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! Find the right LiPo sack for you: HERE

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.

SCX10™ Wheelbase Compatibility Guide

scx10_wb1

Far to often, questions about the differences between each of the SCX10 vehicles arise, especially surrounding wheelbase and body options. Questions such as “is this body compatible with that chassis?” or “which link kit should I order?” and so on. The beauty behind the SCX10 is its ability to change wheelbase lengths with relative ease, which also makes it possible to choose from a larger array of bodies thanks to this adjustability.

scx10_wb2All great news but what does it mean? Simple, say for example you purchased a Ram Power Wagon RTR (AX90037) but you really want to paint and build up a Jeep Mighty FC Body (AX31268), install the 11.4” TR Links Set (AX30549) to shorten the wheelbase and your ready to go. Or going the opposite direction, you’ve got a Dingo (AX90021) and want to build up a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Full body kit (AX04035), just install the 12.3” TR Links Set (AX30550). At the end of the day, the link kits are your gateway to multiple body options for the perfect look with wheels tucked attractively into the wheel wells.

scx10_wb3

From a tune-ability standpoint changing the length of your vehicles wheelbase will change it’s driving characteristics. For example, the shorter 11.4” wheelbase will increase slow speed maneuverability while sacrificing some high-speed stability, great for tight technical terrain. While a longer 12.3” wheelbase will improve stability and decrease maneuverability, great for hill climbing. Tech Terms: Wheelbase – The distance between the center points of the front and rear axles on a vehicle. Maneuverability – Able to be maneuvered easily while in motion. Stability – Resistance to change, especially sudden change.

scx10_wb4


All together for your reference:

guide_wheelbase

Crawler Setup – Key Elements

newtorc_crawlersetup

Whether your idea of competition is attending a national championship or one-upping your friend at the local park, getting your rock crawler dialed in for top performance is an obvious plus. Out of the box, your Axial vehicle is setup for high performance, but so is everyone else’s. You need an edge. The following tips cover the key elements that you should address when you want to have the best setup crawler possible. Every aspect of tuning is not covered. These are the key elements. Also, as you learn about setting up a rock crawler you’ll quickly see that almost everything is a compromise; what works for one type of competition and/or terrain doesn’t necessarily work for another.

2

Tires
Tires profoundly influence performance—maybe more than anything else. While there is no single best tire, you want to make sure you have the best tire for the conditions you’re running on. Also, not all rocks are the same, so there isn’t one best tire for all rocks. For competition, the softer the compound is better. The compromise here is wear and the need to get the tire’s foam insert right for the weight of the vehicle. Axial’s softer and stickier compound is called R35 (white dot).

While outfitting your rig with new tires will cost you, it is money well spent. You can learn more about picking the right tire here.

cog

Center of Gravity
Specifically where your center of gravity (CG) is located isn’t important—meaning you don’t need to calculate its exact position. What is of key importance is that the CG is low—as low as you can possibly get it. A lower CG is always better. On a rock crawler, an optimized CG will help on climbs, descents and side hills.

There are a number of ways to lower your CG. First, identify your heavy components and try to identify ways to mount them lower. Sometimes lowering a component isn’t possible, but lighter options are available. An excellent example is your battery. If you’re using a NiMH battery, a LiPo will make a profound difference. If you’re already using a LiPo, consider a smaller pack. It’s understandable that if you’re trail riding you want maximum runtime. Just know that the compromise of a big battery with a lot of capacity is a higher CG. Instead of one large battery, consider two packs wired in parallel with one mounted on each side of the chassis. Another way to lower the center of gravity is to add weight to your vehicle down low such is in the wheels or on the axles. The problem with making your vehicle heavier is that it can rob power and decrease durability.

A great way to lower the CG is to the body as much as possible. You will need to open up the wheel wells with body scissors, but doing this will make a big difference in handling.

1

Maneuverability
If you’re running a course with gates and judges tracking the use of reverse and each  touch of a gate marker or out-of-bounds line, maneuverability is of huge importance. If available, high clearance knuckles combined with universal axles provide maximized steering throw. If you’re running a G6 or similar event, this can move down your list of importance.

scale comp 14

Weight Distribution
Weight distribution, or weight bias, is a close cousin of CG. Your crawler will perform better on climbs if more weight is located over the front axle than the rear. This is why it is better to have the battery mounted up front. While this makes for a tighter squeeze and is a little harder to access with the body on, the end result is improved weight bias.

