mAh Per Mile – The Quest To Determine Run Time

MAH_PER_MILE

If you’ve ever sat around the campfire at an RC event or perhaps camped out with some buddies on an epic multi-day RC trail adventure, you may have heard the tale of “mAh Per Mile.” As the tale goes, a rugged RC adventurer, gear junkie, and as legend has it, talented Global Marketing Director has been spotted wandering some well worn trails through California. The man, well supplied with all the contents needed for a trail hike is on some sort of mission. Passer-bys stare at him in wonder as he trudges through the less taken path, his head down and muttering to himself. What is he saying? What is he doing. On one trail, the Redonda Ridge Trail it was evident things were getting more serious. He now travels in a herd of RC trail adventurers and some of his mutters turned into recognizable phrases. “mAh Per Mile” “mAh Per Mile” he kept repeating.

mAh Battery

What is this “mAh Per Mile?” It actually may be the answer to an age old RC question; “How long will my RC truck run for?” Real cars are rated by miles per gallon to determine how far can you travel. But there hasn’t been anything comparable in the RC world to define how far an RC rig can go. Well, we actually know who that mystery trail adventurer is, it’s Rodney Wills and for the longest time, he’s been determined to deliver answers to some of RC’s important questions and how long can you drive your SCX10 for is one. Rodney is on a mission to put numbers on paper and his quest to do so has been deemed “mAh Per Mile.”

This blog post will serve as an evolving report of a talented Axial team put together by Rodney to determine an answer to the burning question. The team will be testing different batteries, different rigs all in an effort to get out of the office and have fun on the trails. WAIT! I mean test RC equipment for the good of telling you how much time and fun you can get from your Axial adventure machine. Watch the videos and keep checking back to the Axial Blog to see how the science, testing and general goofing off unravels.

mAh Per Mile – Explaining Gas Mileage for Your Rig


There’s one question we hear a lot – how far will your rig go on one battery? To find the answer, we’ve created a little formula; mAh Per Mile. In Part 1 of this series, we break down the ‘how far will it go’ question and fill you in on how we plan to find out using this formula.

mAh Per Mile – Part 2 – Testing Our Mileage on the Trail


In Part 1, we discussed the idea behind mAh Per Mile – how far can your vehicle go on a specified battery pack. In Part 2, we take 3 Axial SCX10 II rigs out (with different electronic setups) to see how far we can go on a 2000mAh LiPo battery. The results are actually quite revealing…

Axial Radio System Cheat Sheet

Radio_System

A radio control transmitter should be a device used to control the fun of your vehicle and never the device that controls you and scares you away from using your machine. The transmitters that come with Axial Ready To Run vehicles are simple by design so they are user friendly and comfortable while using the control. These radio systems will come preset from the factory so you can instantly use your machine. But even with the simplified radio systems, there will still be a few things you should to know to get the most out of the radio. Simple things like servo reversing, trims or even how many batteries it takes. In this Radio System Cheat Sheet article we’ve gathered up all of the radios used in Axial ready to runs in one spot for your convenience and simply list out the important functions of your radio and how to use them. Think you’ll get hung up when making adjustments on your radio? This is certainly one blog post to  bookmark.

TACTIC TTX200

TTX200

This radio packs a punch for a compact radio system. It is loaded with digital trim functions that make it a great radio for general hobby use. These digital trims can set advanced features like end point adjustments and dual rate, however you need to know how to use the radio properly to access these features. Here are a few tips to get your radio set up and Axial rig dialed in. TTX200 AA Batteries- First things first, you need to install four AA batteries into the radio for power. This is done by accessing the battery slots located at the bottom of the radio. Make certain to note the orientation of the batteries. A small diagram is molded into the back lower portion of the handle.

Binding- Your TTX200 radio and reciever will come linked with your RTR model, but in case something happens and the two components are not “speaking” to each other, here is how to link the them. Turn on your TTX200 and then connect power to the receiver by turning on your ESC. If the LED light in the receiver blinks once and stays on, it is linked. If not, you’ll need to use a small hex driver to depress the receiver Link button until the LED blinks and shuts off. Then you can let go. The LED should now come on constantly indicated the system is linked.

BINDING VIDEO TTX200 Trims Steering Trim/ Throttle Trim- Accessing the trim functions of the radio are an easy task. The buttons are located at the top of the radio and are clearly labeled. If an adjustment needs to be made to center the steering or adjust the neutral point of the transmitter, it can be done by depressing the marked trim. The center of the trim can be idendified by depressing the either button of the trim until you see the LED flash indicating the center point.

Steering Reversing- With the transmitter off, hold the top ST Trim button and power the radio on. The LED will flash once and then turn off. Release the button. The LED will then turn on to confirm the steering channel has been reversed.

Throttle Reversing- With the transmitter off, hold the top TH Trim button and power the radio on. The LED will flash once and then turn off. Release the button. The LED will then turn on to confirm the throttle channel has been reversed.

Steering End Point Adjustment- To set the maximum limit of rotation for steering in both left and right direction, turn the radio on. Turn the wheel to full left direction and hold. Press the ST Trim buttons to increase or decrease the travel limits. Follow the same procedure to then set the right turn limits.

TACTIC TTX300

TTX300

The Tactic TTX300 comes with a number of Axial ready to run models and is a radio many seasoned RC enthusiasts trust. This radio has all the basic trim functions you’ll need for your model and more. This radio is a three channel radio which means you can even add additional functionality such as setting it up for winch control later on. But let’s not get too far ahead, let’s go over it’s functionality. TTX300 AA

Battery- The battery door slides out form the bottom of the radio. Insert four AA batteries to power the radio making certain the batteries are installed according to the diagram in the battery cradle. TTX300 on Binding- With the radio on, power up the receiver as well. Push and hold the receiver’s “BIND” button until its LED glows red and then turns off after about one second. Release the bind button. If the binding is successful, the LED will flash once and then remain on.

