd Pearson’s 2017 Axialfest Best Of Show Doxy WWII Wrecker

ToddPearson2017_axfest_DoxyWWIIWreckerreads

There are so many things to look forward to at Axialfest, but if you are a modeler at heart, concours is the day during this event you look forward to the most. The pavilion of Cisco Grove campground transforms into a modelers truck show. Modelers line up before being told to at the gate, with rigs in hand and an eye over their shoulder to see who built what. Lanes are set up and modelers place their prized rigs into a lane that matches up with the class they’ve built their rig for.  It’s a bit of a chaotic time, vehicles and owners are flooding in, cell phones are drawn, snapping photos, panning with video and instantly uploading to social media.

As the lanes fill up, judges start making their rounds and the chatter starts to begin between the participants and enthusiastic onlookers. “Whoa, look at that! Did you see that truck over there? That rig is insane! How did he make that?” These are all statements heard in the crowd and then it gets to; “the one.” The one most of the crowd saw, the one that stands out from the rest. If my mind serves me correct, it was less than an hour of concours being opened that several people had asked me if I saw the military wrecker? That military wrecker belonged to Todd Pearson and after staring at the machine in amazement I had to know more about it. Fast-forward to the end of concours, Todd and his military wrecker had deservedly taken home the 2017 Best of Show award. Now we all needed to know more about it! We were able to catch up with Todd and get all the details about his amazing build along with some close up photography.

Concourse Winner12

ABOUT THE BUILDER

Concourse Winner07
Name: Todd Pearson
Age: 47
Hometown: Chico, CA
Profession: Self Employed
Outside RC Hobbies: Rockhounding and Making Jewelry

HOBBY BACKGROUND

Concourse Winner03
When did you start in RC? 1980
What was your first RC vehicle? A Tamiya Tank and then a Tamiya Fast Attack!
What are your main RC interests (building, racing…?) I love anything RC related, I flew my first plane at age 8 and still fly today. I started racing RC cars in the late 80’s and still enjoy it on a weekly basis. I can fly helicopters and quads and of course I love rock crawling.
How much time a week do you spend on RC? My wife who I love dearly says I spend way too much time on RC!

THE RIG

Concourse Winner01

The name for your build? DOXY
What vehicle is your rig modeled after? Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck, with Chevrolet C15A 4×4 Crane (field adaptation.)
How much research went into the build? A Ton!
What is the frame/ did you start with a kit? This project started with a set of SCX10 frame rails. No modifications were made to the chassis
What drivline did you use? SSD
What axles did you use? SSD with all Axial internals

 

THE BODY

Concourse Winner22

What did the body start off as? Tamiya Wrangler
What materials were used to modify it? The cab was cut down 6-inches then I added styrene fenders and side steps. The front and rear windows and the interior were all custom scratch-built from styrene.
How long did the body take to complete? I can’t really guage time. I gave myself a year to complete this truck and enter it at Axialfest concourse.
Additional body modifications: The bed is real wood and the crane cage is steel. The crane is manually extendable for more boom reach. The winch works from the radio and is custom built; complete with scale chain.

THE DETAILS

Concourse Winner18

Tell us more about the external accessories, lighting and other hidden features? For lighting, I custom built the head and tail lights. The work light operates by a hidden switch. In the cab I used an SBC Toolbox and Ammo Can. I also had a scale topo-map of Cisco Grove and a Scale CMP Manual. On the outside of the truck I added scale rope, made a scale tow log, added a full size spare tire, Jerry cans, welding tanks and hoses and the fuel tank. The fuel tank is actually active and is what holds the variable speed smoke system.

Concourse Winner19

Concourse Winner20

Concourse Winner21

ELECTRONICS

Concourse Winner04

Radio System: KO PROPO with two receivers. One for driving and one for the smoke system.
Motor: Axial 27T
ESC: Axial
Servo: Protek 100T
Battery: ECO Power

PARTS USED
The big list of stuff…
SCX10 frame rails
SCX10 II transmission
Ebay transfer case
SSD Driveline
SSD D60 axles with Axial internals
Protek RC 100T servo
Two speed controls (one for driving and one for the smoke system)
Metal stamped beadlock wheels
RC4WD Mud Plugger tires
Full-size spare tire
Custom hand-made winch (chain driven)
Custom wood bed
Custom metal crane cage with extendable boom
Custom Wood tow log
Custom metal bumpers front and rear
Custom working smoke system (in the gas tank)
Custom lighting
Tamiya Wrangler cab (cut down 6in.)
Custom interior
Scale By Chris accessories

Concourse Winner10

THE EXPERIENCE
Give us a brief overview of driving the truck. Are you nervous when driving? What trails did you run on at Axialfest? Doxy never really made it out for any serious trail runs. We just kinda goofed off around the pavilion. On friday I left Doxy at my sponsors booth AMainHobbies.com and let everyone get a good look at the truck.