The difference between a front weight bias and a low CG is that with a front weight bias, you can have too much of a good thing. A 60/40 split is probably ideal. Like CG, however, it is best to start by moving components as opposed to adding weight.

durability

Durability
There are drivers who can compete in competition after competition and never break a single part and then there are drivers who need every single heavy duty aluminum hop-up offered. Axial has numerous upgrade parts that improve durability, but you don’t need to buy them all at once. For crawlers it’s best to start at the front (aluminum servo horn, aluminum steering knuckles, aluminum steering links) and work your way back (heavy-duty gears, aluminum rear axle lockouts). The only exception to the front to back rule of thumb is driveshafts.

king 1

Ground Clearance
Increased ground clearance allows a vehicle to travel over obstacles without struggling or possibly getting stuck. The axles are the lowest components on the vehicle and the most likely to come in contact with obstacles. Without major modifications, the only way to raise axle clearance is to use taller tires.

Center skid plate clearance is increased when taller tires are installed and when the suspension height is increased. The latter, however, adversely impacts the CG so proceed with caution.

_DSC0002-action

Speed
Rock crawling has changed. It wasn’t that long ago that rock crawling was literally crawling. Now, competitions are entirely different and you may need some speed, but it depends on the type of competition. The key here is to know what you’re getting into. A G6 competition is going to require you and your vehicle to cover some significant ground in the shortest amount of time possible. A 55-turn motor might be good for climbing, but too slow for the long spaces between checkpoints. If you’re running a G6, consider setting up vehicle so that it’s faster than a brisk walk. In other words, it should be closer to 10 mph than 5 mph. Over 10 mph and you might be giving up more crawling performance than you should, but it really all depends on the terrain. If you’re running brushless, a high voltage, low Kv setup provides the best of both worlds.

If you’re running on a super technical course with extremely challenging obstacles, a slow and torque-based setup might be ideal. Even then, however, having some wheel speed at your disposal can come in handy on many obstacles.

4

Articulation
If you are expecting tips and tricks on getting more articulation out of your Axial Racing vehicle, you’re mistaken. The only thing massive suspension twisting articulation is good for is flexed out photos. In the real world, it will hurt far more than it ever helps you. In stock form, your Axial Racing vehicle has all the articulation it needs. More will just allow it to get twisted up like a pretzel.

This article explains why articulation is often misunderstood and overrated.

indoor1x

Suspension Stiffness
Rock crawlers generally work best with slightly stiffer rear springs than front springs and you want to avoid an overly soft suspension that easily collapses when side hilling. Most people don’t consider how increasing the weight of the vehicle with hop-ups and accessories might increase the overall weight and thus require stiffer springs. Stiffer suspension also resist torque twist far better than soft, mushy suspensions.

How To Build a Winning Deadbolt Monster Truck!

guide_deadboltmonster

How to build a Winning Axial Deadbolt Monster truck!

By John Schultz

All of these trucks are based off of the Axial Deadbolt. With a couple of mods you can change your Deadbolt in to a Winning Monster truck too! All of the suspension is the same as the Axial Deadbolt besides adding some links and some option parts to help with durability.

Unknown-1

John Schultz’s winning Axial Deadbolt at the No Limit RC Monster Truck World Finals

Unknown-2

Bari Musawwir TQ and Winner in the Mini Shafty Monster Truck Class at the 4 Link Nats

Unknown-3

Russ Taking the Win in Shafty Monster Truck Class at the 4 Link Nats

First, what you need to install are AX31109 Yeti Links for the front and rear.  The biggest change will be adding a front and rear sway bar. This is super easy to do. Install the AX80118 Battery tray on the front of the chassis and you will have sway bar mounts front and rear. Use AX30782 Wraith sway bar set with the heavy bar. I also used AXA1429 post to clean up the look of the Sway Bar.

Unknown-4

To get the width, I used HPI 88055 Wideners with Tamyia Clodbuster Rims 9335085 and TAM0005294 Adapters, with 10114-02 Pro Line Destroyers!