BINDING VIDEO

Steering Reversing Switch/ Throttle Reversing Switch- These switches are located on the back of the transmitter next to the on/off switch.

Steering Reversing Switch- Use this switch to correct the direction of the steering servo. Remember when the vehicle is pointing away from you, steering the transmitter to the right should turn the wheels to the right and vice-versa for left.

Throttle Reversing Switch- Use this switch to correct the direction of movement of the vehicle when the transmitters throttle trigger is moved. Remember forward movement is achieved when the trigger is pulled towards the transmitters grip and away for reverse. TTX300 Trims

Steering End Point 1. Enter programming mode. 2. LEFT EPA: Turn wheel full counterclockwise, use 3rd channel push buttons to adjust. 3. RIGHT EPA: Turn wheel full clockwise, use 3rd channel push buttons to adjust.

Throttle End Point 1. Enter programming mode. 2. Throttle EPA: Pull trigger to the full throttle position, use 3rd channel push buttons to adjust. 3. Brake EPA: Push trigger to the full brake position, use 3rd channel push buttons to adjust.

EPA VIDEO Channel 3 – Multi-Position- The TTX300 3rd channel can be programmed to function as 2 position, 3 position, 4 position or proportional control switch. Selecting each position and end points for each position are performed simultaneously. The default position of CH3 is 2 position. To change the function of CH3, follow these steps:

1. Enter programming mode: Press and hold the top push button, power ON transmitter. Continue to hold until the LED flashes five times. Release the top push button.

2. Use CH3 push buttons to adjust CH3 accessory/servo to desired 1st position. Turn steering wheel clockwise (right) to confirm position1. The LED will flash one time to confirm position 1 has been saved. Note: Press and holding CH3 push buttons will adjust rapidly. Press and release will finely adjust positions. First use CH3 buttons to set. Then turn wheel clockwise to confirm.

3. Use CH3 push buttons to adjust CH3 accessory/servo to desired 2nd position. Turn steering wheel clockwise (right) to confirm position 2. The LED will flash two times to confirm position 2 has been saved. If programming for two position switch, skip to step 6. Otherwise, proceed to step 5 to program 3rd or 4th position.

4. If programming as 3 or 4 position switch, follow the procedures in steps 2 and 3 and select additional positions (3 and/or 4). Turn steering wheel clockwise (right) to confirm each individual position. The LED will flash in relation to the position that is being saved. Three flashes is 3rd position, 4 flashes is 4th position. Proceed to step 6 when programming as 3 or 4 position switch has been completed.

5. To program CH3 as proportional, enter programming mode and select desired position 1 as listed in Step 2 above. Use CH3 push buttons to adjust to desired end point and turn steering wheel clockwise four times. The LED will flash five times to confirm the position has been saved.

6. After programming of CH3 is completed, turn off transmitter to save settings.

Reverse- Press and hold the bottom push button and power ON transmitter. The LED will flash one time. After 3 seconds, the LED will flash two times when performed correctly. Release the bottom push button.

AX-3

AX3

The Axial AX-3 Transmitter came with many early Axial kits. Current Axial kits come with the Tactic brand transmitters. However the AX-3 is still used by many drivers today. If you have a model equipped with this radio system, here some usage notes and the details for making adjustments.

AX3 AA

Battery- The AX3 requires four AA batteries for power. To access the battery cradle, slide the battery door out and insert the batteries. Be aware of the polarity as indicated by the positive and negative moldings in the cradle. AX3 Trims

Steering Reversing Switch- This switch is located under the control cover. Use this switch to correct the direction of the steering servo. Remember when the vehicle is pointing away from you, steering the transmitter to the right should turn the wheels to the right and vice-versa for left.

Throttle Reversing Switch- This switch is located under the control cover. Use this switch to correct the direction of movement of the vehicle when the transmitters throttle trigger is moved. Remember forward movement is achieved when the trigger is pulled towards the transmitters grip and away for reverse.

Steering Trim- Use the steering trim dial to fine tune your vehicles steering. When the steering wheel is in the neutral position, your vehicle should track straight. If it does not, adjust the trim until the vehicle drives in a straight line.

Throttle Trim- If the vehicle is rolling forward while the trigger is in the neutral position, adjust the trottle trim until the vehicle is at a standstill at neutral.

Steering Dual Rate- This knob adjusts the amount of steering throw equally for both left and right. If you have too much steering, dial the Dual Rate down. If you have too little steering, turn the Dual Rate up.

 

Binding- 1. Make sure the transmitter and ESC are off. 2. Plug the Bind plug included with your Axial Racing vehicle in the receiver’s third port (labeled “CH3) 3. Turn on speed control. The receiver’s status LED will blink. The blinking indicates the AR-3 is in Bind mode. 4. Open transmitter’s cover located on the top of the case. 5. Using the included pin-shaped tool, press and hold Bind button on the AX-3 transmitter 6. Turn on the AX-3 transmitter. 7. When blinking stops on the AR-3 receiver, remove Bind plug from receiver.

BINDING VIDEO Ax3 Ant

Antenna- This particular radio system has a folding antenna that neatly folds down onto the radio when not in use. However when it is in use, it is best to position the antenna up for maximum radio range. Don’t skip this step when running.

RADIO SYSTEM NOTES

ON/ OFF SWITCH- The radio should always be turned on first (before the vehicle) and off last.

STEERING- When the wheel on the radio is facing you, turning it to the right should result in the vehicle steering to the right when it is pointing away from you. Steering the wheel to the left should turn the vehicle left.

THROTTLE- Forward movement is achieved when the trigger is pulled towards the transmitters grip and away for reverse.