AXIALFEST MEMORABLE MOMENTS
Todd: Axialfest 2017, WOW what an awesome event this year! So much fun with family and friends. Last year I decided that I was going to build a tow truck for this year’s event and enter the concourse.

The idea for this truck was just to build something different and badass! I was never expecting to be rewarded for all the hard work and effort. The competition at Axialfest in all concours classes is incredible with some really crazy talented builders.

After all the judging, Doxy was chosen to be best of her class for 2017. I’m speechless and extremely honored to be able to win this award on my first attempt. Then even more incredible to be voted Best Of Show by all of the other class winners. What? Really! I’m so truly honored to be recognized for the time and effort. Thank you fellow builders and judges!

WHERE IS IT NOW?
Is this a shelf queen? Will you continue to drive it? Doxy will be out on some trails but most of the time she will be next to her trophy!

Concourse Winner14

FUTURE PLANS?
Will the truck stay as is, or will it continue to evolve? I’m done with this build and moving on to my 2018 secret project. Huge thanks to my family for supporting me on this project. And everyone else that was a part of the project.

SPECIAL THANKS
AMainHobbies,com
Proteck RC
ECO Power
Corey Koehler
Brad Juanarena
Shaun Klobas
Scale By Chris

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
We’d like to thank Todd for taking the time to give us all of the details about Doxy and congratulate him for taking home the Best In Class and Best Of Show award at Axialfest 2017. We hope this story on Todd’s quest to build an amazing tow truck inspires you to build the truck of your dreams too. We suggest starting right now and we’ll see you in the concours lanes at Axialfest 2018!

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 6: TREADS

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS1_part5Treads

In our mission to show you how the Axial SCX10 and SCX10 II are a perfect fit for SORRCA Class 1 events, we’ve organized the rules and broke them down into six total focus groups. We’ve reached the final focus and that is the wheels, tires and widths to fit your vehicle in. This topic requires some thought and product purchase choices will require work on your part to make sure your rig complies. Let’s dive in.

FOCUS 6: TREADS
SORRCA Rule • 106mm / 4.19″ Max tire size including spares.

nitto_tire_800px
Looks like the Axial Perfect Fit has hit a snag. Unfortunately, the treads within the Axial tire line-up are on the larger side of the SORRCA rule and therefore you’ll need to search for tires that fit this rule and your traction needs. If you are trying to keep that factory look, consider using a licensed wheel from the Axial selection HERE.


 

SORRCA Rule • Wheels must be aligned within the body wheel wells (center of wheels to center of wheel wells +/- 1/2 inch total combined)

SORRCA Rule • The tread of the tires cannot extend outside of the wheel wells more than 1/2 of the tread width, flairs can be added to reach minimum spec.

Team KNK Hardware TTC4 2017-88
When choosing your wheel and tire combination, you’ll want to make certain that the wheel off-set is correct, consider hex hub widths, and tire overhang on the rim so it does not exceed the measurements provided by SORRCA. The vehicle above has wheels that are obviously outside of the body width; this rig would not fit within SORRCA’s rules.


SORRCA Rule • Tires can never extend beyond the body’s bumpers or the rear of any truck bed. (Any stingers,fairleads, shackles, bolts, etc. are not considered part of a bumper when determining this.)

ax90046_SCX10_2-34_800px

As Axial SCX10 and SCX10 II’s arrive from the factory, the wheels and tires are located behind the bumpers. When lengthening links or altering bumper positions, you’ll want to make sure the wheels will still fit behind the bumper. If you are making modifications as such, make sure you fit within some of the previous rules mentioned in our series like sectioning and bobbing.


 

SORRCA Rule • Gates will be a minimum of 11″ wide (so mind your width).

Team KNK Hardware TTC4 2017-165

Gate width plays a key role in determining the width of your trail rig once you start customizing. The stock SCX10 width is 8.8” and the SCX10 is 8.9” which will leave some space to clear gates as long as your wheel and tire choice combination result in a factory width in order to fit under the body. If you choose a combination that is wider, you’re putting the squeeze on your rig through the gates. A bigger concern is the angles in which you need to proceed through some gates if a minimum 11” gate is used. Things can get tight.

