If you are familiar with MyRCBox.com, you may know that I have been bitten by the scale/crawler trucks bee. I now pay a closer attention to this market segment. I have recently discovered, on rcMart.com, the RCTrax MiniQLO, a palm size scale rock crawler. The MiniQLO is advertised as a 1/24th scale truck but in facts, it is bigger, I would say it is more a 1/18th. It comes assembled and almost ready to run which means that you only have to provide the receiver, the transmitter and a battery pack for the truck.
A micro size steering servo sits right above the front axle. The servo is surprising by its torque and its speed. I first thought that such a small servo will be weak and but I was wrong. The steering servo never failed to its duty and performed above my expectations. Even when the front wheels were stuck between rocks or obstacles, the steering servo was always able to steer the front wheels with ease to help me to get the truck out of trouble.
The ESC has a very small footprint and is rated at 25A with an auto-cut function. It offers good speed and torque control making throttle and brake very predictable. This is always nice to have full control on such a small rock crawler. The included motor has a smooth powerband and produces a lot of torque. All the electronics components have worked flawlessly run after run and they have never overheated. They didn’t even come close to be warm.
To test the RCTrax MiniQLO, I’ve used a 7.4v 2S 600mAh LiPo pack from Yeah Racing. I had to mount the battery on the rear axle due to the limited room for the electronics between the roll cage bars.
The tires use a very soft compound for increased traction. The tread is aggressive and worked well on rocks and sand. However no foam inserts are included, this will have increased traction, stability and weight. The tires are not glued to the wheels, this doesn’t cause any problem. I didn’t glue them because they fit tight on wheel’s bead. In fact, this helps to protect the drive train when the tires are locked between rocks. The wheels slightly spin in the tires.
The body is made of robust plastic and is offered in many different colors. Assorted stickers are also included with the truck. The MiniQLO can be ordered with a lexan body or in a “tuber” version identical to the truck used for this review. However, the room to install the receiver is very limited in the tuber version.
The drive train:
Even if the RCTrax MiniQLO is a smaller rock crawler, the drive train is extremely robust. Thick plastic gears are used for the pinion and the spur. Bushings are used for the drive train. Bearings are offered as an option for a very small amount of money. Telescopic drive shafts are used to transfer the power to the metal geared worm differentials. The differentials are small to increase ground clearance. The final drive ratio is very low to increase the crawling capabilities of the truck. It is even impossible to push the truck, all four wheels stay locked. This can act like a drag brake when you get used with the truck. The drive train is certainly the most impressive feature of the MiniQLO.
The RCTrax MiniQLO uses a conventional three links suspension design. Friction shocks with springs are used on all four corners. The shocks are not oil filled but they offer good damping for a truck of this size. The MiniQLO has a surprising suspension travel of more than three inches and all links are made of durable plastic.
My first test run was in my living room. I have headed the RCTrax MiniQLO to few toys left on the floor by my kids. The front wheels attacked the toys and in a matter of seconds the truck climbed on them with ease. I was surprising by the crawling capabilities of the MiniQLO. I have set up a small track with 1/8th buggy tires simply to evaluate how the MiniQLO will perform. As expected the truck climbed the obstacles with ease. The suspension travel coupled to the torque produced by the motor and the drive train make the MiniQLO almost unstoppable.
Outside, the MiniQLO has received the same treatment that all my others reviewed trucks have received. I tested it on rocks and on different pieces of wood. The MiniQlo has perfectly passed the tests. Thirty minutes later, the truck slowed down, it was time to recharge the LiPo pack.
What I liked:
- Robust drive train
- Good electronics
- Hobby grade quality
- Full line up of aluminum and hop ups parts available
What can be improved:
- Limited room for the electronics (tuber version)
- I’d like heavier wheels
Don’t let the size of the RCTrax MiniQLO fools you. It performs like a real rock crawler. The truck is robust and will resist many crashes and abuses. A full line of aluminum parts and hopups are available. The RCTrax MiniQLO is not a toy, it is a real hobby quality rock crawler. If you keep in mind the size of the MiniQLO, you’ll be amazed by its capabilities indoor or outdoor. You can buy the MiniQLO directly from rcMart.com.