Unknown-5

For the front Axle, use AX30780 AR60 OCP Universals to keep the steering smooth, combined with the AX30760 Alum Knuckles, AX30762 C-Hubs, rear AX30789 Alum Straight Axle for durability, and AX30829 Alum Diff Cover front and rear to polish it off!

Unknown-6

For the transmission, I used AX30708 Metal gears, AX30401 36t/14t Front, AX30395 38t/13t HD Machine Ring and Pinion gears and AX31100 Alum Skid plate to plant all the Power!

For handling, install diff gears front and rear. I used the AXA1162 o-ring, AX30390 Diff Gear, AX30170 Diff Pin. Plus, I run a black grease inside the diff.

Shock Set up is different with all 3 trucks, I personally run AX30223 14x70mm 1.04 Springs with 10 wt oil in AX31171 Icon Shocks.

Other Optional parts we use to help strengthen the truck are:
AX30836 Alum Servo Horn  25t
AX30830 OCP Links Mounts
AX31101 AX Alum Shock Brace
AX31099 Alum Upper Link Capture
AX30860 Machine Motor Plate

Here are some under the Hood Pics!

Unknown-10

John Schultz’s World Finals Truck

Unknown-7

Bari Musawwir’s Mini Shafty Winning Truck

Unknown-8

Russ Bryant’s Winning Shafty Monster Truck

Grassroots Competitions

GrassrootsCompet500x220_4blog

No events near you? No worries. You don’t need a hobby shop or RC club in your town to get in on the fun of RC competition. Don’t join in on the action, start the action. Check out these alternative ways to get competitive with your Axial vehicle. One bit of advice before you tear off: keep the rules simple and the focus on fun.

Backyard Racing

Rock racing is growing quickly, but not every hobby shop has a course. Most hobby shops don’t have traditional race tracks. If you want to race your Yeti across more than the lawn, the best solution might be to to make your own rock racing course. If fact, it’s far easier to make a rock racing course than race track. You’re really only limited by your imagination. The whole course doesn’t need to be rocks. Collect a few wheelbarrows full of rocks of varying sizes to create the rock section. Use dirt to build ramps up onto the rocks. Use a little more dirt to fill in the bigger holes and gaps in the rock piles and you’ll be good to go. Like desert races such as the Baja 1000, a race like the full-size King of the Hammers doesn’t have clearly defined lanes, so don’t worry about creating and grooming a whole track layout. Make your rock section and mix it up with the go-fast sections. A few cones placed around your yard can search as gates that have to be raced through in a certain order. Your homegrown King of the Hammers doesn’t have to be in your backyard. Scout out local parks. Many have rocky sections of naturally exposed rock or areas filled in with rocks. To keep it safe, make sure you’re away from other people.

pull

Truck Pulls

While they are extremely cool, you don’t need an official pulling sled with a moving weight box. A dead weight box is easily made out of wood and good old fashioned tug-o-wars are a lot of fun. Dead weight pulls are best on smooth, level dirt. Make sure you’re prepared to groom the track as needed to keep it fair. Dead weight pulls can work two ways. You can load a box with a modest amount of weight such as one or two bricks and time each truck to see how fast they can pull the weight 10’ to 12’. The key is to use a weight most if not all of the vehicles will be able to get a full pull with. The other way is to start with more weight, measure the distance of pull and add weight for the vehicles that do get full pulls. Generally, the first method works best with a dead weight sled. When doing simple tug-o-war contest, pavement actually works best. On loose dirt, both vehicles often end up in a wheel spinning stalemate. Make sure you practice commonsense safety measures when having a tug-o-war.

backwoods course

DIY Scale Rock Crawling Comps

If there isn’t a scale club near you or if the local outfits aren’t offering what you want, you can host your own competitions. You might find out you’re not alone. One example of DIY scale competitions done right comes from the east coast. Eric Bresnahan of Connecticut and a couple friends started building a course on a dirt mound out in the woods. As their course grew, so did the crowds. Now, 40 people sign up for 1.9-tire based class. They have to cap the classes to keep the day manageable. And, they keep the rules simple and focus on having fun. As a result, hours after announcing a new comp has been added to the calendar, the classes fill to capacity. Many hobby shops and clubs wished they had that problem. The courses are carved into the dirt with a shovel, rocks and some manmade obstacles are added as needed and the whole thing is again only limited by their imagination. The group has also made good use of social media to grow. Almost all of the club’s communication is done via Facebook. As long as you’re extremely careful and exercise common sense safety measures, social media is a good way to find other people interested in RC competition.