GET SORRCA READY
That wraps up the series on the Axial SCX10/ SCX10 II Perfect Fit for SORRCA blog focus. SORRCA has done an excellent job in providing guidelines for everyone to follow so the rigs stay scale and the competition stays close. Our descriptions of how scale Axial trucks fit into these rule sets has been interpereted and presented to the best of our knowledge. Both Axial trail truck platforms continue to be the perfect choice for drivers who want to drive scale, customize with ease and tackle the trails with commanding performance.

 

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 4: BODY

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part4

We left you hanging there in Part 3 didn’t we? We tell you not to modify the body and then tell you about a follow up blog on Body Mods. Well, here we are to show you a little can be done and some things to completely steer clear from doing. SORRCA in efforts to keep rigs on the trail in a recognizable scale form has determined performance gaining modifications like boat siding and sectioning bodies will not be permitted within the Class 1 rules. Here are some details to consider when preparing your Axial SCX10 or SCX10 II for a SORRCA event.

FOCUS 4: BODY MODS

SORRCA Rule • Boat sides are not allowed.

product_ax90060_scx10_2_image_3_950x450

The flat sides of the SCX10™ II 2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited CRC edition conform to the SORRCA rule set.

Ok Gilligan, you can’t modify your ship in order to run it ashore. Boat siding is a process in which the lower rocker panel and sometime door area is bent to an inward facing angle. This is done to help gain body ground clearance and also allow the body to glide over rocks and obstacles rather than possibly getting hung up. The angle of the modified panel simulates the angled hull of the boat which is how the name came about. All of Axial’s bodies from the 2000 Jeep® Cherokee, to the 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and even the new 2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited CRC all have body sides perpendicular to the ground and fit within the rules. Resist the urge to tweak your Axial body with a pair of seaming pliers and you’re good to go.


 

SORRCA Rule  • Any removal of material from behind the front wheel well (except trim/molding) is considered a boat side.

Cutting the body along the red line would be considered 'Boat Siding."

Cutting the body along the red line would be considered ‘Boat Siding.”

Put the scissors down and step away from the body. It is ok to trim your fender flares or molding from the body, but in doing so, make certain not to remove material from the fender on an angle greater than the removed flare. Simply altering the angle of the wheel-well opening is considered boat siding and can gain an advantage on the trail as well as take away from the scale look SORRCA is trying to maintain. 


 

SORRCA Rule • Sectioning or narrowing of the body is not allowed.

Trug

Sectioning and narrowing a body, although more commonly practiced on ABS hardbodies because they are easier to glue back together is a way to reduce the chances of the body hanging up on rocks and obstacles. In this practice you are physically taking material away from the body in order to gain precious clearance that can help you gain an advantage. In doing so, you take away from the realistic scale appearance of a factory look.

 

GET SORRCA READY
If you are looking for every advantage possible during a SORRCA event, running factory Axial bodies with minor tweaks is an advantage. Consider the lightweight Lexan SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee XJ or Jeep Rubicon or Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the flares removed. This will give you additional wheel clearance that could make a difference on the trails. On to Part 5; bed time…

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 3: BODY

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part3

Onto part Three of our SCX10 and SCX10 II SORRCA fitment guide and in this installment, we’re going to talk about the body. We’ve seen many builders get creative with Axial bodies, turning them from clear Lexan shells into unique scale masterpieces. Of course being unique is what sets you and your rig apart from others, but in SORRCA’s Class 1 guidelines, it appears it should be done in a way that maintains a realistic scale look.

FOCUS 3: BODY
SORRCA Rule • Bodies should be mounted in a realistic position in relation to the chassis (like a 1:1 would be).

SORRCA 3

Well, if you thought you were going to shift a cab body all the way to the back of your rig like some George Barris creation, it may not fly under SORRCA rules. The rule is pretty self explanatory, the body should be placed in a realistic position. Axial’s SCX10 II with XJ body fits in these rules as long as you follow the body instructions on the kit version or leave your RTR as is. Axial’s other body offerings on the SCX10 chassis can easily fit these rules as long as your imagination doesn’t go too far off track during your build.


 

SORRCA Rule • Vehicle must have a windshield that fills the entire windshield frame.

s31

You’re in luck, every Axial body comes with a windshield and as long as you don’t go wielding your rotary tool or hack at the windshield with your scissors in some sort of jaws of life incident, passing this rule should be a breeze. The SCX10 II XJ has a full windshield, the Wrangler Rubicon, full windshield, you get the idea.


