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Posts Tagged ‘RC Rock Crawling

rc-trail-run-recon-g6

I’ve never run an e-mail in this spot before, but reader “Pfuture” sent me a few questions that I thought would be better served to answer/rant here.

Hello Doug,

One suggestion I have would be doing a guide for new scalers going on rides if you haven’t made one already. I don’t mean to sound bitter, scaling is one of my favorite activities ever.  Maybe you already wrote such a guide and i don’t remember it?  I have been organizing friendly rides for about a year in Montreal, Canada.  That’s little experience compared to lots of other scalers.

 

I often had to give transmitter batteries or some common parts like plastic servo horns to help someone.  People often do not bring tools, forget to charge their packs properly and don’t check their trucks before leaving home.  Also, i would insist that showing up late to a scale ride is very bad.  Every time i organize a ride, there is a new person showing up more than 15 minutes late.  Yesterday we drove around close to the start point because someone told us he’d be 40 minutes late.  His batteries were not even properly charged when he showed up. If you have ideas on how to deal with late people without being too harsh, i’m all ears!

 

I probably shouldn’t have told you all this, you most likely have experience all the same and more.  Maybe this could inspire a squidink comic or two? Hope this was helpful, forgive my sometimes strange english (I’m from Montreal). Have a nice day, can’t wait to read your next articles.  Even those about F-1 racing.

 

Pfuture

 

I actually did a write a basic “what to bring to a trail run” piece a few months ago, you can check that out right here (more importantly, show your friends!). As for the part of your question dealing with event organization (people being late, unprepared), I’ll tackle that in detail. I’ve organized events for around 2 years now, including lots of trail runs, so I really do feel your pain. Click the “Read More” below to see my advice….most of which I learned the hard way.

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axial_wraith_spawn_01

Axial has given the go ahead to talk about the new Axial Racing Wraith Spawn Rock Racer. Besides the Axial standard of plenty of licensed parts, they have continued to update and refine the already proven Wraith platform. Axial continues to drive towards more waterproofing, and with winter coming up, we know that’s an important box to check off. The ESC, Steering Servo, and Receiver box now all claim waterproof. For those of you that have been thinking about picking up a Wraith, maybe this is the one that tickles your fancy?

Some highlight features are:
• WB8 HD Wildboar™ driveshafts
• Dual slipper clutch
• Single-coil, adjustable shocks
• Heavy duty differential lockers
• Officially licensed 2.2 Method IFD™ beadlock wheels
• New Spawn body on full tube frame composite chassis
• Driver figure and molded interior
• 2.2 Ripsaw™ tires
• AE-5 ESC w/ drag brake – 3S LiPo capable (waterproof)
• 20T motor
• Metal gear Tactic TSX45 MG servo, 151 oz-in, water resistant
• Waterproof receiver box
• Spawn body compatible with Wraith, AX10 and SCX10 chassis

The part number is #AX90045, and it is priced at $369. You can get complete details by heading over to This Link on the Axial website.

Make sure to check out the video below!

vaterra_ascender_trail2

While the gang was at iHobby last weekend, I was busy getting in wheel time with arguably the biggest “traditional” scaling platform release this year; the Vaterra Ascender. Big thanks to my trailing buddy Matt Worthington for letting me have at his new truck for an afternoon of trailing and neighborhood crawling. Given that this isn’t my own truck and parts of it have been changed from stock (like the tires/wheels) this won’t be a super detailed synopsis, but I still wanted to share a few thoughts.

The truck used in this piece was outfitted with big power – a Tekin Roc 412 (the crème de la crème of scaling motors) mated to a Castle Mamba Max Pro with drag brake dialed in. He opted to forgo the stock wheels and tires for Pitbull Growlers and RC4WD Mickey Thompson wheels. The servo is a waterproof Hitec 5646WP with a Spektrum radio system running the show. Click the “Read More” to see what I thought.


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axial-scx10-jeep-cherokee-xj

As the gang is busy in Chicago breaking exclusives, I’m stuck back here in STL holding down the fort. Don’t worry about me though, it’s nice coming in at 10 and leaving by 2 getting a quick breather before a torrent of news hits. And since we are in the calm before the storm, this gives me a few minutes to talk about the scale scene in general. No, not just scale crawlers…I mean as it pertains to the whole industry. Click the “Read More” below to read my wall o’ text.