racing 2

Alternative Racing

There are a lot of times when things are done a certain way simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. RC racing is often a perfect example of this. Many people stop racing just because they’re bored. Sometimes the focus is far too much on the competition and not on the fun. Nothing changes because people are so used to doing it a certain way. Nothing changes and racers disappear. Some inventive racers in southern California have come up with an interesting twist on the racing format. Two changes make for a very different racing experience. First, after each race, the running order is reversed. Finish first and you’re going to the back of the pack. In a big field, it pays to not break away if you don’t want to have to contend with trying work your way through the entire field on the next race. The second twist in the program is each race goes in a different direction. Talk about really mixing things up. They also allow you to jump in at the start of any race. It doesn’t matter if you missed the first three races. Again, the focus is on fun, not determining who’s the world champion.

Rock Racing Class Selection

guide_rockracingclass

R/C is a hobby, and a fantastic and fun one at that, but there is also a competitive side—most often in the form of racing. R/C racing has been around just about as long as there have been R/C cars. Racing first took off in parking lots on temporary tracks. As a whole, the hobby has come a long way from the days of parking lot racing. Today there are all sorts of type of competitions. The rock racing segment is a prime example of the awesome variety available. You can learn more about rock racing here. Getting started in racing or even just a segment new to you can be a bit daunting. One of the biggest questions is what class does my rig belong in and what are the rules. Using U4RC as the guideline, here is a breakdown of what class you can expect to compete in at a rock racing event with your Axial Racing vehicle.

scx10

SCX10
If you have an Axial SCX10 with stock or stock-sized 1.9 tires, you can run and be competitive in the 1.9 Trail Limited or 1.9 Trail Pro classes. The 1.9 Trail Limited class is suggested because it is limited to solid axles only and the competition will not be heavily modified.

27t

The 1.9 Trail Limited class only allows for 2S LiPo and motors are limited to 21-turn brushed motors or 18.5 2700 Kv brushless motors. The SCX10 RTR models include Axial’s 27T motor is within the legal limit for 1.9 Trail Limited. While the 27-turn motor will be slower than other motors allowed, your RTR SCX10 won’t require a motor change to compete.

Motor selection can be a little tricky if you don’t know how the motor nomenclature works. When a motor limit is set at 21-turn, such as in the U4RC 1.9 Trail Limited class, the rule is indicating that 21-turn and higher motors can be used. The fewer turns a motor has the faster it will be compared to a similar motor with motor more turns. If the motor limit rule indicates a brushless Kv rating such as 2700 Kv, the  legal motors are 2700 Kv or lower. This is because the higher the Kv rating, the faster the motor.

The 1.9 Trail Pro class removes the battery and motor limits, but is still limited to solid axles. This class will feature more heavily modified vehicles.

2900 kv

The Vanguard 2900KV brushless motor is legal for the 1.9 Trail Pro class and is an excellent motor for this class.

yeti

Yeti
If you have a stock Yeti, the Yeti Limited class is the perfect class. The rules do allow you to upgrade the servo and servo horn, but the rest should be stock.

The next step up is the Yeti/EXO Pro class. There are no motor and battery limits. EXO Terra Buggies will need to be fitted with 2.2 tires to be competitive.

Heavily modified Yetis and EXO Terra Buggies are ideal for the Trophy 2.2  class. Metal cages are required, so this class is for more advanced racers.

wraith

Wraith and Ridgecrest
The 2.2 Competitor Limited class is limited to solid axles only, so this class is ideal for the Wraith and Ridgecrest. The U4RC rules even state, “This Class is designed for RTR and kits with Axial only parts.”

3150 kv

The 2.2 Competitor Limited class does restrict motors to 3150 Kv or less, but 550-sized motors are allowed. This means the Axial Racing Vanguard 3150KV is an ideal choice. This motor is loaded with torque and delivers more than enough speed.