 

SORRCA Rule • The vehicles body must be mostly intact. Only mild trimming is allowed, such as removing: flairs, trim, molding & a hardtop. If the hardtop is removed, a full interior is required (no extreme trimming of bodies allowed)

ax90028_scx10_jeep_rtr_chassis_20_800x533

Let’s face it, customizing your rig is one of the best parts of the scale model scene, but SORRCA wants to see your modifications done within reason. The key here is to be scale and of course rigs like the SCX10 II Jeep XJ, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon fall right into place with the scale rules. If you do choose to run the Unlimited Wrangler Rubicon body, it can be used with or without the cap. The Rubicon’s molded interior qualifies as a full interior. The XJ has a full roof, so of course it doesn’t need an interior unless you add one. If however you do want to chop the top or even add scale points, you can get creative and used an interior chopped out of the Rubicon body as the interior for your XJ. Is it an replica interior? Obviously no, but it is an interior option that can be utilized. Remember, one of the best parts of scale crawling is using your imagination and craftsmanship.

GET SORRCA READY
There are always some that want to twist or bend the rules and we understand the urge. It is those what if’s that can really help make your rig into something that stands out from the rest and may perform better too. But SORRCA’s intent is obvious, the RC trails should be filled with vehicles that look scale in Class 1. Next up in our SORRCA fitment guide; Body Mods. Wait what? We just told you not to modify the body. Stay tuned!

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 2: EXTERNAL ACCESSORIES

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part2

In part two of our SCX10 and SCX10 II SORRCA fitment guide, we’re going to talk external accessories. These are the scale items that are on the outside of the truck that enhance the scale look of the machine like the bumpers and sliders. We know there are plenty of tricks and techniques to do to these components to help improve performance, but remember SORRCA is about scale, so these parts have to follow specific requirements to fit within the rules for competition.

 

Axial SCX10 II Fits SORRCA

FOCUS 2: EXTERNAL ACCESSORIES
SORRCA Rule • Full width bumpers are required on the front and rear of the vehicle. Bumpers that are molded into the body qualify. A rear bumper is not required on a flatbed, but adding one to the flatbed will gain the additional scale points. (Bumpers are measured from the outsides and must be the width of your windshield).

Axial SCX10 II Fits SORRCA

Once again, the Axial SCX10 II with XJ body fits right into SORRCA rules as both its front and rear full width bumpers exceed the width of the windshield. The SCX10 Rubicon however has a front bumper that is narrower than the windshield. If you plan on using the Rubicon and have already updated your right with the CMS as discussed in Part 1 of our SORRCA series, you’ll have to hunt down a bumper option such as the  Scale Front Plate Bumper Set (AX80039A) or the JCROffroad Vanguard Front Bumper (AX31392).
By SORRCA rules, bumpers molded into the body are also considered a legal bumper so if you need to fit your existing rig into this rule, you may want to consider a new body such as the 2015 Ram 2500 Power Wagon® Body (AX31132) or Jeep NuKizer 715 Body (AX31267). These two bodies have both the front and rear bumpers molded into the body and they fit the windshield width rule.

 

SORRCA Rule • Sliders must run parallel to the factory rocker bottom.

Axial SCX10 II Fits SORRCA

Many drivers modify their sliders and place them on an angle with the front of the slider being higher than the rear in efforts to glide over obstacles easier. This doesn’t conform to SORRCA rules, however if you are using the complete factory slider set-up on Any Axial SCX10 or SCX10 II without modification, your sliders will be parallel to the factory rockers on your body when it is mounted level.

GET SORRCA READY

The SCX10 II fits right into SORRCA’s rules pertaining to the bumper and sliders as long as you run your rig as it arrives from the factory. The venerable SCX10 too can easily be brought up to spec with off the shelf parts from Axial. But we have more to cover. Check back for Part 3 of our SORRCA fitment series where we discuss rules for the body.

 

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 1: CHASSIS

The scale truck world is getting pretty intense with clubs popping up everywhere you turn, social media loaded with builds of incredible rigs and more organized competitions than ever before. Axial has always delivered the perfect platform for you to build the rig you envision, but we want to show you just how capable a stock SCX10 II is and how it fits into the SORRCA rule set. What’s SORRCA? It’s an organization that has come together to provide a standardized rule set for everyone to follow. In the rules, they have broken down what you can and can’t do to your vehicle depending on the class you want to compete in. Individual rules for Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 trucks can be found on sorcca.com. But here we’re going to show you how an Axial SCX10 fits right in and what you use from Axial to build a rule abiding scale machine to dominate on the trails and rack up those scale points at a SORRCA based event near you.

