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…

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure With Photo Pro Brad Perry

 

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure

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

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

BVP29rv

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

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

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

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

BVP03rv

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

BVP61rv

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

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

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

BVP57rv

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

BVP34rv

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

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

BVP43rv

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

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

BVP27

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

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

WEST FORK RANGER STATION SCALE CHALLENGE

West Fork Ranger Station Scale Challenge Text: James Story Rice Photography: Robert Wise The event began early on Saturday May 30th, with a cool breeze moving down the river’s edge. Drivers began arriving around 8 am in droves from the Carolinas, Alabama, and Florida. Once sign ups began at 9:00am the hype in the crowd began to rise. Drivers began getting their scale trucks set for an epic Axial Adventure. 11130030_360476130812287_3538436371955806259_o The drivers meeting began with a huge thanks to the sponsors, including Axial, Phoenix Designs, Team KNK Hardware, ScalerFab, Rolland Rock Shop, CBERC, and TJ RC products. Each sponsor donated a number of great prizes making for a great raffle. Following giving thanks, we discussed a few ground rules: Have Fun, no Hand of God, help your fellow drivers, stay on the trail and don’t disturb wildlife or the native plants located on the property and one more reiteration that this was meant to be a Super Fun Day. 11268362_360476090812291_2518134082353789587_o Class 2 took to the course first in an open start as the drivers hurried getting the last few things ready. Soon after, a few of the class 3 drivers that were not a running a class 2 rig, set out to conquer the course. Right off the bat the beginning of the course traversed up the riverbank to rock ledges, which always prove to be a tough spot. Several drivers found weak spots in their trucks having to quickly do a bit of repair and adjustment. As they reached the end of that leg they came upon the Carolina Bridges that made their first appearance at Motorama, and have been traveling with the Axial Ambassadors everywhere from Belleview Florida to Daytona for Jeep Beach.

Soon after they hit the semi-dry riverbed section, they navigated the partially submerged bridge and down through some very sandy and slippery rocks, which directed them over a bamboo bridge to an island formed by the floods of 2004. Trail marker followed by another, drivers worked through the random river rocks, boulders back to the top of the island, and eventually back across the dry riverbed to the shore. Though the next section could be viewed as an easy stroll through the gardens with scattered small obstacles, it seemed to get the best of some of our drivers. They began to get tired and the wobbly suspension bridges proved to be tougher than they looked. As they finished the final gates that curled around the property gardens, the excitement began to grow as the smell of lunch permeated the air.

Mrs. Nancy Rice, mother to Axial Ambassador and host Story Rice, had prepared a filling menu that included, Italian Sausage covered with peppers and onions on hoagie rolls, fresh summer salad, chips, fresh tossed field greens salad and a variety of dessert bars. Comforting food filled bellies and boosted sprits, preparing drivers, including class 3, to carry on navigating their way through the end of the course.

10700300_360476257478941_3111402221541473921_o

Shortly there after began the awards Ceremony, were the top drivers were awarded for their greatness in navigating the trail with little faults. Class 2 winner was Joseph Meaders, while Class 3 victory went to Marcus Moore, both receiving highly coveted Axial Camo-bill hats and class trophies! Remaining prizes were raffled off to drivers and spectators.

 

After a small break waiting for night fall to begin the night run, some drivers left while others stayed, those who hung around were hooting and hollering through the course as they had been during the day but under the light of a full moon, along with lights mounted to these great tiny trucks! Once completed the two drivers that managed to hit the least trail markers Shawn Barton and Matthew Walker both received Axial Camo-bills, along with more prizes in a raffle fashion to the remaining drivers. The drivers that had to head out did so quickly; some with over an hour drive to get home from the Ranger Station, while others set up tents to camp for the night. Great times were had by all and another Axial Adventure is already being planned for the Fall at the West Fork Ranger Station.

 

11212194_360475804145653_7599412213001249280_o

10608354_360475710812329_4455645564183150097_o 11141779_1108602449157012_6509360296087327167_n

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 9.59.14 AM 11391438_10205809983520058_32218362823581375_n 11351344_10205809987400155_5296750408232771309_n 11270608_360476127478954_1043525695394286002_o 11270595_954742614545770_2715336286739484861_o 11259145_10205809988480182_5724080381380282775_n 11141779_1108602449157012_6509360296087327167_n 10838176_360476034145630_7173608699476754544_o1800064_360475440812356_8854244867534702622_o

License to Adventure!