The 2.2 Competitor Pro is also an option, but this class will be faster, so it is recommended that a Wraith and Ridgecrest receive some attention before entering this class. This class is ideal for a modified Wraith.

xl

Yeti XL
Even though the Yeti XL RTR can handle 6S, the Yeti XL class is limited to 4S to keep speeds reasonable.

U4RC0415_favs-0742-XL

Don’t Stress
U4RC is understanding that many people may be building rigs without a real understanding of their specific rules, so they will allow anyone to compete the first time they show. They will review the rules and your vehicle and explain what needs to be done to comply with the rules. Violations will not be an issue for the first race day, but will be expected to be resolved for the second race.

A First Timer’s Guide to AXIALFEST

fb_afest_firsttime2

A First Timer’s Guide to AXIALFEST

Words and Photos by Matt Soileau

Are you planning on attending AXIALFEST? Is this your first time? Then this blog may be just what you have been looking for. This is Skeeno’s Guide to AXIALFEST. I will be covering all that you need to know about having a successful AXIALFEST experience.

DSCF0109

Let’s start with what AXIALFEST is. AXIALFEST is a customer appreciation event held by Axial Racing to thank it’s loyal customers for their support. Each year is a bit different. For AXIALFEST2015, there will be several driving events including the world famous RECON G6 as well as the RECON Terra-Cross (RTX), and drag races. There is a grand awards ceremony on the final evening with so much giveaway swag it will make your head spin.

fp5

fp3

Last year I witnessed what seemed like every single participant received a prize. Many lucky participants scored brand new kits and RTRs. Some lucky drivers also scored a sneak peak of the Axial Yeti prototype before anyone else in the world got to see it! You definitely want to make sure you attend the awards ceremony.

DSCF1015

At AXIALFEST you will witness a celebration of all things Axial. AXIALFEST is the Woodstock of Scale RC, a family gathering of Axial enthusiasts. Hundreds of participants from all over the world come together to share their love of Axial and scale adventure. Expect to see both male and female drivers from all walks of life. From singles to large extended families.

DSCF1074

t1

Not all are drivers; many are just there to support friends and family and watch the fun. There will be groups of people hanging out, wrenching on their Axial kits, cooking, and just generally socializing. Expect to find a very family friendly atmosphere where everyone is willing and eager to help out.

DSCF1024

DSCF1089

afest_step1a

Step 1: Register

This year there is only one price for everything at AXIALFEST. $55 for each adult and $25 for each child. All preregistered drivers will receive a driver’s bag containing a limited edition AXIALFEST 2015 t-shirt and trucker cap, stickers, itinerary, and swag from Axial and the AXIALFEST sponsors. Word on the street is the swag will be extra special this year, so make sure you preregister now if you haven’t already.

firsttime2

You can register online right now at:  http://axialfest2015.eventzilla.net

firsttime3

You may also register in person at AXIALFEST, but will not receive the driver’s bag. Extra shirts will be available for purchase at G-Central, but the driver’s bags are limited to only those who preregister. It is highly recommend that you preregister, so you don’t miss out on any of the limited edition swag from Axial and the official sponsors of AXIALFEST.

firsttime4

afest_step2

Step 2: Get a place to stay

Luckily, AXIALFEST is at a campground, a huge campground. Don’t be scared if you’ve heard all the camp sites are gone. They are not, but you may have to walk a little farther to get to G-Central as the veterans have probably already reserved their camp spots from last year that are closest to G-Central. Call Cisco Grove to reserve your spot ASAP.

WP_20130420_004

Cisco Grove Campground

48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd., Cisco Grove, CA 95728

P: 530.426.1600

Cisco Grove is about an hour from Reno, NV and about an hour and a half from Sacramento, CA. Camp sites are about $30 per night and include water and electrical hookups. There are bathroom and showers available at the campground. Multiple people can share the spots to help divide the cost among several people.

DSCF0001

afest_step3

Step 3: Start Packing RC Stuff

• Your kits (SCX10, Wraith, AX10, Exo, Yeti). Since this is AXIALFEST, the thing to remember is to pack Axial vehicles. You can leave your other RCs at home, as this is an Axial appreciation event. Before you arrive at AXIALFEST, make sure you do a once over on your kits. Clean, rebuild, and replace worn components to reduce chances of failure.