 

ax90046_scx10_2_image_01

FOCUS 1: CHASSIS

SORRCA Rule • Vehicle must utilize a Chassis Mounted Steering (CMS) setup.
SCX10 CMS
The SCX10 II kit and SCX10 II Ready To Run both fit right into this rule of having the servo mounted to the chassis, this is a standard feature from the factory. It is not however on the first generation SCX10; the steering is mounted on the axle. Have an SCX10? Don’t worry, you can convert your truck to CMS using the parts list shown below or source an alternate aftermarket option.
SCX10 CMS Conversion List:
AX31388  SCX10 II Battery Tray
AX31387  SCX10 II Servo Mounts
AX31386  SCX10 II Frame Braces
AXA114  M3x8mm Hex Socket Button Head
AX31373  M2.6x8mm Hex Socket Button Head
AX31423  Threaded Aluminum Link 7.5×56.5mm
AX31343  M4x20mm Set Screw
AX31186  M4 Rod End Set
AX80018  Hardware Parts Tree

SORRCA  Rule • Vehicle must run a full length rail chassis
Axial Frame Rail SORRCA
Either the SCX10 or SCX10 II frame rail conforms to the ruling as long as the frame rail remains the factory length. If you have bobbed the bed of your body and cut back the chassis rails to fit under the body, this would not be acceptable to the rule. If you’ve cut your rails from the cab back and fabbed on a flatbed or tube bed, this isn’t going to work either. Keep those rails as they came from the factory.

SORRCA Rule • *For 2018, you will be required to run a metal rail chassis AND parallel skid plate in class
ax90047_chassis_side_950
Both the SCX10 and SCX10 II come with a metal channel rail chassis and factory skid plate that is parallel to the chassis. Some available aftermarket parts allow you to angle the skid, but the factory skid and chassis rails conform to the rules.

GET SORRCA READY
The chassis rules are fairly simple and the SCX10 II fits right in. We know there are plenty of SCX10 owners out there and the parts list above will help you get your vehicle up to date to fit within Class 1. Our next focus will be on External Accessories such as Bumpers and Sliders, be sure to follow the Axial blog daily for updates.

Trail Time Never Ends – Installing LED’s For The Daylight Savings Switch

Deadbolt_led_ina_deadbolt

Two times a year something called Daylight Savings Time really messes with me and so many others. Sure there is a good side of some additional sleep in the Fall, but that kick back in Spring is really like a kick in the… let’s skip that. Daylight savings came about as a way to give people more usable working hours as the earth’s axis tilts between seasons which in turn affects daylight time. The practice of DST was also used to conserve power before recent efficient household products came to market.
We’re not here to give you a whole history lesson, we’re here to tell you that this Daylight Savings Time is once again about to encroach upon your trail time and of course we cannot have that! Typically during the Fall Daylight Saving Shift, many lose out on wheel time, the skies darken and that evening run after work, school or other activity gets sidelined. Rigs get shelved and sit begging for use until the next DST shift. Well it’s time to break that cycle!

Axial Night Run Open

Many trail events have incorporated a evening or night trail run. At Axialfest, the night runs are among the most popular trail times and drivers will flood the trails until the sun rises in the mornings. These evening adventurers have their rigs wired for business so light floods their paths making it fun and challenging to hit the trails for nonstop action. So why can’t the rest of us do that? We’re about to break the mold and beat up the guy that made the mold. We’re going to show the glow on the Axial Deadbolt SCX10 using factory Axial option parts. The Deadbolt comes equipped with a 5-bucket light bar that only requires a few option parts to make them illuminate and so it’s a natural fit to turn into the perfect Daylight Savings Time evening trail runner. But, it’s not going to end with a simple light upgrade. We’re going to take it a step further and show you how to really light up the trails.

PROJECT NIGHT VISION DEADBOLT
Axial Night Run 1
Our project vehicle is a brand new Deadbolt SCX10 ready to run kit. The Deadbolt is assembled from the factory with electronics installed and ready for trail runs day or soon to be night runs. As mentioned, it is already equipped with a 5-bucket light bar on the cage that can be easily fitted with the Axial AX24251 Night Visions System. The NVS actually includes a number of the LED light strings that will fit right on the Deadbolt. Installation is easy, let’s get to work.