RECEIVER CONNECTIONS- If you have removed the servo and ESC plugs from the receiver, remember to reinstall them in the correct slots. The steering servo is always plugged into channel 1 and the ESC is always plugged into channel 2.

How To – Servo and Servo Horn Replacement

Servo_and_Servo_Horn_Replacement

The steering system on a full-size off-road vehicle takes a lot of abuse. It is the same with RC. Whether you’re driving fast over bumps and jumps with an Yeti or crawling over rocks with an SCX10 II or doing a little of both with a Wraith, the steering is constantly taking hits. Whatever you hit, roll over or dig up onto, usually contacts the steering system first. In a similar fashion, and again just as it is in full-size off-road, one of the best ways to improve the capabilities of your RC vehicle is to make improvements its steering system. Instead of installing a hydraulic assist, in RC, we upgrade the servo. Instead of installing a custom pitman arm, in RC, we use an aluminum servo horn. These upgrades are simple tasks that can be performed by hobbyists of any experience level (if you aren’t an adult, get adult assistance and/or supervision).

Installing a New Servo Horn

Axial Servo Swap How To 2

STEP 1. Depending on your model, it may be necessary to remove some components to make servo access easier. On this SCX10, the bumper and cross-member have been removed.

Axial Servo Swap How To 3 Axial Servo Swap How To 4

STEP 2. Remove the servo horn. The horn is most likely retained by a Phillips head screw, or a 2 mm screw. Either way, the screw is easy to access and remove. There may be a lock washer under the screw, so be careful not to lose it. Set this hardware aside. A small dish or tray is handy to prevent losing parts. Pull the servo horn off the servo.

Axial Servo Swap How To 5

STEP 4. Select your new servo horn. Axial offers heavy aluminum servo horns that are essentially indestructible. These horns are offered in 23, 24 and 25 spline counts to fit any brand of servo. Axial servos use 25 spline count output shafts. These servo horns are highly recommended and go a long way towards improving a vehicle’s reliability. They should, however, only be used with heavy-duty metal gear servos that can withstand the forces that will be pass through the steering to the servo.

Axial Servo Swap How To 7

STEP 5. Attach the steering link to the servo horn. This is pretty simple. Note that even if you use a servo horn with threaded holes, you still need a locknut on the screw that attaches the link to the horn.

Axial Servo Swap How To 19

STEP 6. The vehicle must be powered up to properly install a new servo horn. Install a battery and turn on your transmitter. Plug in the battery and turn your vehicle on. Next, set your transmitter’s steering trim (channel 1) to zero. If your transmitter has sub trim, you need to also set that to zero for steering. After the trims have been set to zero, you can turn off the vehicle and then the transmitter.

Axial Servo Swap How To 8

Axial Servo Swap How To 9

STEP 7. Slide the servo horn onto the output shaft and secure it with the main center screw. Axial’s HD servo horns are a double clamping design, so if you’re using one, you will also need to tighten the two 1.5 mm screws on the sides of the horn. Tighten all three screws down tight. Thread lock is not recommended on any of these screws. If you find, over time, that the main screw repeatable loosens and using a new screw doesn’t help, you can use a small amount of medium strength thread lock. Never use high strength thread lock.


Removing an Old Servo

Refer to Steps 1 & 2 above to remove the servo horn from the installed servo.

Axial Servo Swap How To 10

Axial Servo Swap How To 11

STEP 3. Open the radio box using a 2 mm wrench (it may vary by model). With the lid removed, you will be able to carefully unplug the servo lead from the receiver. Again, be careful so that you do not damage the receiver and its internal circuit board. The servo lead (wires connecting it to the receiver) may be attached to the chassis in some places with cable ties. It is essential that you be extremely careful when cutting any cable ties as you could easily damage the small wires.

Axial Servo Swap How To 12

STEP 4. Before removing the servo, take note as to which side the output shaft sits. The servo itself is retained by four screws. These may be Phillips or hex. Some screws may have built-in wide shoulders and others may have washers. Either way, carefully put this hardware aside. The servo can now be removed and set aside.

Axial Servo Swap How To 13

STEP 5. Place the new servo on its mounting plate. Servos can vary in size, but Axial vehicles have adjustable servo mounts. If you do need to adjust the servo mount (one is in a fixed position and one adjusts), the process is the same on SCX10 and Wraith, which all feature servos mounted directly on the front axle. On these vehicles, with the new servo set aside, remove the mounting plate from the axial. You can make this process easier by disconnecting the upper links and the upper shock mounts. This will allow the axle assembly to pivot forward and give you much better access to the screws attaching the servo mounting plate to the axle. After you remove the servo mounting plate, turn it over and locate the screw securing the adjustable mount. To identify this mount, look for the screw going into an oval shaped hole. The oval shape is what allows for the side-to-side adjustment for narrow or wide servos. Now, simply loosen the screw a small amount (usually a partial turn is all that’s needed) and test fit your new servo. Holding the servo in place, tighten the screw back down. Remove the servo and reinstall the servo mounting plate to the axle. You can now reconnect the upper links and shocks. If the male and female driveshaft pieces pulled apart, make sure it gets reconnected as well (before reconnecting the upper links).

Axial Servo Swap How To 14

STEP 6. Slide the new servo into the mount, paying close attention to which side the output shaft sits. When working on an SCX10 or Wraith, and when viewed from the front, the output shaft is on the right-hand side. Secure the servo with the four screws that were holding the original servo in place. If the screw holes are stripped out and the screws cannot be fully tightened, you will need to replace the plastic servo mounts.