WP_20150422_001

Don’t let something little stop you from finishing. I found this broken axle housing while cleaning up Skeeno Jr’s Axialfest rig just yesterday.

Also, be prepared for mud and water. Chances are high that you will be driving through both, so waterproofing your electronics is not mandatory, but highly recommended.

DSCF4014

For more info on waterproofing, check out these past Axial blogs:

Waterproof Your Receiver

How to Waterproof your SCX10

DSCF4016

• Transmitter, charger, and all of your batteries. You will be driving your kits probably more than you ever have, so you want to make sure you have enough mah to complete each G6 stage. A good rule of thumb is 10,000 mah, but more is always better. You will be able to charge your batteries at your camp sites with the available electricity at each camp site. Make sure to bring a power strip, so you can have multiple chargers going at once.

• Spare Parts. Bring all the spare parts and electronics you have. Driving for three hours straight can tax even the most stoutly built drivetrains. If you don’t have many spare parts, that’s OK. Most veterans will have something to help you out on the trail. Vendors will also be selling parts on site, so bring some spare cash.

WP_20150425_004

• Tools. Chances that you will need to make a repair or adjustment are high. Bring all your tools, including wrenches, pliers, drivers, scissors, and soldering irons.

• Hydration pack/Camelbak. It will be July and most likely very warm. You will be walking long distances for many hours. Bring a backpack or pack hydration to carry water, trail snacks, and tools and spare parts. There is no shame in stopping on the trail to rest, eat, or fix your kit because the goal is to finish. For more info on what to bring out on the trail, check this blog: Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack

Low Ball

Camping Equipment

• Lots of people bring RVs and campers. Others rough it in tents. Some people sleep in their cars. A good night sleep makes for a happy AXIALFESTer. Bring the stuff that will get you the best sleep. Tent, Mattress, Sleeping bag, pillow, and extra blankets are highly recommended.

• Canopy/EzUp. It’s nice to have protection from the sun or rain while cooking or wrenching. If you have walls for your canopy, bring those as well.

DSCF0008

• Power strip/splitter. As mentioned earlier, each camp site has water and power. Make sure you have enough outlets for all your chargers, soldering irons, lights, etc. Some sights have the RV outlets, not the standard 110 outlets you see at your house. Have no fear, the camp store has adapters for sale for cheap. I think I paid $5 last year.

High Ball

• Lighting/Lantern. You want to be able to see at camp if you have to have a late night wrenching session.

• Alarm clock. Events start early in the morning. You don’t want to be late or miss anything, so bring an alarm that will wake you up, especially if you are a night owl participating in after event revelries.

t5

• Flashlight and Headlamp. There will be a night stage for the G6. You will need to be able to see in the dark. Don’t skimp. Get a headlamp with a high lumen output.

• Shampoo/soap/quarters. Showers are available, if you can find time, so you don’t get too ripe.

• Sunscreen. Don’t get burned by the high elevation.

DSCF0005

Food and Beverages

• Water/beverages. A hydrated G6er is a happy G6er.

• Meals. Hungry equals grumpy. Be prepared for the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for each day you will be there. There are no restaurants close by and the camp store has a very limited selection of edibles. That’s 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, if you are planning on being there from Thursday until Sunday. Plan accordingly.

• Snacks. Trail mix and power bars are good to have in case you need extra nutrition in between meals while out on a G6.

DSCF0457

• Stove/BBQ. You gotta cook that food on something, right?

• Regular kitchen supplies. Pots/pans/knives/forks/spoons. Think about what you need for each meal and make sure you bring it.

DSCF0450

• Coffee maker and coffee cups. A nice cup of coffee gets me ready for each long day. I like mine with a little cream and sugar.

• Paper towels. For your meals and wrenching.

• Soap/sponge/towel/buckets. Good for washing your face, brushing teeth, and doing dishes.

• Toothbrush/toothpaste. Fresh breath makes socializing less awkward, especially after a few cups of coffee. No one likes morning breath.