OPTIONS USED
Axial Night Run 15

The Night Visions System or NVS is a great for customizing any scale RC machine. This set controls the headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and right/left turn signals, as well as some extra auxiliary lighting. The complete details on this set are: HERE

Includes the following LED light strings:
(1) Double LED light string for headlights (White LED)
(1) Double LED light string for brake lights (Red LED)
(2) Double LED light strings for turn signals (Orange LED)
(1) 5 LED light string for auxiliary lights (White LED)

TOOLS NEEDED
Axial Night Run 11
1.5mm & 2mm Hex Driver
Reamer
Small Zip-Ties
2-Sided Tape
Scissors
Soldering iron and solder (possibly)


STEP 1
Axial Night Run 4
The first step to installing the 5-LED light string (included with the NVS) in the Deadbolt light housings is to locate the LED retaining retainers on the back of the light buckets. There you will see a small screw holding the retainer in place. Using your 1.5mm hex driver, remove all five screws and retainers.

STEP 2
Axial Night Run 5
Unpack the LED string and place a retainer onto one of the end LED’s and then slip that prepped light into one of the end light buckets on the rack.

STEP 3
Axial Night Run 6
Time to secure that LED. Using the screw and your 1.5mm hex driver attach the retainers to the light housing with the screw.

STEP 4
Axial Night Run 7
Repeat the process for the remaining lights. We “twisted” the wires as we went along for a neater look.

STEP 5
Axial Night Run 8
The power wire needs to be run inside of the body. Using your reamer, locate an area to make a hole where you can run the wire inside of the body.

STEP 6
Axial Night Run 9
Feed the LED power wire into the body.


Axial Night Run 10
TIP: Use zip-ties to secure the wires to the roll bar for a finished look.


STEP 7
Axial Night Run 12 Axial Night Run 13
The NVS controller needs to be connected to the receiver to utalize all of its functions. To access the receiver, use your 2mm hex driver and remove the two receiver box lid screws. Pop the top off the box.

STEP 8
Axial Night Run 16
Locate the Channel 1 and 2 port on the receiver; unplug your servo and ESC. Remember, the servo is Chanel 1 and the ESC is Channel 2.

STEP 9
Axial Night Run 17
Now plug the servo lead into the NVS system in line with the Channel 1 signal lead on the NVS. Repeat for the Channel 2/ ESC lead.

STEP 10
Axial Night Run 18
The NVS works inline with your servo and ESC signals. It interprets the signals and can initiate LED functions that work in sync with your vehicle’s movement. For example, when you turn, the NVS will make the turn signal blink. If you hit the brake on the radio, the brake lights will illuminate on your truck if you choose to install them. We’re keeping it simple here by powering our light bar. To complete the wiring, you’ll need to plug the Channel 1 lead from the NVS into the receiver and then follow suit for Channel 2.

STEP 11
Axial Night Run 19
It’s best to tidy up your wiring. Take a zip-tie or two and neatly bundle the extra wire before tucking it into the receiver box.

STEP 12
Axial Night Run 20
It’s time to find a location for your NVS power controller. We’re going to use a piece of double sided tape to adhere the controller to the top of the receiver box. We’ve used two additional pieces to fill in the indents on top of the box for a larger area for the NVS to stick to. This location will give us easy access to the wiring.

STEP 13
Axial Night Run 21
Once the controller is attached to the box, use some zip-ties to neaten up any hanging wires. Secure the NVS on/off switch using 2-sided tape to an easy access location.

STEP 14
Axial Night Run 22 Axial Night Run 23

Locate the power harness to power your NVS system, it is included with the set. You’ll notice it has two Tamiya connectors with a jumper wire. Insert the small white plug into the power port on the NVS. Since the newest model Deadbolt comes with a Star-Plug, it will not work with the Tamiya connectors. Rather than solder Star Plugs to the harness, we’re going to take a neater approach to integrating the connector. We’re going to cut the small gauge power wire leading to the NVS and solder it to the tabs of the Star-Plug.

STEP 15
Axial Night Run 24
After a quick solder task, the NVS power wire looks at home connected to the Star-Plug and much neater without the additional connectors. If you don’t have a soldering iron, you can probably head to the hobby shop where you purchased your machine and they can solder it for you. Some shops might charge a service fee for soldering. Or you can head out and purchase your own soldering supplies, they certainly come in handy for this hobby.

STEP 16
Axial Night Run 25
This is probably a great time just to check to make certain the components power up. We’re going to use the Auxiliary ports for our rack lights and front bumper/fog lights. Here we’ve plugged the fog lights into one of the upper Auxiliary ports. First turn on your radio and then plug in your battery to the ESC to power the Deadbolt. Turn on the NVS switch and wait a few seconds. The NVS has to power up and then it will illuminate the LED’s. We’re Good!

