Motorized Pack Wheel Testing — Hiking Speeds With High Torque

The DIY Hunter and his boys testing a walking speed high torque motorized Pack Wheel game cart.

In the summer of 2015 I tested a couple variations of a bike hub motor on the Pack Wheel. I found them to be very high speed with low torque or in other words they were geared for going 20 plus mph offering little assistance unless I was already near running up the mountain myself. Yes, they assisted but didn't have enough torque to carry the load on their own. I felt that I could go up the mountain easier without the "assist" of a hub motor and haven't used the hub motor since the two trips I took with it in 2015. 

This year I have been testing different motors and batteries using a chain drive system. By using the chain drive I am able to gear down the speed into walking speed power and power it is. My current prototype will operate from 0 to 6 mph controlled by a thumb throttle. Even just barely moving the motor will carry all the weight of the load right up the mountain. Although going up steep inclines did place some weight on my arms because of the steep angle, the torque of the motor, and I mounted the battery on the back side of the handle, but other than a small portion of this weight being held in your arms the motor will power the entire load right up the mountain, no need for any operator assistance in pushing the load.

When I tested the hub motor back in 2015 it was clearly a motor that offered assistance when you were already moving. This motor system has the power to carry the load right up the mountain entirely on it's own power. Low hiking speeds and tons of torque in this chain drive system.

I found that I operate the Pack Wheel a little differently for crossing obstacles. Typically without a motor when I need to go over a rock or log I would lower my arms to take some weight off the wheel so that I could bump the wheel up and over the obstacle. Doing this technique with the motor can make the wheel spin out by not having enough traction. So, to go over obstacles with the motor I don't lower my arms but instead push the wheel up against the obstacle to give the wheel extra weight to give it the traction needed to climb over the obstacle. Butting my waist up against the back of the handle and leaning into the Pack Wheel provided me the best solution for getting the traction to climb over deadfall and rocks. 

Some other cool features of this motorized system. Without any tools and in less than a minute you can slide the battery off, slide the motor off and remove the chain for a non-motorized system. Say you were deep in the backcountry and the motor seized of for some odd reason you can just disconnect the motor or remove it and still be able to use the Pack Wheel.

I'm still working on how long the battery will last. I need to run the numbers on paper as best as possible for number's sake, however, I trust in the field use over numbers on paper. I have more testing to do. I can say that on the first test with the 28 lb motorized Pack Wheel (see video below) we hiked up the mountain for a few hours using the motor stopping to check cameras along the way. I would guess that the motor received a solid hour of use and after the trip, the battery power level indicator LEDs still show full power.

All-in-all I really love this motorized system I still need to tweak the gear ratio and other components but am getting close to offering this as an option for the Pack Wheel.

Below are a couple videos from testing the motorized Pack Wheel this summer.

 

 

The DIY Hunter testing a motorized Pack Wheel game cart with high torque that operates at hiking speeds.

28 Nosler — Shooting At Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Course

For my trip to Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf course this summer I was excited as always especially with taking my new death ray 28 Nosler X-Bolt rifle. 

I shot the master's course as usual. It wasn't my best score but I was very happy with the misses I had been well within where I thought they should hit. In other words, I didn't have any fliers that didn't make any sense. I just barely missed the small 1,000 yard target as also the other targets I missed.

After shooting the course I shot a three shot group at 1,200 yards on the driving range that from a distance looked to be well within a 1/2 minute of angle. I was using a floating holdover for the windage on these three shots since my Vortex Viper HS LR scope has a capped windage turret. In other words, I was very pleased with the group size at 1,200 yards given I wasn't holding on a specific point on the target nor my crosshairs just about halfway to the first windage marker on my reticle.

The 175 Gr ELD-X bullets were traveling 3,218 fps with a mild load of Retumbo. View my 28 Nosler load data.

Here are some of my shots from the day with my 28 Nosler.

 

 

 

 

28 Nosler Handloads and Ballistics

Below are my personal favorite loads for my Browning X-Bolt affectionately named The Black Pearl by my boys. To view the loads you will need to read the warning near the bottom of the page, then accept the warning by checking the box inside the warning.