• Ibuprofen/Aspirin/Advil. Bring the pain reliever of your choice. Your feet and legs will be sore if you are not used to extended hours of being on your feet. 1000 trail markers can equal several miles hiking around the campground.

Clothing

• Shoes- bring sturdy shoes for mountain hiking. Hiking boots are recommended. It’s also a good idea to bring some spare shoes for relaxing at camp and flip flops for the showers. I’d also plan on extra socks. After 1000 trail markers and several miles, your feet will most likely be sore.

• Jackets/sweatshirts/pants/hoodie/beanie. You never can tell what Sierra weather will be like. Temps can vary from in the 90s during the day to in the 30s at night. One year it rained. Last year the nights were very cold. Be prepared for everything, so don’t just bring shorts and t-shirts. Pack for four days of clothing, plus extra socks and underwear.

• Swimming gear. There is a little swimming hole at the campground. My daughter makes sure we hit it every year.

DSCF1073 (2)

afest_step4

Step 4: Arrive

The first stop is at the camp store at the front of the campground. Pick up your campsite and vehicle tags, then go find your campsite. Get set up, so you can start the fun.

DSCF4017

After you have camp set up, go find G-Central. G-Central is the central hub of Axialfest where all the activities begin. G-Central is located in the pavilion. There will be signs posted to point you in the proper direction. It is easily spotted, because you will see lots of large green Axial banners as well as the RECON G6 canopy, truck and trailer. There are usually other vendor booths also set up at G-Central. If you are not sure, ask someone. Everyone is friendly and helpful.

DSCF1016

At G-Central you will pick up your t-shirts, hats, driver’s bag, and any other instructions. Inside your driver’s bag you will find the Axialfest itinerary, sponsor information, stickers, and some special swag from Axial as well as the official Axialfest sponsors. Make sure you preregister, so you qualify for all the driver bag goodies.

v3

t4

Don’t forget to check out the camp sites. Assorted vendors will also have their booths set up with their wares displayed and items for sale.

firsttime5

Trail markers will be everywhere! Don’t be surprised to see trail markers on the side of the road, next to your camp, in G-Central, pretty much everywhere. There are over 1,000 trail markers for the G6, so please do not disturb them. They will be needed for the entire event. Do not be tempted to take the one with your favorite number and risk the next G6er getting lost. Also, feel free to play with your kits, but please stay off marked obstacles. You’ll know because there will be colorful ribbon on certain sections.

DSCF1012

What class are you in? RECON G6. Most AXIALFESTers come for the RECON G6. The RECON G6 is a scale trail run. At Axialfest, the RECON G6 is an extreme trail run. A course of 1,000 trail markers is set. Drivers start from G-Central and follow all 1,000 trail markers out, around, and through the Cisco Grove Campground, ultimately returning back to G-Central to finish. The general rule of the RECON G6 is No HOG, which means No Hand of God. That means you should not touch your rig. No flipping over or repositioning it if stuck. Use a tow strap or winch to make a scale recovery. Also remember to travel in the proper direction. The red trail marker is always on the right. Red on Right, get it?

DSCF1102

Out on the RECON G6 trail, drivers will encounter a varied selection of terrain from dirt to rocks to mud to water to trees to whatever is out there. Have fun using your scale accessories like tow straps, winches and sand ramps to conquer the terrain. And here’s a little secret, if you see something that looks out of the ordinary on the trail, it might be a trail treasure. Attach it to your rig and drive it back to G-Central for a possible bonus.

DSCF1086

Drivers have the freedom to drive as fast or slow as they feel. Most drive in small groups assisting each other when the trail gets difficult. Drivers during a RECON G6 are always happy to help out other drivers by loaning a strap, winch line, parts, or tools. Whatever it takes to help their fellow G6ers continue on the adventure. At Axialfest, the RECON G6 trail is often many miles long, that’s why being prepared is so important. Drivers and their kits need to be prepared to endure a long day of scale fun. And remember, Finishing a RECON G6 is like Winning a RECON G6.

DSCF1072 (2)

There are several RECON G6 classes to choose from. Here’s a break down:

Every G6er falls into one of these four classes. 1.9 and 2.2 denote size of your rigs wheels, not tires.