STEP 17
Axial Night Run 26
There is a two LED white light string in the NVS (shown above) and two open light buckets in the Deadbolt bumper. Seems like a match to me, let’s add them too! Remove the bumper to install the LED lights by removing the two bumper retaining screw pins with a 1.5mm hex driver.

STEP 18
Axial Night Run 27
Locate the rest of the parts you’ll need. That means going back and finding the additional parts that came with your kit. Here you’ll find the two LED retainers you need. You’ll also need a pack of AX31066 M2x8mm screws to secure the retainers. Then dip back into the NVS box to find that 2-LED string.

STEP 19
Axial Night Run 28
Install the LED light into the bumper in the same manor as you installed the lights in the light buckets. Once both lights are installed, place the bumper back in the cross-brace and reinstall the retaining screw pins. Plug the LED wire connector in to any Aux port on the NVS.

Axial NVS Plugs
We’re almost done! Place a fully charged battery into your Deadbolt, turn on your radio and then plug your battery in. Now connect the extension wire from the 5-light string into the controller Aux port. You should have working lights! Place the body on the truck, insert your four body pins… And go explore the trails at night!

Axial Night Run 29

Axial Night Run 30

Axial Night Run 31

Now your ready to go make some cool images! See our blog post:
Night Photography Tips by Ian Coble

night_photo_tips01

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure With Photo Pro Brad Perry

 

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure

Mention the name Rubicon Trail and just about anyone you speak to will say they’ve heard of it whether they are into 4×4 off-roading or not. If by some reason, like you’ve been abducted by aliens for most of your life and you’ve never heard of the Rubicon Trail, here is the short of it. The trail’s origination actually began as an Indian trading route and in the 1800’s became a service road, but over time lessened in use and the terrain degraded. The scenic trail with unique terrain then became a favorite for explorers and adventurers. In the early 1950’s, the trail sprung back to life as the Jeepers Jamboree event picked the trail as its home. The trail that spans from from Georgetown, CA to Tahoma, CA at Lake Tahoe and has basically become internationally known as an ultimate destination for hiking, 4X4′s, motorcycle or quad, or mountain bike adventures.

That leads us to the story of Brad Perry, a hiker, adventurist, professional photographer and more importantly, an Axial RC fanatic. Brad joined the media at Axialfest 2017 and captured some amazing moments from the event, so our eyes were on his work. Then he posted a photo (above) from his recent trek on the Rubicon Trail, that he organized himself, to his social media. Brad had our attention once again and we got a hold of him to tell his story of the trip.

BVP29rv

About:
Name: Brad Perry
Age: 32
Hometown: Born and raised in Livermore, CA but I have lived in South Lake Tahoe, CA for the past 11 years
Profession: Owner of Von Perry Photography and Freelance photographer
Hobbies: Bouldering, Hiking, Riding all types of bikes

Prep:
Prior hikes – I hike almost every day for work. If I’m not out shooting some kind of action sports, I’m in my local area hiking around with my wife, dog and RC. When it comes to the Rubicon I had hiked the trail multiple times for other photo assignments so I had a lot of prior knowledge of the trail.
Physical prep – I knew I could hike the mileage with no issue but I had to do a lot of overall prep. I did 3 prior hikes that were around 12-14 miles each. I had to figure out what mileage the truck was getting so I didn’t run out of battery power and I had to figure out my overall pace so I could plan on being picked up at the finish.

Gear:
Clothing  – Shorts and my Axial t-shirt
Shoes – Altra Timps
Backpack –North Face Mega Mouth
Headlamp- Petzl Tikka
Supplies – Sony A7s Camera, Canon 16-35mm and a 50mm lens, folding tripod, iPhone6s, tools if anything breaks on trail.
Extra parts – Front and rear drivelines, C-hubs and knuckles, steering servo, a servo horn and a few misc screws.

Nutrition:
Food and hydration – Two PB&J sandwiches, one Cliff Bar and some beef jerky. Two Lemonade Rockstar Recovery energy drinks. 50oz of Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix and 50oz of water.

BVP03rv

The Rig:
Axial SCX10 II RTR
Upgrades – Axial 1.9 BFGoodrich Krawler T/A’s, Vanquish shock hoops, Vanquish Method 105’s, CI single stage foams, HR hardened trans gears, Proline 4runner body
Special mods – None
Electronics – Castle Mamba-X with a 1410 3800kv brushless system. Spektrum DX4C radio system. Stock steering servo.
Lighting  No lighting on the rig.
Batteries – I took 6 Venom 2s 5000mha 50c batteries. I used about 28,500mha in total.
The radios batteries held up just fine.