Axial Servo Swap How To 15

STEP 7. The next step is routing the servo lead back to the radio box and receiver. Make sure the wires are not near any moving parts such as articulating suspension components or driveshafts. This is especially true if your Axial model has exposed gears. Small cable ties can be used to keep wires secure and out of harm’s way. Note that Axial includes provisions to secure wires on vehicles such as the SCX10 and SCX10 II. These should definitely be used to secure wiring.

Excessive wire should be neatly stored in the radio box. Do not make the wires too tight or they will get damaged as the suspension articulates. The wires should be slack enough to allow for complete suspension movement.

Once the wiring is complete, you reinstall the radio box lid. Some radio boxes are not fully sealed, but if you are using a sealed box, you should add grease to the area where the wires pass into the box.

Axial Servo Swap How To 16

STEP 7. Finally reinstall the servo horn on the centered servo. Refer to STEP 7 above. Your servo swap is complete! You can now power up your radio and vehicle and go out for a drive.

Axial Servo Swap How To 17

TIP: Radio Settings
You may need to slightly adjust your steering trim to get the vehicle to track straight with no input. If your transmitter has sub trim, this adjustment is used first.

If your transmitter has end-point adjustments, you should also use these to adjust how far the servo travels in either direction. A servo that turns farther than the steering system will allow can eventually burn out. The best tool to see if your servo is moving too far and straining is your ear. All servos, especially digital models, make an audible whine when pushing against a resistance. Bench test your steering. If you hear a whine at full lock in either direction, adjust the end points until you don’t hear a whine. If your transmitter doesn’t have end point adjustments, it may have dual rates, which also reduces steering throw, but does both sides simultaneously.

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
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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
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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
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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

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Axial Night Run 31

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

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New To RC – Deadbolt Box To Backyard Guide

Deadbolt_Box_BackyardGuide

Starting your RC adventure is easy with any Axial ready to run kit. Here we’re going to show you just how easy it is. In only the time it takes to charge your battery, we’ll show you how to get an SCX10 Deadbolt from the box to the backyard.

Axial Deadbolt 01
You’ve selected the SCX10 Deadbolt! What drew you in? The bright green body, the poise of the driver figure or perhaps it was the light bar on the roof? Whatever the reason, this radio control machine is based on one of the most popular chassis’ in radio control and it will deliver nonstop adventures wherever you take it.

Axial Deadbolt 11
Before you tear into that box… well, you probably did already and we don’t blame you. But the first step in getting your adventure under-way should actually be directed towards your battery. During your purchase, you’ve selected a battery and charger for your Deadbolt. Now is a great time to read through your specific charger manual, setup and charge your new battery. It’s going to take some time to charge, so get the process going while you get into your Deadbolt kit.

Axial Deadbolt 02
Now you can dive into the box and depending on which end you open first, you’ll most likely be greeted with some of the kit contents. Here is the included Tactic TTX300 radio in a protective bubble pack, the radio and kit manual, and a bag of parts. We’ll get into the parts bag later.

Axial Deadbolt 03
Next you can slide the Deadbolt out of the box. Get excited!

Axial Deadbolt 04
Like many boxed items, you’ll need a pair of strong scissors or cutters to cut the zip-ties holding the Deadbolt to the inner box.

Axial Deadbolt 05
There it is, your new Deadbolt nearly ready for action, the rig comes assembled, body painted and electronics installed. There are only a few steps to get it ready for action.

Axial Deadbolt 20

Axial Deadbolt 21
Wait! We know you want to dive in, but take a few moments to read through the included manuals. The Axial team spends a lot of time on the manual to explain everything you need to know about your new model.

Axial Deadbolt 16

Axial Deadbolt 17
Batteries! Here we go, its time to install some fresh AA batteries in the Tactic TTX300 radio. The radio only requires 4 cells. To access the battery tray, slide the cover off the bottom of the radio. Next make certain you note how the cells are inserted. There will be a diagram in the battery tray that indicates how the batteries are installed.

Axial Deadbolt 06

Axial Deadbolt 07
Time to remove the body in order to install the battery to power your Deadbolt. There will be two body retaining clips in the front and two in the rear. Simply slide them out and set them aside.

Axial Deadbolt 08
Once the body is removed, you’ll notice a tag with some information. Yes, you should read it too. This is a quick start tag that gives you information on how the electronic speed control is set and how to turn your truck on and off.

Axial Deadbolt 09
This is a good time to familiarize yourself with the SCX10. Your manual has a diagram of the trucks major components. It is a good idea to look at the diagram and the rig to get to know all of the parts.

Axial Deadbolt 14 x
Each Axial kit comes with the electronic speed control set to LiPo mode for use with Lithium Polymer batteries. This is done as a safety measure so the battery does not go below a certain voltage that can damage the battery. If you chose to use a NiMh battery, it will work in LiPo mode, but not as efficiently as if it were in NiMh mode. Switching your ESC between modes isn very easy by simply moving the “jumper” to the mode that corresponds with your battery.

Axial Deadbolt 12

Axial Deadbolt 13
Once you’ve adjusted the jumper on the ESC if necessary, you can install your fully charged battery. Loosen the Velcro® straps on the battery plate and slide the battery in. Then pull the straps tight to secure the battery and firmly press the Velcro® together.

Axial Deadbolt 18
We’re getting close to running! Turn your attention to the radio and locate the On/Off switch on the back of the radio. Switch the radio “On” and make certain the power LED indicator is illuminated on the top of the radio.
TIP: Your radio should always be turned on first and off last to insure you always have control of your RC vehicle.

Axial Deadbolt 15
Now the Deadbolt is ready to be powered on. This is done by connecting the battery to the ESC. This is your On/Off switch. Use the plug connection to turn it on and unplug the battery to turn the model off.
TIP: Two wire guides are located on the chassis frame rail. These clips can be used to secure wires.