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Pro-Line RAM 1500 Clear Crawler Body
After some teasing over the weekend, our friends over at Pro-Line have released full details on their new 1/10 Ram 1500 Clear Crawler Body.

The Ram was designed to look as awesome as it performs on the trail. Officially licensed by Ram, it gives you the scale realism you are looking to top your 1/10 crawler off with. To make the Ram look even cooler, it comes with fender flares and a special area in the bed for mounting a spare tire. A detailed sticker sheet helps round out the package.

The part number is #3434-00, it is priced at $38, and you can hit up This Link for complete details over on Pro-Line’s official website.

Click Here to read more Pro-Line news on BigSquidRC.

THE Axial SCX10 Ram Power Wagon Review

Axial Ram Power Wagon Review

There is no doubt that Axial is scalding hot right now. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold and for good reason, they’ve been putting out some incredible looking vehicles that can take all you can dish out. Their latest version of the SCX10 is the Ram Power Wagon. Does the Ram live up to the Axial reputation? Can it hold its own on the trail? Is it worth your cash? Hit the “Read More” to find out…

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axial_ram_scx10_12

Brushed vs. Brushless is a non argument pretty much everywhere in the hobby. Everyone knows brushless technology offers the most speed, reliability, ease of use, etc at this point so why even bring it up? Because scaling/crawling is one of the last stands for brushed motors, a place where the discussion still takes place with merit to both sides, that’s why. Click the “Read More” to see both points of view (and for a guest appearance by a famous talking rock). READ MORE

iron-mountain-depot-recon-g6-25Drag brake is one of the most important and subjective things you’ll deal with when getting into scale crawling. Some guys like a ton, some none at all. So what is it?

Simply put, drag brake is the amount of stopping power applied when there is no throttle input on the transmitter. It’s measured in percentage. 20% DB means that when you aren’t on the gas the vehicle is getting 20% of the standard full brake input. For a basher or racer you can use a mild DB to help a truck that wants to flip over backwards when jumping stay more neutral in the air without having to manual apply the brake yourself. It’s important in crawling because when you are climbing over an obstacle at slow speed you won’t just roll off if you let go of the throttle. (Bare in mind the motor factors into the equation as well, as mills with stronger magnets will hold better than weaker ones…but that’s for another piece.)

Competition crawling vehicles famously utilized crazy amounts of DB when that scene was hot. It would take a tow truck to move one of these rigs when there was no throttle applied. This works great when trying to adjust your line on some gnarly rock, but as crawling vehicles are being asked to do more nowadays the philosophies are starting to change. If you are rocking down the trail with 3S power and a front weight bias, ya know what happens when you let off the go-stick with a ton of DB enabled? You are gonna go a$$-over-tea kettle. Even if you don’t have bookoo power, descending a hill can be a chore when the truck jerks to a stop every time you let off the gas.

All decent ESC’s allow customization to control the amount of DB (dedicated crawling ones generally have the higher available settings) by either using push button programming or manually hooking it up to a computer (Castle Link, for example). I strongly recommend playing around with different settings and see what you like best.

When I started out with my first Axial truck a few years ago I was using a system with 90% DB (mated to a high torque 55t brushed motor) and it drove me mad. I kept with it because I thought “well, that’s what crawlers are supposed to be like”. That’s hogwash! I generally now roll with around with 40-50% DB and love the way it feels.

I like having a “looser” ESC setting so my truck doesn’t completely lockup when coming off throttle. Being the big fan of hill climbing that I am, I like how the truck will gradually descend a hill by itself with a lower DB versus having to burp the throttle manually (and therefore jerk back to a stop) with a heavy setting.

Is mine the “right way”? Absolutely not! There is no right way, only YOUR way. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your drag brake setting. It can wildly change the way your rig handles the trail. You may want ludicrous stopping power, you may just want a smidge. Grab your manual (or download a PDF, all reputable manufacturers have product manuals online) and start tweaking! You can always go back to the default setting later, after all.

So your backwater ESC doesn’t allow customization you say? Well you’re in luck. With the holiday season fast approaching I’m in the preliminary stages of putting together a big piece on popular brushed AND brushless crawling/trailing setups for you folk looking to make an upgrade. It’s going to have stuff for both penny pinchers and Scrooge McDuck types. Look for that to drop later this fall.