• 1.9 and 2.2 Adventurist- this is the largest class. It’s very relaxed and about having a good time with friends. If you are a first timer, this is probably your class.

• 1.9 and 2.2 Ultra- this is a competitive class. It’s a race. These drivers run. Also known as Cardio RC. Bring your trail running shoes if you choose this class. This class also has more than the standard 1000 trail markers. If you encounter them of the trail it is courteous to pull over and let them pass.
Bonus classes. You will be in the both the above and below classes if you fit into one of the categories below.

• Drivin’ Divas. The lovely ladies of AXIALFEST.

• RECON Rascals. If you are under the age of 16, aka 15 and under.

• 40 and Over Veterans. Old guys rule! Feel free to take your time. We need it.

Other events include the following:

TERRA-X ROCK RACE aka RTX. Rock Racing meets RECON G6! We test the limits of the machine and sometimes the man? Don’t expect a regular timed race. RTX runs on completed laps. Also, don’t plan on a driver’s stand. There’s a little cardio involved here as well. You may be jockeying for position both on the track and in the drivers’ area. You may also be marshalling your own vehicle. RTX has the following classes:
Terra-X Rock Race – 1.9-SCX10 Class
Terra-X Rock Race – Wraith Class
Terra-X Rock Race – YETI Class
Terra-X Rock Race – EXOTerra Buggy
Terra-X Rock Race – OPEN, run what you brung. AKA the Mike Pham class.

1.9 4X4 RHYTHMDRAGS (YES – DRAG RACING IN THE DIRT!)
Yes, we are always trying something new… but it’s not new!

Concourse Show & Shine
Trailer queens that spit shine and show it off, minus the cobwebs please!
Once you are settled in, get ready to have a great time. Don’t expect much downtime. Once the action begins, it’s likely that you will be busy the entire weekend. Axialfest 2015 has set a tentative schedule below. Remember, times are subject to change, so be sure to check at G-Central for updates and LISTEN during the driver’s meetings.

Thursday Night July 16th, 2015:
6:00pm – 9:00pm Early Driver Check-In
6:00pm – 9:00pm Concourse Park Ferme
8:00pm – 9:00pm Judging of Concourse

Friday July 17th, 2015: TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!!
07:30am – 09:30am Driver Check-In
10:00am – 10:30am DRIVERS MEETING
10:00am – 01:00pm Terra-X
01:00pm – 02:00pm LUNCH
01:00pm – 02:00pm Driver Check-In
02:30pm – 04:30pm 4X4 RHYTHMDRAGS
05:00pm – 07:00pm Food Truck / DINNER (for those who don’t want to cook – bring your $’s.)
05:00pm – 07:00pm Driver Check-In
07:00pm – 08:00pm DRIVERS MEETING & NATIONAL ANTHEM
08:00pm – 08:30pm Driver Groups Staging
08:30pm – 12:00pm RECON G6 Stage-1 Night Stage (Headlamps Mandatory)

Saturday July 18th, 2015: TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!!
08:00am – 10:00am Driver Check-In
09:00am – 09:30am Driver Groups Staging
09:30am – 09:45am DRIVERS MEETING & NATIONAL ANTHEM
10:00am – 3:00pm RECON G6 Stage-2
LUNCH ON THE TRAIL – PACK ACCORDINGLY
04:30pm – 05:30pm Food Truck / DINNER
06:00pm – 09:00pm RECON G6 Stage-3 (Headlamps Mandatory)
08:00pm – 09:00pm Late or Trail DINNER
(you can eat out on the trail if time is needed so pack accordingly)
09:30pm – 11:00pm AWARDS Bonfire (bring your chairs and a stick of wood)

Sunday July 19th, 2015:
Sleep in and travel home safe or Sunday Funday for those who want to scale trail with us…
For more info, check out our past AXIALFEST reports.
Axialfest 2014 – Report By Skeeno
Axialfest 2013 – The Recap!
Axialfest 2012 Skeeno Report

Useful links:
2015 AXIALFEST REGISTRATION SITE
Facebook Event Page
Recon G6
Cisco Grove Campground
How To Waterproof your Receiver
How To Waterproof your SCX10
Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack

afest_eatsleepaxial