Axial Deadbolt 19
Almost ready to run; place the body back on the chassis and install the four body clips back on the posts to secure the body. Now you’re ready to head outside for your adventure!

Axial Deadbolt 24
If you’re completely New To RC, take some time to familiarize yourself with the radio functions and how the Deadbolt responds. Start with the steering, turn the wheel in both directions. Note when standing behind the vehicle, steering left will turn the truck left, but when the vehicle is coming at you, this will be reversed. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it quickly. Now find an open space and try the throttle. The throttle is proportional, so just pull the trigger slightly so the truck rolls forward. While at a slow speed, make large right turn ovals. After a few right turn ovals, make a few left turn ovals. After your comfortable with ovals. Try figure 8’s. During this practice session, try various speeds and various amounts of steering to get used to your model. The ESC is equipped with reverse too, try it a few times before heading to the nearest pile of rocks or hiking trail.

Axial Deadbolt 23
Once you are used to how your model operates, you can start your off-road adventures!

Axial Deadbolt 22
Whoa! What about all of those spare parts? You didn’t think we forgot about them did you? The bag of parts you find in the kit are the extras from the part trees used to build your specific kit. These are parts that are used in other variations of Axial kits. These parts can come in handy, so keep them on hand in case you start customizing your rig. You’ll also notice some additional driver heads, these can be glued together with model glue and painted to give your Deadbolt a unique look. You’ll also receive two green gate markers you can place on trail obstacles to make your challenge a bit more intense. And finally there will be a T-wrench used to remove various nuts on the chassis as well as the wheel nuts.

 

How To – Program Your ESC For NiMH Batteries

 

Program_NiMH_Batteries

Axial’s Ready-to-Run (RTR) vehicles are true hobby-grade products and, as such, they use sophisticated electronic components. One of the primary advantages to such high-tech gear is adjustability and an area of adjustability includes battery type. Axial’s electronic speed controls (ESCs) are designed to be used with a variety of battery chemistry types and can, and should, be adjusted for the type of battery you’re using.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As a safety measure, Axial uses the LiPo setting as the default setting on the ESC, but NiMH batteries, are often recommended for use with RTRs. NiMH batteries will provide best performance when the ESC is used in NiMH mode.

nimh_and_lipo

LiPo batteries must be run with the ESC set in LiPo for safe use. This isn’t optional. When properly set in LiPo mode, Axial ESCs are designed to eliminate the chance of over discharging the battery and permanently damaging it, which is a potential safety issue. As such, LiPo batteries should never be used in any other mode other than LiPo mode on the ESC.

NiMH batteries will work in LiPo mode, but there will be a noticeable reduction in performance that will suddenly become apparent as the pack starts to lose voltage (discharge). This is because LiPo mode has what is called LiPo cutoff or low voltage cutoff. As the voltage drops in the NiMH pack, it is still delivering usable power, but the LiPo cutoff engages and impairs performance. The LiPo cutoff is designed to reduce power to the motor in order to keep the battery at a safe minimum voltage. Let’s go over setting up NiMh mode on the various Axial ESC offerings so you can get maximum performance when using this type of battery.


 

axial ae-2 esc

AE-2. The AE-2 is a brushed motor speed control. While Castle Creation’s Castle Link system can be used to link the ESC up to a computer (availabe as an aftermarket item,) for ease of use, the AE-2 can be programmed manually by using the throttle trigger on your transmitter to indicate yes or or no to selections as you scroll through each option. To get the best performance when using a NiMH, the ESC should be programmed to operate in NiMH mode.

When programming, as a safety measure, remove the pinion from the motor. This will prevent the gears and/or vehicle from moving and causing damage to the vehicle or you. Turn the transmitter on and then connect a freshly charged battery to the ESC. Hold full throttle and turn on the ESC. You will hear four tones from the ESC and then another four tones. After the second series of four tones, release the throttle. The ESC will beep twice indicating you’re in programming mode.

There are three settings that can be adjusted on the AE-3. Each setting, in turn, has a varying number of options. You will use your transmitter’s throttle to select yes (full throttle) or no (full brake) for each option. When you select yes, the next setting will come up. Every time you select no, you will toggle to the next option within that setting. When you select yes or no, wait for a continuous tone and let the throttle go to neutral. If you selected yes, the ESC will go to the next setting.

To change to NiMH mode, you will need to go to the first setting. Remember, LiPo batteries must be used LiPo mode.

Setting 1 LiPo Cutoff
Option 1: None (NiMH mode)
Option 2: Auto-LiPo*

Setting 2 Drag Brake
Option 1: Disabled
Option 2: 15%
Option 3: 25%
Option 4: 40%
Option 5: 50%
Option 6: 100%*

3: Brake/Reverse Type
Option 1: Reverse enabled (2-second lockout)
Option 2: Reverse disabled
Option 3: Forward/Brake/Reverse*
* = Default factory setting

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE


 

axial ae-3 esc

Vanguard AE-3. The Vanguard AE-3 is a brushless motor speed control. It comes preprogrammed in the “Auto-LiPo” mode. Like the AE-2, you can use the Castle-Link to program the ESC with your PC, but you can also manually program the ESC with your transmitter.

When programming, as a safety measure, remove the pinion from the motor. This will prevent the gears and/or vehicle from moving and causing damage to the vehicle or you. Turn the transmitter on and then connect a freshly charged battery to the ESC. Hold full throttle and then turn on the ESC. You will hear four tones from the ESC and then another four tones. After the second series of four tones, release the throttle. The ESC will beep twice indicating you’re in programming mode.

There are nine settings that can be adjusted. Each setting, in turn, has a varying number of options. You will use your transmitter’s throttle to select yes (full throttle) or no (full brake) for each option. When you select yes, the next setting will come up. Every time you select no, you will toggle to the next option within that setting. When you select yes or no, wait for a continuous tone and let the throttle go to neutral. If you selected yes, the ESC will go to the next setting.