Until next time, have a great holiday weekend. And remember, if you are in the Chicago area you should come on out to our Back to School Bash taking place!

For more RC Rock Crawling news on BigSquidRC you can click here. For news of the scale variety why don’t you check this link out.

vaterra-ascender

Our hobby has seen it’s fair share of great rivalries. Back in the day Tamiya and Kyosho duked it out in a battle for monster truck supremacy. Associated, Losi and the aforementioned Big K have been waging war on the race track seemingly forever. When it comes to bashing it’s been Traxxas versus….well, everyone I suppose (at least for the last decade or so). It’s looking like another great rivalry could be on the cusp of happening – Axial vs. Vaterra in the crawling arena. (Note - RC4WD is also popular but I’m not counting them because they make aftermarket parts for other manufacturers in addition to offering their own kits).

Oh sure, Vaterra has been releasing vehicles for awhile now, but nothing like what was announced last week: the Ascender K5 Blazer. The rig has the scale crawling segment all hot & bothered and it looks like Axial’s SCX10 line could see its first true competition for market share. By now many of you have probably seen the press releases and all that, so let’s cut through the BS and talk about why certain features have scale 4×4 enthusiasts excited. Click the “Read More” below. READ MORE

crawler_flex5Ah yes, suspension flex. The first thing a new crawler owner does after opening the box is head outside and snap a poser picture of the truck on rocks. This is the “flex shot”. “Flexy Fridays” are now a thing on r/c Facebook groups. Hey, we all do it. If you got the suspension why not show it off? The problem is that many people have gotten the wrong idea about suspension travel. You’ll see people using “it has two feet of suspension travel!” on for sale ads to entice noobs to buy their piles o’ junk. Click the “Read More” and let’s talk flex.

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big-orange-axial-ax10-xtrail1When it comes to scale crawling hop-up discussion, over/underdrive gears never fail to confuse noobs. What does “overdrive” even mean? Will it hurt your truck? Click the “Read More” below to get the skinny on a mod that can help your Axial truck get its Billy Goat on.

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roughneckscalers-trailrun6Happy 4th of July!

I recently had the pleasure of heading out to one of the first official trail runs for the Roughneck Scalers Missouri Chapter and had a heck of a time. The club originally hails from California but recently expanded to St. Louis, MO due to the exploding scale off-road scene in the area.

The trail spot was Bangert Island Park in St. Charles, MO. The densely wooded trails run along the banks of the Missouri River and are a popular destination for those looking to get their scale on. While the park generally houses a wide array of terrain (river silt, rocky creek, dirt paths) today it was mud, mud and mud. The area saw torrential rains the night before but there are no rain outs in scaling. You kwitcherbitchin’ and get out there!

Despite the thick mud and awful Missouri humidity about 20 people showed up and we had a blast. It was also a lot of fun watching a few tug-o-war competitions take place on the sandy river banks. Motors were smoked, parts broken and a good times were had by all. Big thanks to the Roughneck Scaler guys for having me out and letting me wheel my trusty old “Missouri Mule” Axial SCX10 with them. For more info on the Missouri branch of the Roughneck Scalers you can check them out on Facebook right here. Have a safe holiday weekend everyone!

To see 5 more galleries of scalers getting very, very dirty click the “Read More” below.

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Axial AE-5 Waterproof ESC
Axial’s AE-5 ESC is affordable and loaded with features for the crawling/scaler crowd. To make it easier to program while out on the trail, the AE-5 uses jumpers instead of a traditional programming button. These jumpers are used to change settings for battery type and drag brake. The AE-5 is also waterproof, something that is a must for all those long trail drives, or for general bashing.

* Laser etched logo on heat sink
* Comes with Tamiya style connector
* Max cell count is 3S LiPo
* 5 volt 2 amp BEC
* Motor limits are 12 turn on 2S and 18 turn on 3S
* 1.8 x 1.3 x 1.1″ in size

The AE-5 has a part number of #AX31144, they are street priced at $38, and it is expected to start shipping in August. Click Here for full details over on Axial’s official website.

Check out more Axial news at This Link on BigSquidRC.