LICENSE TO ADVENTURE! Story & Photos: Rodney Wills

Acquiring the Jeep licensing for the SCX10 chassis is landmark. This is Axial’s first automotive manufacturer license, but with it came a bit of a challenge. When working with Jeep on the licensing deal they were a bit hesitant to include use the Trail Rated™ badge. I found this quite interesting as they were willing to let us use the Jeep® logo and the signature 7-bar grill, but the Trail Rated™ badge they were protecting with a lot of pride, and rightfully so! I saw it on another level beyond the paperwork as a personal challenge or maybe I used it as the excuse to push me along to a personal challenge.

Warily they granted us the rights to use the Trail Rated™ badge, but I felt indebted, not in the monetary sense, but on the honor of what the badge stands for. So I wanted to unequivocally uphold the honor of what that badge represents and I was willing to take on the self-imposed challenge. And more importantly my team was willing to take on the challenge; most importantly Axial’s top brass were stoked on the idea of what we wanted to accomplish and willing to back us as well! This is not hard to believe when we have a vice president who is also active within the 1:1 off-roading community! All the while, our partners at the Jeep brand were completely unaware of what we were planning.

Jeff Johns [Axial Vice President] and Brad Dumont [Axial Public Relations / Media Specialist] got close to doing the Rubicon Trail during the Wheelers For The Wounded event only a few weeks prior to our SCX10 Rubicon trip plans. Their mission fell short with severe steering issues due to some very brand new aftermarket steering parts and modifications on the full size Axial SCX10 Jeep JK. No, it was not the new liquid filled 2-ton electric steering servo, but the mishap happened 10-hours from the office and a mere 40-miles away from the trailhead, only to unleash a sequence of long faces and lots of steering fluid loss. But it was better that they did not break down on the trail, yet as a result they did not make it out for the annual Wheelers For the Wounded event.

After the event I placed a phone call to Kevin Carey of Method Motorsports as he is one of the event organizers of the Wheelers For The Wounded Rubicon Trail Event. I was explaining the details about the steering issues as the reason our guys were not in attendance and very bummed to not participate this year as we have in years past. I told him we would attempt the Rubicon Trail again if he would be our tour guide. This time we would have a whole different purpose for the trip as I explained to him the idea of driving the 1/10th Axial SCX10 remote controlled 4X4 over the Rubicon Trail. The Axial SCX10 is a trail rig after all! We set the plans as we wanted to squeak in this last-chance trip over the Rubicon as the window of opportunity was closing due to weather. Yet, we were also planning the Off-Road Nation game release for that weekend during the Off-Road EXPO so we had to be there in attendance prior to making our Rubicon attempt. This stacked our schedules as we would have to make our Rubicon trip attempt the week after Off-Road EXPO. We have all the plans on deck and our last minute time juggle put Kevin out as he could not get the whole week off that we needed immediately after the EXPO.
I did have a backup tour guide in mind and a long laundry list in front of my eyes to check off! I was getting nervous! Time to tick off check boxes and fast!

Don’t think for a moment I didn’t want to be the man on the wheel of the SCX10 for this adventure, but I know my role on the Axial team is to dream up, capture and document, so I called Brad “Bender” Dumont into the office and asked if he had ever been on the Rubicon Trail and he replied that this was in fact on his bucket list to do, especially after coming so close just a few weeks prior! I asked for his first actual trip if he would be willing to hike it while driving a pre-production SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR. He was in with a grin! Next call was to Scott G of Axial to ask if he was willing to drive the full-size rig to transport all our gear we would need for this trip. For some reason I chose this last call to be last as it was the most important, and the call went out to Brian Parker AKA: Mr. Axial Man and Recon Crawlers G6 mastermind as this would be my ultimate tour guide backup plan. I knew he had been very busy with previous events just the week prior and he has a full time job in the full size world, so I knew I would be pushing my luck. Also lurking in the back of my mind is THE FACT that I’ve never wheeled with Parker before! I know he has put in his time, but I still had to ask the questions especially the one, “do you know your way around the Rubicon?” He replied, “do you want to go in at the pitch of black at 2:00am, I will take us there!” Hmmm, I pondered and my brain flashed visuals of Parker doing some sort of spirit-dance.. and asked, “Do you know all the key spots?” Parker spouts off all the locations we want to check off the list. We are locked in! I’m good with my decision to have Parker as tour guide and vehicle spotter, but I’m not going to be in the full size rig while on the Rubicon, that will be Scott G’s job! Maybe Scott G will write a first hand experience of this adventure.