To change to NiMH mode, you will need to go through settings one through six to get to setting seven, which changes the battery mode. Remember, LiPo batteries must be used LiPo mode.

Setting 1 Brake/Reverse Type
Option 1: With Reverse*
Option 2: Without Reverse
Option 3: Crawler Reverse. No delay from throttle to brake to reverse.

Setting 2 Brake Amount
Option 1: 25% Power
Option 2: 50% Power*
Option 3: 75% Power
Option 4: 100% Power

Setting 3 Reverse Amount
Option 1: 25% Power
Option 2: 50% Power*
Option 3: 75% Power
Option 4: 100% Power

Setting 4 Punch/Traction Control
Option 1: High
Option 2: Medium
Option 3: Low
Option 4: Lowest
Option 5: Disabled*

Setting 5 Drag Brake
Option 1: Drag Brake off*
Option 2: Drag Brake 10%
Option 3: Drag Brake 20%
Option 4: Drag Brake 30%
Option 5: Drag Brake 40%

Setting 6 Dead Band
Option 1: Large – 0.1500 ms
Option 2: Normal – 0.1000 ms*
Option 3: Small – 0.0750 ms
Option 4: Very Small – 0.0500 ms
Option 5: Smallest – 0.0250 ms

Setting 7 Cutoff Voltage
Option 1: No low-voltage cutoff
Option 2: Auto-Lipo*
Option 3: 5v
Option 4: 6v
Option 5: 9v
Option 6: 12v

Setting 8 Motor Timing
Option 1: Lowest
Option 2: Normal*
Option 3: Highest

Setting 9 Motor Type
Option 1: Brushless*
Option 2: Brushed Reversing
Option 3: Brushed High Power
* = Default factory setting

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE


 

axial ae-5 esc

AE-5. The AE-5 is a brushed speed control and is by far the easiest ESC to program. To switch from the factory LiPo mode, remove the “jumper” and move it over one position. Not only is this ESC easy to program, it’s also waterproof.

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE

Axial AE-5


 

ae-1

AE-1. Axial’s AE-1 ESC does not have a LiPo cutoff. If you use LiPo batteries in a vehicle equipped with an AE-1 ESC you must use a separate LiPo low-voltage cut-off device. Axial does not sell a separate LiPo cut-off device, so the best choice would be to upgrade to an ESC such as the Axial AE-5 (see above), which is extremely easy to program and waterproof.

What’s Your Scale Trail Name?

adventures_whats_your_scale_trail_name_500px
Words: Rodney “GCRad1″ Wills

What’s your Scale Trail Name?
How I got mine and and how to you get yours.

For me, I’ve been 2RAD, RAD, RAD1 since 1983.
Later in life, GCRad1 on the digital forum walls of social media.

Through my own fascination with hiking one of the big three… Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and the Appalachian Trail (AT), I discovered folks who’ve hiked the big three commonly referred to one another via their “trail name.”
9435994109_d94ac7025c_z
Yes, we are talking about nick names, nom de plume (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/nom-de-plume) aka trail names. It’s a name that people adopt as their “alter-ego” or a reflection of their personality. Or, they earn it from fellow hikers, good or bad, but  bestowed upon them nonetheless.

While many of us are on message forums such as RCCrawler.com, ScaleBuildersGuild.com, Scale4X4RC.org, RCUniverse.com, UltimateRC.comRCTech.netRCGroups.com, you might also be on Pirate4X4.com, IH8MUD.com or even ExpeditionPortal.com as well – and most of you have some really cool screen names!

But what about those who are just getting into it? How do you choose a name?

How did I go about getting the G, the C, the R, the A, the D and the “1″ for my pen name?Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 5.21.10 PMIt started way back in the 1980′s. My nickname is derived from the Radical Rick BMX cartoons in the back of BMXPlus Magazine! However, Radical was too long to “write” and I’m no Rick…

In the dictionary, the word “radical” carries the meaning, “favoring extreme change” and for this country kid growing up in the woods of Alabama who later moved to the city, that’s all I needed to see! I just chopped it down to the bare essence of the word – RAD!

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 5.41.03 PM
At the time, I had just entered into design school in Atlanta and needed four letters for my street name. Since Radical Rick was the first “RAD dude,” I wanted to be the “second” so I added a “2″ on the front to make four letters – 2RAD.

Rad1KTDWhen I move to the West Coast to finish college at California College of Art (Bay Area), I changed the “2RAD” to “RAD1″ but sometimes it would simply just be “RAD.” Thus the word Radical has had great meanings for me, and has served me well! Favoring extreme change.

Where did the “GC” in GCRAD1 come from? 4646153448_40a5b8a1d3_z
MOTORSPORTS!

The “GC” stands for GravelCrew, derived from the term Gravel Cars.

275390441_eaaff55d86_z

After 911, yes THE 911 in 2001, international air fair rates from the USA to ANYWHERE outside of the USA was at an all time low! My buddy called me and asked if I wanted to go to England for WRC Rally Great Britain. I said that is going to be too expensive! He said, “$400 BUCKS!” And I said that is still a bit expensive… but… he quickly interjected, “NO! Like $400 for BOTH OF US ROUND TRIP!” So, OF COURSE my answer quickly turned into a big “YES!” Then I had to explain to my wife that during the Thanksgiving holiday, ScottG and I would be flying over to the UK for the rally event.