BVP61rv

Challenges:
The trail itself is very challenging just to hike. It’s not your normal well groomed hiking trail. Lots of loose rock and silt covered slabs. Traction and footing is a constant issue. I knew I wanted to go fast but I needed to be safe at the same time. Twisting an ankle out that far with no support is something you have in the back of your mind the whole time. I was also on the trail during very low traffic times so the hopes of a ride out were low.

Tough obstacles- I had it in my mind that areas like Big Sluice and Little Sluice were going to be my biggest issues. The water crossing at Buck Island was also a worry. Funny thing was the hardest obstacle ended up being the Buck Island Dam. It’s a little taller than a curb and is only passible in one direction with the truck. When you go the other way you have to go way up by the bathrooms and down into one of the trailside camps. The other thing that had me worried was the amount of silt on the trail. In some places it was 3 inches deep. Other than that the SCX10 II handled it all like a champ.

Damage:
I only had one issue on both passes and it was a total mistake. In the first few hours of my first trip I bent over to tie my shoe and hit the trigger. I sent my truck into a huge rock at full speed and stripped the plastic servo horn. I quickly pulled out the tools and had it fixed in minutes. The overall performance of the SCX10 II RTR was amazing.

BVP57rv

HOG- On my first trip I rolled 6 times in total but only ended up on my roof turtled twice to where I had to pick it up. On the second trip I had a few more because I was going a lot faster. There were no points where the truck couldn’t make it up something and I had to pick it up over the obstacle. That’s one of the best parts of this trail.
Memorable Moment- It’s hard to narrow down just one part of the trail as being the most memorable. One of my favorite areas on the trail is the top of the slabs overlooking Buck Island Lake and the whole surrounding valley. My most memorable moment was an older gentlemen asking me if I was hiking or driving the trail? I chuckled and said both. I have to place the tires in the right places don’t I? He laughed and agreed.

BVP34rv

Overall Experience- I started both of my hikes around 4AM completely solo. Hiking on the Loon Lake side on the open granite slabs under the stars was great. On my second trip leaving Tahoma you have about 6 miles of heavily wooded trail. I found my mind racing a little at times thinking I was hearing animals in the bushes. Wondering if a bear was going to come out and start chasing the truck like a playful dog. I did both of my trips mid-week so I ran into very little traffic on the trail. I only saw 2 people my first time and 6 or so on the second. The trail is really amazing because it’s consistently challenging end to end. Even if you try to make it easy on yourself you still end up doing a great deal of difficult crawling. I stopped at the same places along the trail on both trips. I took breaks at Buck Island and Observation Point and then ate food at the middle point at Rubicon Springs. When I first did the trail I parked my car at Loon Lake and left it there with the plan of picking it up the next day. I had so much fun the first time I took two days to recover and hiked it back the other direction to pick my car up. The Rubicon is a blast and I would do it again any time.

I definitely have a few people to thank for the helping get this done. Everyone at CKRC, Castle Creations, Venom Power, SF Threads, Scale Ultra, SBG, Altra Running and Axial Racing! I also couldn’t have done this without the support of my wife. She sat in a parking lot waiting to pick me up with no cell service for hours, then 2 days later woke up at 3am to drop me off so I could do it all again.

BVP43rv

Trip Stats
Trip 1
Start-The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Finish-The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Miles: 15.77
Time: 8 hours 31 minutes 46 seconds
Vert: 2744ft
Rest: 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: Backpack was 21lbs

Trip 2
Start: The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Finish: The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Miles 15.77
Time: 6 hours 42 minutes 47 seconds
Vert: 2502ft
Rest 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: backpack 21lbs

BVP27

Adventure Inspiration
Brad’s trip was certainly an exciting trip from the details given and through some amazing photos. His trip was not the first time an RC rig hit the Rubicon Trail. Among many others, the Axial team hit the trails too with the release of the SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon; you can see that adventure HERE. We’re sure there will be many more adventures too that will hit the terrain with an Axial RC trail machine in hand. But Brad’s story is inspirational. Brad hit the trail alone, with the right amount of supplies and a nearly stock SCX10 II rig that made the length of the trail without major issue. Also in record time for an RC machine with Brad pushing hard both driving and hiking. We hope this inspires you to take your Axial Adventure to the next level too. Find and design your own RC experience and be sure to tag it with #AxialAdventure as it is becoming a way of life that many want to see and share.

BVP66rv BVP64rv BVP63rv BVP60rv BVP53rv BVP39rv BVP37rv BVP21rv BVP19rv BVP16rv BVP14rv BVP10rv BVP04rv BVP02rv