So far the only bullet I have been playing with in my 28 Nosler X-Bolt is the 175 Gr Hornady ELD-X. As I work with other bullets I will add them to my load data.

If you are needing printable targets for sighting in your rifle you can get them here.

WARNING: The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload the 28 Nosler use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com you are doing so at your own risk. theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com is not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility, and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. If you have read and accept this warning check this box to view my 28 Nosler load data.

Browning Defender 850 WiFi Trail Camera Operation

So I've been playing with the new Defender 850 trail cameras lately.  I thought I would share some of the things I have found that might help you get the most out of your Browning trail camera.

The option to connect to these cameras via an app on your phone or tablet is pretty geeky cool. I like this function most for going through the setting and using the live preview to point the camera in the perfect direction. Here's how the app connecting process works.

With the power on turned on the camera, you then open the Browning Defender app on your phone. The trail camera is always using low power Bluetooth so when you turn on the Defender App it will either automatically connect via Bluetooth or you will have to select the Bluetooth camera name and then press the connect button.

Once you have this Bluetooth connection established you then can click the "BLU <> WIFI" button to switch the camera into wifi mode. At this point be a little patient as it may take a few seconds for your phone to see the trail camera in your available wifi's to connect to. Once the wifi shows up select to connect to it and then hit the back button on your Android phone (not sure what the iPhone people do). Now you will have a wifi connection to the phone and can use the Live View, Playback and Settings options. Pretty simple.

In the video below you can see how the live preview works. This is nice to point the camera where you want it, walk past it and see how critters would frame up in the view and adjust the camera position as needed.

Restoring MOA Accuracy To A Fouled Barrel

While setting up my new 28 Nosler, Browning X-Bolt rifle, it started shooting like a house of fire right out of the chute and then accuracy started to get increasingly degraded. Here is the process I used and how I found adding an extra step to my cleaning process restored my accuracy. 

After getting my new rifle I thoroughly cleaned the bore with a Bore Tech Eliminator and Kroil as I have with all my firearms in the past.

For my first outing to the range I had 10 rounds loaded up with H-1000 powder. The first shot was to verify the point of impact from bore sighting using the simple look down the bore technique. Then I had three different powder charges for three shots a piece. All three of these three shot groups shot sub MOA with one grouping at 3/8" at 100 yards. Awesome! That was quick, however I needed to shoot more to verify it would be consistently accurate.

Trip two to the range I shot two more three shot groups at 100 yards with the tightest load from the first trip to the range. The first group was just over an inch and the second was back under an inch at 7/8" and I shot a third three shot group at 300 yards that was five inches with a flier to the right. Not so good. Hmm...

My third trip I shot three, three shot groups again at 100 yards and all three groups were in the 1 1/2" to 2" range. Ahh!!! Opening up even more. This was when it clicked that I had to be having fouling problems. 

I tried my usual cleaning process of Kroil and Bore Tech Eliminator. And headed back to the range again this time to shoot a ladder test at 300 yards with different powder charges incrementally in 0.2 grains. On this trip I found a couple powder charge nodes with the best node being right where I had been loading my favorite load from the very first day. However the ladder wasn't as tight as I would have like it to be and the theme of fliers going to the right was continuing. Ahh!!!

Ok, I was convinced that there was an issue with the barrel fouling and discussed the issue with my engineer friend. He recommended JB Bore paste. As I learned, sometimes a new rifle bore needs a little polishing with a mild abrasive to smooth out any imperfections that persist from the factory. I have heard of this working awesome on barrels in the past but have been very nervous about taking any kind of abrasive to my rifle bores. My X-Bolt has a chrome line bore and I wondered how the JB Bore paste would work. My friend confirmed that it would work great with the chrome lined bore.

So here are the three things I run through my bore on cloth patches. The first item is Kroil that is an oil I like that will penetrate, help lift carbon and other debris in the bore. Second, Bore Tech Eliminator is an awesome chemical process that breaks down the copper. You can leave it in the barrel and it won't harm your barrel like an ammonia based Barnes CR2 cleaner would. Third is JB Bore Paste, which is my new addition to my cleaning process. JB Bore paste that is a mechanical process that scrubs and polishes the bore.