During that trip, after the rally, we spent time with the Subaru World Rally Team as Travis Pastrana was getting his official training test with the team. What caught our eye was the teams utilization of street going, rally prepped, Subaru WRX’s as support cars and pace-note cars, and referred to them as “gravel cars.” Upon our return home, we started the GRAVEL CREW as our crew had daily driven cars with roll cages, mud flaps and rally tires! The name was perfect! We were all socially active on the subi-forums and we would put the crew initials in front of our screen names, so everyone new, it was someone from the Gravel Crew, hence the GC in GCRAD1. So there you have it!

OK, enough about me!
HOW TO GET YOUR OWN TRAIL NAME?32234859584_3df30758a4_z

So there’s my story and here are some ideas on how to get your own nickname:

We made this fun post “What’s your Scale Name?” on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/axialinc/photos/a.235999550872.176138.164885970872/10154839091295873/

whats_your_scale_trail_name_500px

More fun reading:
How To Get The Best Trail Name Ever – Appalachian Trials
https://thetrek.co/how-to-get-the-best-trail-name-ever/

A trail name is a name that you can either give to yourself or someone will give one to you if you’re on a long hike. Be warned … if someone … https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/5553/

How did they get that name?
http://www.atmuseum.org/trail-names.html

Trail Names And How They Find You
https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-56.html

Thanks for reading and let us know your trail name by adding a comment on our Facebook post:
https://www.facebook.com/axialinc/photos/a.235999550872.176138.164885970872/10154839091295873/

A few of my favorites FROM THE PAGES OF RCCrawler.com:

Jason http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/jason-5.htm

Twisted Creations http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/twistedcreations-100.htm

RBGerrish http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/rbgerrish-154.htm

Badger http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/badger-174.htm

Pinchflat http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/pinchflat-365.htm

Kaetwo http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/kaetwo-366.htm

Bender http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/bender-1201.htm

Brandon http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/brandon-1855.htm

CHINO63 http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/chino63-2481.htm

Twisted Creations http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/twistedcreations-100.htm

Turtle http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/turtle-5785.htm

JustZach http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/just-zach-9364.htm

JasonInAugusta http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/jasoninaugusta-430.htm

SlinkySam http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/slinkysam-237.htm

GCRad1 http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/members/gcrad1-12313.htm

mAh Per Mile – Part 1 – Formulating the formula

tech_mah_per_mile_part1_500px

There’s one question we hear a lot – how far will your rig go on one battery? To find the answer, we’ve created a little formula; “mAh Per Mile.”

In Part-1 of this series, we break down the ‘how far will it go’ question and fill you in on how we plan to find out using this formula.

mAh Per Mile started as a controlled test to see how long a stock Axial SCX10 II RTR (using the included 35T brushed motor) can travel based on the mAh of a battery pack. This data can then be adjusted based on the mAh of a larger pack.


mAh Per Mile - Duratrax Onyx Batteries Used

WHAT DID WE START WITH

The initial test started off with two different battery packs – a 2S and 3S LiPo. Because we were only looking for base numbers, we chose mini packs so we wouldn’t be walking around for hours.

Both LiPos were charged at the recommended amperage for safety.
Duratrax Onyx 7.2V 2000mAh LiPo Battery
Duratrax Onyx 11.1V 1300mAh LiPo Battery


RESULTS

Using a stopwatch, we timed each battery, running the SCX10 II at full speed on a flat surface until the LiPo cutoff in the ESC stopped the forward motion. This gave us a set of minimum runtime figures with which to start. Here’s what we found:

• The Duratrax Onyx 7.2V 2000mAh LiPo Battery produced a runtime of about 58 minutes at a speed of 4mph.
• The Duratrax Onyx 11.1V 1300mAh LiPo Battery produced a runtime of about 36 minutes at speed of 6mph.

We should note that batteries can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so your times may not match up to ours.

mAh Per Mile - Recorded Times

So now that we know the minimum runtime on a flat surface, the next step is to get the truck out on an actual trail and see how all this data stacks up.

Stay tuned for Part-2 of mAh Per Mile!

LIPO SAFETY 4 AXIALFEST2016

news_axialfestbatteries

LipoSafety

Let’s talk about LIPO-SAFETY-4-AXIALFEST2016! We will be in a camp ground with lots of wood, in the middle of the woods! Wood burns and burns fast! The Fire Department is 10 miles away. You will have 1000+ Neighbors within a 400-acre area of your camp site. Don’t think just about just you, THINK ABOUT EVERYONE – THE CAMPGROUNDS – THE MOUNTAIN SIDE!!!

1] DO NOT CHARGE UNATTENDED!
Fire spreads when its not being fought.

2] LIPO SACKS ARE NOT ENOUGH!
They only “mitigate” the fire thus require more than just the sack! https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dtoys-and-games&field-keywords=lipo+sack

3] ARM YOUR SACK with an AMMO can.
Lipo sack inside the ammo can is about the best portable way.

4] KEEP FIRE EXTINGUISHERS VISIBLY ON HAND!
Fire Extinguishers should be on every camp table where there is battery charing going on!!! Matter of fact, Fire Extinguishers should just be on every table! THESE FIT IN YOUR BACKPACK! Think of it as your on-board fire extinguisher.