My biggest concern was food and water for four guys for three days and extra in case the inevitable happened. I wanted to be prepared. Scott G and I have been on this overland tip for a minute and had previously secured the mil-spec plastic five gallon water cans of which we would use for this trip. You are suppose to have one gallon of water per day, so four persons plus an extra gallon equals five gallons per day. Our trip is projected for three days, so we took four cans equivalent to 20 gallons of water. One gallon = 8.34lbs X 20 = 166.8lbs. You would think weight would be an issue but three of us would actually not be riding in the vehicle during most of the trek. Parker would be outside the full size rig navigating and myself and Brad would be out of the rig driving the R/C and filming. But all this stuff along with us included has to be packed into the rig for the transit from town into the Rubicon trail head and back out to town after the trail. We would be minus a cooler for ice to save space that we did not have. The nights would get down to the low 30’s so we would simply put out what we wanted cold the next day.

Food is next on the list and I did not want to make the preparation of food on the trail such a chore. Plus the transportation and preserving takes considerable precious space. With my backpacking and dirt biking adventures I have learned all about Mountain House food in a bag! Mountain House produces freeze dried food and meals that are lightweight, have a long shelf life [for all you preppers out there!] and are perfect for all types of outdoor recreation such as our Rubicon trip where space is going to be minimal! The Mountain House product is easy to prepare by simply adding hot water, stir, stand and EAT! All I had to do was sort our three meals a day from Mountain House assortment of various flavors, add a couple of snacks and a little desert for three days for four guys. This equals 36 meals to be served!!! It was time to visit our local REI store in Tustin, Ca.

To cook all the food, we employed the use of my JetBoil PCS stove to boil the water. It is small yet powerful as two cups of water boils in about two minutes. The Mountain House bags of food are designed to cook and eat right out of the bag! This makes food preparation simple by just boiling water, adding the appropriate amount to each Mountain House bag, stir and let sit for appropriate time, then EAT! This means no stove cup clean up! No plates or bowls to clean up! The clean up process would be as simple as flattening the Mountain House bag, reseal and tossed the remains into our Trasharoo spare tire garbage bag.

Next in line is the one topic most do not want to talk about, much less discuss at length, but that is simply why things become major issues on the scale that someone or some agency has to take action… What goes in, must come out and what comes out has become an issue in national forest due to the amount of visitors and the lack of self consciousness. SO, with the Rubicon Trail being located in the national forest, it has a “PACK IN – PACK OUT” rule – including all human waste! Yes, we are talking poop here! The Rubicon Trail has seen enough infestation of the “white flowers” as these “white flowers” have been imported from human bathrooms to singular deposits that seemed to have not been buried in a proper manner. Yes, we are talking about toilet paper piles on the ground – aka: white flowers. Due to this issue not only on just the Rubicon Trail, but in all of our major national forest with high traffic tourist destinations, the forest service have placed the “pack in – pack out” rule. No matter where you personally stand on the issue, it is an issue and you will be very upset when you find you are standing in it – in the middle of the night while setting up your tent. And now it has became policy or rule as no one seems to have read the book, “The Complete Walker” by Colin Fletcher & Chip Rawlings as proper human waste field service is discussed thoroughly in the this book.

To take things a bit to the next level and to deal with the imposed “pack in – pack out” rule I personally wanted to make sure my crew set an example and same time be comfortable while in the wild, so I obtained The PETT / Cleanwaste GO anywhere portable toilet® as they manufacture a rugged foldable commode and degradable waste bag system that packs flat therefore smaller that the “5-gallon bucket system.” Again, space and weight are the premiums and this PETT system is the best I have found. And for my personal off-road adventures, my family members consist of girls… comfort and ease of use is important stuff!

This is the moment you cue the Beverly Hillbillies or Sanford and Sons theme music. I personally like the Sanford & Sons music, “The Streetbeater” produced by Quincy Jones. The plans are set and the word to the guys is PACK LIGHT as we have one full size Jeep JK to fill with four guys, camping equipment, two SCX10’s, radio’s, batteries, R/C tools, 1:1-tools, recovery gear, supplies, camera gear, personal bags, sleeping bags, pillows, sleeping pads [and someone had to bring a cot], and tents (Parker opted for his Hammond Hammock tent). Our luxury items would consist of four camp chairs.

While the Axial SCX10JK is outfitted with a Rebel Roof Rack, I didn’t want to have big boxes on the roof rack as that would cut down on the gas mileage to/from the Rubicon Trail as that is a 10-hour tarmac transit each way plus I was not sure about the tree limb exposure on the trail. Truth be told, I simply do not have the proper travel boxes yet, so that made it easy that everything had to fit inside.

All this to traverse over the Rubicon Trail to film a 1/10th scale Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

OK, travel plans and supplies are set. Lets do the Rubicon! It’s time to get our #AxialAdventures™ ON! This is going to be AWESOME!!!