So before my next trip to the range I used a combination of Kroil, Bore Tech Eliminator and JB Bore paste. I would run patches of Bore Tech Eliminator from the chamber and out the muzzle followed by dry patches. After this I would run a patch of JB Bore paste except with the JB Paste I would stroke the patch back and forth in the barrel for around 10 times. I would then follow with a couple dry patches and then repeat the process with using the combination of the chemical and then mechanical cleaning agents.

After I had repeated the process 10 times my chemical patches were only a very, very faint blue color. Blue is the color your patch will be when it reacts with copper. A couple dry patches and a Kroil patch to finish it off and I was ready to head back to the range.

On this trip to the range I wanted to test a couple things at 300 yards. First I wanted to try a group with the original H-1000 load and then I wanted to try Retumbo powder ladder. So I first shot a fouling shot at a clay pigeon I had sat out at 300 yards and I drilled it. Cool! Immediately after that I shot three shots with the H-1000 load. Bingo. These three shots made a 2 1/8" group that measured only 1" vertically. And the one "flier" for the group was to the left instead of the right which at 300 yards the varying wind speed can easily effect. Even at that, this is the equivalent of a group under 3/4" at 100 yards. This is right at the size of groups I was getting with the load at 100 yards previous to the JB Bore paste cleaning. 

Right after firing this group I started on my Retumbo ladder test. Holy crap the first two shots of the ladder were near touching at 300 yards and the velocity and point of impact is the same for the H-1000 load I had just shot. That's awesome! In this ladder test there were two three shot sub MOA nodes. The overall group from the ladder was three inches narrower that the previous  (non-JB Bore Paste cleaned) ladder with the same light wind conditions.

Next trip I'm going to shoot some Retumbo loads in the tight 1 and 2 shots powder charges from my ladder test. And I think I will clean the barrel again but only run a couple JB Bore paste patches this time.

I'm hooked, JB Bore Paste is now going to be a part of my cleaning process. I can think of a couple other rifles I would like to use it in that have had group sizes getting a little larger than I would like. Hmm...

Rifle bore cleaning products

 

Out shooting a ladder test tonight with Hodgdon H1000 powder behind a 175 Gr ELD-X in my 28 Nosler. I'm not a pro at ladder tests, nor is this the tightest ladder I have shot, but I do like doing them to narrow down a solid accurate powder charge. For this ladder test I had 13 loads in 2 tenth increments from 76.6 Gr to 79 Gr holding on the same target at a distance of 300 yards. The idea is to find a node of consecutive shots that have the least variance in elevation. Shots 10 through 13 are only 1 1/4" apart in elevation and 11 through 13 are only 5/8" apart. 12 and 13 only 1/4" apart. Would be nice to see a 14 but this is getting near the max charge I feel comfortable with. Charge number 12 looks to be the best from this ladder. After a thorough cleaning and probably some JB bore paste to smooth out this new bore I am going to try a Retumbo ladder test next. #laddertest #28nosler #browning #chrony #targetshooting #rifle #whatgetsyououtdoors #hornady #hodgdon #loadyourown #reloading #reload

A post shared by Brady Smith (@diyhntr) on

 

Last night's 300 yard ladder test with different powder charges using Retumbo and a 2 1/8" 3 shot group with H-1000. Both were shot with my @browningfirearms X-Bolt 28 Nosler with @hornady_mfg 175 Gr ELD-X bullets. I first shot the 3 shot group (bottom target) with a load of H-1000 from a node in my previous ladder test. I then shot the ladder test. There are two sub moa nodes in this ladder. 1,2,3 and 9,10,11. I really like that 1 and 2 have the exact point of impact as the H-1000 group I had just finished shooting. And the velocities are both right at 3,215 for both loads. I'm getting closer to figuring out a favorite load. #xbolt #browning #whatgetsyououtdoors #reloading #reload #hodgdon #loadyourown #eldx #bullet #targetshooting #28nosler

A post shared by Brady Smith (@diyhntr) on

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