5] READING is KNOWLEDGE.
Check out this Tested article: “RC Battery Guide: The Basics of Lithium-Polymer Batteries” http://www.tested.com/tech/502351-rc-battery-guide-basics-lithium-polymer-batteries/

#FireSafety #CampSafe #Lipo #LipoSafety #RCBatteries #selfreliance #selfresponsibility #SELFSAFETY #AXIALFEST2016 #responsibility #ProtectThyNeighbor

Rock Racing Setup – Key Elements

newtorc_rockracingsetup

Rock racing combines rock crawling with off-road racing, and yet, it’s so incredibly different than either. It’s more brash and intense than technical rock crawling and it’s more about sudden bursts of speed than wide-open off-road racing. As such, setting up a vehicle for competitive rock racing can be a little tricky. Whether you’re brand new or already experienced, used this guide to make sure your Axial Racing rig is properly prepared for the ultra-demanding world of rock racing.

tires

Tires
Rock racing calls for true dual purpose tires. The tires must deliver high speed performance on dirt and also provide rock grabbing traction—two very different tasks. And, the amount of each type of terrain—dirt versus rocks—isn’t likely to be equal. Depending on where you are rock racing, it may make more sense to concentrate on the high speed portions and go with tires that work best on dirt, or vise versa. No matter what, you will most likely be making some sort of compromise. Typically the compromise comes in the form of the foam inserts. Soft foam inserts will help tires conform to rocks, while firmer foam inserts will improve high speed performance. The track you’re racing on will determine which way to go. When selecting tires for competition, go with a soft compound such as Axial Racing’s R35 (white dot). These will provide the best traction on dirt and rocks.

It’s also worth noting that if your vehicle is hard to control on the fast section and wants to spin out, you can try a harder compound tire up front and/or a less aggressive tread pattern on the front tires. Another secret to know is a larger pinion gear can also cure spinning out as it eases acceleration and the ability for the tires to break traction.

cog

Center of Gravity
In rock crawling there is no such thing as too low of a center of gravity. This still hold true for rock racing. A low center of gravity will improve your vehicles ability to climb without tipping over backwards and a low center of gravity will keep your vehicle stable in high-speed corners. Depending on the class you’re running how you can lower the center of gravity easily varies. If you’re running a full Lexan body, lower it as much as possible and open up the wheel wells to allow room for the tires to move as the suspension cycles. Bodies weigh more than most people realize and you can see a huge performance improvement by simply lowering. Unless rules require it, lose unneeded accessories such as spare tires. While light buckets only weigh a few grams, for the best possible performance, you may consider removing or moving light buckets.

jumping

Weight Distribution
Since rock racing involves jumps, weight distribution (also known as weight bias) is very important and a little more complicated compared to a pure rock crawling setup. More weight up front is best for rock crawling, it isn’t that simple for rock racing. A neutral or slightly weight forward weight distribution is preferred as it will not overly compromise rock crawling performance, but too much weight forward of center can cause (or exasperate) nose diving off jumps. You simply have to test on the track your racing or on jumps of similar size at the speeds you’ll be hitting the jumps. While not a weight distribution issue, the first thing to check when experiencing chronic nose diving is your ESC’s drag brake setting. While drag brake is essential for rock crawling, it can cause nose diving by automatically applying brakes when you let the throttle go to neutral in the air. Less drag brake is more when it comes to rock racing. Just be sure to maintain control on the downhill sections many tracks have.

durability

Durability
Most people think racing is all about speed—all about being the fastest. In rock racing, durability is far more important than speed. In real racing and in RC, no racing competition is as hard on a vehicle as rock racing. Rock racing is an incredible challenge—one that’s very hard on the vehicle. In full-size rock racing, at events such as the King of the Hammers, most entries don’t finish. RC racing is often the same if vehicles are properly prepared for the rigors of racing. Aluminum parts are they way to go for rock racing. They increase durability without adding too much weight. Titanium, if your budget allows, is an even better choice. Be warned, titanium doesn’t bend and rebound like aluminum. It’s stronger, but it snaps instead of bends when stressed to its limits. Start with an aluminum servo horn. This is an absolute must. Axial’s Universal Axle Set is also an item to have at the top of your list. Other aluminum upgrade parts can be added as parts fail or show excessive wear.

bomber2

Ground Clearance
Optimal ground clearance will vary depending on the track, but you will want to get your rock racer as low as you can without making it impossible to navigate the rock portions. Scraping and dragging is okay. A lower will vehicle is more stable and less likely to roll in corners, on rocks and when taking jumps. Few crashes means less waiting for corner marshals and much faster laps.

motor

Speed
The fastest car isn’t guaranteed to win in rock racing. While you don’t want purposely make your vehicle slow, don’t worry too much about having the fastest vehicle on the track. Stability and durability are far more valuable in rock racing than speed. Axial’s brushless setup are more than fast enough for rock racing. Some classes allow 3S LiPo batteries, which will provide a significant speed increase. If the track has a good amount of high-speed sections, running a faster 3S setup may be ideal.

shocks

Suspension
Axial vehicles all have highly adjustable suspensions. While you can change internal shock components such as pistons and oil viscosity, a lot can be done to dial in handling by simply changing shock springs. Axial offers a wide variety of springs in both firm and soft rates. The goal is to have a plush suspension. Most rock racers are setup with overly stiff suspensions that don’t absorb impacts well. You can see these vehicles reacting to everything they hit as both ends bounce up and down without the suspension really working. Setup up your vehicle so that it lands from a one-foot-tall test drop with no bounce. It should land as if there were a pillow under it. This may require experimenting with oil and pistons to get just right. Thicker oil will absorb more energy and keep the springs from acting like pogos and smaller holes in the piston will slow down how quickly the oil can travel through the piston and slow down how quickly the suspension compresses. This will help keep the chassis from slapping the ground. A little chassis slap isn’t a bad thing. You just don’t want hard hits. Use sway bars to compensate for this soft suspension. The sway bars will keep the vehicle from rolling over in the corners.

You
The biggest factor in how successful you will be at rock racing is you. Of course, you provide the driving skill, but what is really at stake is how well you take care of the vehicle on the track. There’s an old saying in racing that goes: to finish first, you must first finish. These words couldn’t be more true than they are for rock racing. Don’t let the other vehicles determine how fast you go. Know what your vehicle can handle without breaking or crashing and stick to that pace. If a vehicle passes you, do not chase it down. Pretend you’re the only vehicle out there and concentrate on nothing other than consistent, crash-free laps.